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Ciudad De Panama History, Panama

Ciudad de Panama History – The Old Panama Site

The first part of the Ciudad de Panama history is strongly connected to the explorers that came to conquer the South American territories in the 16th and 17th centuries. Therefore, although the city was founded on august 15, 1519, its territory served mostly as a base for further exploration and conquest of Peru and all the gold and silver that the conquerors took from the area passed through Ciudad de Panama before being shipped to Spain. This turned the city into an important strategic location and it had very much to gain from it. However, in 1671 a Welsh pirate came to Ciudad de Panama accompanied by 1400 men and barbarically attacked the city, setting it on fire and leaving almost nothing behind. The ruins from this fire can still be seen outside the contemporary city, as they have been preserved and rebuilt and are now a popular tourist attraction, Panama Vieja (Old Panama).

Ciudad de Panama History – Infrastructural Growth

The California gold rush that started in the mid 19th century led to the forming of the Panama Railroad Company and it became part of the first transcontinental rail system to ever cross America, sending hundreds of thousands of people to destinations on the Atlantic, Pacific and back. This made Ciudad de Panama quite prosperous, as the influx of people in the city was growing and economy was getting stronger and stronger. Meanwhile the Panama Canal started being built and although American presence was high in the city at the time, most of the workers brought for the canal were from the West Indies, which caused heavy racial tensions in the area. Still, the Americans helped with a proper water supply system and with the eradication of yellow fever and malaria, which also had a direct positive consequence on cities like Colon and Bocas Del Toro.

Ciudad de Panama History – U.S. Interventions

A landmark in recent Ciudad de Panama history is the WWII moment, when there was such a large number of U.S. militaries and civilians in the Panama Canal Zone, that inhabitants had little or no access to a large territory that was now under U.S. control, so riots broke out in 1964. The situation in the country later became quite unpleasant for the U.S., as the 70’s are known to have turned Ciudad de Panama into one of the biggest center for laundering money in the world. Consequently, President George W. Bush ordered the invasion of Panama in 1989 and destroyed an entire neighborhood of the country’s capital. This portion was eventually rebuilt by American funds and the city continues to remain an important banking center, but it kept the laundering processes under complete control.

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