Department of History
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The United States had long wanted a canal to join
the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. After a series of false starts,
attention focused on Panama and a deal was signed creating a
99 year US lease on a sovereign canal zone in return for $10 million plus $250,000 annual rent.
The canal was completed in 1914, with laborers from India, China,
and elsewhere, guarded by US Marines.
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