The Kaiser Shipyards were seven major shipbuilding yards located on the United States west coast during World War II. Kaiser ranked 20th among U. S. corporations in the value of wartime production contracts. The shipyards were owned by the Kaiser Shipbuilding Company, a creation of American industrialist Henry J. Kaiser, who established the shipbuilding company around 1939 in order to help meet the construction goals set by the United States Maritime Commission for merchant shipping. Four of the Kaiser Shipyards were located in Richmond and were called the Richmond Shipyards. Together, these four Kaiser Shipyards produced 747 ships, including many of the famous Liberty ships and Victory ships— for carrying general cargo and military munitions and supplies, more than any other complex in the United States. Only one of these ships, the SS Red Oak Victory, survives. Two other Liberty ships built in other American yards exist as working museum exhibits: the SS Jeremiah O'Brien moored in San Francisco and the SS John W. Brown in Baltimore.
An additional Victory cargo ship survives: the SS Lane Victory. Kaiser produced the Casablanca-class escort aircraft carriers. Three other shipyards were located in the Pacific Northwest along the Columbia and Willamette rivers: the Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation and the Swan Island Shipyard in Portland and the Vancouver Shipyard in Vancouver, Washington. Henry Kaiser was known for developing new methods of ship building, which allowed his yards to outproduce other similar facilities and build 1,490 ships, 27 percent of the total Maritime Commission construction. Kaiser's ships were completed in two-thirds the time and a quarter the cost of the average of all other shipyards. Liberty ships were assembled in a little over two weeks, one in less than five days. Kaiser Shipyards shut down at the end of the war; the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park was dedicated October 25, 2000 on the site of one of the shipyards in Richmond. Henry Kaiser had been building cargo ships for the Maritime Commission in the 1930s, partnering with Todd Pacific Shipyards and the Bath Iron Works.
When orders for ships from the British government at war with Germany, allowed for growth, Kaiser established his first Richmond shipyard begun in December 1940. In April 1941 the Maritime Commission requested an additional Kaiser yard, to be used for Liberty ship construction, after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Kaiser started third and fourth yards, building troop transports and tank landing ships, respectively, his son, Edgar Kaiser, Sr, was appointed General Manager of the shipyards. Kaiser set several records: The Liberty ship SS Robert E. Peary was assembled in less than five days as a part of a special competition among shipyards. At the Oregon Shipbuilding Yard on the Columbia River, near Portland, the Victory ship SS Joseph N. Teal was built in ten days in fall 1942; the Oregon Shipbuilding Yards were responsible for 455 ships. Kaiser recruited from across the United States to work in hiring women and minorities. Fields Point in Providence, Rhode Island, had a shipyard temporarily run by Kaiser-Walsh when the former management ran into difficulties.
The shipyard was closed and sold after the war to a Swedish shipowner who dismantled the shipyard and erected it in the city of Uddevalla on the west coast of Sweden. Kaiser Permanente, an HMO founded by Henry J. Kaiser Marinship Shipyard Railway, which transported workers to the Kaiser Shipyards in Richmond, California Vanport, Oregon Herman, Arthur. Freedom's Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II. ISBN 978-1-4000-6964-4 Johnson, Marilynn S.. The Second Gold Rush. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-08191-9. Lee, Warren F.. A selective history of the Codornices-University Village, the city of Albany & environs: with special attention given to the Richmond Shipyard Railway and the Albany Hill and shoreline. Albuquerque, NM: Belvidere Delaware Railroad Co. Enterprises. ISBN 0-9675646-0-3. History.com Archived October 10, 2007, at the Wayback Machine Kaiser Vancouver & Portland Yards NPS article on Bay Area shipbuilding Rosie the Riveter Trust A guide to the Permanente Metals Corporation photograph album, 1941-1945
A Service Squadron was a U. S. Navy squadron. Service Squadrons were used by the United States Navy from their inception in 1943 to as late as the early 1980s. At the time of their inception during the Second World War they allowed the US Navy to operate across the vast reaches of the Pacific Ocean for extended periods of time. Service Squadrons created temporary forward bases to allow the naval squadrons to spend less time in transit and more time in the area of combat. Ulithi, a small volcanic atoll in the central Pacific, is an example of a site converted for use as a forward base of supply. Service Squadrons created a major naval base near the area of operation. With the naval base at Ulithi to refit and resupply, many ships were able to deploy and operate in the western Pacific for a year or more without returning to a major port facility. Among the vessels operating in service squadrons were tankers, refrigerator ships, ammunition ships, supply ships, floating docks and repair ships, they provided diesel, aviation fuel, food stuffs and all other supplies.
