From October 1968 to September 1977, the Panamanian government under the leadership of Omar Torrijos Herrera conducted negotiations with the United States regarding the Panama Canal, controlled and established by the United States. This thesis seeks to evaluate the role of Torrijos's authoritarian populist leadership in the assertion of Panamanian sovereignty and the fight for the Panama Canal. It will also analyze the influence of Torrijos’s political style on diplomatic relations between the United States and Panama. The existing literature on Omar Torrijos and his populist leadership has neglected his role as an authoritative figure in the development of patriotism in Panamanian political culture in the years leading up to the Torrijos-Carter negotiations in 1977. This study examines primary sources from both Panama and the United States to analyze Torrijos’ authoritarian and populist efforts to expand the political involvement of groups within Panamanian society in order to gain possession of the Panama Canal and successfully complete negotiations with the United States.