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AfrikaansShqipአማርኛالعربيةՀայերենAzərbaycan diliEuskaraБеларуская моваবাংলাBosanskiБългарскиCatalàCebuanoChichewa简体中文繁體中文CorsuHrvatskiČeština‎DanskNederlandsEnglishEsperantoEestiFilipinoSuomiFrançaisFryskGalegoქართულიDeutschGreekગુજરાતીKreyol ayisyenHarshen HausaŌlelo Hawaiʻiעִבְרִיתहिन्दीHmongMagyarÍslenskaIgboBahasa IndonesiaGaeligeItaliano日本語Basa Jawaಕನ್ನಡҚазақ тіліភាសាខ្មែរ한국어كوردی‎КыргызчаພາສາລາວLatinLatviešu valodaLietuvių kalbaLëtzebuergeschМакедонски јазикMalagasyBahasa MelayuമലയാളംMalteseTe Reo MāoriमराठीМонголဗမာစာनेपालीNorsk bokmålپښتوفارسیPolskiPortuguêsਪੰਜਾਬੀRomânăРусскийSamoanGàidhligСрпски језикSesothoShonaسنڌيසිංහලSlovenčinaSlovenščinaAfsoomaaliEspañolBasa SundaKiswahiliSvenskaТоҷикӣதமிழ்తెలుగుไทยTürkçeУкраїнськаاردوO‘zbekchaTiếng ViệtCymraegisiXhosaיידישYorùbáZulu

A man, a plan, a canal: Panama

The earliest known mention of the Panama Canal was in 1534.  Charles V who was the last Roman Emperor to be crowned by the Pope, ordered the route to be surveyed to shorten the voyage of ships traveling between Spain and Peru. This would have also give the Spanish a military advantage over the Portuguese.

 

                                                                                                                                               Charles V

                                                                        

                                                                                                                                       Sir Thomas Brown

Sir Thomas Brown,  author of many works and diverse in science and medicine, religion and the esoteric. Browne believed that the quincunx pattern was vital to the Universe:

In Chess-boards and Tables we yet find Pyramids and Squares, I wish we had their true and ancient description, farre different from ours, or the Chet mat of the Persians, and might continue some elegant remarkables, as being an invention as High as Hermes the Secretary of Osyris, figuring the whole world, the motion of the Planets, with Eclipses of Sun and Moon.

In 1668 Brown wrote in his book, Pseudodoxia Epidemica

some Isthmus have been eat through by the Sea, and others cut by the spade: And if policy would permit, that of Panama in America were most worthy the attempt: it being but few miles over, and would open a shorter cut unto the East Indies and China.

 

                                                                                                                                          Jefferson

  Thomas Jefferson in 1788made the suggestion that the Spanish should create the Canal to provide a less treacherous Route around South America. A Expedition that took place from 1789-1794 led by Alessandro Malaspina outlined the plans for construction.

                                                                                                                                         Alessandro Malaspina

US officials in 1826  began negotiations in hopes of gaining permission to build the Canal, another effort was made in 1843 which was never carried out. In 1846 the Mallarino_Bidlack Treaty, between the US and New Granada Granted the US transit rights and the right to intervene militarily . In 1849 construction of the Panama Railway began, it was completed in 1855, this link became vital to the infrastructure and trade in the Western Hemisphere, and helped to later determine the route of the Canal.

 

The route was again surveyed in 1855 by William Kennish, a engineer working for the US government. In 1877 Armand Reclus a French Naval officer, and Napoleon Bonaparte, both engineers surveyed the route before publishing “The Practicability and Importance of a Ship Canal to Connect the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans”

The French attempted construction of the Canal from 1881-1894. The US came in after their failed attempts and began construction in 1904 after purchasing the equipment used by the french. On August 15, 1914 the US had completed construction and this vital waterway was opened.

Canal Zone. Operation of Gatun Lock. Opening the lower guard gates. View looking south of forebay. Sept. 26, 1913.

 

 

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