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Stevens began to make heavy use of the Panama Railroad to remove the excavated earth. He also proved to be an ally of Gorgas, giving him all the men and supplies he needed to eradicate mosquitoes. By the end of , Gorgas had conquered yellow fever and malaria in the Canal Zone. Stevens concluded that digging a sea-level canal was impossible and recommended a lock canal instead. Three locks, or water chambers, on the Atlantic side would raise ships as large as the Titanic until they could sail into a huge manmade lake.

After the ships sailed 23 miles on the lake and nine more through the Culebra Cut, another set of three locks would lower them back to sea level on the Pacific side. Twin locks would allow two-way traffic. President Roosevelt approved this lock system in Stevens resigned in because of exhaustion. Army engineer, Lt.

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George W. Goethals, took over. He remained in charge of all canal construction until the completion of the project in Goethals directed a workforce of up to 50, laborers. About 6, white Americans, some with their families, worked as administrators, engineers, and at skilled jobs. They lived in communities with free housing and all the comforts of home. Most of the remaining employees were black laborers and service workers from the Caribbean island of Barbados.

Coming to Panama to escape poverty, they lived in racially segregated barracks, squalid tenements, or jungle huts. By , Goethals was using nearly 70 huge steam shovels to dig the nine-mile long Culebra Cut. He also built a hydroelectric dam on the Chagres River. This dam formed Gatun Lake, which eliminated the need for more than 20 miles of canal construction, and provided a controlled supply of water for the canal and locks.


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Waterpower and electricity operated the six pairs of locks. Electric engines towed the ships through the lock chambers. The grand opening of the Panama Canal occurred on August 15, , during the presidency of Woodrow Wilson. There was little fanfare since World War I was erupting in Europe. About 5, canal workers, almost all of them black laborers, died due to disease and accidents.

This was a quarter of the death toll of the failed French effort. Then, in , the U. Senate ratified a treaty negotiated by President Jimmy Carter that handed over complete ownership and operation of the canal to Panama in What mistakes did the French make that caused the failure of their private enterprise in Panama? Why was the United States interested in an isthmus canal in Central America?

The Panama Canal an Army's Enterprise | Panama Canal | Panama

If you had to choose the next great enterprise of the United States, what would it be? Carry out human space travel to Mars and back. Build a national hydrogen fuel infrastructure to phase out gasoline-operated vehicles. Repair and modernize public schools and universities.


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Design a new generation of fast commercial airplanes. Designate a different area of the classroom for each of the six enterprises. Students choose and move to the enterprise they like the most. Each of the six groups lists three arguments on chart paper in favor of its enterprise. Each group displays its chart and tries to persuade the class that its enterprise is the best one. Gorgas George W. Goethals Maps Pictures Books. Encarta: Panama. Wikipedia: Panama. Columbia Encyclopedia: Panama. Library of Congress: Country Studies: Panama.

Library of Congress: Portals to the World: Panama. State Department: Background Note: Panama. Yahoo Directory: Panama. Open Directory Project: Panama. Google Directory: Panama. Encarta: Colombia. Wikipedia: Colombia. Columbia Encyclopedia: Colombia. Citizendium: Colombia. Library of Congress: Country Studies: Colombia. Library of Congress: Portals to the World: Colombia. State Department: Background Note: Colombia. Economist: Colombia.

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Yahoo Directory: Colombia. Open Directory Project: Colombia. Google Directory: Colombia. Encarta: Nicaragua. Wikipedia: Nicaragua. Columbia Encyclopedia: Nicaragua.

Library of Congress: Country Studies: Nicaragua. Library of Congress: Portals to the World: Nicaragua. State Department: Background Note: Nicaragua. Volcano World: Momotombo, Nicaragua. Global Volcanism Program: Momotombo.

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Yahoo Directory: Nicaragua. Open Directory Project: Nicaragua. Google Directory: Nicaragua. Panama Canal History. Encarta: Panama Canal. Wikipedia: The Panama Canal. Discover the fascinating stories and amazing history of the Panama Canal, from its construction through today's massive expansion program.

This unique and comprehensive compilation of official information provides a stunning, richly detailed overview of this incredible waterway. This compilation includes a professionally-formatted version of the important history book, Panama Canal, An Army's Enterprise.

The Panama Canal

In , after so many other would-be builders, foreign and domestic, had failed, Army leaders undertook what seemed to be an impossible mission—uniting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans through a series of gigantic canals, locks, and waterways in a primitive land whose climate and geography created instant hardships. This pamphlet describes the critical role of those Army officers who defied the odds and saw this immense project through to completion.

They included Col. Goethals, who oversaw the final design of the canal and its construction and, equally important, motivated his workers to complete the herculean task ahead of schedule; and many other officers who headed up the project's subordinate construction commands and rebuilt the Panama railroad, a key component of the venture. In just seven years, these soldiers, thousands of fellow Americans, and tens of thousands of workers from around the world turned the dream of an isthmian canal into reality.

Their success immediately ranked among the greatest peacetime feats of the Army and the nation, and it remains so to this day. A steam shovel digs out a slide at Cucaracha. Col Frederick Mears.