Important at places like Ulithi were the portable piers and floating dry docks which allowed many ships damaged by enemy action or Pacific storms to undergo repair without having to travel the thousands of miles back to a major US naval base. Ulithi was as far forward from the US naval base at San Francisco as the San Francisco base was from London, England. To have a functional major port in the middle of the Pacific was a significant aid to U. S. Navy operations; the commander of the service squadron was responsible for the operation of all the ships and repair yards in the squadron. The Commander was referred to as ComServRon, with the title followed by the unit designation of his Squadron, such as ComServRon 10. Service Squadrons were disbanded in the late 1970 as fleet combat support functions were shifted to civilian operated Military Sealift Command. Service squadrons played a vital role in the war in the Pacific during the Second World War; the Pacific Ocean with its vast reaches was a significant obstacle to overcome.
In considering their war in the Pacific against the United States, the Japanese had counted on the fact that the size of the Pacific Ocean would in itself be a defense. For the US Navy to conduct operations against the Japanese, all actions would be far from their home ports. Travel to the area of combat would consume the fleet's supplies of fuel and food and limit the length of time US Navy assets could operate in the Western Pacific. Japanese naval strategy was built around the idea that this would present them with an opportunity to knock the US Navy out of the conflict with a single decisive action, they sought such an opportunity throughout the war. In his planning for how the war in the Pacific would be fought and won, Admiral Chester Nimitz knew the manufacturing might of the United States would supply him with a force large enough to overcome the forces of the Empire of Japan, he referred to this future force as the'Big Blue Fleet'. To make it effective at projecting its power, he would need to devise a way to keep it supplied and in fighting condition.
The ongoing resupply of a large naval force across the vast expanse of the Pacific would require the US Navy to perform something no navy had accomplished before. In the autumn of 1943 Admiral Nimitz ordered the creation of two service squadrons; these two squadrons would provide mobile service to the fleet as it moved across the Pacific – with one service as fleet base while the second remained to the rear. As the fleet captured new sites the rear squadron would act as fleet base. Commanding officer Commodore Worrall R. Carter devised the mobile service squadrons that made it possible for the navy to create repair facilities and re-supply facilities thousands of miles away from an actual Naval port, he did this by bringing the port to the navy. Admiral Nimitz referred to Service Squadron 4 and Service Squadron 10 as his "secret weapons". Service Squadron 4 was commissioned on 1 November 1943 with its mission being to provide logistics support to fleet operations from floating mobile bases; the squadron was made up of 24 vessels and had its base in the South Pacific at the Funafuti Atoll, a thousand miles east of the Solomon Islands and 1200 miles south of the Marshall Islands.
The USS Cascade, under the command of Captain Samuel Ogden, was the flagship for the squadron. The command included repair ships USS Vestal; the Cascade arrived at Funafuti on 21 November 1943 and remained there until February 1944. During this period Captain Worrall Reed Carter, was organizing the second service squadron, Service Squadron 10. Service Squadron 10 was commissioned on 15 January 1944 at Pearl Harbor; the Marshall Islands were considered the first major stepping stone for the battles across the Central Pacific to Japan. United States Marines were landed on 30 January 1944, but found that Japanese forces had evacuated their fortifications to Kwajalein and Enewetak about a year earlier; the islands that made up the Majuro atoll were secured without incident. Majuro had one of the largest natural anchorages in the Pacific, it became the first major forward base for the US Pacific fleet and was the largest and most active port in the world until the war moved westward and Majuro became supplanted by Ulithi.
