How the USA Stole the Panama Canal | Adam Ruins Everything

(whistling) – [Narrator] By building the Panama Canal, Teddy Roosevelt connected
the two greatest oceans on the globe, and set the stage for a century of progress and commerce. – Gah! – Sorry, but it’s not that simple at all. The true story of the Panama Canal is totally insane and rarely told. In 1902, Teddy Roosevelt
wanted to build the canal to show off America’s power and strength. – Joining the Atlantic and the Pacific will be the most impressive
thing I’ve ever done. Except, of course, for that time I engaged in hand-to-hand combat with a great white. (gun cocks and fires) But where to build my magnificent canal? – [Narrator] Easy, he built it in Panama. – Actually, not so easy. ‘Cause at the time, the country of Panama didn’t even exist. – [Narrator] Wait, what? – The truth is, the US actually created the country of Panama in
order to build the canal. And it all started with this guy. A wealthy French businessman named Phillippe-Jean Buneau-Varilla. – Monsieur President, have you considered ze lovely Colombian province of Panama as your location? – No go. I tried to rent the land from Colombia and they rejected my offer. – Then we’ll get rid of Colombia. I’ll pay for a revolution,
get you ze land for cheap, and you build ze canal, voila! – Wait a minute, are
you seriously proposing that I help you overthrow
a sovereign nation just so I can build a canal
and make myself look great? – Um, ah, yes? – Bully! Is what I say when I love something. Let’s do it. (gun cocks and fires) – Buneau-Varilla quickly
put his plan into action. – If you allow me to act as
your diplomatic representative in Washington, I’ll cover
ze cost of your revolution. – Sounds great, how could I go wrong? – [Adam] And Roosevelt
sent US warships to sit off the coast of Panama to
deter the Colombians from fighting back. – [Roosevelt] Ho there, Colombians! Get a load of this. (ship horn) – [Adam] Those US naval
reinforcements did the trick, and Panama became a new
country in less than a day. – [Narrator] Oh, sounds like
everything turned out okay. No one got hurt and the Panamanians got to form a newly-independent country. – [Adam] Nope! Because the US immediately screwed over that newly-independent country. – [Narrator] Of course they did. – As Panama’s diplomatic representative, my first official act is to give away ze land for ze
canal to ze Americans. – Are you kidding? We won’t stand for such a raw deal! Viva Panama! – [Adam] When the Panamanians balked, Roosevelt landed 2000
marines in their new country and threatened them
with grave consequences unless they changed their minds. – Viva Panama, and its American overlords. (Buneau-Varilla and Roosevelt laughing) – [Adam] So, in order to build the canal, the United States funded a revolution, created a new country,
and then effectively stole the land from that new country.

Comments 100

  • It's funny how often the USA has screwed over the rest of the world.

  • jerry smith is that you ?

  • Why are these guys so anti-American?

  • Jerry? [From rick and morty]

  • So the French started building the canal for free in 1881 that was sure nice of them, and didn't the real fighting start after it was built. Thats the way it works down there, you make a deal and build a plant, then there is this sudden outrage that what you built isn't yours, and the deal we made doesn't count, and the socialists move in and steal everything and bankrupt the company and it's the guys they stole it from fault. I lived down there for a few years. Venezuela in a nutshell

  • The narrator is Jerry from Rick and Morty

  • Hella disrespect right there.

  • Idk about y'all but I think boat Adam is hot 👌

  • Sounds very American

  • As usual, Adam is purposely misleading and deceptive

  • I would say it was a good deal. You get a country and you give up land to the guys that gave you sed country.

  • So basically the US staged a coup and overthrew the Columbian government, ok, plenty of countries have done that so that isn’t really anything mind blowing.

  • America didn't steal the canal they built it they took care of the country and now they get money for the canal they shouldn't get it just cuz its on their land lmao

  • lmao funny how they talk about America when Britian still owns Ireland Scotland Canada and Australia o and don't forget the diamonds mines of south Africa o wait but Britian was just doing the right thing while America was being so bad so so bad LMAO what a joke

  • Are you a freaking idiot Panama already existed because that was after Christopher Columbus discovered america stupid

  • The U.S. fucking looting and stealing Latin American countries as always.
    Viva la soberanía Latinoamericana y la resistencia ante el imperialismo.

  • Viva…..USA

  • This is bullshit

  • Muh – just more demonization of American history. Threads of truth, but not the whole story.

