History Panama's history has been shaped by the evolution of the world economy and the ambitions of great powers. Rodrigo de Bastidas, sailing westward from Venezuela in in search of gold, was the first European to explore the Isthmus of Panama. A year later, Christopher Columbus visited the Isthmus and established a short-lived settlement in the Darien. Vasco Nunez de Balboa's tortuous trek from the Atlantic to the Pacific in demonstrated that the Isthmus was, indeed, the path between the seas, and Panama quickly became the crossroads and marketplace of Spain's empire in the New World.
Later central Panama was home to some of the first pottery -making in the Americas, such as the Monagrillo cultures dating to about — BC. These evolved into significant populations that are best known through the spectacular burials dating to c.
The monumental monolithic sculptures at the Barriles Chiriqui site are other important evidence of the ancient isthmian cultures.
Prior to the arrival of Europeans, Panama was widely settled by ChibchanChocoanand Cueva peoples, among whom the largest group were the Cueva whose specific language affiliation is poorly documented.
There is no accurate knowledge of the size of the Pre-Columbian indigenous population of the isthmus at the time of the European conquest. Estimates range as high as two million people, but more recent studies place that number closer toThey lived in small huts made of palm leaves over a rounded branch structure, with hammocks hung between the interior walls.
Spanish colonial period[ edit ] Further information: Spanish colonization of the Americas InRodrigo de Bastidas was the first European to explore the Isthmus of Panama sailing along the eastern coast. Soon Spanish expeditions would converge upon Tierra Firma also Tierra Firme, Spanish from the Latin terra firma, "dry land" or "mainland" which served in Spanish colonial times as the name for the Isthmus of Panama.
Inauthority was granted to Alonso de Ojeda and Diego de Nicuesa to colonize the territories between the west side of the Gulf of Uraba to Cabo Gracias a Dios in present-day Honduras. Tierra Firme later received control over other territories: Balboa maneuvered and was appointed Mayor on the first official cabildo abierto municipal council held on the mainland.
Pedrarias arrived in June with a 22 vessel, 1, men armada. Pedrarias was a party to the agreement authorizing the expedition by conquistadors Francisco Pizarro and Diego de Almagro that brought the European discovery and conquest of the Inca Empire present day Peru.
Here he died on March 6,aged Panama was part of the Spanish Empire for over years — and its fate changed with the geopolitical importance of the isthmus to the Spanish crown. In the 16th and 17th centuries, at the height of the Empire, no other region would prove of more strategic and economic importance.
Explorations and conquest expeditions launched from Panama claimed new lands and riches from Central and South America. Royal Audiencia of Panama[ edit ] Further information: An Audiencia Real royal audiency was a judicial district that functioned as an appellate court.
Each audiencia had oidores a hearer, a judge. Strategically located on the Pacific coast, Panama City was relatively free of the permanent menace of pirates that roamed the Atlantic coast for over one and a half centuries, until it was destroyed by a devastating fire, when the pirate Henry Morgan sacked it on January 28, The ruins of the original city are a tourist attraction known as "old Panama".
The scheme failed for a number of reasons, and the ensuing Scottish debt contributed to the Acts of Union that joined the previously separate states of the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland — into the Kingdom of Great Britain ".
Indian slaves were replaced by imported enslaved Africans. Panama developed a distinctive sense of autonomy and regional or national identity well before the rest of the colonies.
This was due to its prosperity during the first two centuries — while contributing to colonial growth; the placing of extensive regional judicial authority Real Audiencia within its jurisdiction; and the pivotal role it played at the height of the Spanish Empire—the first modern global empire.
While the Panama route was short, it was also labor-intensive and expensive because of the loading and unloading and laden-down trek required to get from the one coast to the other.
The Panama route was also vulnerable to attack from pirates mostly Dutch and English and from cimarrons, escaped former slaves who lived in communes or palenques around the Camino Real in Panama's Interior, and on some of the islands off Panama's Pacific coast.
The Isthmus of Panama was placed under its jurisdiction. The authority of the new Viceroyalty was contested by the seniority, closer proximity, previous ties to the Viceroyalty of Peru in Lima and even Panama's own initiative. Panama and the other regions of former New Granada were therefore technically free.
Panama considered union with Peru or with Central America in federations that were emerging in the region.Following the failure of a French construction team in the s, the United States commenced building a canal across a mile stretch of the Panama isthmus in The project was helped by the.
The Panama Canal cost the United States about $ million, including $10 million paid to Panama and $40 million paid to the French company. Although it was the most expensive construction project in US history to that time, it cost about $23 million less than the estimate despite landslides and an increase in the canal's width.
Panama - Government and society: Panama has a popularly elected, representative system of government with executive, legislative, and judicial branches. Universal suffrage was instituted in , and Panamanians 18 years of age and older are eligible to vote.
Panama’s future forever changed from the moment that the world’s major powers learned that the isthmus of Panama was the narrowest point between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. In Colombia signed a treaty permitting the US to construct a railway across the isthmus, though it also granted them free transit and the right to protect the railway with military force.
Panama, country of Central America located on the Isthmus of Panama, the narrow bridge of land that connects North and South America. Embracing the isthmus and more than 1, islands off its Atlantic and Pacific coasts, the tropical nation is renowned as the .
Panama City (Spanish: Ciudad de Panamá; pronounced [sjuˈða(ð) ðe panaˈma]) is the capital and largest city of Panama. It has an urban population of ,, with over million in its metropolitan area. The city is located at the Pacific entrance of the Panama Canal, in the province of caninariojana.com city is the political and administrative center of .