Why did the us want to help panama get its independence?

The United States then took steps to support the separatist movement in Panama to gain control of what was left of the French attempt to build a canal. When the treaty negotiations with Colombia failed, Panama, with the implicit support of the United States, declared independence and was recognized by the United States in November 1903. In Panama, he asserted his power over the republic and dominated the country's history for 100 years. There were many conflicts that led to massacres: students killed by soldiers when they tried to fly a Panamanian flag on the Canal. In the Thomson-Urrutia Treaty of 1914, ships owned by the Colombian government were exempted from paying tolls in exchange for Colombia's recognition the autonomy of Panama.

The neutrality clause of the Torrijos-Carter treaty says that the United States has the right to intervene in Panamanian internal affairs if the channel's security is ever threatened. The United States renounced its purported right to acquire more land and water adjacent to the canal, granted Panamanians control of the ports of Colón and Panama City, and brought the salaries of Panamanians employed in the Canal Zone closer to those of Americans. This eased many tensions not only in Panama but throughout Latin America, since it had been the example of American colonialism in Latin America. It ended all previous treaties between the United States and Panama relating to the canal and abolished the Canal Zone.

The newly declared Republic of Panama immediately appointed Philippe Bunau-Varilla (a French engineer who had participated in the previous attempt at the Lesseps Canal) as Extraordinary Envoy and Minister Plenipotentiary. Considered one of the wonders of the modern world, the Panama Canal opened its doors this Friday 100 years ago, linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and providing a new route for international trade and military transport. However, thousands of workers died during its construction, and its history has not been without controversy, including a controversial transfer of authority from the United States to Panama in the 1970s. That law, among other things, created the Panama Canal Commission, which replaced both the Panama Canal Company and the Canal Zone government.

No nation other than Panama can operate the canal or maintain military installations within Panamanian territory. The commission's function was somewhat different from that of its predecessor, since activities that were not directly related to the canal, such as the maintenance and operation of the Panama Canal terminals and railroad, were transferred to Panama in preparation for final billing. The treaty recognized Panama as territorial sovereignty in the former Canal Zone, but granted the United States the right to continue to administer, operate and maintain the canal and to use the lands and waters necessary for those purposes during a 20-year transition period covered by the agreement. The most onerous part of the treaty, from the Panamanian point of view, was the right granted to the United States to act throughout the Channel Zone from ocean to ocean 10 miles (16 km) wide as “if it were the sovereign.”.

Abigail Angelotti
Abigail Angelotti

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