London.: Constable & Co Ltd.
First Edition; Published Date: 1913
33 b/w plates; 2 fold out maps.
260 x 160 mm (10 x 6 inches) - xx, 568pp + plates & maps.
Brown hardback cloth cover.
G : in good condition without dust jacket. Ex.-lib. Cover rubbed and marked.
[The history of the Panama Canal goes back to 16th century. After realizing the riches of Peru, Ecuador, and Asia, and taking into account the time it took the gold to reach the ports of Spain, by sea it was suggested to Charles V that by cutting out a piece of land somewhere in Panama, the trips would be made much shorter and the risk of taking the treasures through the isthmus would justify such an enterprise. In 1819 after centuries of deliberation the Spanish government formally authorized the construction of a canal and the creation of a company to build it. The discovery of gold in California in 1848 and the rush of would-be miners stimulated Americas interest in digging the canal. 'De Lesseps' was not an engineer, but was appointed chairman for the construction of the Panama Canal and opted for a sea-level canal based on the construction of the Suez Canal. In 1899 the US Congress created an Isthmian Canal Commission to examine the possibilities of a Central American canal and to recommend a route. The commission first decided on a route through Nicaragua, but later reversed its decision. The Lesseps company offered its assets to the United States at a price of $40 million. The United States and the new state of Panama signed the Hay-Bunau-Varilla treaty, by which the United States guaranteed the independence of Panama and secured a perpetual lease on a 10-mile strip for the canal. Panama was to be compensated by an initial payment of $10 million and an annuity of $250,000, beginning in 1913].
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