French project[ edit ] German map of a projected Panama Canal above and an alternate Nicaragua route below The idea of a canal across Central America was revived during the early 19th century. Inthe Spanish government authorized the construction of a canal and the creation of a company to build it. Although the project stalled for some time, a number of surveys were made between and They indicated that the two most-favorable routes were across Panama then part of Colombia and Nicaraguawith a third route across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Mexico another option.
Wyse, a grandson of Lucien Bonaparte.
De Lesseps, however, rejected all of these plans because they contained the construction of tunnels and locks. In selecting the latter, his plan was to construct a sea level canal.
The route would closely parallel the Panama Railroad and require a 7,meter-long tunnel through the Continental Divide at Culebra. With this plan for a Panama canal, Wyse traveled to Bogota, where, in the name of the society, he negotiated a treaty with the Colombian government.
The treaty, signed on March 20,became known as the Wyse Concession. As a provision of the treaty, the waterway would revert to the Colombian government after 99 years without compensation. Critics claimed that a principal purpose of the congress was to give needed legitimacy to the Wyse Concession, legitimacy greatly needed, as recognized by de Lesseps, to bring in financial backing.
The purpose of the congress was not to approve a route or a plan, that decision had already been made by de Lesseps, but to give that decision and the already negotiated Wyse Concession a public introduction and ceremonial sendoff. It also served to provide the appearance of impartial international scientific approval.
A subcommittee reduced the choices to two -- Nicaragua and Panama. As might be expected, engineers and others offered differing opinions concerning the various plans. He was the only one among the French delegation with any construction experience in the tropics, construction in Mexico of a railroad between Cordoba and Veracruz.
At the congress, he made a forceful presentation in favor of a lock canal. The approximately foot height of the artificial lake thus created would be accessed by locks.
The principal advantages of the plan would be the reduction in the amount of digging that would have to be done and the elimination of flood danger from the Chagres. Estimated construction time was six years. Since this plan required less digging, there would be, according to prevailing theories that tropical diseases were caused by some sort of toxic emanations coming from freshly dug earth being exposed to the air, less such problems.
The French company would use these concepts as a basis for the lock canal they would eventually adopt in following the failure of their sea level attempt.
Had this plan been originally approved, France might well have prevailed in their canal construction effort. Had it been adopted at the beginning, inthe Panama Canal might well have been completed by the French instead of by the United States.
Cuban by birth, Menocal was a civilian engineer assigned to the Grant surveys in Nicaragua and Panama by Admiral Ammen. The well organized and persuasive presentation by the Americans very nearly upset de Lesseps' carefully orchestrated plans.
But, again, this was not to be. De Lesseps thought a week enough time to gain consensus and wrap up the details.Following the failure of a French construction team in the s, the United States commenced building a canal across a mile stretch of the Panama isthmus in The project was helped by the.
10 Of History's Deadliest Construction Projects. Panama Canal, One of the largest and most ambitious engineering projects in modern history, the Panama Canal was also one of the.
The Panama Canal opened years ago this month, one of the greatest engineering achievements in history. It was also one of the greatest sacrifices of human life in the name of construction, but. A Must-See for benjaminpohle.com Discover some of the significant events in the history of Panama leading up to the building of the Panama Canal, during the American Eras, and as it enters a new era under Panamanian control.
Timeline of Events. Aug 04, · Following the failure of a French construction team in the s, the United States commenced building a canal across a mile stretch of the Panama isthmus in