tour panamarecent history of the republic of Panama

The Spanish conqueror Rodrigues de Bastidas was the first to discover Panamá

He was the first European to travel across the Atlantic to "tierra firme" in Panamá

In 1501 he landed at the height of today's Portobello. Only a year later Christopher Columbus, who was currently on his fourth voyage, arrived in Panama as well. 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 to reach 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 of export to Spain. The strategic location of the country was a good basis for transporting goods to Europe and the conquest of South America. The goods, above all gold and silver, attracted many pirates who tried to plunder Panama several times.

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 an 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 gave the US government the right to build the interoceanic channel as well as unlimited rights within the Panama canal zone. In return the USA agreed to pay a regular annual contribution to the government of Panama and to sustain 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, a new contract was signed between the USA and Panama. The contract stated that the United States would leave the channel until 1999 to a complete dispense of Panama and to abandon all military bases.

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