Belize

A beautiful place to relax and have fun! (:

The History Of Belize

Belize is situated on the Caribbean Sea, south of Mexico and east and north of Guatemala in Central America. In area, it is about the size of New Hampshire. Most of the country is heavily forested with various hardwoods. Mangrove swamps and cays along the coast give way to hills and mountains in the interior. The highest point is Victoria Peak, 3,681 ft (1,122 m).

Southern Belize is the site of large plantations that grow citrus, an important export. Rising out of the palm-covered coastal plain of southern Belize are the Maya Mountains. Mostly unexplored, they are covered by verdant jungle and a canopy of tropical rain clouds. The paleozoic horst is comprised of granite and metamorphosed sandstone which sustains stands of pine in its infertile acidic soil. Unsuitable for agriculture, the ridge (note that in Belize, ridge refers to any change in vegetation) was exploited by Preceramic peoples and Maya hunters. Averaging approximately 1,000 feet, the main divide is relatively dwarfed by Victoria Peak which reaches 3,680 feet. The southern plateau becomes broader and descends westwardly. The northern part of this region, known as the Mountain Pine Ridge area, lies in the Capo District.Spanish 46%, Creole 32.9%, Mayan dialects 8.9%, English 3.9% (official), Garifuna 3.4% (Carib), German 3.3%, other 1.4%, unknown 0.2% (2000 census). Population: 327,719 (July 2012 est.) Major cities: BELMOPAN (capital) 20,000 (2009)

Belize

The Maya civilization emerged at least three millennia ago in the lowland area of the Yucatán Peninsula and the highlands to the south, in what is now southeastern Mexico, Guatemala, western Honduras, and Belize. Many aspects of this culture persist in the area despite nearly 500 years of European domination. Prior to about 2500 B.C., some hunting and foraging bands settled in small farming villages; they later domesticated crops such as corn, beans, squash, and chili peppers. A profusion of languages and subcultures developed within the Mayan core culture. Between about 2500 B.C. and A.D. 250, the basic institutions of Mayan civilization emerged. The peak of this civilization occurred during the classic period, which began about A.D. 250.[2] The recorded history of the center and south is dominated by Caracol, where the inscriptions on their monuments was, as elsewhere, in the Lowland Maya aristocratic tongue Classic Ch'olti'an.[3] North of the Maya Mountains, the inscriptional language at Lamanai was Yucatecan as of 625 CE.[4] The last date recorded in Ch'olti'an within Belizean borders is 859 CE in Caracol, stele 10. Yucatec civilisation, in Lamanai, lasted longer.

Farmers engaged in various types of agriculture, including labor-intensive irrigated and ridged-field systems and shifting slash-and-burn agriculture. Their products fed the civilization's craft specialists, merchants, warriors, and priest-astronomers, who coordinated agricultural and other seasonal activities with a cycle of rituals in ceremonial centers. These priests, who observed the movements of the sun, moon, planets, and stars, developed a complex mathematical and calendrical system to coordinate various cycles of time and to record specific events on carved stelae. The Maya were skilled at making pottery, carving jade, knapping flint, and making elaborate costumes of feathers. The architecture of Mayan civilization included temples and palatial residences organized in groups around plazas. These structures were built of cut stone, covered with stucco, and elaborately decorated and painted. Stylized carvings and paintings, along with sculptured stelae and geometric patterns on buildings, constitute a highly developed style of art.[2]

The first inhabitants of Belize were the Maya and Caribe Indians. Belize was a part of the great Mayan empire which stretched through Guatemala, southern Mexico and parts of Honduras and El Salvador. Though the history of the Maya can be traced back for over 4000 years, the Classic period of more advanced Mayan civilization began around the 3rd century AD and reached its height between the 6th and 8th centuries. By the 14th century it was in serious decline. When the Spanish arrived in the 16th century, many of the Mayan cities were deserted.

The Spanish considered Belize a backwater and although the Spanish 'owned' Belize, they did not rule it. The lack of effective government — and the safety afforded by the reef — attracted English and Scottish pirates during the 17th century. When piracy became passé, many of the pirates began working in the logging trade. Belize was British by tradition and sympathy by the time that a British force routed the Spanish armada off St George's Caye in 1798, delivering Belize from Spanish rule. In 1862, Great Britain declared Belize to be the colony of British Honduras.

The history of Belize dates back thousands of years. The Maya civilization spread into the area of Belize between 1500 BC and AD 200 and flourished until about AD 1200. Several major archeological sites—notably Cahal Pech, Caracol, Lamanai, Lubaantun, Altun Ha, and Xunantunich—reflect the advanced civilization and much denser population of that period. The first recorded European settlement was established by shipwrecked English seamen in 1638. Over the next 150 years, more English settlements were established. This period also was marked by piracy, indiscriminate logging, and sporadic attacks by pre-America natives and neighboring Spanish settlements.[1]

Great Britain first sent an official representative to the area in the late 18th century, but Belize was not formally termed the "Colony of British Honduras" until 1840. It became a crown colony in 1862. Subsequently, several constitutional changes were enacted to expand representative government. Full internal self-government under a ministerial system was granted in January 1964. The official name of the territory was changed from British Honduras to Belize in June 1973, and full independence was granted on September 21, 1981

The history of Belize dates back thousands of years. The Maya civilization spread into the area of Belize between 1500 BC and AD 200 and flourished until about AD 1200. Several major archeological sites—notably Cahal Pech, Caracol, Lamanai, Lubaantun, Altun Ha, and Xunantunich—reflect the advanced civilization and much denser population of that period. The first recorded European settlement was established by shipwrecked English seamen in 1638. Over the next 150 years, more English settlements were established. This period also was marked by piracy, indiscriminate logging, and sporadic attacks by pre-America natives and neighboring Spanish settlements.[1]

Great Britain first sent an official representative to the area in the late 18th century, but Belize was not formally termed the "Colony of British Honduras" until 1840. It became a crown colony in 1862. Subsequently, several constitutional changes were enacted to expand representative government. Full internal self-government under a ministerial system was granted in January 1964. The official name of the territory was changed from British Honduras to Belize in June 1973, and full independence was granted on September 21, 1981