After the capture of Kwajalein in February 1944 the Cascade moved from Funafuti to Kwajalein. On 17 March 1944 Squadron 4 was absorbed into Squadron 10. Captain Herbert Meyer Scull was reassigned as chief of staff for Rear Admiral Hoover, Commander Forward Area, Central Pacific. Captain Samuel Ogden
3"/50 caliber gun
The 3″/50 caliber gun in United States naval gun terminology indicates the gun fired a projectile 3 inches in diameter, the barrel was 50 calibers long. Different guns of this caliber were used by the U. S. Navy and U. S. Coast Guard from 1890 through the 1990s on a variety of combatant and transport ship classes; the gun is still in use with the Spanish Navy on Serviola-class patrol boats. The US Navy's first 3″/50 caliber gun was an early model with a projectile velocity of 2,100 feet per second. Low-angle mountings for this gun had a range of 7000 yards at the maximum elevation of 15 degrees; the gun entered service around 1900 with the Bainbridge-class destroyers, was fitted to Connecticut-class battleships. By World War II these guns were found only on a few Coast Guard cutters and Defensively Equipped Merchant Ships. Low-angle 3″/50 caliber guns were mounted on ships built from the early 1900s through the early 1920s and were carried by submarines and merchant ships during the Second World War.
These guns fired the same 2,700 feet per second ammunition used by the following dual-purpose Marks, but with range limited by the maximum elevation of the mounting. These were built-up guns with a tube, partial-length jacket and vertical sliding breech block. Dual-purpose 3″/50 caliber guns first entered service in 1915 as a refit to USS Texas, were subsequently mounted on many types of ships as the need for anti-aircraft protection was recognized. During World War II, they were the primary gun armament on destroyer escorts, patrol frigates, submarine chasers, some fleet submarines, other auxiliary vessels, were used as a secondary dual-purpose battery on some other types of ships, including some older battleships, they replaced the original low-angle 4"/50 caliber guns on "flush-deck" Wickes and Clemson-class destroyers to provide better anti-aircraft protection. The gun was used on specialist destroyer conversions; these dual-purpose guns were "quick-firing", meaning that they used fixed ammunition, with powder case and projectile permanently attached, handled as a single unit weighing 34 pounds.
The shells alone weighed about 13 pounds including an explosive bursting charge of 0.81 pounds for anti-aircraft rounds or 1.27 pounds for High Capacity rounds, the remainder of the weight being the steel casing. Maximum range was 14,600 yards at 45 degrees elevation and ceiling was 29,800 feet at 85 degrees elevation. Useful life expectancy was 4300 effective full charges per barrel; the 3"/50 caliber gun Marks 17 and 18 was first used as a submarine deck gun on R-class submarines launched in 1918-1919. At the time it was an improvement on the earlier 3"/23 caliber gun. After using larger guns on many other submarines, the 3"/50 caliber gun Mark 21 was specified as the standard deck gun on the Porpoise- through Gato-class submarines launched in 1935-1942; the small gun was chosen to remove the temptation to engage enemy escort vessels on the surface. The gun was mounted aft of the conning tower to reduce submerged drag, but early in World War II it was shifted to a forward position at the commanding officer's option.
Wartime experience showed. This need was met by transferring 4"/50 caliber guns from S-class submarines as they were shifted from combat to training roles beginning in late 1942; the 5"/25 caliber gun removed from battleships sunk or damaged in the attack on Pearl Harbor and manufactured in a submarine version, became standard. When multiple hits from Oerlikon 20 mm cannon and Bofors 40 mm guns were unable to prevent kamikaze strikes during the final year of the second world war. Post-war experimentation with an extended range variant was abandoned as shipboard surface-to-air missiles were developed; the United States Navy considered contemporary 5"/38 caliber guns and 5″/54 caliber guns more effective against surface targets. The 3″/50 caliber gun was a semiautomatic anti-aircraft weapon with a power driven automatic loader; these monobloc 3 ″ guns were fitted to both twin mountings. The single was to be exchanged for a twin 40 mm antiaircraft gun mount and the twin for a quadruple 40 mm mount.
