A British or French Panama Canal?

Assuming a Confederate victory in the American Civil War (with possible aid from the French and British, if you wish), would it be possible to engineer for the British or the French at some point in the 19th century to invade Colombia under the pretext of protecting their national interests in the case of a revolution or a civil war, set it up as a protectorate so that they have access to the Panama isthmus and can build and control the Panama canal...?
 
Well, De Lesseps did try in OTL but it all went horribly wrong and, in effect, leaving the US to pick up the pieces (and proceeds?).
 
Assuming a Confederate victory in the American Civil War (with possible aid from the French and British, if you wish), would it be possible to engineer for the British or the French at some point in the 19th century to invade Colombia under the pretext of protecting their national interests in the case of a revolution or a civil war, set it up as a protectorate so that they have access to the Panama isthmus and can build and control the Panama canal...?

Well, OTL France didn't need to do that to try to build the canal.

Britain would be far more likely to push the Nicaragua option

Best Regards
Grey Wolf
 
What makes the Nicaragua option more lucrative?

It is a shorter canal to dig, passing through Lake Nicaragua, and through less rocky earth. The only reason it was built in Panama instead because it was politically convenient to rip off Panama from Colombia and have the new state essentially an American puppet because of the debts owed by the Panamanian successionists.
 
It is a shorter canal to dig, passing through Lake Nicaragua, and through less rocky earth. The only reason it was built in Panama instead because it was politically convenient to rip off Panama from Colombia and have the new state essentially an American puppet because of the debts owed by the Panamanian successionists.

Very well, let's look at this then?

The Mosquito Coast was a British protectorate up to 1850 in OTL. woobble-wibble, it remains a British protectorate beyond this alternate US Civil War. Let's exchange William Walker for a British subject, and have him hold out a little longer.

Then, in the mid-1860s, with things not looking good for British Walker, he appeals to the British government for aid. Since the Mosquito Coast is still on the paper a British protectorate, London uses this as an excuse when Nicaraguan troops begin to appear on the boarder.

The civil war is soon enough won by Walker's British-backed government and Nicaragua is declared a British protectorate, merged with the Mosquito coast. This can soon enough lead to encouragement of Unionist, Confederate and British immigration thereto, which within a decade or so establish itself as the political elite, while construction of the Nicaragua canal begins. And, for fun, in the 1890s, the government officially sells Nicaragua to Britain as a colony. :p
 
The civil war is soon enough won by Walker's British-backed government and Nicaragua is declared a British protectorate, merged with the Mosquito coast.

This would both make no political sense and would hurt British interests.

The Miskito wanted to remain independent, forcing them to be merged with Nicaragua is only going to make them resent the British nearly as much s the Nicaraguans would.

Further more Miskito remaining independent means that half the canal would lie within the territory of a British Protectorate/Ally, rather than the whole thing being in a single country that would be waiting for the chance to kick the British out.
 
The question that needs to be asked is WHY would France and/or Britain want to build a canal?

America needs one to move ships from east to west, but Britain only needs to get to India, and the Suex Canel does this very nicely. As for France they have no real interests that need the canal.
 
Ya, the british or french could ,,easily,, have made a serious stab at it, and neither was likely to split off panama to do it.

The french, or at least a company based in france did try. De lesseps biggest single problem was he tried to build a sealevel canal. His next problem was inadequate financing, and the third problem was disease.

Nicaragua has fewer problems with yellow fever, iirc, and was a better route in some ways anyway.

If the brits tried a properly financed nicaragua canal, they might have succeeded.
 
The Transoceanic canals weren't simple geopolitics, there's also plenty of cash to be made. British and French interests might lie more in the Eastern Hemisphere but capital has no borders. Except the North Korean one.
 

FDW

Banned
The question that needs to be asked is WHY would France and/or Britain want to build a canal?

America needs one to move ships from east to west, but Britain only needs to get to India, and the Suex Canel does this very nicely. As for France they have no real interests that need the canal.

It would be very strategically valuable, and especially given the possibility of American hostility towards Britain in this scenario, a way of containing the US.

The Transoceanic canals weren't simple geopolitics, there's also plenty of cash to be made. British and French interests might lie more in the Eastern Hemisphere but capital has no borders. Except the North Korean one.

And even that border is slowly becoming porous…
 
Top