But after the canal was complete, the ship only traveled for 4000 miles. Why Build the Panama Canal? France suspended the project on May 15, 1889, because they went bankrupt. The U.S. wanted to avoid going around South America and insure less time for U.S. It is a 48-mile waterway that crossed the Isthmus of Panama. Throughout the 1800s, American and British leaders and businessmen wanted to ship goods quickly and cheaply between the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. And then, the route involved passage through the unreliable and extremely dangerous Drake Passage and Cape Horn. When the Panama Canal officially opened in 1914, it was celebrated at a grand world’s fair in San Francisco — the Panama Pacific International Exposition. Why did the U.S. want the Panama Canal built. The creation of the Panama Canal was a huge benefit to merchants and travelers. Building done by the French started in the 1800s. The Panama Canal was built to lower the distance, cost, and time it took for ships to carry cargo between the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans. Much as former President Jimmy Carter was blamed for negotiating the treaties that handed control of the U.S.-built canal to Panama, it was Trump who … Consequently, President Theodore Roosevelt took the construction of the Panama Canal as his priority. For instance, before the construction of the Panama Canal a ship travelling between San Francisco and New York had to cover 12000 miles. Naval ships to travel and protect U.S. possessions around the world. Not only would the ships have taken lesser time of voyage, but also the dangers of a very long sea journey would have been accounted for by a canal such as the Panama Canal. The main reason that the Panama Canal was built was make trading between the countries in the Atlantic Ocean and those in the Pacific Ocean easier and safer. The canal opened up the West and the East, thereby encouraging future foreign relations. The construction of the Panama Canal is where the expression “Another Day, Another Dollar” comes from, as the workers were rumored to be paid a dollar a day for their labor. Richard Feinberg: This is about Teddy Roosevelt, the great nationalist, the imperialist. This waterway remains an important element in global commerce and is only one of the many reasons for Panama's economic importance in the world today. The initial purpose for building the canal was to shorten the distance ships had to travel between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. It is the culmination of many dreams, desires, and heartaches. It is owned and administered by Panama, and it is 40 miles long from shoreline to shoreline. The sea route between the two great oceans, the Pacific and the Atlantic, was unnaturally large for ships to undertake. President Theodore Roosevelt authorized and supported the Panama Construction Project. France undertook the first serious attempt to build a canal connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The Panama Canal (Spanish: Canal de Panamá) is an artificial 82 km (51 mi) waterway in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean. The short answer to this is to say that the Panama Canal was built so as to shorten the time that it took ships to sail from the East Coast of the United States to the West Coast. Vessels were then able to bypass the long route around the southern tip of Africa by transiting the 101-mile Egyptian waterway. When Was the Panama Canal Built? Panama Canal construction was started by the French. The United States took over the construction in 1904 and saw it to its completion. Why was the Panama Canal needed? PBS NewsHour: Why did the U.S. build the Panama Canal? 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