Monday, January 18, 2016

Social Studies Writing: Why Do We Need the Panama Canal?

Have you ever heard the phrase, “I had to go around my elbow to get to my mouth?”  Many people use this phrase to describe having to go out of the way to get somewhere.  Instead of a straight shot to where they wanted to go, they had many detours before they finally made it to where they wanted to go.  For many years, whenever a boat needed to get from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean, the sailors would have to go “around their elbow to get to their mouth.”  There was not an easy way or a short cut.  The sailors would have to navigate their boat around the Cape Horn, the area between the southern tip of South America and Antarctica. 

Why was this a problem?  For one reason, it was a long journey.  Going around the horn would add close to 1,000 miles to each trip a sailor would make from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.  While that is an inconvenience, the problem was the type of weather a sailor would have to encounter when coming into the cape.  Winds gusting at a range from 50-80 mph would meet a ship as they tried to steer through the cape.  With these winds came waves that might reach up to 90 feet high.  A crew would only have a window of about 100 days a year where they would not encounter these conditions.

As explorers studied maps, they were convinced there had to be another way to get from one ocean to the other.  Everyone came back to one place on the map – the Isthmus of Panama.  This isthmus joins Central America to South America. To the east, the Caribbean Sea would eventually meet the Atlantic Ocean while the Gulf of Panama would merge into the Pacific Ocean on the west side.  The isthmus at one place was only 30 miles wide!  How close the two oceans were while being so far away.  Would there be a way to cut right through Panama?

There were many problems that kept the canal from being built.  France had begun building a canal, but due to diseases, flooding and, eventual bankruptcy, they had to stop.  They wanted America to pick up where they had left off, but other problems stood in the way.  Panama had to win its independence from Colombia, and eventually did in 1903.  Since America had helped them gain their freedom, the following year, a treaty was made between the USA and Panama to allow the USA to finish building the canal. 

When finally finished in October 1913, the canal came in at 48 miles long and 200 feet wide.   The Panama Canal helped launch the United States into a world trading empire as well as allowed other countries to expand their trading.  The US Navy was able to protect America during times of war thanks to the Panama Canal.  Ultimately, the east could finally get to the west without “having to go around their elbow to get to their mouth.”  

After reading the text and examining the map, answering the following question:  
Why do we need the Panama Canal?

27 comments:

  1. The Panama Canal has opened up many gates for the U.S and we need it. It lead us to an new path in trading. it also helps us get to places faster. The Panama Canal probably helped many people hunt or fish. These are some reasons why we need The Panama Canal.



    By: Anna Kate Goff

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  2. Why is the Panama Canal important? The Panama Canal is important for many different reasons. Here are the the reasons why it is important. First, We can go from the Pacific to the Atlantic faster. Next, Deliveries can be made faster to the Pacific or Atlantic. Then, The Navy can get to the Atlantic from the Pacific or the other way around. Last, The east can get to the west and the west can get to the east faster. The Panama Canal is important for other reasons. The reasons I wrote are just some of the reasons why it is so important. That is why The Panama Canal is important.
    Aiden B.

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    1. GOOD GOB Aiden better than the last time do that on the and you will do great. by sara

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  3. The Panama Canal is short cut to get from east to west without having to go around your elbow to get to your mouth. We need the Panama Canal because it is an shortcut to get from east to west without having to navigate their boat around the area between the southern tip of south america and Antarctica. It was also an long journey and sometimes there was big winds that could make waves that could reach up to 90 feet high. It was very dangerous before the panama canal. This is why we need the Panama Canal. By:sara

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  4. The Panama Canal is important for many reasons. America needed the canal for many reasons. Their main reason is they would have to go down the Atlantic ocean under South America back up the Pacific ocean to get to California shores. Sailors from the northeast would go 13,000 miles just to get to California.

