The Panama Canal Essay Research Paper The — страница 2

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[Jorden 199-200] A group of Panamanians feared that Panama would lose the commercial benefits of a canal across the isthmus. The French company worried about losing the sale of its property to the United States. [St. George 49] The Panamanians, with the help of the French and some encouragement from the United States, revolted against 3 Colombian November 3, 1903, and declared Panama independent. [2 McCullough 223] In accordance with its 1846 treaty with Colombia, the United States sent ships to Panama to protect the Panama Railroad. Marines landed in Colon, and prevented Colombian troops from marching to Panama City, the center of the revolution, by forming a long line across the Panama-Colombia border. [Cameron 107] On November 6, 1903, the United States recognized the Republic

of Panama. Less than two weeks later, Panama and the United States signed the Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty. It gave the United States permanent, exclusive use and control of a canal zone 10 miles wide. [Jorden 282-283] “In return, the United States gave Panama an initial payment of $10 million, plus $250,000 a year, beginning in 1913.” [Jorden 284] The United States also guaranteed Panama’s independence. The United States took over the French property in May 1904. [St. George 56] The greatest obstacle to building the Panama Canal wasn’t the dense jungle, that was just an element of the biggest problem, it was disease. [2 McCullough 254] “The Isthmus of Panama was one of the most disease-ridden areas in the world.” [Cameron 125] In 1904, President Roosevelt gave Col.

William C. Gorgas the task of cleaning up the Canal Zone so that building could begin. [Cameron 126] Gorgas, an American physician, had become famous for wiping out yellow fever in Havana, Cuba, after the Spanish-American War. He was a public health doctor who knew exactly how to attack the problem. He knew that he had to kill the source of the yellow fever and malaria–the mosquitoes. [2 McCullough 271] He had all of the windows and doors installed with screen to block out bugs. He knew the mosquitoes hung around water so he had all the streets leveled and paved so that no standing puddles would occur when a storm hit. Also, with respect to the water problem, he had all marshes drained to eliminate the insects there. [Jorden 320] He began to cover the wells to keep the

disease-carrying rats out of the streets. He also began cutting down 4 brush and tall grass where the mosquitoes and other disease carrying insects dwelled. [Cameron 155] One example where he obtained massive supplies for the zone was here: While the Sanitation Department budget for 1904 had been $50,000, Gorgas now ordered $90,000 worth of copper screening alone (only copper could withstand Panama’s humid climate), 50,000 gallons of kerosene and 200 barrels of larvacide a month, 3,000 garbage cans, 5,000 pounds of soap and 120 tons of insect powder America’s entire output for a year. [St. George 64] By 1906, he was getting a good start. He had wiped out yellow fever and eliminated the rats that carried bubonic plague in the Canal Zone. He told Congress, the engineers, and

the President that he needed at least three more years to totally cleanse the place. Unfortunately for everyone who was involved, digging began soon after. [2 McCullough 289] During the first couple years of construction, there were many setbacks to the 6600 deaths from various diseases. Throughout all this Gorgas continued his work and by the last year of construction, only 1 or 2 men died from disease. [St. George 68] “Roosevelt appointed a civilian commission to lead the canal project.” [Cameron 166] He appointed John Frank Stevens as one of his foreman and John F. Wallace as his other. “Stevens had played an outstanding role in the building od the Hill-owned Great Northern Railway.” [1 McCullough 67] In 1906, Congress decided to build a canal with locks, rather than

the sea-level canal that the French had originally planned. [Jorden 348] When challenged with the question of the American presence in Panama, he answered, “Tell them I am goin to make the dirt fly on the Isthmus.” [1 McCullough 66] Engineers believed that a canal with locks would be cheaper and faster to build. They also felt a canal with locks would control the Chagres River’s floodwaters better than a sea-level canal would. [Jorden 350] The work progressed slowly because of 5 disease, the dense jungle, and disagreements among the commission members. In 1907, Roosevelt put Colonel George W. Goethals, an Army engineer, in charge of the project and the Canal Zone. [St. George 75-76] The high command consisted of : The governor of the Panama Canal George Goethals, Lt. Col.