Building the Panama Canal Essay

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Known as one of the greatest engineering feats in all of history, the Panama Canal is an essential asset for international trade and travel today, uniting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans across the Central American Isthmus in Panama, Colombia. Its construction required the perseverance, innovation, time and money of at first, France and of second, America. Construction began with Frenchman, Ferdinand de Lesseps at the helm of the project in the early 1880’s; however, dreams of a Central American canal were had as early as the 1500’s with the Spanish and Christopher Columbus. His plan was to dig a sea level canal, similar to a successful one he had made previously. But after nearly 8 years of futile labor, and lack of progress, Lesseps …show more content…
The very river that kept destroying the labor and engineering of the workers, along with causing the mudslides that buried them. After, spending about $287 million and 20,000 worker’s lives, while making little progress in 8 years, it was no wonder why Lesseps quit the canal, in December 1888. However, the reason why so many workers had died was confounding to the French. Why had disease struck so profoundly? Thanks to Walter Reed, the answer was discovered. Walter Reed was an American Physician whose contributions to medical science were astounding. He is the youngest man to ever have earned a MD at University of Virginia at age 19. It was he who led the research team in discovering the cause of Yellow Fever. His research was risky though, experiments had to be done on human volunteers. In that, he had to deliberately infect humans to test the strain of disease. Speculative, as it may have been his research produced results in the end. He and his team were able to conclude that the Yellow Fever was not spread through the people infected with it, but by disease carrying mosquitoes. His discovery not only allowed the United Sates to resume construction of the Panama Canal, it also gave start to new fields in medical science such as: epidemiology and biomedicine. In appreciation of his work, he
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