At the end of this tutorial, students will be able to:
From the time of the arrival of Europeans to the Western Hemisphere, the most desirable location to connect the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans was the Isthmus of Panama. This became especially important to the United States after their victory in the Spanish-American War and the acquisition of islands in both oceans.
The French had already started to build a canal through the isthmus, but quickly ran out of money because the plan that they had was too expensive. The first problem that the United States faced was gaining control of the region from the Colombians, but that was quickly solved with a revolution in Panama. The second problem was the illnesses caused by mosquitos in the region, but with the help of William Crawford Gorgos, that problem was solved by 1906.
In 1977, President Jimmy Carter signed a treaty with Panama which gave them control of the canal zone at the end of 1999.