Home >> Comptons-pictured-encyclopedia-vol-02-bro-edi-p3 >> A Folklore Tale Of to Thomas 1795 1881 Carlyle >> Canals_P1


canal, canada, miles, feet, century, built and manchester

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CANALS. Artificial waterways or canals were de veloped at a very early date, both for transportation and irrigation. The Chinese, as early as the 5th century B.C. had begun work on the Grand Canal of exploration days. The minds of the people have been turned back to the trials and adventures of their ancestors. Seemingly they have acquired a greater pride in their heritage as Canadians, and are more eager than before to investigate the early records of their country. The result has been the publication of a large body of literature expressive of this new movement. Quebec Under Two Flags' and the ' Cradle of New France' by A. G. Doughty, together with The Siege of Quebec' by A. G. Doughty and G.


W. Parmelee, recall the too-often forgotten fact that Canada is the child of two parents—one English, the other French. Descriptive of exploration are J. W.

Tyrrell's Across the Sub-Arctics of Canada', Law rence J. Burpee's Search for the Western Sea', the best historical account of the work done by early Canadian explorers, and Agnes Laut's Pathfinders of the West' and Vikings of the North'. All these books are of inestimable value to the girls and boys of Canada.

We omit from this sketch the work of the noted historian Goldwin Smith (1824-1910) who although long a resident in Canada was not a native of the country, and whose work was not distinctively Cana dian in character.

In the drama Canada has as yet produced compara tively nothing. In general literature a new national note has appeared. As a result of the war Canada has " found herself" ; she has come to realize her nationhood and her destiny. Her future literature will be an expression of her new national life in a new China, between Hangchow and Peking, which, with a total length of 1,000 miles, is said to be the longest as well as the oldest existing canal. The principal part was built in the 13th century after Christ, and the whole canal is now being modernized. About 2000 B.C. the Egyptians built a canal joining the Nile and the Red Sea, thus anticipating the modern Suez Canal. Later Nebuchadnezzar built the royal canal of Babylon, connecting the Tigris and the Euphrates.

The Romans constructed canals as well as roads in many parts of their empire. Charlemagne about the 8th century began a system of canals to connect the Rhine, the Maas, and the Danube.

Later ages saw the development of extensive canal systems in Italy, Belgium, France, and elsewhere in Europe, as well as in Asia. The Languedoc Canal, or Canal du Midi, joining rivers which flow respectively into the Bay of Biscay and the Mediterranean, made Spain and Portugal an island. It was finished in the time of Louis XIV (1681). The most extensive engineering work ever undertaken in Europe up to that time, it is regarded as the pioneer of modern European canals. With it France began that policy of canal construction which has provided her with more than 3,000 miles of canals to add to her 4,600 odd miles of navigable rivers. The Languedoc Canal, about 6% feet deep and 148 miles long, rises 620 feet above sea level with 119 locks.

The second half of the 18th century saw great activity in canal-building in Great Britain, to trans port coal and other bulky commodities, and this con tinued unabated until the introduction of railways, 75 years later. The Manchester Ship Canal, between Manchester and Liverpool, is a noted example of how Until the invention of the canal lock in the 14th or 15th century, canals could be built only where the country was level. A lock is a device for raising or lowering a boat from one water level to waterways may be constructed to join an inland city with the coast. This canal, the most important in the British Isles, makes the great manufacturing city of Manchester a seaport, though it is 35 miles from the coast. There are four sets of locks, each set consisting of a small and a large lock side by side. Probably the most interesting feature of this work is a swing bridge, which carries the old Bridgewater Canal (1759) over the new Manchester waterway. This is a great steel trough 19 feet wide, 6 feet deep, and 234 feet long, which may be closed off from the rest of the overhead canal and swung about an axis, so that boats may pass by in the lower canal.

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