Dating and marriage in colonial times
After 1538, it was used as a land route to Spain's South American colonies and a transshipment point for Andean gold.
From 1568 to 1671 there was series of pirate raids, and in 1671 Panama City was sacked by buccaneers under the command of Sir Henry Morgan.
In 1925, the United States intervened in a revolt by Kuna Indians on the northeast Atlantic coast and established a tribal reserve. In the 1930s, the United States' military hired Kuna laborers to work at army bases.
After failing to build a sea-level canal in the 1880s, the French sold their concession to the United States, which conspired with the elite in Panama City to declare independence when they could not obtain a favorable treaty from Colombia.
From 1903 to 1978, the United States controlled the Canal Zone, a five-mile strip on both sides of the canal.
They speak English, French, or an English patois at home and are mostly Protestant. The official language is Spanish, but English is used widely in business, especially banking and tourism, and by some people of African descent. Some coins bear the image of Urraca, an Indian chief who resisted the Spanish conquests, but most coins depict Vasco Nuñez de Balboa, the discoverer of the Pacific Ocean. Panama became an autonomous nation because of its function as the custodian of the transisthmus shipping route—the "path between the seas." It gained independence in 1903 as part of an American-sponsored revolt against Colombia that led to the signing of a treaty granting the United States the right to build the Panama Canal.
The Spanish discovered and conquered Panama between 15.