The Panama Canal

Posted by Kyle Brookings on Monday, January 23, 2017

The Panama Canal is an artificial 77 kilometre waterway in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean.

The canal cuts across the Isthmus of Panama and is a key conduit for international maritime trade.

It was first used on August 15, 1914 and is under the control of the Panama Canal Authority.

The earliest mention of a canal across the Isthmus of Panama dates back to 1534, when Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain, ordered a survey for a route through the Americas that would ease the voyage for ships traveling between Spain and Peru. Such a route would have given the Spanish a military advantage over the Portuguese.

In 1788, Thomas Jefferson suggested that the Spanish should create it since it would be a less treacherous route than going around the southern tip of South America.

The U.S. formally took control of the canal property on May 4, 1904.

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