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In page Panama Canal:

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Numerous canals were built in other countries in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The success of the Erie Canal through central New York in the United States in the 1820s, and the collapse of the Spanish Empire in Latin America resulted in growing American interest in building an inter-oceanic canal. Beginning in 1826, US officials began negotiations with Gran Colombia (present-day Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Panama), hoping to gain a concession to build a canal. Jealous of their newly gained independence and fearing domination by the more powerful United States, president Simón Bolívar and New Granada officials declined American offers. After the collapse of Gran Colombia, New Granada remained unstable under constant government intrigue.[citation needed]