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Belize
 
[Flag of the United
                            Kingdom]
                                  to 1870
 
[British
                            Honduras flag 1870-1919]
                          1870 - 12 Dec 1919
 
[British
                            Honduras 1919-1981]
                     12 Dec 1919 - 21 Sep 1981
 
[Pre-independence flag of Belize,
                            1950-1981]
    2 Feb 1950 - 21 Sep 1981 (unofficial)
 
[Flag of Belize]
               Adopted 21 Sep 1981
 

Map of Belize
Hear National Anthem
"Land of the Free"
Text of National Anthem
Adopted 21 Sep 1981
Constitution
(21 Sep 1981)
Capital: Belmopan
(Belize City 1798-3 Aug 1970;
St. George's Caye  to 1798)
Currency: Belizean Dollar
(BZD); British Honduras
Dollar (BZH) 1894-1974
National Holiday: 21 Sept (1981)
Independence Day
Population: 334,297 (2013)
GDP: $3.08 billion (2013)
Exports: $633 million (2013)
Imports: $864 million (2013)
Ethnic groups: mestizo 48.7%, Creole 24.9%, Maya 10.6%,
Garifuna 6.1%, other 9.7%
(2000)
Total Active Armed Forces: 1,300 (2012)
Merchant marine
: 247 ships (2010)

Religions: Roman Catholic 39.3%, Pentecostal 8.3%,
Seventh-Day Adventist 5.3%, Anglican 4.5%, Mennonite
  3.7%,
Nazarene 2.8%, Methodist 2.8%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1.6%,
other (includes Baha'i Faith, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and Mormon) 9.9% , unknown 3.1%, none 15.2% (2010) 
International Organizations/Treaties: ACP, ACS, AOSIS, APM, BCIE (beneficiary), BTWC, C, Caricom, CCM, CDB, CELAC, CTBT, CWC, ESCR (signatory), FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, ICSID (signatory), IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IRENA, ISA, ITU, ITUC, KP, LAES, MIGA, NAM, NPT, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, SICA, UN, UNCLOS, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFCC, UNHCR, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Belize
Chronology

