The Panama Canal was created to have a faster route between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans with out having to travel all the way around South America.
Then in the 1880's a French Company began working on this issue and it began building a 50 mile width isthmus but due to many complications init's construction the company became bankrupt and stopped .
In 1902 the U.S. bought the rights to the canal and soon after John Hay began negotiations with the Colombian government to use the strip of land that the canal went through, then in 1903 the treaty was signed but the Columbian council wouldn't ratify it.
President Roosevelt took an interest in the canal and he recognized that Panamanian revolutionaries were planning to break free from Colombia and he supported them. In November 2 it began and the next day Panama gained independence and America immediately signed a treaty with them.
America begam work on the canal in 1904, but harsh working conditions and shortages of labor and materials hampered construction. So Roosevelt assigned John F. Stevens as chief engineer architect and made Colonel Dr. William C. Gorgas focus on improving sanitation.
After dealing with the serious issues like yellow fever and malaria, they had up to 44,000 workers from the British west indies working on the canal and after many years of accidents, death, and lost equipment in 1914 the SS Ancon was the first ship to pass through the Panama Canal.