1903-1918 1945-1970

Panama 1918-1945

In 1920, Panama became one of the founding members of the League of Nations.
In 1925 the diocesis of Panama was elevated an archdiocesis.
Panama was hard hit by the Great Depression, the relations to the U.S. being a major topic in the country's politics.
In World War II, Panama declared war on the axis powers in 1942, without dispatching combat troops.
US troops were stayioned on Panamanian soil in 1918-1920 and landed again in 1921, this time to prevent a war between Panama and Costa Rica to break out over a border dispute. From 1921 the U.S. reduced it's involvement in Panamanian politics, refusing to interfere in internal affairs. Still US troops landed again in 1925 to protect US interests.

In 1930 the population of Panama numbered 467,459; in 1937 it was given as 525,000. The racial composition in 1930 was as follows : 524,000 mestizos, 181,000 whites, 147,000 African-American, 92,000 native American, 48,000 mulattos. The largest cities were Panama City with 82,827 and Colon with 33,460 inhabitants. Main agricultural products were rice, sugar beets, maize, potatos; main livestock held cattle. In 1936 Panama had 475 km of railroad, 1563 km of roads. In 1938 10,503 cars, 545 busses and 1530 trucks were registered. In 1937/38, the (balanced) state budget amounted to 18.814 million Balboa. Imports exceeded exports by far; the main trading partner for both imports and exports was the USA. Main import products included cotton products, steel products, cigars & cigarettes, wheat flour, milk, petrol, rice; bananas made up over 60 % of total exports, followed by cocoa (c. 20 %).

Articles from Infoplease : Panama Canal, Panama
Chronology of Catholic Dioceses : Panama, from Kirken i Norge
Minor Military Deployments and Actions, from Simonides Warzone
DOCUMENTS List of Presidents etc. from World Statesmen by Ben Cahoon
REFERENCE Hübner's Weltstatistik, 73rd edition, edited by Ernst Rösner, Wien 1939, in German [G]
Chapter X : Panama : Country, Zone and Defense, pp.147-160, in : John Gunther, Inside Latin America, NY : Harper & Bros. 1940 [G]
Article : Panama, in : Statesman's Yearbook 1919 pp.1121-1128, 1924 pp.1170-1174, 1925 pp.1178-1185, 1926 pp.1139-1143, 1928 pp.1172-1180, 1929 pp.1152-1155, 1932 pp.1170-1173, 1937 pp.1208-1214, 1943 pp.1149-1154 [G]
Article : Panama, in : Americana Annual 1927 pp.653-654, 1928 pp.605-606, 1930 pp.592-593, 1931 pp.579-580, 1932 pp.546-547, 1933 pp.581-582, 1934 pp.454-455, 1935 pp.545-546, 1936 pp.559-560, 1937 pp.550-551, 1938 pp.537-538, 1939 pp.600-601, 1940 pp.612-613, 1943 pp.576-577, 1944 pp.553-554, 1945 pp.564-565, 1946 pp.581-582 [G]
Article : Central America, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1944 pp.167-168, 1945 pp.168-169 [G]
Article : Panama, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1944 pp.529-530, 1945 p.530 [G]

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2001, last revised on August 26th 2007

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