The Panama Canal

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Take Over of the Panama Canal Dating back to the 1500s, the idea of a canal that would cut-through Central America to connect the Atlantic and Pacific oceans was known and highly desired. If a water passage could pass through the narrow strip of Central America and connect the two bodies of water, trade and travel would be made easier. There were many problems for ships sailing around South America. The Panama Canal needed to be made in order for ships to avoid having to travel all the way down to the tip of South America and back up to the other side. This would eliminate the travel miles and time for ships that are travelling from one side to the other. There were many people who thought of the idea and tried to make it happen but fell short.…show more content…
Disease was the leading cause of all the deaths. The diseases that caused many of the deaths was yellow fever and malaria, which are tropical diseases and was carried by mosquitos. When it rained, the dirt from which was dug, turned into puddles of mud and attracted the disease carrying mosquitos. This affected about thirty percent of the canal workers. After the high amounts of deaths, the project went bankrupt. This was when The United States stepped in and took control of the canal. The French held control from 1881 to 1904. The project was sold to the United States for forty million dollars. It was not a quick and easy process for The United States to take full control of the unfinished canal. At the time Theodore Roosevelt was President. He was interested in taking control of the canal because he believed it was “important to America’s economic and military interests” (history.com). President Roosevelt saw the long-term goal and firmly believed it was important for the United States to take control and finish the canal in order to ships goods fast and for cheap. Because of this, it would result in a immense impact economically. Finishing the canal would result in the control of both oceans and because of war being fought by sea, it was crucial to the United States to have that…show more content…
Ships must pay tolls for using the canal. The toll is based on each vessel’s size and cargo volume. When the canal first opened, it costs ninety cents per cargo ton for a ship to cross through the canal. In the beginning, over fifteen-thousand ships use the canal on average. The toll was first increased in 1974. Instead of ninety cents, it raised to a dollar and eight cents per cargo ton. After the completion of the Panama Canal, the Panamanians did not feel as though they were benefiting from the canal and protested for almost twenty years to gain control of the canal. Panama citizens were not allowed in the Canal Zone. It was strictly limited to Americans. In 1977, The United States and Panama signed two new treaties that replaced the original 1903 agreement which stated a change of control in 1999. It was December 31, 1999, when The United States officially put Panama in control of the Panama Canal for the first time. “The (new) treaty gave America the ongoing right to defend the canal against any threats to its neutrality” (history.com). Americans still managed it along with military bases being there but it was in Panama’s land. After this treaty was signed, it “defused a lot of tensions not just in Panama but throughout Latin America” (pbs.org). The conflicts were not over when the canal finished. After the Panama Canal opened, it didn’t take long for it to
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