Panama Canal

Essay by Anonymous UserA+, December 1996

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The canal is joining the atlantic and pacific oceans. It runs from

Cristobal on lemon bay, a part of the Caribbean sea, to Balboa, on the

Gulf of Panama. The canal is slightly more than 64 km long, not including

the dredged approach channels at either end. The minimum depth is 12.5 m,

and the minimum width is 91.5 m. The construction of the canal ranks as

one of the greatest engineering works of all time.

In history people had interest in a shorter route from the Atlantic to

Pacific. This began with the explorers of Central America early in the 16th

century. Hernan Cortez was a spanish conqeror of mexico who suggested

a canal across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. Other explorers had favored

routes through Nicaragua and Darien. The 1 st for a canal through the

Panama was started by Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, Who in 1523

ordered a survey of the isthmus.

A working plan for the canal was drawn

up as early as 1529, but was shown to the king. In 1534 a spanish offical

suggested a canal route close to that of the present canal. Later more of the

canal plans were suggested but no action was taken upon any of these plans


Later on there is more in the canal. The Spanish goverment

abandoned its interest in the canal but in the early 19 th century the books

of the Germam scientist Alexander von Humboldt brang back the interest

in the project of the canal, and in 1819the Spanish goverment formally

athorized the construction of a canal and the creation of a company to

build it. Nothing came of this effort, however, and the revolt of the spanish

colonies soon took control of possible canal sites out of spanish hands .

The republics...