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the panama canal
It is the Panama Canal:
Here is a clipping from Wikipedia:
The Panama Canal (Spanish: Canal de Panamá) is a major ship canal that traverses the isthmus of Panama in Central America, connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The construction of the canal was one of the largest and most difficult engineering projects ever undertaken.
It has had an enormous impact on shipping, as ships no longer have to travel the long and treacherous route via the Drake Passage and Cape Horn at the southernmost tip of South America.
A ship sailing from New York to San Francisco via the canal travels 9,500 kilometres (6,000 mi), well under half the distance of the previous 22,500 kilometre (14,000 mi) route around Cape Horn.
Although the concept of a canal in Panama dates back to the early 16th century, the first attempt to construct a canal began in 1880 under French leadership. After this attempt collapsed, the work was finally completed by the United States, and the canal opened in 1914.
The building of the 77 kilometre (48 mi) canal was plagued by problems, including disease (particularly malaria and yellow fever) and massive landslides. As many as 27,500 workers are estimated to have died during construction of the canal.
Since opening, the canal has been enormously successful, and continues to be a key conduit for international shipping. Each year the canal accommodates the passage of more than 14,000 ships, carrying more than 203 million tonnes of cargo. By 2002 about 800,000 ships had passed through the canal.
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THE PANAMA CANAL
The popular acclaim that carried Teddy Roosevelt to the governorship of New York didn’t stop there. In 1900, Republicans nominated Teddy as President McKinley’s running mate. McKinley won a second term, and Teddy was sworn in as vice-president. Six months later, an assassin’s bullet killed McKinley. At age 42, Theodore Roosevelt became the nation’s youngest president.
Roosevelt assumed the office with the same vigor with which he charged up Kettle Hill. A long believer in Captain Mahan’s theory of sea power, Roosevelt began to revitalize the navy. Now that America’s empire stretched from the Caribbean across the Pacific, the old idea of a canal between the two oceans took on new urgency. Mahan had predicted that “the canal will become a strategic center of the most vital importance,” and Teddy agreed.
“The canal,” Roosevelt said, “was by far the most important action I took in foreign affairs during the time I was President. When nobody could or would exercise efficient authority, I exercised it.”
Joining the Waters
In 1878 Ferdinand de Lesseps, the French engineer who built the Suez Canal, began to dig a canal across the Isthmus of Panama, which was then part of Colombia. Tropical disease and engineering problems halted construction on the canal, but a French business (the New Panama Canal Company) still held the rights to the project. Roosevelt agreed to pay $40 million for the rights, and he began to negotiate with Colombia for control of the land. He offered $10 million for a fifty-mile strip across the isthmus. Colombia refused.
“We were dealing with a government of irresponsible bandits,” Roosevelt stormed. “I was prepared to . . . at once occupy the Isthmus anyhow, and proceed to dig the canal. But I deemed it likely that there would be a revolution in Panama soon.”
Teddy was right. The chief engineer of the New Panama Canal Company organized a local revolt. Roosevelt immediately sent the battleship Nashville and a detachment of marines to Panama to support the new government. The rebels gladly accepted Roosevelt’s $10 million offer, and they gave the United States complete control of a ten-mile wide canal zone.
Roosevelt ordered army engineers to start digging. Thousands of workers sweated in the malarial heat. They tore up jungles and cut down mountains. Insects thrived in muddy, stagnant pools. “Mosquitoes get so thick you get a mouthful with every breath,” a worker complained. The mosquitoes also carried yellow fever, and many fell victim to the deadly disease before Dr. William Gorgas found a way to stop it.
Some Americans did not approve of Roosevelt’s behavior. “There was much accusation about my having acted in an ‘unconstitutional’ manner,” Teddy shrugged. “I took the isthmus, started the canal, and then left Congress — not to debate the canal, but to debate me. . . . While the debate goes on, the canal does too; and they are welcome to debate me as long as they wish, provided that we can go on with the canal.”
Work did go on. Despite lethal landslides, workers with dynamite and clumsy steam shovels cut their way across a continent. They built a railroad, three sets of concrete locks, and a huge artificial lake. Nine years later the freighter Ancon entered the new channel. Hundreds of construction workers hopped aboard for the historic ride. A shiny towing locomotive pulled the Ancon into the first lock. Bands played and crowds cheered as the ship slipped into the Pacific.
TR Papers at the Library of Congress
Roosevelt liked to repeat an old African saying: “Speak softly, and carry a big stick. You will go far.” In Panama, Teddy proved to the world that he was willing to use his big navy as a stick to further American interests.
The Panama Canal
Panama.where do you live.don’t they have maps there
Spanish: El Canal De Panamá
English: Panama Canal
The Panama Canal. Panama used to be part of Colombia, until 1903 when they got their independence as Colombia was going through a civil war (The Thousand Days War).
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