1524                       Part of the Spanish colony of New Spain.
1638                       Used by English pirate Peter Wallace.
1665                       First English settlements by logwood cutters.
18 Jul 1670                By Treaty of Madrid, Spain allows English traders
                             into the area.
1732                       British settlement at Black River begins.
1742 -  2 Oct 1884         Subordinated to Jamaica.
1749                       Black River Settlements.
10 Feb 1763                By Treaty of Paris, British settlers are permitted
                             to cut logwood in an unspecified area.
15 Sep 1779 - 1782         Spanish occupy St. George's Caye.
 3 Sep 1783                By Treaty of Versailles, Spain recognizes British
                             rights to cut logwood in the area between Hondo
                             River and the Sibun River.
10 Mar 1787                Spanish take Black River, settlers relocate
                             further into Belize.
 3 - 10 Sep 1798           Spanish invasion of St. George's Caye repulsed.
30 Apr 1859                Anglo-Guatemala border convention (renounced by
                             Guatemala in 1940).
12 May 1862                British Honduras (from 1871, crown colony).
 3 Aug 1897                Mexico-British Honduras border defined.
 1 Jan 1964                Self-government achieved.
 1 Jun 1973                Renamed Belize.
21 Sep 1981                Independence from Britain (Belize).
24 Nov 1992                Guatemala formally recognizes the independence 
                             of Belize.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Superintendents (subordinated to the governor of Jamaica)
1749 - 1758                Robert Hodgson, Sr.               (d. 1758)
1758 - 1760                Richard Jones
1760 - 1767                Joseph Otway                      (d. 1767)
1767 - 1775                Robert Hodgson, Jr.               (b. 1725/30 - d. 1791)
1775 - 1776                John Ferguson (acting)
29 Aug 1776 - 10 Mar 1787  James Lawrie                      (b. 1722 - d. c.1800)
1787 - Jun 1790            Edward Marcus Despard             (b. 1751 - d. 1803)
Jun 1790 - Mar 1791        Peter Hunter                      (b. 1746 - d. 1805)
Mar 1791 - Jan 1797        Thomas Potts (acting)             (b. 1740 - d. 1806)
                             (chief magistrate)
 1 Jan 1797 -  7 May 1801  Thomas Barrow (1st time)
1801 - Dec 1802            Richard Basset
23 Jan 1803 - 14 Feb 1805  Thomas Barrow (2nd time)
14 Sep 1805 - 26 Apr 1806  Gabriel Gordon
28 Apr 1806 - 14 Sep 1809  Alexander Mark Kerr Hamilton      (b. 1767 - d. 1842)
15 Sep 1809 - 20 Jul 1814  John Nugent Smyth                 (d. 1814)
1814 - 1822                George Arthur                     (b. 1784 - d. 1854)
1822 - 1823                Allan Hampden Pye                 (b. c.1770 - d. 1830)
1823 - 1829                Edward Codd                       (d. 1829)
22 Apr 1829 - 25 Jun 1829  Commissioners 
                           - Marshall Bennett
                           - William Gentle
                           - George Gibson
                           - John W. Wright
                           - Charles Evans
                           (acting)
25 Jun 1829 - 1830         Archibald Alexander MacDonald     (d. c.1850) 
                             (1st time)(acting)
1830 - 1836                Francis Cockburn                  (b. 1780 - d. 1868)
20 Apr 1836 - 1837         J.G. Anderson (acting)
1837 - 1843                Archibald Alexander MacDonald     (s.a.) 
                             (2nd time)
Jul 1843 - 1851            Charles St. John Fancourt         (b. 1804 - d. 1875)
1851 - 1854                Philip Edmond Wodehouse           (b. 1811 - d. 1887)
1854 - 1857                William Stevenson                 (b. 1805 - d. 1863)   
1857 - 1862                Frederick Seymour                 (b. 1820 - d. 1869)
Lieutenant governors (subordinated to the governor of Jamaica)
1862 - 1864                Frederick Seymour                 (s.a.)
1864 - 1867                John Gardiner Austin              (b. 1811? - d. 1900)
1867 - 1870                James Robert Longden              (b. 1827 - d. 1891)
1870 - 1874                William Wellington Cairns         (b. 1828 - d. 1888)
1874                       Charles Bullen Hugh Mitchell      (b. 1836 - d. 1899)
                            
(1st time) (acting)
1874 - 1876                Robert Miller Mundy               (b. 1813 - d. 1892)
1876 - 1877                Charles Bullen Hugh Mitchell      (s.a.)
                             
