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How did United States gain the control over the Panama canal?What really happened in...

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lolaaqui | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 3) eNoter

Posted February 26, 2011 at 12:10 PM via web

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How did United States gain the control over the Panama canal?

What really happened in the negotiations between U.S and the Colombian government to gain access to the canal?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 26, 2011 at 12:19 PM (Answer #1)

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First of all, please note that when the US and the Colombian government were negotiating, the canal did not exist.  The US got access to Panama through the negotiations and then it was the US that built the canal.

In 1903, the US and Colombia concluded a treaty that would have given the US the right to build a canal through the Isthmus of Panama (this was part of Colombia at the time).  But the Colombian Senate rejected the treaty.  This made Pres. Theodore Roosevelt very unhappy and so he helped Panama stage a rebellion against Colombia.  The US Navy prevented Colombian troops from crushing the rebellion and Panama became independent.

After that happened, the US signed a treaty with the Prime Minister of Panama (who was actually a Frenchman who was part of a company that wanted to make money off the canal).  The treaty gave the US the canal zone.  After that, America built the canal, completing it in 1914 after 10 years of work.

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