  • And in December 19, 1989, Panamá was INVADED for the UNITED STATES, 6 days before CHRISTMAS 😔😔😔😔 Thanks USA for that beautiful present, NOT 😡😔. And they killed lots of panamenians and destroyed houses. I called that INVASION UNJUST. The Soldiers enter to my country like thief to steal, kill and destroy. Prohibited to forget.

  • The whole coubty is stolen, what did you except

  • What's Jerry doing here

  • Shut up Jerry…

  • What they did to Panama is just like what they did to Philippine and Cuba. You help them gain independence and then you make them into your own territory.


  • Y los panameños están orgullosos diciendo que el pais es de ellos jajajaja, cries in Balboas!

  • I’m Colombian , hi Adam the true story is that the government bought us panama that caused his people to revolt

  • Finally someone tells the half of the story exactly how it happened I’m so happy.

  • I don't how many times I've written this on these videos but what's one more? Recounting historical events IS NOT debunking. Totally different things. Debunking is based on logic, not just facts, you need to have an argument.

  • Adam ruins everything is just like WTF 101, just less what the fucky, you know?

  • USA, the country who claims that they'll give independence when they actually want land, like the Philippine American War.

  • Is that.. Jerry Smith?

  • It's no wonder that I always think that the United States government is similar to the Galatic Empire.

  • Familiar voice… Is that Cyril Figgis (Chris Parnell) from Archer ???

  • You're not telling the whole story. For one, when the Americans took over the canal had already been started by France. France just gave up on building it. Also the government of Panama willingly gave up the land as they new it would improve their economy, the Marines were sent to keep the people calm, not the government. Also the US paid to rent the land.

  • That is the American way of spreading democracy around the world so large corporations can profit.

  • I love CollegeHumor Adam

  • History just repeats itself, doesn’t it. Different countries, different regimes.

  • So I go to visit Cuba and learn very unsavory details about American occupation after Cuba's independence wars at the end of the XIX century.
    Then I go visit Panama and there's a whole floor in the Panama Canal Museum dedicated to how hard the Americans screwed them over with the canal.
    Freaked out, I go back to my country, look for history reports of foreign interventions, and it turns out the CIA did a lot of shady stuff here and in all the neighbor's countries.

    That wall should also be there to keep you inside and not snooping around, screwing over other countries for your own benefit.

  • can't make an omelette without breaking a few international laws…or was that all legal back then?

  • So, If it wasn't for the US there wouldn't be a canal or a country called Panama

  • Wow America back then loved to screw people over………wait I think they/we still are….

  • the talking boat sounds like elfo from disenchatment

  • Can't wait for another reanimated history video 🙂

  • can adam please put a gun to his head and ruin himself? it would be the first thing he actually got correct.

  • Adam ruins Adam ruins everything

  • is that jerry

  • For anyone saying "the french started it"

  • College humor this is for kids right

  • Tbh the US is just a piece of trash

  • To demonstrate the power of America, we're gonna saw this country in half

  • The Country I live in kinda sucks

  • Panamanian here, but I absolutely hate history and vice versa so I have no idea about any of this

  • But we should also not forget that Panama agreed to a 99-year lease of the canal to the USA, which expired in the past 20 or so years.

    Also, without the Panama Canal, the US would likely have never won World War II. The Pacific Fleet only exists because of the Panama Canal and Imperial Japan would have had an easy avenue to invade the country because of that.

  • Adam forgot that a lot more people died just to make the "Panama Canal". This wasn't about Panama becoming a free country to only later on become a part of the USA.

  • Title is misleading. The United States didn't "steal" the Panama Canal, they built the f***ing thing. Decades later, Jimmy Carter gave it away to Panama.

  • Jerry Smith from Rick and Morty?

  • So if both oceans are connected does that mean they are the same?

  • In the map at the beginning why does the united states have alaska? It was in 1902 and Alaska wasn't a state until 1959 🤔

  • aaaahhhhhh….GREAT GREAT USA…SO DIFFERENT than the BAD BAD NAZIS or the UK…or France…just….ALL THE SAME.
    BUT…different!BETTER! THE SAME!BUT better…but not…
    smh -.- they all deserved to die back in WW1 and WW2 didn't they? 🙁 there's literally NO GOOD OR BAD is there? 🙁
    they all were just the worst colonial exploiting suppressing racist murderers. Using their superior armies to just do as they want and kill people.