This was performed on Essex-class aircraft carriers, Allen M. Sumner and Gearing-class destroyers and other ships circa 1946-50. Although intended as a one-for-one replacement for the 40 mm mounts, the final version of the new 3-inch mounts was heavier than expected, on most ships the mounts could be replaced only on a two-for-three basis; the mounts were of open-base-ring type. The right and left gun assemblies were identical in the twin mounts; the mounts used a common power drive that could train at a rate of 30 degree/second and elevate from 15 degrees to 85 degrees at a rate of 24 degree/second. The cannon was fed automatically from an on-mount magazine, replenished during action by two loaders on each side of the cannon. With proximity fuze and fire-control radar, a twin 3″/50 mount firing 50 rounds per minute per
Norfolk is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. At the 2010 census, the population was 242,803. Norfolk is located at the core of the Hampton Roads metropolitan area, named for the large natural harbor of the same name located at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay, it is one of nine cities and seven counties that constitute the Hampton Roads metro area known as the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC MSA. The city is bordered to the north by the Chesapeake Bay, it shares land borders with the independent cities of Chesapeake to its south and Virginia Beach to its east. Norfolk is one of the oldest cities in Hampton Roads, is considered to be the historic, urban and cultural center of the region; the city has a long history as a strategic transportation point. The largest Navy base in the world, Naval Station Norfolk, is located in Norfolk along with one of NATO's two Strategic Command headquarters; the city has the corporate headquarters of Norfolk Southern Railway, one of North America's principal Class I railroads, Maersk Line, which manages the world's largest fleet of US-flag vessels.
As the city is bordered by multiple bodies of water, Norfolk has many miles of riverfront and bayfront property, including beaches on the Chesapeake Bay. It is linked to its neighbors by an extensive network of interstate highways, bridges and three bridge-tunnel complexes, which are the only bridge-tunnels in the United States. In 1619 the Governor of the Virginia Colony, Sir George Yeardley, incorporated four jurisdictions, termed citties, for the developed portion of the colony; these formed the basis for colonial representative government in the newly minted House of Burgesses. What would become Norfolk was put under the Elizabeth Cittie incorporation. In 1634 King Charles I reorganized the colony into a system of shires; the former Elizabeth Cittie became Elizabeth City Shire. After persuading 105 people to settle in the colony, Adam Thoroughgood was granted a large land holding, through the head rights system, along the Lynnhaven River in 1636; when the South Hampton Roads portion of the shire was separated, Thoroughgood suggested the name of his birthplace for the newly formed New Norfolk County.
One year it was divided into two counties, Upper Norfolk and Lower Norfolk, chiefly on Thoroughgood's recommendation. This area of Virginia became known as the place of entrepreneurs, including men of the Virginia Company of London. Norfolk developed in the late-seventeenth century as a "Half Moone" fort was constructed and 50 acres were acquired from local natives of the Powhatan Confederacy in exchange for 10,000 pounds of tobacco; the House of Burgesses established the "Towne of Lower Norfolk County" in 1680. In 1691, a final county subdivision took place when Lower Norfolk County split to form Norfolk County and Princess Anne County. Norfolk was incorporated in 1705. In 1730, a tobacco inspection site was located here. According to the Tobacco Inspection Act, the inspection was "At Norfolk Town, upon the fort land, in the County of Norfolk. In 1736 George II granted it a royal charter as a borough. By 1775, Norfolk developed into what contemporary observers argued was the most prosperous city in Virginia.
