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The Panama Canal

By the 1880s Congress considered a canal between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans essential for commerce and defense, but disagreements about its location became a “Battle of the Routes.” Senator John Tyler Morgan of Alabama, head of the Committee on Inter-Oceanic Canals, wanted it in Nicaragua, near southern U.S. ports. Senator Mark Hanna of Ohio wanted to complete a canal in Panama begun by a French company. In 1904, after the U.S. militarily supported Panama’s independence from Colombia, the Senate approved a canal treaty with Panama.

1 Image The Gates, Pedro Miguel Lock, lithograph by Joseph Pennell, 1912 View All Images
1 Image Nicaragua Mount Momotombo 10 centavos postage stamp, ca. 1900 View All Images
1 Image “Spanish laborers at work in Culebra Cut,” stereograph, August 1914 View All Images
1 Image Senate resolution ratifying the Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty, February 23... View All Images
1 Image Marcus A. Hanna, 1903 View All Images