Population and History of Panama

Population of Panama

The population of Panama, according to Countryaah, is 2.84 million people. (2.33 million in 1990 and 1.805 million people in 1980; according to the first census in 1911 – 336.74 thousand people). Men predominate in the total population – 50.48%, the share of the population under the age of 14 years – 31.6%. Birth rate 22.1%0, infant mortality 132.7 people. per 1000 newborns, the average life expectancy is 74 years. The share of the urban population is 57.6%. Illiterate 8.1% of the total number of residents older than 15 years.

The consequence of the geographical position, a number of historical features of the formation and development of the Panamanian nation, several migration waves from different parts of the planet was a special color of the ethnic image of Panama, representing a kind of cross-section of the ethnohistory of civilization, the crucible of 5 main races and St. 40 nationalities. As a result, more than 60% of Panamanians are representatives of various mestizo groups, the largest of them being Spanish-Indian mestizos. The Afro-colonial group is represented by the descendants of African slaves brought to the isthmus during the period of Spanish colonization. The Afro-Antillean group includes the descendants of workers from the French-English-speaking Antilles who came to Panama during the construction of the inter-oceanic canal, first by the French, and later by the North Americans. Other ethnic groups, numerically small, are classified as migrants, of these, the Chinese were the first to appear during the construction of the Panama Railway in the middle. 19th century Later, immigrants from the Hindustan Peninsula, Central Europe, Central America, as well as Jews settled in Panama. The indigenous population numbers 285.2 thousand people. (10.1% of the total population, according to the 2000 census) and is represented by 8 distinct groups: Kuna, Embera and Wounaan (descendants of the Choco from Colombia), Ngebe Bugle (their former name is Guaimi), Bokota (the smallest and declining indigenous group, only 993 people), Teribe and Bri-Brie. Along with the official Spanish, English is widely spoken in the cities. The Indians retain their languages – the Chibcha and Caribbean families.

The dominant religion is Catholicism, while West Indians adhere to Protestantism. However, due to the ethno-cultural characteristics of the Panamanian nation, there are adherents of different religions in the country, including Buddhism, Judaism, Islam and Orthodoxy. Among the Indian population, pre-Christian beliefs and the worship of various cults are also widespread.

History of Panama

The first Europeans to set foot on the Atlantic coast of the isthmus in 1501 were Rodrigo de Bastidas, Juan De la Cosa and Vasco Nunez de Balboa. On February 24, 1503, H. Columbus founded the first settlement of Santa Maria de Belen, destroyed by the cacique (leader) of one of the Indian tribes, Kivian. September 25, 1513 Balboa discovered the South Sea (Pacific Ocean). The capital and the country itself got their names from the indigenous people (according to one version, the word “Panama” among the Indians meant “a place abounding in fish”). In 1538, by decree of the Spanish king Charles V, an audience (administrative-judicial collegium) was established in Panama, the chairman of the audience was at the same time the governor of the Isthmus of Panama. In 1542 Panama became part of the Viceroyalty of Peru, in 1560 it became part of the Captaincy General of Guatemala, and in 1718–23 and 1740–1810 it was part of the Viceroyalty of New Granada.

In colonial times, Panama was part of the transit route from the Spanish colonies to the metropolis, which contributed to the flourishing of the city of Panama and the city of Portobelo, famous for its fairs. In the 16th and 17th centuries Panama has been repeatedly devastated by pirate raids. In 1671, Panama was sacked by the English pirate Henry Morgan, and a fire almost completely destroyed the city. After 2 years, a modern city was founded a few kilometers from the former one.

On November 28, 1821, Panama declared its independence from Spain, and, unlike other colonies, it achieved independence without bloodshed, as a result of negotiations and a deal with the command of the Spanish units stationed on the isthmus. At the request of Simon Bolivar, the liberator of Latin America, Panama voluntarily became part of Great Colombia, and after its collapse (1830) it was a department of New Granada (since 1886 – Colombia). Panama repeatedly (in 1830, 1831, 1840, 1885, 1895, 1900 and 1901) tried to gain independence from Colombia.

The geographical isolation of Panama and the plans of the major powers of the 19th century. – Great Britain, France and the United States to achieve exclusive rights to use the advantageous position of the country in their own interests complicated the strengthening of Panama-Colombian ties. Ultimately, the United States in the beginning. 20th century acquired from the bankrupt French company the rights to complete the construction of the interoceanic route (it is curious that the French adventurer Philippe Buno-Varilla, who played a fatal role in the history of Panama, first offered to purchase these rights to the Russian Emperor Nicholas II) and provided direct military support to supporters of the separation of Panama from Colombia. As a result, Panama’s independence was proclaimed on November 3, 1903, and Manuel Amador Guerrero (1904–08) became its first president. Taking advantage of the weakness of the young republic and its interest in securing independence (in the first stage from Colombia), the United States imposed on Panama on November 18, 1903, the enslaving treaty of Hay-Buno-Varilla. Under its terms, Washington received “for all eternity” a monopoly privilege to build, operate and protect the canal. Being the guarantor of the independence of the republic, the United States had unlimited rights to interfere in its internal affairs, which was officially enshrined in the first Constitution of Panama in 1904.

Until 1936, Panama was actually under the American protectorate. In accordance with the treaties of 1936 and 1955, only the most humiliating provisions of the 1903 treaty for Panamanians were changed, the possibilities of American interference in the internal affairs of the republic were somewhat limited, deductions to the Panamanian treasury were increased, but the basic US rights to operate the canal and station the Armed Forces remained intact, which and subsequently led to repeated aggravation, up to the rupture in 1964 of relations between the two states. Only in 1977, when the military-civilian government headed by General Omar Torrijos was in power, which carried out a number of economic and social transformations in the interests of the low-income strata, did Panama manage to conclude new agreements with the United States on the status of the canal. Torrijos-Carter treaties,

After the death of O. Torrijos in a plane crash in 1981, power gradually concentrated with General Manuel Antonio Noriega, who by 1983 had established de facto control over the entire country, and in May 1989, under his pressure, the results of the elections were annulled, in which the opposition won. Accusing Noriega of involvement in drug trafficking, the United States resorted in December 1989 to a direct armed invasion of Panama and overthrew Noriega.

In the 1990s The democratically elected constitutional governments of the country were primarily concerned with preparing the conditions for the restoration of national sovereignty and the transfer of the canal under its control. In 1994, the army was banned by law, and public order and border protection were entrusted to the national police.

Not only conquistadors, Spanish monarchs, slave traders, pirates, adventurers and drug dealers left a noticeable mark in the history of the country. In the memory of the people, the names of Indian leaders who defended the freedom of the indigenous population have been preserved – Urrak, Duru-rua, Musa, Bulaba; the first revolutionary in Latin America, the predecessor of Simón Bolivar, Dr. José de Antequera y Castro (1690-1731), a Panamanian by origin, who became a national hero of Paraguay; encyclopedically educated jurist, herald of the sovereign development of Panama – Dr. Justo Arosemena (1817-85); outstanding patriot of Latin America, General Omar Torrijos Herrera (1929-81), who provided the conditions for the complete decolonization of Panama by the new millennium.

People of Panama