By Robert C Harding
As the narrowest stretch of land within the imperative American isthmus, Panama's geographical place has for millenia made it the crossroads for investors, tourists, eu pirates, and global superpowers. Panamanian background is replete with specific or tacit domination through others. within the post-Columbus interval, Panama was once first a Spanich colony, then a province of Colombia, after which eventually a quasi-territory of the U.S. in the course of the twentieth century. pain invasion via the USA in 1989 to oust dictator Manuel Noriega after which receiving complete possession of the Panama Canal on the finish of 1999, Panama has rebuilt itself right into a powerful, if contentious democracy.
This paintings chronicles and highlights the foremost occasions and figures within the country's previous 500 years of historical past, from Columbus to present day. It starts off with Panama's colonial interval, demonstrating how even in its early day, the isthmus used to be visible by means of the Spanish as simply a transshipment aspect. It then examines the post-Spanish interval while the Colombian province of Panama turned a forgotten backwater until eventually ecu powers begun vying for canal rights, resulting in an ill-fated French attempt. the most component of the publication information the occasions, figures, and intricacies of the Panama-U.S. dating, which ruled Panama's background for the total twentieth century. It closes with an exam of the profits and demanding situations the rustic has confronted within the post-U.S. invasion years.
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Additional resources for The History of Panama
After his ﬁrst voyage in 1492, Christopher 12 The History of Panama Columbus’s reports of the New World set off a ﬂurry of exploration of the Americas. In 1501 a wealthy Spaniard, Rodrigo Galva´n de las Bastides, who had accompanied Columbus on his second voyage to the Americas (1493–1496), was the ﬁrst European to sight the San Blas Islands while sailing off Panama’s north coast. However, his rotting ships forced him to return to Spain without exploring the interior. It would be Columbus, on his fourth and ﬁnal voyage to the New World, who would explore Panama’s Caribbean coast in 1502.
Legend has it that every railroad tie laid across Panama corresponded to a fallen worker. The railroad’s construction not only began to intertwine the economic interests of Panama and the United States, but also foreshadowed the geographic as well as social and political challenges that building the canal would pose. The construction of the Panama Railroad, which began to diversify Panama’s social makeup, was an important catalyst that also sparked dormant Panamanian nationalist sentiments. The Caribbean port that the railroad built had been christened “Aspinwall,” after its owner, but Panamanians deﬁantly called it “Colo´n” instead, after the Spanish version of the surname of Christopher Columbus.
Demands for transit priority in wartime, Secretary of State Seward’s opposition to the canal’s neutrality, and the relatively low proﬁt margin ultimately gave the Colombian Senate sufﬁcient reason to reject the offer. Undiscouraged, and to hedge its position, the United States began actively investigating Nicaragua as an alternative canal location. But Panama’s potential was not ignored for long. Colonial Panama to Independence 23 In 1878, a French company, the Compagnie Universelle du Canal Interoceanique (Universal Company of the Inter-Ocean Canal), was granted exclusive rights by Colombia to build a canal, which was to be completed within 12 years.