History


Slavery in British Honduras 1794-1838

Source: U.S. Library of Congress Cutting logwood was a simple, small-scale operation, but the settlers imported slaves to help with the work. Slavery in the settlement was associated with the extraction of timber, first logwood and then mahogany, as treaties forbade the production of plantation crops. This difference in economic function gave rise to variations in the organization, conditions, and treatment of slaves. The earliest reference to African slaves in the British settlement appeared in a 1724 Spanish missionary’s account, which stated that the British recently had been importing them from Jamaica and Bermuda. A century later, the total slave […]


Colonial Education: A History of Education in Belize

By Karla Lewis (Educational Policy Studies University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign) Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 24-28, 2000) ABSTRACT This paper discusses the education in Belize (formerly known as British Honduras) during the colonial era and the lasting impact of the educational foundation of the country. The paper examines the influence the British colonial educational system continues to have in. Belize, 20 years after independence. It gives an overview of the history of primary and secondary education in Belize. Although education existed in Belize well before the […]


UK ordered destruction of ‘embarrassing’ colonial papers

Britain systematically destroyed documents in colonies that were about to gain independence, declassified Foreign Office files reveal. ‘Operation Legacy’ saw sensitive documents secretly burnt or dumped to cover up traces of British activities. The latest National Archives publication made from a collection of 8,800 colonial-era files held by the Foreign Office for decades revealed deliberate document elimination by British authorities in former colonies. The secret program dubbed ‘Operation Legacy’ was in force throughout the 1950s and 1960s, in at least 23 countries and territories under British rule that eventually gained independence after WWII. Among others these countries included: Belize, British […]


Occasional Discourse on the Nigger Question (Historical Documentary) 3

Thomas Carlyle 1853 Introduction This documentary by the BBC looks at Scientific Racism, invented during the 19th century, an ideology that drew on now discredited practices such as phrenology and provided an ideological justification for racism and slavery. These theories ultimately led to eugenics and racial policies of the “master” race. Herbert Spencer, the father of Social Darwinism as an ethical theory, was thinking in terms of elitist, “might makes right” sorts of views long before Darwin published his theory. However, Spencer quickly adapted Darwinian ideas to his own ethical theories. The concept of adaptation allowed him to claim that […]


Webster Proposal

Negotiations between the United Kingdom and Guatemala in search of a solution to Guatemala’s claim to Belize were bilateral negotiations until 1962. It was a significant historical moment because in that year delegates from Belize were permitted for the first time to participate in the Anglo-Guatemalan negotiations which took place in San Juan, Puerto Rico with the U.K. and Guatemala as principals. Belize had not yet achieved self-government and so the delegates were members of the Executive Council which comprised Hon. George Price, who later became Prime Minister of Belize, Mr. Albert Cattouse and Hon. Louis Sylvestre, along with Hon. […]


Belize Guatemala Dispute

The Belizean-Guatemalan territorial dispute is an unresolved bi-national territorial dispute between the states of Belize and Guatemala, neighbors in Central America. Belize or Belizean-controlled territory has been claimed in whole or in part by Guatemala since 1940. Early colonial era The present dispute originates with imperial Spain’s claim to all “New World” territories west of the line established in the Treaty of Tordesillas in 1494. England, like other emerging powers of the late 15th century, did not recognize the treaty that divided the world between Spain and Portugal. After the native Mayans had ejected Spanish conquistadors and missionaries from Tipu and surrounding […]


Remembering an icon in Nelson Mandela 10

Every Generation has one or more light houses to guide them the ups and downs. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela – Madiba was one of those lighthouses in more ways than one; in fact, we can say he was one of the few that towered above the others to bring mankind into a new era of being. You will be missed . Here’s hoping that others will look at your work and find ways to shine the light for others. The South African activist and former president Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) helped bring an end to apartheid and has been a global advocate for […]


The Last Stand of the 300 Spartans 1

The History Channel Documentary The battle of Thermopylae was the first between the Persians and Greeks during the Persian invasion of 480-479 BC. The Greek force was very small but was determined to make a stand against the huge Persian army. Sparta would lead the Greek army, as her reputation in war was unmatched by any other Greek state. The Greeks had chosen to defend a narrow pass, or gap, between the mountains of central Greece and the sea, called Thermopylae. This pass was part of the route into Greece from the north. Here the Greek force now waited, made […]


The Black Carib Wars: Freedom, Survival, and the Making of the Garifuna 1

Caribbean News Now Book Review Published on August 2, 2012 In The Black Carib Wars: Freedom, Survival, and the Making of the Garifuna (University Press of Mississippi), author Christopher Taylor offers the fullest, most thoroughly researched history of the Garifuna people of St Vincent, and their uneasy conflicts and alliances with Great Britain and France. The book presents documentation of one of the oldest native heritages of the Caribbean, and is the closest thing to a direct link to the region’s history before colonialism. The Garifuna — whose descendants were native Carib Indians, Arawaks and West African slaves brought to the […]


Contractor and UDP Hopefull Bulldozes 2300 Year Old Mayan Temple 1

Something that seems to be a norm in Belize has made it’s way into the International Media’s eye. The senseless and ignorant destruction of our Belizean Heritage and History. Who caused the destruction? A political affiliate and aspirant for the UDP party Denny Grijalva. Quote from 7NewsBelize: The name we saw on the heavy equipment is D-Mar Construction – owned by Denny Grijalva, UDP hopeful for Orange Walk Central. Grijalva said he knew nothing about the project and referred us to his foreman who never answered at least a dozen calls we made to him. Then Grijalva said he would […]