Panama Canal Impact

Words: 1335
Pages: 6

Panama Canal: Global Impact through the ages

By: Harrison Deitsch

Since the 16th century World Leaders and businessmen have been looking for routes to transport goods between the Atlantic and Pacific ocean. So far the best path was to sail through drakes passage and around South Americas treacherous Cape horn. This route was also known as the sailors graveyard as its passage was plagued by Poseidon who littered it with icebergs ,high winds, fast currents and tall waves. This voyage was also extremely long making it a costly venture.

Nations would look towards land crossings over the Colombian isthmus of panama. After the discovery of gold in California American businessman financed the construction of the panama railway starting
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With Americas recent industrial, and economic rise along with her militaries 1898 victory over Spain, Roosevelt wanted to secure the United States as a world power. This would be the beginning of a long arduous journey to complete the panama canal and connect the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

The Isthmus and build site of the panama canal was controlled by the Colombian government who refused to relinquish control. When diplomacy failed Roosevelt continued with his big stick policy by giving his blessing to Panamanian rebels to start a revolution against Colombia. With the support of the United States government via a naval gunship anchored in panamas harbor Columbian troops marched home and, Panama became a sovereign country in a matter of days.

In exchange for its soverenty the United states was given 500 square miles of land to build the panama canal. The project broke ground in 1903 and soon came face to face with hurdles that brought the ruin to Frances canal campaign. Where the French failed the United States would prosper, with American leadership, industry, and cutting edge science the panama Canal was finished in 1914. The building of the Panama Canal would prove to be Americas most expensive project of its time, costing approximately $375,000,000 and 5,600 workers
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The panama canal was the greatest engineering feat of it time, but it caused eviction, deforestation, extinction and pollution. In order for the canal to be built the rainforest had to be cleared in order to make lakes and dams in which the canal operates on. 50,000 people had to leave the area because of all the flooding. Also taking a hit were multiple species of animals and plants that have gone extinct or are in danger of extinction. The most prevalent is the Jaguar. The 50 mile canal that stretches from the Atlantic to the pacific ocean has cut of the ability of jaguars to migrate. Confining the jaguar and restricting it from being able to travel to new hunting and breeding grounds creates an increase pressure on it food source. When the food runs out the Jaguars will no longer be able to sustain there population and with the continue of deforestation poaching and climate changes they will eventually become extinct as well. The loss of this predator would surely cause erectable damage to the food chain and