Independence Day in Panama 1903

On November 3, 1903, the newly formed nation of Panama declared its independence from Colombia, to which it belonged in the period after independence from Spain. The Panamanian revolution was heavily aided by US interests, which were determined to seize the territory from the Colombian government to build the Panamanian Canal. Shortly after Panama declared independence, the nation’s founders signed the Hay/Bunau-Varilla Treaty with the United States. The treaty granted sovereign rights to the US for the strategic canal zone in perpetuity (meaning no expiration date).  The Panamanian Revolution of 1903 occurred during a period of rapid US expansion, after Spain’s defeat and the loss of territory in the Spanish American War (1898).  The North Americans quickly moved in with builders and bulldozers, and continued construction of the valuable canal in 1904. The event is now celebrated as Independence Day in Panama. (Image from www.LonelyPlanet.com)

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