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The History of the Pana Canal The Panama Canal has been called the big ditch the bridge between two continents and the greatest shortcut in the world When it was finally finished in 1914 the 51-mile waterway cut off over 7900 miles of the distance between New York and San Francisco and changed the face of the industrialized world Panama Canal This Canal is not the longest the widest the deepest or the oldest canal in the world but it is the only canal to connect two oceans and still today is the greatest man-made waterway in the world Panama Canal Connects Ferdinand de Lesseps who played a large role in building the Suez Canal in 1869 Jones was the director of the Compagnie Universelle Du Canal Interoceanique de Panama Historical Overview At first De Lesseps seemed to be the perfect choice for the Panama task Though as time went on De Lesseps was found to be anything but the ideal Dolan As soon as de Lesseps company took over the canal it was doomed Jones De Lesseps was a 74-year-old man who was stubborn vain and very opinionated Considine Because of his experience with the Suez waterway De Lesseps thought he was smarter than all the engineers beneath his command Dolan De Lesseps overrode all opposition of his sea-level canal due to his very popular reputation He was sold on the idea of a sea-level canal and would not listen to the ideas of others such as French engineer Adolphe Godin de Lepinary De Lepinarys idea was to create two large lakes on either side of the mountains In order to do this they would have to dam the Chagres River on the Atlantic side and the Rio Grande River on the pacific side Considine Although as time went on more than just a poor director held back the finalization of the canal Disease death and rough terrain slowed down
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