Skip to main content
×
×
Home

What T. R. Took: The Economic Impact of the Panama Canal, 1903–1937

  • NOEL MAURER (a1) and CARLOS YU (a2)
Abstract

The Panama Canal was one of the largest public investments of its time. In the first decade of its operation, the canal produced significant social returns for the United States. Most of these returns were due to the transportation of petroleum from California to the East Coast. The United States also succeeded in leveraging the threat of military force to obtain a much better deal from the Panamanian government than it could have negotiated otherwise.

“I took the Isthmus.” President Theodore Roosevelt, 1904

“Why, it's ours, we stole it fair and square.” Senator Samuel Hayakawa, 1977

Copyright
References
Hide All
Álfaro, Laura, Maurer, Noel, and Ahmed, Faisal, “Gunboats and Vultures: Market Reaction to the 'Enforcement' of Sovereign Debt.” Working Paper, Harvard Business School, Boston, MA, 2007.
Braisted, William. The United States Navy in the Pacific, 1909–1922. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1977.
Bunau-Varilla Collection (BVD), Washington, DC.
Bunau-Varilla, Philippe. The Great Adventure of Panama. New York: Doubleday, Page, and Company, 1920.
Calvo Ospina, Hernando. “Panama's Home Waters.” Le Monde diplomatique, English edition, December 2003.
Canal, Zone. Office of the Governor. Annual Report of the Governor of the Panama Canal. Washington, DC: GPO, various.
Carter, Susan, et al., eds. Historical Statistics of the United States, Millennial Edition. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006.
Castillero, Ernesto. Panamá y los Estados Unidos. Panama City: Impresora Panamá S. A., 1974.
Clayton, Lawrence. “The Nicaragua Canal in the Nineteenth Century: Prelude to American Empire in the Caribbean.” Journal of Latin American Studies 19, no. 2 (1987): 323–52.
Colguhoun, Archibald. The Key of the Pacific: The Nicaragua Canal. New York: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1898.
Colombia. Secretaría de Hacienda. Memoría de Hacienda de 1872 sobre el Ferrocarril de Panamá. Bogotá: Gobierno de Colombia, 1872.
Congressional Research Service. Background Documents Relating to the Panama Canal. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1977.
Conniff, Michael. Black Labor on a White Canal. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1985.
Crumbaker, Calvin. “The Panama Canal and the West.” The Journal of Business of the University of Chicago 2, no. 2 (1929): 151–76.
Davis, Lance, & Huttenback, Robert. “Public Expenditure and Private Profit: Budgetary Decision in the British Empire, 1860–1912.” American Economic Review 67, no. 1 (1977): 282–87.
Davis, Lance, & Huttenback, Robert“The Political Economy of British Imperialism: Measures of Benefits and Support.” This JOURNAL 42, no. 1 (1982): 119–30.
Domm, Thomas. La Crisis de Panamá, 1900–1904: Cartas de Tomás Herrán. Bogotá: Banco de la República de Colombia, 1985.
Edelstein, Michael. “Imperialism: Costs and Benefits.” In The Economic History of Britain, Vol 2, edited by Floud, Roderick and McCloskey, Donald, 197216. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994.
Engerman, Stanley, and Sokoloff, Kenneth. “Digging the Dirt at Public Expense: Governance in the Building of the Erie Canal and Other Public Works.” NBER Working Paper No. 10965, Cambridge, MA, December 2004.
Estadística Panameña, various.
Estrella de Panamá, 22 April 1880.
Federal Research Division. Panama: A Country Study. Washington, DC: Library of Congress, 1988.
Fitzgerald, Edward. “Did France's Colonial Empire Make Economic Sense?” This JOURNAL 48, no. 2 (1988): 373–85.
Fogel, Robert. “Notes on the Social Savings Controversy.” This JOURNAL 39, no. 1 (1979): 154.
Gaceta de Panamá, various.
Grimmett, Richard. “Instances of Uses of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798–2001.” Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, 5 February 2002.
Hains, Peter. “An Isthmian Canal from a Military Point of View.” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 17 (May 1901): 112.
