How the Panama Canal shaped American social thinking
Seaway to the Future:
American Social Visions and the Construction of the Panama Canal (Studies in American Thought and Culture)
by Alexander Missal
$34.95 List Price
In September 1913, Woodrow Wilson pushed a button in the White House, sending an electric pulse that detonated the Gamboa Dike, some two thousand miles to the southwest in the Panama Canal Zone. The dam’s collapse sent water rushing from Gatun Lake into the canal, the culmination of a mammoth, decade-long construction project.
The project’s payoff was still a year away, however—in 1914, the Ancon sailed across the Isthmus of Panama, through the Miraflores locks, and into the Pacific Ocean. The new fifty-one-mile gap in the isthmus knitted the Atlantic and Pacific oceans together, a breakthrough widely hailed as the eighth wonder of the world. But it was also, and primarily, a potent symbol of the imperial ambitions of the United States. Henceforth, American power and prosperity would flow through the canal. Theodore
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