As an adult, De Lesseps became a diplomat as his father had been. In 1832 he sailed to
In 1832 De Lesseps read a book written by an engineer who had gone to
In 1854, when Muhammad Said became the ruler of
For the first five years of construction, the digging was done by hand. Every 30 days, 20,000 workers were needed. They were peasants who were forced to labor on the canal. With fresh water scarce but diseases like cholera common, workers experienced a ferocious rate of death.
The finished canal was 100 miles (160 km) in length: 60 miles (96 km) through natural lakes and 40 miles (64 km) through canals. It opened in November 1869.
The canal begins at
Construction of the canal bankrupted the Egyptian state. The ruler of
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