A Dictionary of American History

Contents:
Author: Thomas L. Purvis  | Date: 1995

Panama Canal

Panama Canal On 2 November 1903, Theodore Roosevelt sent warships to prevent Colombia from quelling the Panama Revolt. To ensure US protection against a Colombian reconquest, Panama signed the Hay–Bunau–Varilla Treaty to lease a US canal zone.

On 29 June 1906, Congress authorized funds to build the canal. Colonel William Gorgas enabled construction to proceed safely by his sanitation campaign that eliminated breeding grounds for mosquitoes carrying malaria and yellow fever. Under Colonel George Goethals, the Corps of Engineers built the 40.3-mile canal linking Cristobal and Balboa. The canal cost $365,000,000 and opened on 15 August 1914.

US occupation of the Canal Zone stirred Panamanian resentment, which expressed itself by massive rioting on 9 and 10 January 1964, and allowed Communists to portray the US as an imperialist power in the cold war. After winning Panamanian assent to a treaty that guaranteed the zone’s permanent neutrality (ratified on 16 March 1978 by the Senate), Jimmy Carter won Senate approval on 18 April for a treaty transferring the canal in stages to Panama by 31 December 1999.

Contents:

Related Resources

Panama Canal

Download Options


Title: A Dictionary of American History

Select an option:

*Note: A download may not start for up to 60 seconds.

Email Options


Title: A Dictionary of American History

Select an option:

Email addres:

*Note: It may take up to 60 seconds for for the email to be generated.

Chicago: Thomas L. Purvis, "Panama Canal," A Dictionary of American History in A Dictionary of American History (Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell Reference, 1995), Original Sources, accessed July 2, 2022, http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=2UXGVUTPJDA4YVQ.

MLA: Purvis, Thomas L. "Panama Canal." A Dictionary of American History, in A Dictionary of American History, Cambridge, Mass., Blackwell Reference, 1995, Original Sources. 2 Jul. 2022. http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=2UXGVUTPJDA4YVQ.

Harvard: Purvis, TL, 'Panama Canal' in A Dictionary of American History. cited in 1995, A Dictionary of American History, Blackwell Reference, Cambridge, Mass.. Original Sources, retrieved 2 July 2022, from http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=2UXGVUTPJDA4YVQ.