Is the panama canal zone still a us territory?

The zone was abolished on October 1, 1979, with the return to Panama of direct civil control under a treaty signed in 1977. The Canal Zone was not a territory of the United States in the typical sense. From 1903 to 1936, the Panama Canal Zone was controlled by the United States Government under the terms of the Hay-Bunau-Varilla treaty. The Hull-Alfaro Treaty of 1936, ratified by the United States Senate in 1939, indicated that the Canal Zone was the territory of the Republic of Panama under the jurisdiction of the United States of America. From 1979 to 1999, after the signing of the Torrijos-Carter Treaties, it was jointly administered by the United States and Panama.

Four United States federal censuses were conducted in the Panama Canal Zone, as well as a special census on the Canal Zone. For more in-depth research on Panama, see the article on Panama. This website requires a paid subscription for full access. Some subscription websites are available for free at the FamilySearch Center or at the local affiliate library. While much of the Canal's original legislation expired when the Canal passed into the hands of Panama, a key treaty related to U.S.

and Chinese influence in the Canal remains in effect without an expiration date. The Treaty on the Permanent Neutrality and Operation of the Panama Canal, or the Neutrality Treaty, between Panama and the United States guarantees the permanent neutrality of the Canal, with fair access for all nations and non-discriminatory tolls. Only Panama can operate the Canal or maintain military installations in Panamanian territory. However, the United States reserved the right to exercise military force in defense of the Panama Canal against any threat to its neutrality.

The interpretation of any Chinese threat to Channel neutrality could activate US forces through this treaty, meaning that current and future Chinese interventions should be calculated taking into account this possible response. The Republic of Panama is not a territory of the United States. It is a sovereign and independent country with its own government. Although under the control of the United States, the area had no formal border restrictions for Panamanians transiting half the country or for any other visitors. In this way, the Canal Zone became, in fact, a foreign colony that divided Panama in two, despite the fact that Theodore Roosevelt declared in 1906 that this result was not intended to be achieved.

Since a large part of China's economic profits, and therefore of trade relations, are driven by a few select families, the United States will need to develop a unique approach to strengthening its own presence in Panama and, in particular, around the Canal. The Grant administration did little to secure a treaty and, in 1878, the concession to build the canal went to a French company. When artificial lakes were created to ensure a constant supply of water for the locks, those lakes were included within the zone. On September 5, 1939, with the outbreak of war in Europe, Executive Order 8232 placed the governance of the Canal and all its deputies and dependencies, including the Canal Zone government, under the exclusive control of the General Commander of the Panama Canal Department during that period.

The resulting Mallarino-Bidlack Treaty allowed the United States to intervene militarily to ensure that the interoceanic highway (and when it was built, also the Panama Railroad) was not interrupted. In 1989, the United States invaded Panama and practically all military operations took place in the Canal Zone, including Operation Acid Gambit and the search of Renacer prison, among many others, including operations at the entrance, exit and all locks. However, in early 1903, the United States and Colombia signed a treaty that, despite Colombia's previous objections, granted the United States a 6-mile (9.7 km) wide zone in which it could deploy troops with Colombia's consent. In it, the Republic of Panama granted the United States in perpetuity the use, occupation and control of an area of land and underwater land for the construction, maintenance, operation, sanitation and protection of the canal.

The Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty irritated the sensibilities of Panamanians from the moment it was signed, in 1903. Despite all these challenges, the canal opened to traffic on August 15, 1914, more than three decades after the start of the first attempt to build the canal. The Panama Canal Zone was located within the territory of Panama, and consisted of the Panama Canal and an area that generally extended 5 miles (8.0 km) on either side of the center line, but excluding Panama City and Colón, which would otherwise have fallen partly within the boundaries of the Canal Zone. Panama's critical decision regarding the renewal of the contract for the port of Hutchison could influence the Canal's geopolitical actors in the coming years. As an economic foothold in Latin America, the Panama Canal is undoubtedly an important gateway for China's commitment to a wider presence and a logistics hub for Chinese products who enter the region.

Abigail Angelotti
Abigail Angelotti

General tv evangelist. Freelance social media specialist. Hipster-friendly twitter specialist. Beer fanatic. Typical student.