recent history of republic of Panama
The Spanish conquerer Rodrigues de Bastidas first came to Panamá
he was the first European getting from the Atlantic to "tierra firme" in Panamá
In 1501 he landed at the height of today's Portobello. Only a year later Christopher Columbus came as well to Panama on his fourth voyage. Seven years later, the Spanish crown decided to colonize the area on the Caribbean coast. The colony was named "Castilla del Ora" and Diego de Nicuesa was convened as the first governor.
Vasco Núñez de Balboa was the subsequent governor, he crossed the isthmus and has been the first European reaching to the Pacific coast of Latin America. Under his command, the future capital "Panama City", which at that time was named Dávila was founded. Dávila developed later as logistical center to export to Spain. The strategic location of the country was a good base for transporting goods to Europe and the conquest of South America. The goods, above all gold and silver attracted many pirates who tried several times to plunder Panama.
In 1821 Panama declared its independence from Spain. They voluntary annexed to the Republic of Colombia. In 1840 the next declaration of independence took place, this time from Colombia- only for 13 months.
In 1850 the Colombian government approved the construction of a interoceanic railway, executed by the United States of America. In 1903 they started negotiations on the construction of an inter-oceanic canal. The United States recognized the independence of Panama instantly, and concluded with the provisional government, the "Hay-Bunau-Varilla" agreement. In this Agreement, was detained: The US government get the right to build the interoceanic channel and unlimited rights to the Panama canal zone. In return USA admitted to pay a regular annual payment to the government of Panama, as well to guarantee the independence of the country.
In 1904 the first national constitution was published, which provided a democratically elected government. In 1914 the Canal was completed and officially opened in 1920. It followed an era of stability and prosperity, which was, however, marked by dissatisfaction with the USA.
In 1977 there was signed a new treaty with the USA, in which the United States promised to leave the channel until 1999 to completely dispense of Panama and to abandon all military bases.