It was an important port for exporting goods beyond. In part because of its merchants' numerous trading ties with other parts of the British Empire, Norfolk served as a strong base of Loyalist support during the early part of the American Revolution. After fleeing the colonial capital of Williamsburg, the Royal Governor of Virginia, John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore, tried to reestablish control of the colony from Norfolk. Dunmore secured small victories at Norfolk but was soon driven into exile by the Virginia militia, commanded by Colonel Woodford, his departure brought an end to more than 168 years of British colonial rule in Virginia. On New Year's Day, 1776, Lord Dunmore's fleet of three ships shelled the city of Norfolk for more than eight hours; the gunfire, combined with fires started by the British and spread by the Patriots, destroyed more than 800 buildings, constituting nearly two-thirds of the city. The Patriot forces destroyed the remaining buildings for strategic reasons the following month.
Only the walls of Saint Paul's Episcopal Church survived subsequent fires. A cannonball from the bombardment remains within the wall of Saint Paul's. Following recovery from the Revolutionary War's burning and her citizens struggled to rebuild. In 1804, another serious fire along the city's waterfront destroyed some 300 buildings and the city suffered a serious economic setback. During the 1820s, agrarian communities across the American South suffered a prolonged recession, which caused many families to migrate to other areas. Many moved further into Kentucky and Tennessee; such migration followed the exhaustion of soil due to tobacco cultivation in the Tidewater, where it had been the primary commodity crop for generations. Virginia made some attempts to phase out slavery and manumissions increased in the two decades following the war. Thomas Jefferson Randolph gained passage of an 1832 resolution for gradual abolition in the state. However, by that time the increased demand fr
Nordberg Manufacturing Company
Nordberg Manufacturing Company was a manufacturer of steam engines, large diesel engines, pumps and compressors for the mining and quarry industries located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The company was founded by Jacob Elias Friend in 1886 in Milwaukee. Nordberg had been working at steam engine and sawmill maker E. P. Allis & Co. Friend became the company's president, his son, Robert E. Friend, was president and chief executive officer. In 1917, Bruno Nordberg designed and built the world's largest steam hoist bought by Quincy Mining Company for their copper mine near Hancock, Michigan, it is a cross compound steam hoist and was installed and up and running in November 1920 and used for 11 years. It is available for guided historical tours. By 1926, they were manufacturing diesel engines, steam engines, air compressors, gas compressors, mine hoists and blowing engines. In 1944, they designed and built the largest diesel engine, built in the United States, it was built for a Victory ship built for the United States Maritime Commission.
In 1946, they bought the Busch-Sulzer Diesel Engine Company, formed in 1911 by Adolphus Busch of Anheuser-Busch Brewery. Busch had acquired the first American rights to the diesel engine in 1898. Nordberg was acquired by Rex ChainBelt Inc in 1970, was to become a division of Rex. By that time, Nordberg had been manufacturing mineral and rock crushing equipment, grinding mills, hoists, heavy duty diesel and gas turbines, railroad maintenance machinery, hydraulic valves presses and other components. Nordberg was acquired by Finland's Rauma Corporation in 1989, merged into Metso in 1999. Metso closed Nordberg's former Milwaukee factory in 2004. Illustrations and photographs of Nordberg factory and diesel engines from sales brochures and private sources
Turkey the Republic of Turkey, is a transcontinental country located in Western Asia, with a smaller portion on the Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe. East Thrace, located in Europe, is separated from Anatolia by the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorous strait and the Dardanelles. Turkey is bordered by Bulgaria to its northwest. Istanbul is the largest city. 70 to 80 per cent of the country's citizens identify as Turkish. Kurds are the largest minority. At various points in its history, the region has been inhabited by diverse civilizations including the Assyrians, Thracians, Phrygians and Armenians. Hellenization continued into the Byzantine era; the Seljuk Turks began migrating into the area in the 11th century, their victory over the Byzantines at the Battle of Manzikert in 1071 symbolizes the start and foundation of Turkey. The Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm ruled Anatolia until the Mongol invasion in 1243, when it disintegrated into small Turkish principalities. Beginning in the late 13th-century, the Ottomans started uniting these Turkish principalities.