  • Actually the French were the first to try and build the canal after the successful Suez Canal project. Unfortunately, the money that was made from the previous canal project intended to be invested in the Panama Canal had been embezelled due to corruption along with not taking the time to understand the tropical jungle environment. There's an old part of Panama City where you'll find a French building along with finding an artificial finger lake parallel to the actual canal.

    Incidentally, the treaty in which the US was to give the canal over to Panama supposedly cost Jimmy Carter his presidency.

    The senate decision to build the canal in Panama instead of Nicaragua came to a narrow margin by one vote difference IIRC. The vote was influenced by one private investor who sunk his funds into Panama. To make sure it would go in his favor, he sent a picture of an old archway from an old Spanish colonial church ruin to all the senators along with Nicaraguan stamps.

  • I can't help but hearing Jerry from Rick and Morty, I know it's the same guy, and it's kinda distracting

  • TR was one of the last great Republicans, and even he was kind of a scheister.

  • When the narrator is Jerry from Rick and Morty

  • I'm a latina living in the USA and is sad that in almost every class I have the united states OF america are picture as some kind of angel that save all the continent, when the truth is that USA have caused a Lot of problems in the continen just for economical benefits, like the "creation" of the panamá canal and Allende's coup in Chile

  • So many lies in America, makes me wonder what that country actually is.

  • Isn’t that dude the guy from night at the museum

  • When I heard the narrator, all i think about is Jerry Smith

  • I thought panama gave the the canal to the U.S as a thank you

  • please dont ruin our history the brazil history

  • Wow

    Also to the comment that it at the bottom of me

  • And after that the americana paid us a ton of money that we saddle missmanage

  • It’s not like they built it or anything

  • Stealing would have to imply there was no compensation. They valued their succession from Colombia more than they valued they land of the canal at the time. They could have said no. They didn’t. It’s not theft it’s a contract.

  • Panama = Pan-America

    How did I never notice this?

  • Is Adam actually this intelligent?

  • Well at least we dont jave to circumnavigate South America anymore

  • Puts a whole new perspective on how and why bullying is allowed to continue in schools. Makes me think of Eminem's 'White America'. Yeah, we don't rule the world or anything…but we're trying to play the whole thing to our advantage…in a pretty sickening way…ugh…

  • if you have the military power you can pretty much bullie any country into submition

  • In 1905, USA wanted to built a canal in México in Tehuantepec Region, but it failed.

  • These videos give me existential crisis

  • Really miss these days before adam became political

  • Who would win
    USA lies that have been told for ages
    One Adamy boi

  • German here. Americans are no different from other bloody empires like the British, French, etc. They're bad people, they expand because they want to become rich by stealing people… The worst thing here is that they lie about it…

  • we JUST learned this in history today

  • WTF

  • As a Colombian, I never knew panama was originally part from Colombia. Would that mean panamanians and colombians are step brothers? :v

  • Stole? i think you mean Agreeably Forced Acquisition!

  • Wow this is some James Bond Villain shit.. Roosevelt was the man!

  • Whatever, the panama canal has done more good things for us all, without it, ships would still have to sail all the way around the cape of horn in south america or trains would have to travel overland in the us just to get stuff from new york to la, and most cargo is still transported by ship today, not planes

  • You can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.

  • Why? just why?

  • Im mix. And i feel and know the first foreigner is white ppl. And wut was america called b4 it was called that? I call it like i see it

  • We did conquer native americans but so did all other nations who could in that time period and before. I don't like when people single out the US because they weren't any worse than the rest of the world. In fact after the conclusion of manifest destiny, there was a strong turn against imperialism, which is why we didn't try colonizing in Africa. The reason panama was an exception to this was because we basically gave a country it's independence and then turned useless rain forest into a canal which depended on the local economy(plus for Panamanians). So they got a free canal they just had to wait a little while to get there hands on it and it was great for the world as a whole.

  • A man, A plan, A canal, Panama.
    Spelled backwards says:
    A man, A plan, A canal, Panama.

  • You act like there was an problem with the way America handled the issue.

  • To Americans Trump is an anomaly to the rest of the world he is America!

  • Idk how this is rarlg told, I learned this in 2 other videos and today in history.

  • Adam just fucking say that humans are fucking monsters.

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