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Panama Canal Zone

American concession in Panama / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Panama Canal Zone (Spanish: Zona del Canal de Panamá), also simply known as the Canal Zone, was a concession of the United States located in the Isthmus of Panama that existed from 1903 to 1979. It consisted of the Panama Canal and an area generally extending five miles (8 km) on each side of the centerline, but excluding Panama City and Colón.[1] Its capital was Balboa.

Quick facts: Panama Canal ZoneZona del Canal de Panamá, St...
Panama Canal Zone
Zona del Canal de Panamá
Motto: The Land Divided, The World United
Map of Panama Canal Zone. The Caribbean Sea is at the top left, the Gulf of Panama is at bottom right
Map of Panama Canal Zone. The Caribbean Sea is at the top left, the Gulf of Panama is at bottom right
StatusConcession of the United States in Panama
Common languagesSpanish, English
George Whitefield Davis (First Military)
Richard Lee Metcalfe (Last Military)
George Washington Goethals (First Civil)
Harold Parfitt (Last Civil)
November 18, 1903
October 1, 1979
1,432 km2 (553 sq mi)
CurrencyUnited States dollar
Panamanian balboa (tolerated)
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Flag_of_Panama_%281903%29.svg Panama
Panama Flag_of_Panama.svg
Today part ofPanama

The Panama Canal Zone was created on November 18, 1903 from the territory of Panama; established with the signing of the Hay–Bunau-Varilla Treaty, which allowed for the construction of the Panama Canal within the territory by the United States. The zone existed until October 1, 1979, when it was incorporated back into Panama.

In 1904, the Isthmian Canal Convention was proclaimed. In it, the Republic of Panama granted to the United States in perpetuity the use, occupation, and control of a zone of land and land underwater for the construction, maintenance, operation, sanitation, and protection of the canal. From 1903 to 1979, the territory was controlled by the United States, which had purchased the land from its private and public owners, built the canal and financed its construction. The Canal Zone was abolished in 1979, as a term of the Torrijos–Carter Treaties two years earlier; the canal itself was later under joint U.S.–Panamanian control until it was fully turned over to Panama in 1999.[2]

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