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The Building of the Panama Canal - Research Paper Example

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It was a tantalizing idea that did not escape even the earliest explorers who discovered a vast continent such as America. A water passage between north and south America makes sense all the more…
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The Building of the Panama Canal
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Download file to see previous pages The birth of the Industrial Revolution in which big machines were available for earth moving finally made the dream of Panama Canal into a reality. This is the subject of this paper - how the canal went from an idea to be an engineering marvel.
Spanish colonizers were among the first to realize the need for a passage through the small isthmus separating the two vast oceans. What they did was create a land route that will connect ports on both sides of the American land mass on either side. This was a time when it was technologically impossible yet to actually construct the canal; prior to the opening of the said canal, ships had to travel south all the way to the Drake Passage around Cape Horn at the tip of South America. The Panama Canal saves a total of 12,500 kilometers (7,800 miles) of extra travel equivalent to an estimated 30 days of sea voyage. The canal not only saves time but puts ships out of harms way when they had to travel south before, where strong typhoons are quite common. Elimination of unnecessary extra days at sea also puts sailors at ease.
The land route became known as the Camino Real (and later on, the Las Cruces trail) and this route was the one used to lay down a railroad track; this extended from Colon on the Atlantic to the Pacific side terminus (in present-day Panama City) and was built 1850 to 1855 and ran for 47 miles. Besides the Spaniards, some colonizers from Scotland also attempted the same objective but failed. The railway was a marvel at that time, considering all the primitive engineering technology, lack of investment capital and the challenges of working in a tropical jungle environment marked by diseases like malaria, dysentery and cholera.
The French Project – France is considered as the initiator of the Panama Canal with a comprehensive engineering study to build a sea level canal.1 The French were emboldened with their recent completion in building the Suez Canal of Egypt and its builder ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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