The history of Belize dates back thousands of years. If you plan on visiting the culturally rich and diverse location, be prepared to embark on a historical and interesting journey that’ll definitely knock your socks off!
Formerly known as British Honduras, the country was officially renamed ‘Belize’ on June 1st 1973, by the British colonial office; and George Price led the country to full independence on September 21, 1981 after a number of lengthy delays arising from territorial disputes with Guatemala.
The honourable George Price, or “the father of the nation” as he is more commonly referred to was not only the first Prime Minister of Belize, but also founded the PUP – The people’s
united party which brought about the peaceful and constructive revolution in 1950 which brought about Belize’s freedom from the British Empire. He is therefore rightly remembered as the remarkable man who fought for Belize’s independence successfully, whilst maintaining its cultural and territorial integrity.
Belize, as we now know it hosts an extravagant variety of ancient Mayan ruins which were once populated by a plethora of varying Mayan civilisations, which at its peak, existed as some of the most densely populated societies in the world. The remnants of this once thriving population now continue to exist within Belize, though the ruins where their ancestors once dwelled now function as tourist attractions suitable for interested visitors and history buffs alike!
History has displayed that the development of astronomy, calendrical systems and hieroglyphic writing can be traced back to Mayan peoples alike, though unbeknown to some is the fact that the Maya can also be coined as highly intricate and elaborate architects, as evidenced by the elaborate remnants which stand highly within various areas of Belize for all to admire! Some of the places of interest include stone palaces, highly decorated temples, and observatories, all built without the use of modern tools! If that doesn’t impress you, the Maya were equally talented potters, and traces of these adorned works bear testament to the true innovation and talent this community of people boasted!
When discussing Belize’s history it really goes without saying that the Battle of St. George’s Caye was an integral part of its extensive past. The battle lasted from 3 to 10 September 1798 between the Baymen and the Spanish at St. George’s Caye, as part of the outbreak of a war occurring between Britain and Spain. What was remarkable about the outcome of this battle is that the Baymen, against all odds, defeated the Spanish for the last time! From which point Britain was able to assume greater control over the settlement.
Today, the 10th of September is still celebrated yearly as a National Holiday in Belize!