Belize is a central American country yet is still considered to form part of the Caribbean. Like many other parts of the Caribbean, Belize has Elizabeth II as its official monarch and English as it's official language. There are many other languages spoken in Belize and this has its huge diversity and the Belize history to thank for this.
Belize History: Early Inhabitants
The first civilization in Belize was the Maya civilization that inhabited the country as far back as 1000 B.C. There is evidence that this was a civilization adept in farming. This civilization lasted until the Spanish explorers turned up and they certainly found their differences with the Spanish. In an almost allergic reaction, the indigenous people were affected by diseases caught by the Spanish and their resistance thus faltered. They were left weakened and the Spanish eventually conquered Belize. The Spanish quickly established churches and had the intention of controlling Belize.
Although there were a great number of attempts to unsettle the Spanish from pirates and natives, their control was fully restored in 1707. All this fuss was certainly noticeable and the British became interested in the area for themselves.
Belize History: European Conflict
The seventeenth century saw the French and British making many efforts to wear away the Spanish hold on its new territories. There was conflict between the Spanish and British over who has the right to cut log wood. There were attempts by the British to destroy Spanish ships for wood and piracy added to the pressures mounting upon the Spanish. The treaty of Versailles, signed in 1783 handed these rights to the British.
Whilst all of this was going on, there was no system of law and order. The British were hesitant to establish a more formal government for fear of provoking the Spanish. The initiative was snatched by the natives who began appointing magistrates to keep some level of law and order in the country. Since nobody was being particularly decisive, the sovereignty was left to the Spanish. After war broke out in 1796, the Spanish were forced out of the area and it was left entirely to the British.
The British brought slaves to the region. Mainly, these were from other British colonies in South America and also form Africa. Timber was the main resource in Belize and this was what warranted the input of the 2,300 slaves that were brought to work in the country.
Slavery in overseas colonies was abolished in 1833 but this wasn't of much use to the many people living in Belize at the time. The land owners used their powers and restricted access to their land. This kept them in control of the country for a long period.