Panama was built so it could saves ships many thousands of miles of travel between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Before the canal was built, ships had to make a long voyage around the tip of South America.
How it connects back to the nickname- The U.S. needed to get permission to build the canal from the country of Colombia, because in those days Panama was part of that country. Colombia refused, however, apparently hoping to be offered a bigger payment.
Roosevelt did not give up on the canal project just because Colombia said “No!” He knew that many people in Panama wanted to break away from Colombia and form a new, independent country.
President Roosevelt sent some American warships to the area as a show of force. They never fired a shot. Just by being there, through, the ships sent a clear message to Colombia to let Panama alone.
Some of Roosevelt’s critics started calling his actions Big Stick Diplomacy. It was a sarcastic way of criticizing the president for using a show of force, instead of normal diplomacy (talks) between nations.

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