Hill, Roscoe. “The Nicaraguan Canal Idea to 1913.” Hispanic American Historical Review 28, no. 2 (1948): 197211.
Huberich, Charles. The Trans–Isthmian Canal: A Study in American Diplomatic History (1825–1904). Austin: University of Texas, 1904.
Huebner, G. G.“Economic Aspects of the Panama Canal.” American Economic Review 5, no. 4 (1915): 816–29.
Hutchinson, Lincoln. “Voyage Costs via Panama and Other Routes.” American Economic Review 4, no. 3 (1914): 575–87.
Isthmian Canal Commission. Annual Report of the Isthmian Canal Commission. Washington, DC: GPO, various.
Isthmian Canal Commission. Report of the Isthmian Canal Commission, 1899–1901. Washington, DC: GPO, 1901.
Isthmian Canal Commission. Correspondence Concerning an Interoceanic Canal Across the Isthmus of Panama. Washington, DC: GPO, 1903.
Latin American Centre. Oxford Latin American Economic History Database. Oxford: Oxford University, 2006.
Lebergott, Stanley. “The Returns to U.S. Imperialism, 1890–1929.” This JOURNAL 40, no. 2 (1980): 229252.
Link, Arthur. Wilson: The New Freedom. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1956.
Mabry, Donald. “Acquisition of the Panama Canal.” Historical Text Archive, 2001.
Mack, Gerstle. La Tierra Dividida. Panama City: Editorial Universitaria, 1971.
Major, John. Prize Possession: The United States and the Panama Canal, 1903–1979. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993.
McCullough, David. The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870–1914. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1977.
Miner, Dwight. The Fight for the Panama Route. New York: Columbia University Press, 1940.
Mitchell, Brian, ed. International Historical Statistics: The Americas, 1750–2000. 5th ed. Basingstoke, England: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.
Mitchener, Kris, & Weidenmeir, Marc. “Empire, Public Goods, and the Roosevelt Corollary.” This JOURNAL 65, no. 3 (2005): 658–92.
Mohammed, Saif, & Williamson, Jeffrey. “Freight Rates and Productivity Gains in British Tramp Shipping, 1869–1950.” Explorations in Economic History 41, no. 2 (2004): 172203.
Morales, Eusebio. Ensayos, Documentos, y Discursos. Panama City: Autoridad del Canal de Panamá, 1999.
New York Exchange-Telegraph, 17 November 1901.
New York Times, various.
New York Tribune, 18 December 1884.
Nicaragua Canal Construction Company. The Interoceanic Canal of Nicaragua: Its History, Physical Condition, Plans, and Prospects. New York: Nicaragua Canal Construction Company, 1891.
Panama Canal Review, 3 July 1953.
Records of the Panama Canal (RPC). College Park, Maryland.
Rockwell, Arthur. “The Lumber Trade and the Panama Canal, 1921–1940.” The Economic History Review 24, no. 3 (1971): 445–62.
Roosevelt, Theodore. Theodore Roosevelt: An Autobiography. New York: MacMillan, 1913.
Scoullar, William. The Blue Book of Panama. Panama City: The Latin American Publicity Bureau, Inc., 1917.
U.S. Bureau of the Census. Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1957. Washington, DC: GPO, 1961.
U.S. Department of War. Annual Report of the Secretary of War. Washington, DC: GPO, various.
U.S. Subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations. War Department Appropriations Bill, 1923: Hearings on H. R. 10871. 67th Congress, 2nd session, 1922.
Uribe Vargas, Diego. Los últimos Derechos de Colombia en el Canal de Panamá. Bogotá: Banco de la República de Colombia, 2005.
Wall Street Journal, various.
Wheeler, Gerald. “The United States Navy and the Japanese 'Enemy,' 1919–1931.” Military Affairs 21, no. 2 (1957): 6174.
Zimmerman, Warren. The First Great Triumph. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2002.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The Journal of Economic History
  • ISSN: 0022-0507
  • EISSN: 1471-6372
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-economic-history
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 76
Total number of PDF views: 142 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 437 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 22nd July 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.