Where Is Panama?
The Central American nation of Panama occupies an area of 75,417 square km and had a population of 4,034,119 in 2016. Colombia and Costa Rica border Panama to the southeast and west, respectively. The country also has coastlines on the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea to the south and north, respectively.
What Type of Government Does Panama Have?
Panama is governed as a presidential representative democratic republic. The government has three separate branches: the executive, legislative, and judicial. The President of Panama is an elected representative who serves as both the head of state and head of government. The National Assembly and the government are responsible for Panama execute the legislative powers. The judicial branch is independent of the two other branches, although most members of the judiciary are appointed by the president.
What Is the Capital of Panama?
Panama City is the capital of Panama. The city proper has an area of 275 square km and a population of 880,691, while the metropolitan area covers a total area of 2,560.8 square km and has a population of 1.5 million. The population density of Panama City is 3,203 persons per square km.
Panama City is located in the province of Panama, with a strategic position at the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal. The city is surrounded by dense tropical forests that feature a great diversity of animal species including pumas, caimans, and tapirs. The forests are a source of water for the Panama Canal and therefore have been carefully preserved.
History of Panama City
The history of Panama City dates back to August 15, 1519, when it was formally founded by Spanish soldier and colonist Pedrarias Dávila. Soon after its establishment, the city became an important center for the Spanish exploration and conquest of Peru. Panama City also became an important part of the gold and silver trade route. These precious metals were extracted from the Americas and transported to Spain through the Isthmus, near Panama City. The city was attacked and looted in 1671 by Henry Morgan, a Welsh privateer and later Lieutenant Governor of Jamaica. The ruins of the old city remain as a major tourist attraction in Panama. The city was rebuilt in 1674 by Spanish conquistador Alonso Mercado de Villacorta but at a new site roughly 8 km southwest of the original location. For years, Panama City experienced political chaos and economic decline and even became part of Colombia during the 18th century. When Panama declared its independence from Colombia, Panama City was chosen to serve as the capital of the new country. The city experienced accelerated growth in the 20th century following the construction of the Panama Canal.
Role of Panama City as the Capital of Panama
As the national capital, Panama City is home to Panama's important government buildings. These include the building of the National Assembly and the Palacio de las Garzas, which is the office and residence of the President of Panama. Panama City's economy is primarily service-based, and the city is also the commercial and banking hub of the nation.