panama canal question?
Would it have been better to delay construction of the panama canal for 10 years or so rather than have
the scandal that attended the panama coup. Was the scandal necessary?
- SeryanLv 59 years agoFavorite Answer
Panama was a possession of Colombia. The USA made Colombia an offer to get permission to build the Panama Canal. The Colombians said No Deal.
Theodore Roosevelt was President. He was a believer in the concept of "Manifest Destiny: a concept that began in the 1800s, that the USA was destined to expansion that would include all of the North American continent. It was called upon to justify the war with Mexico and other hemispheric actions. And it gave Roosevelt the justification he needed to ward off critics.
So when Colombia refused to accept the USA's offer, Roosevelt's was not about to wait. His Great White Fleet had shown off America's military might by sailing around the world, but when war with Spain over Cuba broke out Teddy couldn't get his ships from the Pacific there fast enough. They had to go around South America. The canal was needed yesterday.
Colombia treated Panama like a red-headed step-child and the Panamanians didn't like it. There had already been talk among them about secession from Colombia but they didn't have the power to pull it off.
Philippe-Jean Bunau-Varilla knew this, as he has lived in Panama while working for de Lesseps and had been a heavy investor in the second French Panama Canal company. He stood to lose his fortune if the canal was not built. He played everybody in order to get what he wanted: his money!
He found a New York Lawyer who was a lobbyist and with his help presented to Roosevelt his plan: The USA would support Panama's revolt against Colombia (send in the Marines) and the USA would build the canal. In order to ensure the support of the U.S. Senate Bunau-Varilla wrote a treaty that was very lop sided in favor of the USA. The Panamanians didn't even see it. Varilla had plenipotentiary powers and signed it for them. Roosevelt got what he wanted and they pointed to "Manifest Destiny" as the instrument that enabled them to steal it.
No scandal. Nothing new, the USA stole Hawaii too.It would not, in TRs eyes, have to wait for ten years. Later, to appease any critics, the USA gave Colombia 40 million and that ended it. The Panamanians were happy. They got rid of the Colombians and after complaining for 99 years, the UAS (Jimmy Carter) gave Panama THEIR canal.Source(s): DVD: "The Longest Shortcut" By Diana Colson. Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philippe-Jean_Bunau-V...