After Mehmed II conquered Constantinople in 1453, Ottoman expansion continued under Selim I. During the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent the Ottoman Empire encompassed much of Southeast Europe, West Asia and North Africa and became a world power. In the following centuries the state entered a period of decline with a gradual loss of territories and wars. In an effort to consolidate the weakening social and political foundations of the empire, Mahmut II started a period of modernisation in the early 19th century, bringing reforms in all areas of the state including the military and bureaucracy along with the emancipation of all citizens. In 1913, a coup d'état put the country under the control of the Three Pashas. During World War I, the Ottoman government committed genocides against its Armenian and Pontic Greek subjects. Following the war, the conglomeration of territories and peoples that comprised the Ottoman Empire was partitioned into several new states; the Turkish War of Independence, initiated by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and his colleagues against occupying Allied Powers, resulted in the abolition of monarchy in 1922 and the establishment of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, with Atatürk as its first president.
Atatürk enacted numerous reforms, many of which incorporated various aspects of Western thought and customs into the new form of Turkish government. The Kurdish–Turkish conflict, an armed conflict between the Republic of Turkey and Kurdish insurgents, has been active since 1984 in the southeast of the country. Various Kurdish groups demand separation from Turkey to create an independent Kurdistan or to have autonomy and greater political and cultural rights for Kurds in Turkey. Turkey is a charter member of the UN, an early member of NATO, the IMF and the World Bank, a founding member of the OECD, OSCE, BSEC, OIC and G-20. After becoming one of the first members of the Council of Europe in 1949, Turkey became an associate member of the EEC in 1963, joined the EU Customs Union in 1995 and started accession negotiations with the European Union in 2005 which have been stopped by the EU in 2017 due to "Turkey's path toward autocratic rule". Turkey's economy and diplomatic initiatives led to its recognition as a regional power while its location has given it geopolitical and strategic importance throughout history.
Turkey is a secular, unitary parliamentary republic which adopted a presidential system with a referendum in 2017. Turkey's current administration headed by president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of the AKP has enacted measures to increase the influence of Islam, undermine Kemalist policies and freedom of the press; the English name of Turkey means "land of the Turks". Middle English usage of Turkye is evidenced in an early work by Chaucer called The Book of the Duchess; the phrase land of Torke is used in the 15th-century Digby Mysteries. Usages can be found in the Dunbar poems, the 16th century Manipulus Vocabulorum and Francis Bacon's Sylva Sylvarum; the modern spelling "Turkey" dates back to at least 1719. The Turkish name Türkiye was adopted in 1923 under the influence of European usage; the Anatolian peninsula, comprising most of modern Turkey, is one of the oldest permanently settled regions in the world. Various ancient Anatolian populations have lived in Anatolia, from at least the Neolithic period until the Hellenistic period.
Many of these peoples spoke the Anatolian languages, a branch of the larger Indo-European language family. In fact, given the antiquity of the Indo-European Hittite and Luwian languages, some scholars have proposed Anatolia as the hypothetical centre from which the Indo-European languages radiated; the European part of Turkey, called Eastern Thrace, has been inhabited since at least forty thousand years ago, is known to have been in the Neolithic era by about 6000 BC. Göbekli Tepe is the site of the oldest known man-made religious structure, a temple dating to circa 10,000 BC, while Çatalhöyük is a large Neolithic and Chalcolithic settlement in southern Anatolia, which existed from approximately
Panama Canal Zone
The Panama Canal Zone was an unincorporated territory of the United States from 1903 to 1979, centered on the Panama Canal and surrounded by the Republic of Panama. The zone consisted of the canal and an area extending five miles on each side of the centerline, excluding Panama City and Colón, which otherwise would have been within the limits of the Zone, its border spanned three of Panama's provinces. When reservoirs were created to assure a steady supply of water for the locks, those lakes were included within the Zone. In 1904, the Isthmian Canal Convention was proclaimed. In it, the Republic of Panama granted to the United States in perpetuity the use and control of a zone of land and land under water for the construction, operation and protection of the canal. From 1903 to 1979, the territory was controlled by the United States, which had purchased the land from the private and public owners, built the canal and financed its construction; the Canal Zone was abolished as a term of the Torrijos -- Carter Treaties two years earlier.
