Control Of The Panama Canal Zone Essay example

1765 Words Nov 30th, 2016 8 Pages
It was in 1902 when the United States was flirting with building a canal in Nicaragua, while France was experiencing much turmoil in their attempt in Panama, when a volcano erupted and killed 30,000 people. Therefore, the United States were deterred from building a Nicaraguan canal. Therefore, the United States focused their efforts on acquiring control of the Panama Canal zone, which was under Colombian control at the time, albeit a small independence movement. The U.S. utilized their military power to boost the movement, and the new government gave the U.S. control over the canal area in 1903.

Things weren’t all peaches and cream for the United States, either. Chief engineer John Stevens experienced much of the same struggles – especially those of malaria and yellow fever killing off most of his workforce. Author Harry A. Franck writes of the Panama construction – “the scrubbing of Panama and Colon . . . the rebuilding of the entire P. R.R. . . . $43,000 a year merely for oil and negroes to pump it on the pestilent mosquito” (Franck, 311). The United States’ effort to build was much the same as France’s – the goal was to build a sea-level canal to boost transportation around the continent. Led by John Wallace, construction began in early 1904, but decaying equipment and minimal workforce due to fear of disease, Wallace resigned by 1905.

The second chief engineer of the project was able to lessen some of the negative effects of the effort. John Stevens gained his…

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