Panama and the United States: The Forced Alliance

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University of Georgia Press, Nov 1, 2001 - History - 216 pages
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The second edition of Panama and the United States examines how relations between Panama and the United States have always pivoted on the issue of transportation across the country's narrow isthmus and delves into the future of those relations now that Panama controls the canal. Historically, Panamanians aspired to have their country become a crossroads of the world, while Americans sought to tame a vast territory and protect their trade and influence around the globe. The building of the Panama Canal (1904-1914) locked the two countries in their parallel quests but failed to satisfy either fully. Michael L. Conniff explores the implications of Panama's newly acquired opportunities and how events since the 1989 U.S. invasion have provided a rich environment for the emergence of new parties, a new generation of politicians, and more democratic business procedures. Panama is now able to re-create its own nationhood relatively free from outside pressures.

Drawing on a wide array of sources updated for this edition, Conniff considers the full range of factors--political, social, strategic, diplomatic, economic, intellectual--that have bound the two countries together. He conveys the viewpoints of leaders in each country but also follows the shifting currents of public opinion. As he shows, the many layers of decision making, opinion, communication, and administration that affected the construction, operation, and turning over of the canal have made relations slow and sometimes impenetrable.

 

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Contents

The Railroad Era
24
The French Period
41
Canal Diplomacy 19021919
63
From Gunboats to the Nuclear Age 19201945
84
Uneasy Partners 19451960
98
A Time of Troubles and Treaties 19601979
116
Treaty Implementation 19791985
140
The Noriega Crisis and Bushs Ordeal
154
Canal Ownership and Sovereignty at Last
169
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About the author (2001)

Michael L. Conniff is director of Latin American and Caribbean studies and a professor of Latin American history at the University of South Florida in Tampa. He lived and worked in Panama for many years. He is the author of several books on Panama, Brazil, and Latin America.

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