Panama: History

  1. 1519

    Panama is claimed by Spain.

  2. 1821

    Independence from Spain is gained and Panama joins the confederacy of Gran Colombia, consisting of Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia.

  3. 1830

    Panama becomes part of Colombia after the collapse of Gran Colombia.

  4. 1846

    A treaty with the United States is signed allowing them to build a railway across the Isthmus.

  5. 1903

    Panama becomes fully independent and the United States buys the rights to build and control the Panama Canal, completed in 1914.

  6. 1939

    Panama ceases to be a United States protectorate.

  7. 1968

    General Omar Torrijos Herrera, National Guard chief, overthrows the government and imposes a dictatorship.

  8. 1983

    Manuel Noriega becomes head of the National Guard renaming it the Panama defense Forces, which in turn greatly increases Panama’s political and economic powers.

  9. 1999

    Panama takes full control of the Panama Canal.

  10. 2004

    The Panama Canal earns a record revenue of $1 billion for the financial year.

  11. 2011

    Panama and the United States agree on a free trade agreement.


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