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Panama History

Panama is an independent country in Central America with a population of over three (3) million people. The country was made famous with the completion of the Panama Canal in 1914 and is etched in Panama history. Today the Republic of Panama remains well known globally as an offshore jurisdiction and one of the best countries to retire to. Panama’s economy is maintained hugely by its services sector which encompasses tourism, banking and banking services, the registration of companies and foundations and funds from the management of the Panama Canal. The Panama history is a mixture of races and events which all contribute to making the country as diverse as it is today. The different groups of people who settled in Panama are many. Panama has been an important trading point for hundreds of years throughout the history of Panama.

the history of Panama begins with its first inhabitants, who were the indigenous people of different tribes who settled in different areas in the country. The indigenous people of Panama were said to be amongst the first pottery makers in the new world. Some indigenous tribes who inhabited Panama include the Chibchan, Cuevas, Chocoan, and Kuna.

In the late 1400s the Europeans set out to discover the new world but it was not until 1501 that the Atlantic Coast of Panama was discovered by Bastidas, Balboa and Juan de la Costa. Balboa and company formed a colony for Spain with two settlements. With constant rejections and fierce opposition from the Indians the colony was forced to move to the north east and called Santa Maria de la Antigua Del Darien, the first settlement on the Atlantic Coast of Panama. A few years later the colony and its population was moved to the Pacific Coast of the country making it the first European settlement in the Pacific Coast.

In Panama history, the area now known as Old Panama became an important commercial area and trading point for the Spanish Colonies. Destroyed by Henry Morgan an English Pirate, the settlement was moved once more to the part of Panama City now known as Casco Viejo. This new town became the focal point of commercial activity for Spain in the new world.

In the years which followed the history of Panama, the country grew as a colony. More settlement developed and the population increased. As the country developed Panama and the Spanish trade route became was under constant attack from French and English pirates in search of gold and silver and other valuables. In the 1800’s countries in Central America began to fight for their independence from Spain and Panama became part of Simon Bolivar’s New Granada with countries such as Venezuela, Ecuador and Colombia. After many breakups and reunifications with Colombia Panama finally gained independence from Colombia in 1903 and became known as the Republic of Panama.

The construction of the Panama Canal was a very important factor in the Panama history. Whilst the country was still part of Colombia, a treaty was signed in the late 1800 to construct the canal. Bad health and death of over 20,000 labourers caused work to stop. When Panama gained independence in 1903 a deal was struck with the Unites States Government set out improve health conditions by removing the mosquitoes which caused Malaria and Yellow fever. Construction on the canal began and construction workers from around the globe descended on Panama. The canal was completed in 1914. In 1921 in exchange for a compensation of US$25 million dollars from the United States Government, Colombia revoked all claims on Panama.

The Republic of Panama was from 1903 to 1968 ruled by a few wealthy people. For these decades there were many uprisings in the country. Notable was the Martyrs Day riot of 1964 when Panamanians fed up with the US control and occupation of the Panama Canal revolted. In 1968 Omar Torrijos became the president replacing the three times elected Arnulfo Arias Madrid. Torrijos reign was marked by corruption. In 1977 he signed a treaty with US president Jimmy Carter for complete handover of the Panama Canal in 1999. Torrijos died in 1981 and Noriega became president and was notorious for corruption and money laundering. Though he was defeated in the elections of 1989, Noriega refused to step down. Later in the year the United States removed Noriega from power with an invasion of Panama by American troops. Endara became president until 1994. This event was covered by many and will always be written in Panama history.

By the late 90’s Panama’s political and social life became stable. The Canal was handed over to the Government and people of Panama. Today Panama is a calm country which has seen lots of infrastructural development. The country’s economy is amongst the best in Latin America and the Caribbean.

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