Panama Canal Negotiations Harvard Case Solution & Analysis


            The paper attempts to discuss the background of the case ‘The Panama Canal Negotiations’ starting from its brief history and the reason for the US invasion in the particular country. It also discusses the role of US President Theodore Roosevelt in making history towards winning the negotiation for his country and claiming the Panama Canal. Furthermore, the paper discusses the seven elements of Principled Negotiation which remains very essential in carrying out a negotiation for a particular party. Along with this, the paper discusses the interests of the two parties in achieving the goals of the two parties and the results that had been achieved at the end of the negotiation.

Background of the Case

            The case describes the struggle of United States in building the Panama Canal against all odds and hardships. The reason for building Panama Canal had been many, but the most fruitful reason for building the canal was that the route allowed United States to reach from one route to another in half the time because the navy ships of the country had to go all around to reach its destination. A French company tried developing the particular canal and had spent many years to accomplish its goals but with little success. The company went bankrupt, and in the process it had lost 20,000 labors due to various reasons in Panama.

            Panama was then a part of Columbia which had been mostly covered with forests. Along the forests, a small waterway caved in the country that meant a lot for the United States, the Russians, and the Great Britain. The strategic importance of Panama had great deal of interest from around the world from many great powers.

After the French company became bankrupt, the US appointed John Walker as the head of Commission to reach to a certain conclusion for negotiations with Columbia. The US wanted to build the Panama Canal for themselves, and in return the country was willing to offer financial remuneration to Columbia along with the authority of making decisions in the region. However, the canal would be fully utilized by the United States.

            Despite many offers laid by the United States, Columbia never agreed to the clauses offered by the US. In order to gain momentum for negotiation, US president Theodore Roosevelt took a bold step and intervened to resolve the conflict and get done with the negotiation. The US president had a great vision to make United States as the world power.

Therefore, in order to accomplish the goals, Roosevelt made sure that the negotiations comes positive in the way for the United States. Roosevelt offered New Granada (old Columbia) the same offer US Navy had given previously, but again the country declined.

            However, Roosevelt contacted with Colombian Charge d’affaires to conduct negotiations and the same offer it had put in front of the Colombian government. The Colombia’s charge d’affaires agreed to the offer made by Roosevelt and allowed the country to build the canal. However, Colombia’s charge d’affaires did not inform the deal which it had confirmed with the US government to the Colombian government.

Therefore, the negotiations were made unacceptable by the Colombian government. Since Roosevelt had a great vision regarding his country, therefore he considered the treaty as fair and aided the Panama state to revolt against Colombia. This resulted in a free state of Panama, while the dream of Roosevelt had nearly come true.

Panama Canal Negotiations Case Solution

            Building the canal had been similarly as difficult as it had been to win the treaty for Panama Canal. Scorching sun at 130 Fahrenheit and rising illness of Malaria and other types of viruses had engulfed the workers greatly to work in the particular condition. However, the vision of Roosevelt had been intact as the country passed the finish line by constructing the canal successfully.

            But before constructing the canal, Roosevelt had to deal with the Yellow fever and killing mosquitos which enraging the workers and killing. Roosevelt stopped the construction of canal to focus on performing research on killing mosquitos so as to discover cure for the disease. Roosevelt decided to sanitize the entire jungle along with the fumigation process so that everyone shall get a cure of the disease. In the due process, Roosevelt developed and maintained an entire village for the people to have a cleaner and a safer environment. ............................

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