Embera girl dressed for a dance
Map of the area before canal construction
Vasco Núñez de Balboa, a recognized and popular figure of Panamanian history
Charts of excavation progress and contribution to the canal excavation
"New Caledonia", the ill-fated Scottish Darien scheme colony in the Bay of Caledonia, west of the Gulf of Darien
Map of the Panama Canal Zone
Santo Domingo Church
Canal Zone Courthouse, site of the Canal Zone District Court which existed from 1914 until 1982.
1903 political cartoon. The US government, working with separatists in Panama, engineered a Panamanian declaration of independence from Colombia, then sent US warships and marines to Panama.
Gorgas Hospital was built by the French as L'Hospital Notre Dame de Canal in 1882, renamed Ancon Hospital when the U.S. assumed control in 1904, rebuilt in 1915 and finally renamed in honor of William C. Gorgas in 1928. It is now home to Panama's Ministry of Health and the Instituto Oncologico Nacional.
US President Theodore Roosevelt sitting on a steam shovel at the Panama Canal, 1906
Howard Air Force Base in 1970
Construction work on the Gaillard Cut of the Panama Canal, 1907
Abandoned theatre in Fort Davis (2011)
Omar Torrijos (right) with farmers in the Panamanian countryside. The Torrijos government was well known for its policies of land redistribution.
Two Canal Zone stamps showing precancels.
US President Jimmy Carter shakes hands with General Omar Torrijos after signing the Panama Canal Treaties (September 7, 1977).
The aftermath of urban warfare during the US invasion of Panama, 1989
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson swapped football shirts with the President of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela in London, May 14, 2018.
A map of Panama
La Palma, Darién
The Chagres River
Colón Harbor, 2000
Panama map of Köppen climate classification
A cooler climate is common in the Panamanian highlands.
The National Assembly of Panama
Panama's President-elect Juan Carlos Varela and Vice President Isabel Saint Malo with US Secretary of State John Kerry just before Varela's inauguration in 2014
GDP per capita development Panama since 1950
A proportional representation of Panama exports, 2019
A Panamax ship in transit through the Miraflores locks, Panama Canal
Countries with politicians, public officials or close associates implicated in the Panama Papers leak on April 15, 2016
Tocumen International Airport, Central America's largest airport
Zapatilla Island, Panama
Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo were declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1980.
Population pyramid, 2016
Panama's population, 1961–2003
Panama City, Panama's capital
Plaza de la independencia, Panama City
Erika Ender
A couple dancing Panamanian Cumbia
Panamanian baseball catcher Carlos Ruiz during 2007 Spring Training

It was located within the territory of Panama, consisting of the Panama Canal and an area generally extending 5 mi on each side of the centerline, but excluding Panama City and Colón.

- Panama Canal Zone

The surrounding territory was first returned in 1979.

- Panama

7 related topics

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Panama Canal

Location of Panama between Pacific (bottom) and Caribbean (top), with canal at top center
The panamax ship MSC Poh Lin exiting the Miraflores locks, March 2013
Satellite image showing the location of Panama Canal: Dense jungles are visible in green.
Ferdinand de Lesseps, the French originator of the Suez Canal and the Panama Canal
Excavator at work in Bas Obispo, 1886
Share of the Compagnie Universelle du Canal Interocéanique de Panama, issued 29. November 1880 - signed by Ferdinand de Lesseps
The US's intentions to influence the area (especially the Panama Canal construction and control) led to the separation of Panama from Colombia in 1903.
The Culebra Cut in 1896
The Culebra Cut in 1902
Chief engineer John Frank Stevens
Sanitation officer William C. Gorgas
President Theodore Roosevelt sitting on a Bucyrus steam shovel at Culebra Cut, 1906
Construction work on the Gaillard Cut is shown in this photograph from 1907.
General George Washington Goethals, who completed the canal.
The USS Missouri, an, passes through the canal in 1945. The 108' 2" (32.96 m) beams of the Iowas and preceding were the largest ever to transit the Canal.
Pacific Side entrance
Gatun Lake provides the water used to raise and lower vessels in the Canal, gravity fed into each set of locks
Miter lock gate at Gatún
Roll-on/roll-off
ships, such as this one pictured here at Miraflores locks, are among the largest ships to pass through the canal.
Maximum ship sizes for the Panama and Suez canals
Gatun locks showing the "mule" locomotives at work
New Agua Clara locks (Atlantic side) in operation
Neopanamax ship passing through the Agua Clara locks.
A Marion steam shovel excavating the Panama Canal in 1908
The Panama Canal locks under construction in 1910
The first ship to transit the canal, the SS Ancon, passes through on 15 August 1914
Spanish laborers working on the Panama Canal in early 1900s

The Panama Canal (Canal de Panamá) is an artificial 82 km waterway in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean and divides North and South America.

