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Teddy and the Panama Canal

November 13, 2012

Below please find a web question on the Panama Canal, written by your classmate, Rahman Muzaffar. As we recall, the French started this project in 1881, but had to abandon it by the early 1890s because the technology and tropical medicine was not yet up to the task–the effort was proving too costly. But the U.S. took up the effort after Teddy Roosevelt became president in 1901, and it was at last completed in 1914.

Why did Teddy Roosevelt think the completion of the Panama Canal was so important? What purpose did he see it serving?

19 Comments leave one →
  1. aaron ahdut permalink
    November 14, 2012 11:43 pm

    The reason why Teddy Roosevelt thought the panama canal was so important was because the canal had an enormous impact on commerce and trade. It allowed ships to avoid having to sail around the tip of South America to make it from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans and vice versa. Ships were able to carry more cargo and it made it easier for them to do business. The effect on the economy of the world was really impressive. upon building the canal the u.s military had a significant increase in strength and the u.s economy soared drastically.

  2. Fuad Hamid permalink
    November 18, 2012 1:54 pm

    Teddy Roosevelt thought completing the Panama Canal was so important because it gave the United States a very convenient route in sailing between the pacific and Atlantic oceans. Before, people would have to sail all the way around South America in order to reach the other side country but the Panama Canal made travel time significantly shorter. This gave the United States a huge economical boost because it made it easier for trade ships to move between both coasts.

  3. Syed permalink
    November 23, 2012 6:22 pm

    Teddy Roosevelt thinks the completion of the Panama Canal was important because it allowed access of U.S. ships to the Atlantic and the pacific oceans in brief time. It also allowed U.S. presence in the South America. President Theodore Roosevelt was a big supporter of “imperial expansion”. When Colombia oppose to the Panama Canal U.S. supported a revolution, state of panama was founded by this revolution. Panama Canal energized the U.S. economy and military presence all over the world.

  4. Ebru Oktayer permalink
    December 1, 2012 3:48 pm

    The completion of the Panama Canal was crucial to connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. This connection would then allow for a quicker trade and communication route. Teddy Roosevelt ensured the completion of the canal by helping rebels annex the land and founding Panama, which was justified under the “Roosevelt Corollary.” The “Roosevelt Corollary” established the right of the United States to intervene when necessary when threats to their domestic and economic investments were “threatened.”

  5. shahid khan permalink
    December 5, 2012 4:08 am

    Teddy Roosevelt thought that the completion of the Panama Canal was so important because it connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean via Caribbean Sea. The Panama Canal is a shortcut for ships to travel between Pacific and Atlantic Oceans in shorter, faster, safer route instead of sailing all the way around the South America twice the time and danger. The Panama Canal also gave the United States the economic benefits. They saved a lot of money and actually made more money with faster travel and time.
    – Shahid Khan

  6. Andrew Laperuta permalink
    December 9, 2012 10:31 pm

    France unsucessful tried to build a canal through the isthmus of Panama. So the United States took on this job and began the constuction of the Canal. Teddy Roosevelt knew that the canal would shorten the distance between the Atlantic and Pacific ocean that the ships would have to travel. the canal would allow shipments of all kinds to come quicker than usual. The quicker the shipments could come means the quicker money could be made. Which would benifit the U.S. economy greatly. this would also shorten the route for naval ships that needed to pass through the two oceans. The Panama Canal is a great importance for the U.S. and that is why Teddy Roosevelt thought the completion of it was so important.

  7. Rahman Muzaffar permalink
    December 11, 2012 11:58 pm

    The reason the Panama Canal was important because it had a great trade route between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Instead of sailing around South America, with the Panama Canal ships were able to get to other countries much faster and communication became easier, trade had also become cheaper. The economy got a great boost and the military expanded and strengthened.

  8. Peter Fiorentino permalink
    December 12, 2012 10:10 am

    America built The Panama Canal, after France’s attempt did not succeed. It was so essential because it was such a great trade route because it cut the travel time in half. Quicker traveling meant more sales which meant more money. This also lead to the “Roosevelt Corollary” which gave America the right to intervene when they felt their domestics or economics were being jeopardized. At the time this was the most important thing in terms of trading over seas.

  9. Omar Algamoos permalink
    December 12, 2012 9:40 pm

    The reason why President Roosevelt thought the completion of the Panama Canal was important was because it made trading from east to west much easier and quicker. The canal across Panama would save incalculable miles and man-hours. It connected the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean. This was due to the fact that they did not have to go around South America; they can now cut through panama. Ferdinand de Lesseps believed that it will make stock holders richer. This had a great impact on the United States economy.

