Panama, formerly a department of the Republic of Colombia, asserted its independence on November 4, 1903, and the de facto Government was at once (November 6) recognised by the Government of the United States, which gave notice that no Colombian military force would be permitted to land at any port of the Isthmus. This course of action was occasioned by the rejection by Colombia of the Canal treaty which had been negotiated by the Governments of the United States and Colombia. The United States Government justified its interference on the ground of its rights and duties under the treaty of 1846 with the then existing Republic of New Granada, which gave a right of way across the Isthmus from sea to sea in return for the guarantee of neutrality and other considerations on the part of the United States. But, apart from treaty obligations, it was held that in the interests of civilisation and for the purpose of free transit, permanent peace should be established and the incessant civil wars, which had been the curse of Panama, should be brought to an end.
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