Vision and strategic planning to link two oceans through Panama. The case of William Henry Aspinwall and Panama Rail Road Company (1847-1861)


  • Eduardo Martín Cuesta



William Henry Aspinwall, Business history, Panama Railroad Company, Pacific Mail Steamship Company


The nineteenth century was a time of great economic change. The expansion of capitalism (and the industrial revolution) involved a process of globalization that had among its main features a revolution in global transport. In this context, there was a time for big business and enterprise projects. This paper will analyze the work of William Henry Aspinwall, who promoted and carried out successfully the connection between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, by a railroad through Panamá. This railroad was an antecedent of the Panama Canal. This article analyzes the corporate strategic and the vision of Aspinwall, and his achievement with the Panamá Railroad.