Panama Canal opened - Deepstash

Panama Canal opened

In 1906, American engineers decided to construct a lock canal and used the next three years developing construction facilities and dealing with tropical diseases in the area.

Construction of the 40-mile-long canal began in 1909, one of the largest construction projects of all time. The Panama Canal was opened on August 15, 1914. But Panama pushed to revoke the initial treaty. Finally, in 1977, a treaty was signed to turn the canal back over to Panama on December 31, 1999.

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The need for the Panama Canal

In the mid 19th century, the rush of settlers to California and Oregon created an initial incentive to build an artificial waterway across the Isthmus of Panama, connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

Ferdinand de Lesseps, the French entrepreneur who completed the Suez Canal, was awarded the canal's rights. Construction started in 1881, but several setbacks led to the bankruptcy of Lesseps' company in 1889. Three years later a former chief engineer Philippe-Jean Bunau-Varilla acquired the assets of the company.

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Panama was originally part of Colombia. But by the turn of the century, the United States wanted the sole possession of the isthmian canal to move warships and commerce between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

In 1902, the U.S. Congress authorised the purchase of the French canal company. This depended on a treaty with Colombia, who refused because they feared a loss of sovereignty. With the support of the U.S., the Panamanians declared independence from Colombia in 1903. This allowed the U.S. to sign a treaty with Panama, granting the U.S. possession of the Panama Canal Zone.

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Hundred Years’ War

 ... was an intermittent struggle between England and France in the 14th–15th century over a series of disputes over territories & the question of the legitimate succession to the French crown:

  • As the English kings started as Dukes of Normandy, their continental territories were a constant source of conflict.
  • When the last Capet dynasty died without an heir, the English king Edward III claimed to have the rightful ruler of France over the newly Valois king, Philip the VI.

Initially, the English won quite a few battles but failed to unite England and France under one crown.

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Metric and Customary Systems

A brainchild of France, the metric system, or decimal-based measurement protocol, has not yet been adopted fully by many countries including the United States. This results in a different measurement unit for just about everything.

The U.S. Customary System is an inch-pound system having about 300 distinct units of measurement. A football field is measured in yards, while a race goes by meters. Air pressure is measured in PSI(for tires) but surface atmospheric pressure is calculated in inches on mercury, and air pressure in millibars.

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1800: Jefferson and Adams

The outcome was so bizarre, the United States had to amend the Constitution.

  • The election of 1800 saw Thomas Jefferson tie with his Democratic-Republican "running mate" Aaron Burr. Both had 73 votes to Adams' 65.
  • Alexander Hamilton, the nation's first treasury secretary and founder of the Federalist Party, started a campaign to convince the Federalists to vote for Jefferson the lesser of the three evils.
  • After casting 35 ballots in a week, the House of Representatives finally voted to name Jefferson the victor. However, the rivalry between Burr and Hamilton continued for three years before Burr killed Hamilton in a duel.

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