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PANAMA CANALThe canal is joining the atlantic and pacific oceans It runs fromCristobal on lemon bay a part of the Caribbean sea to Balboa on the Gulf of Panama The canal is slightly more than 64 km long not includingthe dredged approach channels at either end The minimum depth is 125 mand the minimum width is 915 m The construction of the canal ranks as one of the greatest engineering works of all timeIn history people had interest in a shorter route from the Atlantic toPacific This began with the explorers of Central America early in the 16thcentury Hernan Cortez was a spanish conqeror of mexico who suggested a canal across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec Other explorers had favored routes through Nicaragua and Darien The 1 st for a canal through the Panama was started by Holy Roman Emperor Charles V Who in 1523 ordered a survey of the isthmus A working plan for the canal was drawn up as early as 1529 but was shown to the king In 1534 a spanish offical suggested a canal route close to that of the present canal Later more of thecanal plans were suggested but no action was taken upon any of these plans suggested Later on there is more in the canal The Spanish goverment abandoned its interest in the canal but in the early 19 th century the books of the Germam scientist Alexander von Humboldt brang back the interestin the project of the canal and in 1819the Spanish goverment formally athorized the construction of a canal and the creation of a company to build it Nothing came of this effort however and the revolt of the spanishcolonies soon took control of possible canal sites out of spanish hands The republics of Central America tried to interest groups in the UnitedStates and Europe in building a canal and it became a subject of perennial debate in the congress of the United States The discovery
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