S.–Panamanian control until it was turned over to Panama in 1999. Proposals for a canal across the Isthmus of Panama date back to 1529, soon after the Spanish conquest. Álvaro de Saavedra Cerón, a lieutenant of conquistador Vasco Núñez de Balboa, suggested four possible routes, one of which tracks the present-day canal. Saavedra believed. Although King Charles I was enthusiastic and ordered preliminary works started, his officials in Panama soon realized that such an undertaking was beyond the capabilities of 16th-century technology. One official wrote to Charles, "I pledge to Your Majesty that there is not a prince in the world with the power to accomplish this"; the Spanish instead built a road across the isthmus. The road came to be crucial to Spain's economy, as treasure obtained along the Pacific coast of South America was offloaded at Panama City and hauled through the jungle to the Atlantic port of Nombre de Dios, close to present day Colón. Although additional canal building proposals were made throughout the 16th and 17th centuries, they came to naught.
The late 18th and early 19th centuries saw a number of canals built. The success of the Erie Canal in the United States and the collapse of the Spanish Empire in Latin America led to a surge of American interest in building an interoceanic canal. Beginning in 1826, US officials began negotiations with Gran Colombia, hoping to gain a concession for the building of a canal. Jealous of their newly obtained independence and fearing that they would be dominated by an American presence, the president Simón Bolívar and New Granadan officials declined American offers; the new nation was politically unstable, Panama rebelled several times during the 19th century. In 1836 U. S. statesman Charles Biddle reached an agreement with the New Granadan government to replace the old road with an improved one or a railroad, running from Panama City on the Pacific coast to the Chagres River, where a steamship service would allow passengers and freight to continue to Colón. His agreement was repudiated by the Jackson administration.
In 1841, with Panama in rebellion again, British interests secured a right of way over the isthmus from the insurgent regime and occupied Nicaraguan ports that might have served as the Atlantic terminus of a canal. In 1846 the new US envoy to Bogotá, Benjamin Bidlack, was surprised when, soon after his arrival, the New Granadans proposed that the United States be the guarantor of the neutrality of the isthmus; the resulting Mallarino–Bidlack Treaty allowed the United States to intervene militarily to ensure that the interoceanic road would not be disrupted. New Granada hoped that other nations would sign similar treaties, but the one with the United States, ratified by the US Senate in June 1848 after considerable lobbying by New Granada, was the only one; the treaty led the U. S. government to contract for steamship service to Panama from ports on both coasts. When the California Gold Rush began in 1848, traffic through Panama increased, New Granada agreed to allow the Panama Railroad to be constructed by American interests.
This first "transcontinental railroad" opened in 1850. There were riots in Panama City in 1856. US warships landed Marines, who occupied the railroad station and kept the railroad service from being interrupted by the unrest; the United States demanded compensation from New Granada, including a zone 20 miles wide, to be governed by US officials and in which the United States might build any "railway or passageway" it desired. The demand was dropped in the face of resistance by New Granadan officials, who accused the United States of seeking a colony. Through the remainder of the 19th century, the United States landed troops several times to preserve the railway connection. At the same time, it pursued a canal treaty with Colombia. One treaty, signed in 1868, was rejected by the Colombian Senate, which hoped for better terms from the incoming Grant administration. Under this treaty, the canal would have been in the middle of a 20-mile zone, under American management but Colombian sovereignty, the canal would revert to Colombia in 99 years.
The Grant administration did little to pursue a treaty and, in 1878, the concession to build the canal fell to a French firm. The French efforts failed, but with Panama unavailable, the United States considered possible canal sites in Mexico and Nic