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Panama Canal It didnt take long for the world to realize that Panama is the narrowest strip of land between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans From the early sixteenth century explorers conquerors treasure seekers settlers the military and engineers have descended on Panama to find a route that would join the two oceans A modern day Panamanian anthropologist says A road a railroad or a canal they didnt concern themselves with the rest Thats been the story here for hundreds of years The eventual completion of this waterway connecting the Atlantic and Pacific came about from strong presidential influence and advancements in engineering In 1502 Christopher Columbus was searching for a water route to India when he anchored off the Atlantic coast of Panama While exploring the island Columbus climbed a mountain gazed to the south and then fell to his knees in prayer He had sighted the Pacific Ocean from this point on the world not to mention Panama would never be the same again About twenty years after the arrival of Columbus the Spanish completed a seven foot wide road across Panama This road was known as the Royal Road over which they transported thousands of tons of gold and silver that they got from Peru and Mexico The first plans for a canal came in 1529 when a Spanish priest Alvaro de Saavedra drew up plans for a canal route across Panama The reasons that nothing really ever came of these plans was because the Spanish controlled all the all the Caribbean Sea and Central America They did not want to build a canal that would open the riches of the new world to other nations Considering that a passageway across Central America would shorten the sailing distance between the east and west coasts of the United states by almost eight thousand miles it was just a matter of time before the US would notice the significance and
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