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~Section 3~ Panama : An Important Crossroad. Key Terms. Panama Canal ( pan uh mah kuh nal ) n. a shipping canal across the Isthmus of Panama, linking the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean

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Section 3 panama an important crossroad
~Section 3~Panama : An Important Crossroad

Key terms
Key Terms

  • Panama Canal (pan uh mah kuh nal) n. a shipping canal across the Isthmus of Panama, linking the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean

  • Canal Zone (kuh nal zohn) n. a 10-mile strip of land along the Panama Canal, once governed by the United States

Key terms1
Key Terms

  • lock (lahk) n. a section of waterway in which ships are raised or lowered by adjusting the water level

  • ecotourism (ek oh toor iz um) n. travel to unspoiled areas in order to learn about the environment

Crossing The Isthmus

  • It is the only way to get from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean by ship without going all the way around South America.

  • At this time Columbia, South America, owned Panama.

The french began a canal
The French Began A Canal

  • In 1881, a French company was given the right to build a canal.

  • Workers faced many problems such as diseases, mud slides, and mountain blockage.

  • After several years of blasting, the company went bankrupt.

  • Canal work picked back up in 1902 when the United States bought the French company and equipment.

The new nations of panama
The New Nations Of Panama

  • President Theodore Roosevelt felt that a canal was important for the United States, however, Colombia would not allow the build.

  • Many Panamanians wanted to be free from Colombia and they saw the canal as a chance for independence.

  • In 1903, the United States helped Panama revolt against Colombia.

  • In return, Panama gave the United States the rights to build the canal.

Building the canal a heroic effort
Building the Canal: A Heroic Effort

  • Americans had to design and build locks.

  • The biggest problem was disease.

  • In the 1900s, doctors discovered that mosquitoes spread disease.

  • It took eight years and 70,000 workers to build the Panama Canal.

The canal zone
The Canal Zone

The United States and Panama signed a treaty that gave the United States the right to control the canal and the Canal Zone forever.

A change of ownership
A Change of Ownership

  • Panama felt that the United States had too much power in their country.

  • In 1977, the United States gave Panama more control over the canal.

  • Panama finally took over the Panama Canal in 1999.

Panama today
Panama Today

  • The Panama Canal is very important.

  • It has made Panama a trade, bank, and finance center.


  • Many tourists come to Panama to see the canal.

  • They also visit Panama’s rain forests.

  • Panama promotes ecotourism.

  • Ecotourists come to see the rain forest plants and animals.