    Another reason is it helped america's navy defend our country. It helped us a lot in World War 2. Now the navy can get to the west in 5,200 miles. Sailors would experience horrible conditions especially wind. Wind would get to 50 to 80 miles per an hour causing ships to crash. They also needed it to trade food ,clothing and drinks. Usually lots of people died on the trip. On October 1913 it was finished. It was 48 feet long and 200 feet wide.That is why I think the panama canal is important. By : Brady Washington 1/21/16

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    1. That is a strong paragraph. Dean Washington

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  5. The panama canal is important. Here are three reasons why. The navy can protect us now.Sailors used to have to though terrible conditions . now they do not have to go around their elbow to get to their mouth. Now you see why the panama canal is so important. sean washington

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  6. If you were wondering why people say ‘’I had to go around my elbow to get to my mouth’’. That means you are having to go out of the way to get somewhere. Many years sailors had to go ‘’ around the elbow to get to their mouth. There was no shortcut. They had to go around the tip of South America and by Antartica. They would have to go 13,000 miles. They now would have to go 5,200 miles.

    It was long journey. There were hard conditions at the tip of South America close to Antarctica. The wind speeds reached 50mph to 80 mph. The journey added about 1,000 miles to the long journey. The waves could and did reach 90 feet high. A crew of people wouldn’t undergo these conditions only 100 days a year.

    Now, it is easier to go to the west from the east. You don’t have to go 13,000 miles like people used to. Now it is 5,200 miles. That is why we needed the Panama Canal and don’t hear ‘’I had to go around my elbow to get to my mouth.’’ Dean


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  7. The Panama Canal is a slite in between North America and South America. Before the Panama Canal people had to go through tough storms.The winds would gust at 50-80mph with these types of wind the waters would have waves that go up to 90ft high . It was a long journey. Going around the horn would be around 1,000 miles from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean.A crew would have a 100 days wear they would not have these kinds of weather. The Panama Canal was finished in October 1913.The Panama Canal solved all of these problems.

    BRAYDEN CAUDLE

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    1. Good job using the text. Dean

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    2. The reason we need the Panama Canal is because it helps us get from the east Pacific sea to the west Atlantic sea. Ships don’t have to go all the way around the horn they can go through the Panama Canal, it also helps the boat not use much oil or what it uses to go. If the Panama Canal wasn’t built the people that drive the boat would have to drive the boat between South America and Antarctica. So in conclusion this is why I think the we need the Panama Canal. Lillian



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    3. BRADEN,
      I love the way you used the text. I don't think you answered the prompt exactly. ALEX VIRES

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  8. The Panama Canal has helped boats get to the west from the east.
    At first it was very difficult to get to the east from the west. The boats had to go around South America and up the Atlantic Ocean. They had to around the horn was close to 1,000 miles. Winds were to 50-80 miles. The waves to 90 feet high.
    At the Isthmus of Panama connected North America to South America. Would there be a way to cut right through it? They started in 1904. When it was finally finished in 1913 the canal was 48 miles long and 200 feet across.This helped America in an lot of ways. The US Navy to protect America in times of war. It also helped boats get to the other side of America.
    So now you see that the Panama Canal has helped America in many different ways. It mostly boats get to the other side of America. Brooks

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  9. Why do we need the Panama Canal? and we have all kinds of other oceans we can travel to get places. We need the Panama we need the Panama because it makes it easier for you to get places because you would have to go an lot of miles going across the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean and you can just go Straight through the Panama. But that is an reason why we need the Panama canal to make it easier for you. We really need the Panama because it helped launch the united states into an trading empire as well as allowed other countries to expand their trading.We also needed it because it was a long journey.Also we needed it because going around the horn would add near to 1,000 miles to each trip a sailor would make from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. While that was an inconvenience ,the problem was the type of weather a sailor would have to encounter when coming into an cape. We also need it because it made it easier for sailors the make the shortcut .The Panama Canal was finished in 1913.The Panama had to win its independence from Colombia , and eventually did in 1903.America helped Panama gain their independence from Colombia ,the following year .A treaty was made and the Panama agreed to let the usa finish the Panama Canal . We also need the Panama Canal because the U.S Navy was able to protect during times of the war .those are some reasons why we need the Panama. Why do we need the Panama Canal ? and we have all kinds of others oceans to get places. dakedra

