Panama in Depth

Panama in Depth Panam S Early History Was Shaped By The Ambitions Of European Powers In 1501, Rodrigo De Bastidas Of Spain Conducted The First European Exploration Of Panam One Year Later, Christopher Columbus Visited Panam And Established A Settlement In The Darien Province In 1513, Vasco Nu Ez De Balboa Discovered That The Isthmus Was Indeed The Path Between The Caribbean Sea And The Pacific Ocean Panam Quickly Became The Crossroads Of Spain S Empire In The New World, Serving As The Transfer Point For Gold And Silver Being Shipped From South America And Spain Modern Panamanian History Has Been Shaped By The Construction Of A Trans Isthmus Canal, Which Had Been Envisioned Since The Beginning Of Spanish Colonization From 1880 To 1900, A French Company Under Ferdinand De Lesseps Attempted, Unsuccessfully, To Construct A Sea Level Canal On The Site Of The Present Panam Canal In November 1903, With U.S Encouragement And French Financial Support, Panam Proclaimed Its Independence And Signed The Hay Bunau Varilla Treaty With The United States The Treaty Granted Rights To The United States In A Zone Roughly 10 Miles Wide And 50 Miles Long, Wherein The United States Would Build A Canal Then Administer, Fortify, And Defend It In Perpetuity In 1914, The United States Completed The Existing 50 Mile 83 Kilometer Lock Canal, One Of The World S Greatest Engineering Triumphs The Early 1960s Marked The Beginning Of Sustained Pressure In Panam For Renegotiation Of This Treaty In 1977 U.S President Jimmy Carter Signed A New Treaty With Panamanian President General Omar Torrijos In Which Control Of The Canal Reverted To The Panamanian People On December 31, 1999.