In what way did the outcome of the Spanish-American War help lead to the building of the Panama Canal?
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Spain's defeat meant that thousands of workers from Cuba and Puerto Rico would now be free to work on the canal.
Panama gained its independence under the Treaty of Paris, and the Panamanians believed building the canal would bring economic growth.
American territories now stretched from the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean, and a canal would make governing its new lands easier.
The American victory led to the Spooner Act, which allowed the United States to buy the Spanish company that had already begun work on the canal.
Well, since the war was fought in both the Pacific (Phillipines) and Atlantic (Cuba), it certainly underlined the importance of shifting naval assets rapidly from one coast to the other of the US, so it gave the US a national security reason for the canal.
I suppose it further eroded Spanish influence in Central America, and made it even more plausible that US influence would replace it, which meant the idea of the US spearheading the canal met with greater acceptance by European powers.