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    1. Great job Dakedra, love the paragraph! ~ Claire

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  10. Have you ever heard the phrase I had to go around my elbow to get to my mouth? Many people use this phrase. The phrase is used to describe having to get out of the way to get somewhere. When people use this phrase it means the got an detour before getting to where they wanted to go. When an boat had to get from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean, sailors would have to go around their elbow to get to their mouth. There was no short cut. It wasn’t easy. They would have to navigate their boat around the cape horn, the area between South America and Antarctica.

    Why was this an problem? Well, it was an long journey. By going around the horn that would add about 1,000 miles to each trip an sailor would make from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.

    After a while, everyone came back to one place on the map, the isthmus of panama. It joins Central America to South America. The Caribbean sea would eventually meet the Atlantic Ocean while the Gulf of Panama merged into the Pacific Ocean. At one place the isthmus was only 30 miles wide. Would there be an way to cut right through Panama.

    There were many problems that kept the panama canal from being built. France started building it but diseases, flooding and bankruptcy got in the way. They wanted America to finish it but other problems got in the way. Panama didn’t win its independence from Colombia until 1903. America helped them gain their freedom, so the following year, an treaty was made between Panama and the USA. It allowed the US to finish building the canal.

    When it was finally finished in October 1913, the canal came in at 48 miles long and 200 feet wide. The panama canal helped the United states into an world trading empire as well as allowed other countries expand their trading. Thanks to the panama canal the US navy was able to protect the US during times of war. The east was finally able to get to the west without “having to go around their elbow to get to their mouth”.

    We need the panama canal because if we didn't have it, the east would not be able to get to the rest. The panama canal helped the navy keep us safe during war. That is why the panama canal is important.
    Kendyl

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  11. We need the Panama Canal because… here are my reasons why.

    The Isthmus Panama joins to Central America and South America. The Caribbean Sea the Atlantic ocean. The gulf of panama merged into the Pacific ocean. The Panama Canal’s isthmus is 30 feet wide. Every trip an sailor took it was close to 1,000 miles. Problems were held for the canal not being built. There was a problem. The problem was that an sailor would have to encounter the when they went to the cape. Those are my reasons why we need the panama canal. by;La’Tariyahna

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    1. Great job La'Tariyahna! Love the way you said Central America. Keep up the good work! ~ Claire

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  12. Why do we need the Panama Canal? What is the Panama Canal? The Panama Canal is a 48-mile ship canal in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. The canal cuts across the Isthmus of Panama and is a key pipe for global sea trade. The Panama Canal helped send forth the United States into a world trading kingdom as well allowed other countries to keep away their trading. Also the Panama Canal is an short cut through north america and South America. Thanks to the Panama Canal the US Army was able to fight. This is why we need the Panama Canal.


    ~ Claire

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    1. Claire great paragraph. From dominick

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  13. The Panama Canal is very important to America and all of its fisherman, barge carrying, and sailing men (women too).

    The Panama Canal has made the lives for these citizens easier. Before the Canal was built the trip around the Cape Horn. On the map above you can find the Cape Horn at the very bottom of South America the red line tells us how long the rout was. It was an very dangerous trip. The wind could get up to 50-80 mph! This could cause the waves to reach 90 feet high! Thats enough to blow an ship over or the waves could make the ship come down! Colombia was not letting America finish the canal. We had to earn our trust. In 1903 America helped Colombia win its freedom we called in an full you owe us ( the US). In 1904 an settlement came to the U.S and Colombia. Colombia allowed us to finish building Panama! Once Panama was built in October of 1913 all of the men and women who took their barge could never again have to go around the Horn! Panama helped America become a trading empire! Also, The U.S Navy can help us defend America in times of war!

