How is the Panama Canal linked to American imperialism?

Quick answer:

The Panama Canal links to American imperialism in that the United States assisted with the formation of Panama just to get the canal created. Also, the United States dug the canal and occupied the Canal Zone for the entire twentieth century. In this way, the Canal was like an imperialist property of the United States.

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The United States first flexed its imperialistic muscle when it sent warships off the coast of Colombia while Panamanian rebels fought for their independence. Panama declared its independence from Colombia, and the US quickly recognized the new nation. The United States had previously negotiated a deal by which Panama would allow the US to dig and control the canal in return for its independence.

The United States invested the manpower and money needed in order to dig the canal. The United States also took the right to occupy the Canal Zone. It also meddled in the affairs of Panama in order to ensure that the canal would be used for American shipping. The Panama Canal represented one of the greatest accomplishments of Teddy Roosevelt's administration in that it shortened the distance between US markets and Asia.

His willingness to occupy the Canal Zone and to intervene in Panama was part of his Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine, which gave the United States the authority to meddle in Latin American affairs in order to ensure that pro-American leaders stayed in power.

The Canal Zone served as American territory just like other naval bases in the Pacific—it was another outpost meant to serve American business and military interests. The United States helped Panama gain its independence, and in return, the United States gained a major boost to its industry and prestige. The digging of the Panama Canal is part of an imperialistic period in American history.

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