Skip to main content

The Treaty Provisions

March 2023
1min read

November 18, 1903


ARTICLE I.

The United States guarantees and will maintain the independence of the Republic of Panama.

ARTICLE II.

The Republic of Panama grants to the United States in perpetuity the use, occupation and control of a zone of land and land under water for the construction, maintenance, operation, sanitation and protection of said Canal of the width of ten miles extending to the distance of five miles on each side of the center line of the route of the Canal to be constructed. … The Republic of Panama further grants to the United States in perpetuity the use, occupation and control of any other lands and waters outside of the zone above described which may be necessary and convenient for the construction, maintenance, operation, sanitation and protection of the said Canal or of any auxiliary canals or other works necessary and convenient for the construction, maintenance, operation, sanitation and protection of the said enterprise.

The Republic of Panama further grants in like manner to the United States in perpetuity all islands within the limits of the zone above described and in addition thereto the group of small islands in the Bay of Panama, named Perico, Naos, Culebra and Flamenco.

ARTICLE III.

The Republic of Panama grants to the United States all the rights, power and authority within the zone mentioned and described in Article II of this agreement and within the limits of all auxiliary lands and waters mentioned and described in said Article II which the United States would possess and exercise if it were the sovereign of the territory within which said lands and waters are located to the entire exclusion of the exercise by the Republic of Panama of any such sovereign rights, power or authority.

ARTICLE XXIII.

If it should become necessary at any time to employ armed forces for the safety or protection of the Canal, or of the ships that make use of the same, or the railways and auxiliary works, the United States shall have the right, at all times and in its discretion, to use its police and its land and naval forces or to establish fortifications for these purposes.

ARTICLE XXIV.

If the Republic of Panama shall hereafter enter as a constituent into any other Government or into any union or confederation of states, so as to merge her sovereignty or independence in such Government, union or confederation, the rights of the United States under this convention shall not be in any respect lessened or impaired.

We hope you enjoy our work.

Please support this 72-year tradition of trusted historical writing and the volunteers that sustain it with a donation to American Heritage.

Donate

Stories published from "October 1976"

Authored by: Fawn M. Brodie

A STUDY IN HISTORICAL SILENCES

Authored by: Michael Lesy

THE DEATH AND TRANSFIGURATION OF FLOYD COLLINS

Authored by: James Bryce

A former British ambassador and noted historian explains why "hard-headed self-possessed Americans go so wild with excitement at election times"

Authored by: Edward T. Stone

But didn’t Columbus discover America all by himself? And who were the Pinzóns anyway? Good questions—and not one American in ten thousand probably knows the correct answers.

Authored by: Bruce Catton

Remembering Samuel Eliot Morrison

Authored by: Bernard A. Weisberger

What happened at 6:40 p.m., November 18, 1903?

Authored by: The Editors

November 18, 1903

Featured Articles

The world’s most prominent actress risked her career by standing up to one of Hollywood’s mega-studios, proving that behind the beauty was also a very savvy businesswoman. 

Rarely has the full story been told about how a famed botanist, a pioneering female journalist, and First Lady Helen Taft battled reluctant bureaucrats to bring Japanese cherry trees to Washington. 

Often thought to have been a weak president, Carter was strong-willed in doing what he thought was right, regardless of expediency or the political fallout.

Why have thousands of U.S. banks failed over the years? The answers are in our history and politics.

In his Second Inaugural Address, Abraham Lincoln embodied leading in a time of polarization, political disagreement, and differing understandings of reality.