    Panama Canal has helped in many ways. LIfe is made easier and protection is always at hand or an option. Danger of the Horn is now replaced with safety of the Panama. Do you think the Panama Canal Helped America?

    Alex Vires

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    1. Alex - I love the way you said "Do you think the Panama Canal helped America? I love the paragraphs!
      ~ Claire

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  14. We are writing about why we need the Panama Canal.



    As explorers studied maps, they were convinced there had to be another way to get to one ocean to the other. Everyone came back to one place on the map - the Isthmus of Panama. This Isthmus joins Central America to South America. To the east, the Caribbean sea would eventually meet the atlantic ocean while the gulf of panama would merge into the pacific ocean on the west side. The isthmus at one place was only thirty miles wide! How close the two oceans were while being so far away. Would there be a way to cut right through panama?



    Why was this a problem? For one reason, it was an long journey. Going around the horn would add close to 1,000 miles to the trip. While that was an inconvenience , is the weather the sailor has to go through during the trip. Winds gusting up to 50-80 miles an hour as they tried to move through the cape. With these winds the waves may reach up to ninety feet high. A crew would only have an window of about 100 days a year where they would not encounter these conditions. So we would not need to go around our elbow to get to our mouth. In conclusion this is why we need the panama canal.

    By: Dominick

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  15. Panama Canal is very important for many reasons. America needed the Canal because when war came around the U.S Navy could protect us in the time of war. A long time ago sailors had to go around the Cape Horn and to get from the Atlantic ocean to the Pacific ocean and to go through the Cape Horn would be about 1,000 miles and the sailors do not want to do that would you!?


    This is why the Panama Canal helps the U.S.A.


    By: Colton Trice

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  16. Why did the Panama Canal help us get from New York to San Francisco. Here are some reasons why the Panama Canal helped us get New York to San Francisco without having to go around the nose to get to the mouth. My first, reason why the Panama Canal helped us not to have to go so far to get from one place to another is when we did not have the Panama Canal we had to go down below South America to get from New York to San Francisco. It probably took about three months to get from New York to San Francisco without the helpful Panama Canal.


    The reason that I think that they built the Panama Canal is because that when we did not have the Panama Canal we had to go an very long way to get to from one place on the U.S.A to another. Have you ever heard the saying around the elbow to get to the mouth. Well I have siad it a few times it means that you have to go an long way to get from one place to another. That is what the sailors. Those are my reasons why I think that the Panama Canal was very helpful to the solaris and to us.




    By:Hallie Lockridge

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  17. The Panama
    Canal

    Cian Mc Cain Barber- We need the Panama Canal because it has stopped people from “going around their elbow to get to their mouth.” AKA going around the Cape Horn, which is between Southern America and Antarctica, also harsh part of earth for sailors to be sailing.Only 100 days an year there would not be 90 feet high waves and 50-80 mph winds, but going around the Cape added nearly 1,000 miles to the trip. The Panama Canal was finished in 1913 because we, the USA helped France construct the Panama Canal. The US helped France because there were diseases and other stuff that stopped them. USA could not help them until 1903. The canal helped countries expand their trading, and the navy could protect us when war fell upon the US. Once the panama canal was in the world no one had to “go around their elbow to get to their mouth” and people did not have to go through or around the Cape Horn anymore because the canal was constructed for people. These are reasons why people absolutely need the canal.

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  18. The panama canal was finished on October 1913 it was 48 miles long and 200 feet wide The Panama Canal is important for many reasons. America needed the canal for many reasons. Their main reason is they would have to go down the Atlantic ocean under South America back up the Pacific ocean to get to California shores. Sailors from the northeast would go 13,000 miles just to get to California.

    Another reason is it helped america's navy defend our country. It helped us a lot in World War 2. Now the navy can get to the west in 5,200 miles. Sailors would experience horrible conditions especially wind. Wind would get to 50 to 80 miles per an hour causing ships to crash. They also needed it to trade food ,clothing and drinks. Usually lots of people died on the trip. On October 1913 it was finished. By : Brady Washington

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