Expect a country with a rich civilization to have a colorful history. Such is the history of Belize. Who would have thought that raids by British Pirates more than a century ago will make them part of the indigenous people of Belize? Read on and find out the historical adventure of this charming country.
In the history of Belize, it was the Maya people who are said to be the first inhabitants of the country. They were excellent in farming, with crops ranging from cocoa, squash, beans, corn, cotton, tobacco, yams, cassava and even chilies. Aside from being prolific farmers, they are proficient craftsmen.
The Maya made beautiful clay pots with intricate designs and they have established a way to weave stunning fabrics by processing the cotton with dyes with vivid and colorful patterns. Aside from being potters and weavers, they are also exceptional stone workers. From architectural sensation made from silver, gold and precious stones like jade, up to temples, palaces, public buildings and plazas, the Mayas built a foundation of artistic civilization.
As the history of Belize would have had it, by the turn of 15th century, the Europeans set foot in Belize. Clearly, they have come to show their efforts in colonizing the country. Not only do they want to claim land for their nations; but they also want to take advantage of the rich agricultural worth of countries situated in the Caribbean (now known as Central America). On numerous occasions, violent exchanges happened between the French, Spanish, English, and Dutch. Everyone is struggling to extend their political powers to new and exciting territories, and one of which is Belize.
It was mainly the British pirates and buccaneers and Spanish explorers who fought over Belize. The British set up rough camps by the countryside while they raided the Spanish ships. By the 18th century, the Spanish successfully forced the British out of Belize. However, since they have never settled in the country, the Brits were able to return and expand their settlements in Belize.
As the Brits become cozy in Belize, they have inevitably brushed the presence of the Maya. The Maya were unavoidably pushed into the forest for hiding; but they did not surrender that easy. By 1866, the leader of the Maya people, Marcos Canul led a courageous insurgency against the British troops by getting some Brit prisoners.
A demand for ransom for the hostages and payment for land grabbing was issued by the great Canul. Unfortunately, the British responded much more violently-by burning villages, crops, and stealing food supplies. They want to starve the Maya people out of their regions. However, the resilient Maya people replanted their crops and fought back actively, until Canul’s death.
Of course, the history of Belize would not be complete without their declaration of independence. On the 21st of September 1981, long time Prime Minister George Price granted Belize’s the full independence of their nation. Since Guatemala has long claimed Belize to be rightfully theirs, according to territory, they refused to recognize Belize as a nation up until 1991.
When Belize City was roughly hit by two hurricanes-one in 1931 and the other in 1961, this paved way for new central towns or cities to be established. First is Hattieville; and the other is Belmopan. Belmopan remains to be the capital city of Belize, while Belize City remains the largest and one of the central towns in the country.
Belize is a beautiful Caribbean country with a rich history. More and more people are moving to Belize to enjoy the wonderful people, culture and environment that make up this great county.