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Transcript of Panama Canal
1889 - French company abandoned its effort to build a canal in Panama.
-Panama was originally a provenance of Columbia
-1903 the U.S. offered Columbia a large sum of money of money and yearly rent for the right to build the canal and to control a narrow strip of land on either side of it.
1903 - U.S. purchased the French company's assets and the construction of a canal and started construction a year later.
Map of the Panama Canal
Although French investors contributed heavily the company collapsed in February 1889
To overcome a financial crisis in 1888 the French panama canal company needed to float a lottery loan to raise money
French Panama Canal
The Panama canal is 48 miles long
It has three sets of locks
Currently the canal is under construction with an improvement project started in 2007
In 2008, a Disney cruise ship paid the highest toll to date, $330,000.
More than 60 million pounds of dynamite was used to excavate and construct the canal.
Between 12,000 and 15,000 ships cross the Panama Canal every year – about 40 a day
The Canal transports 4 percent of world trade and 16 percent of total U.S.-borne trade.
Panama Canal Workers
Panama canal and its three locks
The Panama canal opens from the Pacific to the Atlantic
The Workers' Hardships
The life of workers in the Canal Zone was filled with hardships constant rain, backbreaking work, racial tensions between West Indian and white laborers, and the constant fear of debilitating illnesses such as yellow fever or malaria.
Early working conditions were harsh and nearly all skilled American workers deserted within a year.
As work on the canal progressed facilities improved incentives for workers to stay were provided.
The Workers Toll
There was a number of 102,000 people who died during the building of the Panama canal. The people died mainly due to diseases that they caught from the canal while others died due to loss of blood since they were bitten by ants and other insects.
" No single great material work which remains to be undertaken on this continent is of such consequence to the American People."