Panama Scandal


Panama Scandal
(1892–1893)
   An investment scandal in which the misplaced hopes and lost fortunes of small stakeholders in the Panama Canal project of Ferdinand de Lesseps became a political earthquake in French politics. As the architect of the Suez Canal, Lesseps enjoyed a national reputation as possibly the greatest Frenchman of his time - a reputation he used to entice small investors to back the construction of a canal across Panama, partly with unrealistic initial estimates of its ultimate cost, partly through misunderstanding of its enormous engineering difficulties, and partly through concealment of colossal financial mismanagement. Financial authority over the Panama Canal Company was exercised by Baron Jacques de Reinach, a German Jew, Italian Baron, and naturalized French citizen who symbolized the new world of cosmopolitan finance in late nineteenth-century Europe.
   In the critical stage, when the canal was behind schedule and massively over budget, the government permitted the company to float a lottery-loan for 750 million francs, which, upon failure, put the company into liquidation. The resulting inquiry and trial savaged the reputation of the Radical Party in parliament, especially George Clemençeau, and contributed to a virulent wave of anti-Semitism across the country. Edouard Drumont’s 1,200 page book, La France Juive, sold tens of thousands of copies with its explanation of how France and its honest peasantry - in reality the victims of a garden variety failure in finance capitalism - had been conquered and pillaged by Jews.
   See also <>.
   FURTHER READING:
    Brogan, Denis. The Development of Modern France, 1870–1939. London: Hamish Hamilton, 1940.
   CARL CAVANAGH HODGE

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Panama scandals — The Panama scandals (also known as the Panama Canal Scandal ) were a corruption affair that broke out in the French Third Republic in 1892, linked to the building of the Panama Canal. Close to a billion francs were lost when the government took… …   Wikipedia

  • Panama Canal —    An interoceanic waterway across the Panamanian isthmus initially envisaged by Spanish conquerors in the sixteenth century. Between the sixteenth and the twentieth centuries there was an isthmian road that suddenly became vitally important in… …   Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914

  • Panama — Panamanian /pan euh may nee euhn, mah /, adj., n. Panamic /pa nam ik/, adj. /pan euh mah , maw /, n. 1. a republic in S Central America. 2,693,417; 28,575 sq. mi. (74,010 sq. km). 2. Also called Panama City. a city in and the capital of Panama,… …   Universalium

  • Panama affair —    The Panama affair was one of the most important financial scandals of the third republic. After having obtained from the Colombian government a territorial concession, Ferdinand de lesseps brought together at Paris an international congress… …   France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present

  • Panama-Affäre — Der Panamaskandal war ein Bestechungsskandal zur Zeit der Dritten Französischen Republik Ende des 19. Jahrhunderts. 1879 wurde eine französische Gesellschaft gegründet, um den Bau des Panamakanals unter Ferdinand de Lesseps zu finanzieren. Die… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Panama-Skandal — Der Panamaskandal war ein Bestechungsskandal zur Zeit der Dritten Französischen Republik Ende des 19. Jahrhunderts. 1879 wurde eine französische Gesellschaft gegründet, um den Bau des Panamakanals unter Ferdinand de Lesseps zu finanzieren. Die… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • History of the Panama Canal — The history of the Panama Canal goes back almost to the earliest explorers of the Americas. The narrow land bridge between North and South America offers a unique opportunity to create a water passage between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. This …   Wikipedia

  • Escándalo de Panamá — Una caricatura sobre el escándalo. El Escándalo de Panamá (también conocido como el Escándalo del canal de Panamá o Caso Lesseps ) fue un caso de corrupción, relacionado con el intento fallido de construcción del canal de Panamá, que salpicó a… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Cunningham scandal — A U.S. political scandal in which government contracts were obtained with bribes to Congressman Randy Duke Cunningham. Guilty Duke Cunningham (R CA) (100 months) Kyle Foggo …   Wikipedia

  • Cunningham Scandal — The Cunningham Scandal is a US political scandal in which defense contractors paid bribes to members of Congress, and officials in the US Defense Department, in return for political favors in the form of federal contracts. Most notable amongst… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.