Panama Canal's Legacy in American History

Topics: Panama Canal, Theodore Roosevelt, Ferdinand de Lesseps Pages: 6 (2218 words) Published: May 19, 2011
The Panama Canal
Assuredly the Panama Canal, If you didn’t know already, was one of the most economic and socialized marvels of its time. It was, at first, attempted by the French in the late 1800s, but they were unable to carry out the canal because of financial problems. Not only that, but yellow fever and malaria flooded the campgrounds with the aid of mosquitoes, which made the workforce unbalanced (Avery). Then in 1904, the Americans were to take over under the leadership and guidance of President Theodore Roosevelt. Even then Americans had a difficult time with construction. Moreover, with the canal built, it’s more sufficient then sailing around the tip of South America. Even today, the canal is used several times a day to bring benefits to the U.S. The French

Admittedly, the French owned the Panama Canal before the U.S. Therefore, they were entitled to its construction under the leadership of Ferdinand de Lesseps, who worked on the Suez Canal in earlier years (Avery). Either Nicaragua or Panama would be the location for this engineered creation. Nicaragua was intentionally the first location for the canal (Jones) until one of the French leaders, one day, received a letter in the mail. As usual, the letter had a postage stamp on it (Avery). From there, Panama was then chosen to become the passageway, for the stamp showed Nicaragua’s terrain with erupting volcanoes, in which they didn’t want that to destroy their plans (Avery). From there, Engineers were sent to survey the area (Avery). Since the area was owned to the Columbian court, they had to persuade them to grant permission to build the canal (Jones). Finally, they were given permission to precede with their construction plans (Avery). Ferdinand De Lesseps

The man in control, Ferdinand de Lesseps, was an older man who was completely vain from his earlier success in the Suez Canal (Avery). To him, the Panama Canal would be no different. Clearly, he believed that the Panama Canal would be done quicker than the Suez, but was mistaken for in Panama consisted of nothing but mountains and rocky soil (Avery). In Egypt, it was only sand. His idea of the canal was that it would become a sea leveled canal, like the Suez and be parallel to the Panama Railroad that was built by the Americans earlier in the 1800s (Avery). With Him, a man named General Stephen Turr, who was a close Hungarian companion of de Lesseps, decided to help him in the canal (Avery). With Turr, the canal would be two thirds of the way done from the Rio Grande to the city of Colon, but it would be a take time and many lives, for Panama was infested with monstrous diseases that could kill men within forty eight hours. Disease

Yellow Fever and Malaria roamed the French and, of course, American construction sites. Stegomya faciata was the species of mosquito that carried these diseases from one person to the next (Easmon). Thousands of men died from these diseases that, at first, seemed like a case of influenza because your body would be using a vast amount of substance to rid the infection (Easmon). Pursuing this further, it would worsen to a more serious case of the disease. Yellow fever is intellectually known as virus that has been transmitted from primates to humans through mosquitoes (Easmon). When the mosquito bit into the primate, it would then become permanently infected with the disease and ends up developing in the mosquitoes salivary glands to be spread to other organisms, which in this case, humans (Easmon). When bitten, the virus would travel into the bloodstream to make its way into the liver, kidneys, or blood vessels to incubate through time period of three to sixteen days before symptoms would occur (Easmon). Symptoms included headache, diarrhea, vomiting and anorexia. Soon after the body would recover for a time period of twenty four hours before it became more serious (Easmon). During this time the body would experience anemia (yellowing of the skin), liver...
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