The building of the Panama Canal to link the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans was started by the French authorities and businessmen, but then, the project was ruled by the United States which used it to support the idea of the country’s international domination. The building of the Panama Canal contributed to the development of the United States’ economy and foreign relations.
The Panama Canal’s Role in the US History
The building of the Panama Canal changed the people’s vision of the opportunities to travel and move from one region to the other one. During the centuries, the link between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans was the dream of many generations because the link could contribute to the development of the countries’ economy and foreign relations. The building of the canal is closely associated with the progress in the spheres of technology, engineering, and transportation; and it led to the increase of the United States’ significance at the international arena because of the efforts of President Theodore Roosevelt.
While focusing on the aspects of the Panama Canal’s building and its role for the economic development in the United States, it is necessary to pay attention to such important sections of the website about the history of the Panama Canal as “Why Build a Canal?”, “Making the Dirt Fly,” “Life in the Canal Zone,” and “Did You Know?”. According to the reasons listed in “Why Build a Canal?”, it is possible to note that in spite of the fact that the railroad developed intensively while providing the industries with the necessary transportation and communication services, more attention was paid to the development of the water transport because it was economically advantageous and contributed to the development of the international commerce (Make the dirt fly, 2014). From this perspective, many entrepreneurs focused on the necessity to link the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans to stimulate market development. The French businessmen were the first ones to start the building of the Panama Canal and point at the economic and political success of the initiative.
However, the decades of the building made the French suffer from financial losses and diseases. Theodore Roosevelt used the situation and continued the building of the canal to support the United States’ domination in the region. The process of building the canal was rather challenging because of the project’s scopes. The project needed a lot of the financial and human resources and the focus on the innovations in the field of engineering. Many resources were spent on improving the digging equipment to encourage the building because it took years to make the canal appropriate for ships. Only high-quality machinery was used to dig and drill, and engineers achieved significant results. Great perspectives required the use of great resources. Thus, according to the section “Did You Know?” “When the Panama Canal opened to traffic, the United States had spent $352 million” (Make the dirt fly, 2014). Nevertheless, it is even more important to focus on the human resources needed for the project’s completion.
The building of the Panama Canal influenced the life of the nation. Many people migrated to the Canal Zone to find work. The authorities provided health support and houses to assist workers and contribute to their well-being to promote the effective realization of the project. The adequate fees and conditions were proposed because the authorities and businessmen understood the role of the motivation in the process of building the Panama Canal, which could contribute to the improvement of the whole country’s economy. The next important point is that the married workers were preferable to participate in the project to guarantee the stable character of the labor force. The workers were invited to the region with their families, and the resources for life were provided. As a result, the economic state of many workers living in the Canal Zone changed significantly. The project contributed to improving the employment situation in the region because many males intended to work in the Canal Zone (Make the dirt fly, 2014). Even though engineers and skillful workers had more competitive wages in comparison with general workers, many people focused on the fact that the building of the canal contributed to the improvement of their economic state greatly.
The effects of building the Panama Canal can also be discussed as used to promote the American ideals among the population and to increase national awareness. From this point, it is interesting to refer to the picture in which the digging bears are depicted. The caption to the picture states, “To finish this great work / We need no foreign aid, / For we can do it all ourselves / With spirit and with spade” (Make the dirt fly, 2014). This picture can be discussed as the vivid example to represent the authorities’ attitude to the project as the opportunity to state the country’s domination in the region with the perspective to dominate the market while referring to the link between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
The building of the Panama Canal is the great event in the history of the United States because it influenced the lives of thousands of Americans who worked for the project during the years and the lives of millions of people who can use the Panama Canal today for the effective and quick transportation.
Make the dirt fly. (2014). Web.