logo: Matthew Parker: Hell's Gorge
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The American Triumph

'You here who are doing your work well in bringing to completion this great enterprise are standing exactly as a soldier of the few great wars of the world's history. This is one of the great works of the world'
President Theodore Roosevelt to the American canal workforce, 1906

the ‘Panama Revolution’

In a cartoon published six days afterwards, the New York World gives its impression of the ‘Panama Revolution’. The United States’ bullying and aggression over the canal sowed a long legacy of distrust and fear.

A steamer carrying labourers from Barbados arrives at Colón. The tiny island provided the bulk of the thousands of workers for the American Panama Canal effort. Treated as cheap and expendable by the Americans, the West Indians were also subjected to racial segregation.

A steamer carrying labourers from Barbados arrives at Colón

steam shovel

At 4.30p.m. on 20 May 1913, working at the final depth of the canal, shovels No. 222 and No. 230 meet ‘nose to nose’ at the centre of the Cut.

The opening of the canal: S.S. Ancon passes the remnants of the Cucaracha slide on 15 August 1914. Landslides came close to wrecking the American effort.

The U.S.S. Texas in Gatún Locks in July 1919

The U.S.S. Texas in Gatún Locks in July 1919

The U.S.S. Texas in Gatún Locks in July 1919, a sight that would have pleased Roosevelt enormously. The military requirements of the United States were instrumental in getting the canal built.

© Matthew Parker 2011 spacerback to top

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