(2nd time) (acting)
12 Mar 1877 - 1883         Frederick Palgrave Barlee         (b. 1827 - d. 1884)
1883                       Henry Fowler (acting)
13 May 1883 - 1884         Robert William Harley             (b. 1829 - d. 1892)
Governors
1884 - 1891                Roger Tuckfield Goldsworthy       (b. 1839 - d. 1900)
                             (from 2 Jan 1889, Sir Roger Tuckfield Goldsworthy) 
1891 - 1897                Sir Cornelius Alfred Moloney      (b. 1848 - d. 1913)
1897 - 1904                David Wilson                      (b. 1838 - d. 1924)
                             (from 3 Jun 1899, Sir David Wilson) 
15 Apr 1904 - 1906         Sir Ernest Bickham Sweet-Escott   (b. 1857 - d. 1941)
13 Aug 1906 - 1913         Sir Eric John Eagles Swayne       (b. 1863 - d. 1929)
19 May 1913 - Jan 1918     Wilfred Collet                    (b. 1856 - d. 1927)
                             (from 1 Jan 1915, Sir Wilfred Collet)
29 Jan 1918 -  4 Sep 1918  William Hart Bennett              (b. 1861 - d. 1918)
 4 Sep 1918 - 22 Mar 1919  Robert Walter (acting)            (b. 1873 - d. 1959)
22 Mar 1919 - 1925         Sir Eyre Hutson                   (b. 1864 - d. 1936)
16 Apr 1925 - 1932         Sir John Alder Burdon             (b. 1866 - d. 1933)
 9 Mar 1932 - 1934         Sir Harold Baxter Kittermaster    (b. 1879 - d. 1939)
 2 Nov 1934 - 1939         Alan Cuthbert Maxwell Burns       (b. 1887 - d. 1980)
                             (from 1 Jan 1936, Sir Alan Cuthbert Maxwell Burns)
1939 - 24 Feb 1940         William Johnston (acting)         (b. 1890 - d. 19..)
24 Feb 1940 -  1 Jul 1946  Sir John Adams Hunter             (b. 1890 - d. 1962)
 1 Jul 1946 - 14 Jan 1947  Arthur Norman Wolffsohn (acting)  (b. 1888 - d. 1967)
14 Jan 1947 - 1948         Sir Edward Gerald Hawkesworth     (b. 1897 - d. 1949)
28 Feb 1949 - Mar 1952     Ronald Herbert Garvey             (b. 1903 - d. 1991)
                             (from 8 Jun 1950, Sir Ronald Herbert Garvey)
21 Oct 1952 - Aug 1955     Patrick Muir Renison              (b. 1911 - d. 1965)
                             (from 1 Jan 1955, Sir Patrick Muir Renison)
Aug 1955 - 17 Jan 1956     Thomas Douglas Vickers (acting)   (b. 1916 - d. 1999)
17 Jan 1956 - 1961         Sir Colin Hardwick Thornley       (b. 1907 - d. 1983)
 9 Dec 1961 - 1966         Sir Peter Hyla Gawne Stallard     (b. 1915 - d. 1995)
11 Jul 1966 - Jan 1972     Sir John Warburton Paul           (b. 1916 - d. 2004)
26 Jan 1972 - 1976         Sir Richard Neil Posnett          (b. 1919 - d. 2009)
 1 Jun 1976 - 1980         Sir Peter Donovan McEntee         (b. 1920 - d. 2002)
1980 - 21 Sep 1981         Sir James Patrick Ivan Hennessy   (b. 1923)
Queen¹
21 Sep 1981 -              the Queen of the United Kingdom
Governors-general (representing the British monarch as head of state)
21 Sep 1981 - 17 Nov 1993  Elmira Minita Gordon (f)          (b. 1930)
                             (from 14 Feb 1984, Dame Elmira Minita Gordon) 
17 Nov 1993 -              Colville Norbert Young            (b. 1932)
                             (from 22 Feb 1994, Sir Colville Norbert Young) 

First minister
 7 Apr 1961 -  1 Jan 1964  George Cadle Price                (b. 1919 - d. 2011)  PUP
Premier
 1 Jan 1964 - 21 Sep 1981  George Cadle Price                (s.a.)               PUP
Prime ministers

21 Sep 1981 - 17 Dec 1984  George Cadle Price (1st time)     (s.a.)               PUP
17 Dec 1984 -  7 Nov 1989  Manuel A. Esquivel (1st time)     (b. 1940)            UDP
 7 Nov 1989 -  3 Jul 1993  George Cadle Price (2nd time)     (s.a.)               PUP
 3 Jul 1993 - 28 Aug 1998  Manuel A. Esquivel (2nd time)     (s.a.)               UDP
28 Aug 1998 -  8 Feb 2008  Said Wilbert Musa                 (b. 1944)            PUP
 8 Feb 2008 -              Dean Oliver Barrow                (b. 1951)            UDP

 ¹Full style:
(a) 21 Sep 1981 - 1981: "By the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith";
(b) from 1981: "By the Grace of God, Queen of Belize and of Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth."

Territorial Disputes: Guatemala persists in its territorial claim to half of Belize, but agrees to the Line of Adjacency to keep Guatemalan squatters out of Belize's forested interior; both countries agreed in Apr 2012 to hold simultaneous referenda, scheduled for 6 Oct 2013, to decide whether to refer the dispute to the ICJ for binding resolution; Belize and Mexico are working to solve minor border demarcation discrepancies arising from inaccuracies in the 1898 border treaty. Honduras claims the Belizean-administered Sapodilla Cays off the coast of Belize in its constitution, but Guatemala claims that the Belize–Guatemala maritime boundary is northwest of Sapodilla.

Party abbreviations: PUP = People's United Party (social-democratic, to 1954 named People's Committee, est.1950); UDP = United Democratic Party (conservative, merger of Liberal Party, National Independence Party, and People's Development Movement, est.1974)




© Ben Cahoon