The History of the Panama Canal

Feb 3rd, 2012
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Duke University
Course: history
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Disease, death, and rough terrain slowed down the completion of the canal. "The Terrain at the Isthmus was something they had never experienced and had not put a serious study of it, a very grave error" ("Panama Canal Connects"). Mosquitoes were responsible for many deaths. Illnesses such as yellow fever and malaria made "many of the work forces go to the hospitals or in some cases die" ("Panama Canal"). Mosquitoes carried the diseases and when a person got bit he would give a disease to the mosquito and the mosquito would pass it on to the next victim ("Historical Overview"). "The rocky ground of the formerly volcanic area proved to be too much for the French steam shovels and dredges" (Jones), and only when Philippe Bunau-Varilla suggested a plan for dynamiting the rocks underwater and digging up the pieces was there any room for headway (Jones).

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