  10. Irena Pergjika permalink
    December 15, 2012 11:34 pm

    After France failed to do, Teddy Roosevelt during this presidency decided to complete the project of the Panama Canal. He believed the Panama Canal to be extremely important because it connected the east with the west. By having a connection between the Pacific and Atlantic ocean trading and the transportation of goods became much quicker than before. In addition, the Panama Canal eliminated the need of extra resources and time because the travelers now had a easy pathway to the other side of the United States so there was no reason to travel around South America to reach the West Coast. This saved a lot of money, resources, and since transportation was one of the most important things during that time the Panama Canal had a great impact on trading.

  11. Khansa Mansoor permalink
    December 17, 2012 4:33 pm

    Theodore Roosevelt thought that the completion of the Panama Canal was important because it would connect the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean. This was important to him because it would give off a great trade route and it would make traveling much easier. It served as a great shortcut compared to what travelers were doing before. This was seen as a way to save money, time, and in general increase of trades of well which would be beneficial to the U.S. economy.

  12. Jotty permalink
    December 17, 2012 7:53 pm

    Teddy Roosevelt thought the completion of the Panama canal was very important for the biggest reason to Protect U.S investments and increase its expansion in Latin America. Teddy viewed that this achievement of the Panama canal would connect the Atlantic ocean to the Pacific via the Caribbean sea and facilitate the communication and would make it no longer necessary for ships to sail all around the southernmost tip of South America. It would become the shorter, faster and safer route to the U.S to defend its interest when they are threatened, in half the time previously demanded.

  13. Richard Cabral permalink
    December 18, 2012 5:07 am

    Teddy knew that the completing the canal would not only allow ships from the Atlantic fleet to go over into the pacific fleet, which would allow for the US to mobilize their fleets faster. However this Canal would not only be useful military wise but it would prove useful for the US’s economy. The Canal would cut the time it would take to get from one coast to the other without the need for going around South America. This would also make the cost ofr ship things by sea a whole lot cheaper.

  14. Victoria Karcz permalink
    December 18, 2012 11:51 pm

    Prior to the establishment of the Panama Canal, the waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans have made it difficult to maintain trade between North and South America. Thus, Theodore Roosevelt believed that having this passage between the Americas would increase the productivity of business across these waters. Having a route that could allow for the advancement of trade will lead to the efficiency of the economy and will therefore allow it to flourish. The Panama Canal promoted the importation and exportation of goods. We could perceive the canal as a short-cut amongst these waters, saving the United States both time and effort, and at the same time being beneficial to the economy.

  15. Anastasia Davidyants permalink
    December 19, 2012 12:11 am

    When the Compagnie Universelle du Canal Interocéanique failed to complete the Panama Canal, thousands of investors lost their money and thousands of people working on it had died from disease infested mosquitoes. However, the importance of the Panama Canal still stood, there needed to be an easier route for trade between the two sides of North and South America. Roosevelt realized this necessity and had said in a speech to Congress that “No single great material work which remains to be undertaken on this continent is as of such consequence to the American people.” He knew that the canal would increase trade and allow the economy to improve as well as would save a huge amount of miles and man-hours. Roosevelt realized that the money America would spend on this canal would soon be gotten back from the profit that this canal would bring. He made the right decision in creating such a vital pathway between the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean.

  16. Xing Hui Lu (Richard) permalink
    December 19, 2012 11:40 pm

    The Panama Canal was essential back then because of transportation and communication reasons between the two bodies of water, the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. If the canal was not built then travelers would have to go all around South America and that would take up a lot more time considering that planes were not fully invented yet. Along with transportation and communication, the Panama Canal also strengthened military and economic claims. It obviously strengthened military because the US was able to charge the people going through the canal since they had full control over the adjacent territory.

  17. Caryn Rosario permalink
    December 20, 2012 1:47 am

    Teddy Roosevelt believed it was important to complete the Panama Canal because it facilitated communication and transportation between the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans. The Panama Canal also gave the United States rights to control the adjacent territory. Teddy added the “Roosevelt Corollary” to the Monroe Doctrine which stated the U.S. had the right to intervene in domestic affairs of nations within the hemisphere if deemed necessary. The corollary and canal both strengthened U.S. military and economic claims.

  18. Stephanie Tsoi permalink
    December 20, 2012 2:47 am

    The Panama Canal was extremely important because it strengthened the U.S. military and economically. President Teddy Roosevelt found this canal to be important because it made way for transportation and trade between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The completion of the Panama Canal meant that it would be much quicker for the trading process to go through which means that the economy could make more money.

  19. Xiarra-Diamond Nimrod permalink
    December 21, 2012 6:58 am

    The Panama Canal served as an important necessity to the US because it helped traveling be more efficient in a safe and quicker manner. Teddy Roosevelt was aware that the Canal made communication and transportation easier especially for trade between the waters of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. He also believed that increased trade would therefore allow the economy to grow and expand for the better.

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