The US continued to control the canal and surrounding Panama Canal Zone until the 1977 Torrijos–Carter Treaties provided for handover to Panama.

1903 editorial cartoon on treaty

Hay–Bunau-Varilla Treaty

1903 editorial cartoon on treaty

The Hay–Bunau-Varilla Treaty (Tratado Hay-Bunau Varilla) was a treaty signed on November 18, 1903, by the United States and Panama, which established the Panama Canal Zone and the subsequent construction of the Panama Canal.

Jimmy Carter and Omar Torrijos shake hands moments after the signing of the Torrijos–Carter Treaties.

Torrijos–Carter Treaties

Jimmy Carter and Omar Torrijos shake hands moments after the signing of the Torrijos–Carter Treaties.
Ceremonial Transfer of Canal Zone at Miraflores Locks

The Torrijos–Carter Treaties (Tratados Torrijos-Carter) are two treaties signed by the United States and Panama in Washington, D.C. on September 7, 1977, which superseded the Hay–Bunau-Varilla Treaty of 1903.

The most immediate consequence of this treaty was that the Canal Zone, as an entity, ceased to exist on October 1, 1979.

Map showing the shrinking territory of Gran Colombia from 1824 (colored areas, including Venezuela and Ecuador) to 1890 (red line) and the Cundinamarca region. Panama seceded in 1903 from Colombia, and comprises the yellow area in the Central American isthmus.

Separation of Panama from Colombia

Map showing the shrinking territory of Gran Colombia from 1824 (colored areas, including Venezuela and Ecuador) to 1890 (red line) and the Cundinamarca region. Panama seceded in 1903 from Colombia, and comprises the yellow area in the Central American isthmus.
1903 political cartoon

The separation of Panama from Colombia was formalized on 3 November 1903, with the establishment of the Republic of Panama.

In exchange for its role in defending the Republic, and for constructing the canal, the U.S. was granted a perpetual lease on the land around the canal, known as the Panama Canal Zone, which was later returned to Panama under the terms of the Torrijos–Carter Treaties.

Clockwise from top: Marines stand guard with their LAV-25

Aircraft parked at Tocumen Airport

Three U.S. soldiers walk past a restaurant

Flames engulf a Panama City neighborhood

United States invasion of Panama

The United States Invasion of Panama, codenamed Operation Just Cause, lasted over a month between mid-December 1989 and late January 1990.

The United States Invasion of Panama, codenamed Operation Just Cause, lasted over a month between mid-December 1989 and late January 1990.

Clockwise from top: Marines stand guard with their LAV-25

Aircraft parked at Tocumen Airport

Three U.S. soldiers walk past a restaurant

Flames engulf a Panama City neighborhood
A U.S. Marine Corps LAV-25 in Panama
1LT Robert Paz, 2nd Bn, 9th Marines
Tactical map of Operation Just Cause showing major points of attack
Elements of 1st Bn, 508th Infantry parachuting into a drop zone, during training, outside of Panama City.
American soldiers preparing to take La Comandancia in the El Chorrillo neighborhood of Panama City, December 1989
A U.S. Army M113 in Panama
El Chorrillo was badly damaged by fighting. More than 20,000 Panamanians were displaced during the invasion, and disorder continued for nearly two weeks.

It occurred during the administration of President George H. W. Bush and ten years after the Torrijos–Carter Treaties were ratified to transfer control of the Panama Canal from the United States to Panama by January 1, 2000.

The United States had maintained numerous military bases and a substantial garrison throughout the Canal Zone to protect the American-owned Panama Canal and to maintain American control of this strategically important area.

Colón, Panama

Colón between 1910 and 1920

Colón is a city and seaport in Panama, beside the Caribbean Sea, lying near the Atlantic entrance to the Panama Canal.

Originally it was located entirely on Manzanillo Island, surrounded by Limon Bay, Manzanillo Bay, and the Folks River; however, since the disestablishment of the Panama Canal Zone, the city's limits have been redefined to include Fort Gulick, a former U.S. Army base, as well the former Panama Canal Zone towns of Cristobal, Margarita, and Coco Solo.

Gran Colombia

State that encompassed much of northern South America and part of southern Central America from 1819 to 1831.

State that encompassed much of northern South America and part of southern Central America from 1819 to 1831.

Gran Colombia; Claimed Land is shown in Light Green
A mural by Santiago Martinez Delgado at the Colombian Congress representing the Congress of Cúcuta
Gran Colombia; Claimed Land is shown in Light Green
The departments of Gran Colombia in 1820
A map of Gran Colombia showing the 12 departments created in 1824 and territories disputed with neighboring countries
Colombia
Ecuador
Venezuela

It included present-day Colombia, mainland Ecuador (i.e. excluding the Galapagos Islands), Panama, and Venezuela, along with parts of northern Peru and northwestern Brazil.

The United States wanted territorial rights in the future Panama Canal Zone, which Colombia had refused.