The canal was built in 1907 so goods could travel from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.

It took 5,200 instead of 13,000 miles.


The Panama Canal

by Austin T.

Construction work on the Gaillard Cut is shown in this photograph from 1907
Library of Congress

The Panama Canal was built in 1907 because the U.S. wanted to send goods from one side of the ocean to the other.  The canals construction took many years and there were many difficulties during that time.  The future of the canal is unknown to many people but some think itís not needed anymore.

The United States wanted a canal through Panama for many reasons. The United States wanted to have a faster way to ship goods from the Atlantic to Pacific Ocean. When they built the canal it only took 5,200 miles as opposed to 13,000 miles. A second reason for the building of the canal was to send military ships between the two oceans. This would make the navy very strong in the time of a war. Building the canal would also expand the U.S. by making it easier to get to more territories.                        

The construction of the canal was difficult and took many years. In 1882 they started excavating the land. The canal building consisted of two stages, 1881-1888 and 1904-1914. The French started the canal but gave up, so the U.S. finished the construction. During the building of the canal there were many problems including disease. The diseases were particularly Malaria and Yellow Fever. Also there were many landslides. The estimation of how many people died was 27,500.

            The future of the canal is unknown. The canal isnít as useful because the ships are too big and the canal canít accommodate them. There are two ideas for how to solve this problem. One is that the U.S. could build a new canal in Colombia, Mexico or Nicaragua. Another solution could be to make the canal sea level which is a lot deeper.

            The Panama Canal has not been replaced today, but the US still thinks about how they might improve the function of the canal.  . The Canals today are used a lot to get from one place to the other. This is why the canal are still important.

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