By Robert Farley on Monday, May 12th, at 4: John McCain's birthplace has given rise to one of the more vexing questions of the campaign season: If McCain wasn't physically born in the United States, can he be president?
The Republic of Panama is a former Spanish colony in Central America with a mixed population of Creoles, mestizos, European immigrants, Africans, and indigenous Indians.
The country is a natural land bridge connecting the South American continent with Central America. The isthmus runs east-west in the form of an inverted "S. The Pacific coastline, with the Azuero Peninsula jutting south to define the Gulf of Panama, is longer than the Atlantic coastline.
The area of the country is 25, square miles 74, square kilometers. InPanama had approximately 2. The urban elite is primarily Creole, mostly of Panama canal research paper descent. There are also populations of Spanish, Italian, Greek, and Jewish origins.
There is a longtime Chinese community, and a small Hindu community lives in the capital, Panama City. The largest demographic group is the interioranos "interior people"who are classified as "Hispano-Indians.
Together, these two groups constitute 70 percent of the population. There are four officially recognized Indian ethnic groups the Kuna, Guaymi or Ngawbe, Embera, and Waunanwhich number fewer thanPeople of African descent account for 15 percent of the population. These "Afro-colonials" descend from slaves who were imported in colonial times.
They speak Spanish and are Roman Catholic.
The "Afro-Antillean" group descends from Caribbean residents who came to work on the construction of the Panama 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.
History and Ethnic Relations Emergence of the Nation. Panama became an autonomous nation because of its function as the custodian of the transisthmus shipping route—the "path between the seas. The Spanish discovered and conquered Panama between and At that time, it was referred to as the Castilla de Oro, a source of gold and potential converts.
From throughthe area that is now Panama was a base for soldiers sent to conquer the Andean civilizations in South America.
Afterit was used as a land route to Spain's South American colonies and a transshipment point for Andean gold. From to there was series of pirate raids, and in Panama City was sacked by buccaneers under the command Panama of Sir Henry Morgan.
Local traders engaged in smuggling until Spain shifted the official gold route to Cape Horn, and the area entered a period of commercial decline. After independence from Spain and union with Colombia inthe isthmus again became an important transit route.
Slavery was abolished in The United States completed a railroad across the area in to expedite movement to the gold fields in California. After failing to build a sea-level canal in the s, 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 tothe United States controlled the Canal Zone, a five-mile strip on both sides of the canal. Residents of that area were called "Zonians" and remained American citizens even after three generations of residence. These mostly white employees of the Canal Company lived an isolated life and were prejudiced against the Panamanian population.
Inafter lengthy negotiations, President Jimmy Carter signed a treaty that abolished the Canal Zone as a colonial enclave, arranged for Panamanian ownership of the canal in the yearand provided for the closing of American military bases.Canals & Canal Cruising: The Anderton Boat Lift ( hydraulic boat lift, Northwich,Cheshire); Anglo-Welsh Waterways Holidays; Barrowline Cruisers (Holiday barge hire in Ireland); The Birmingham Canal Navigations Society (A charity working to conserve, improve and encourage a wide range of interests in the network of Birmingham and Black Country waterways known as the BCN).
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