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250 CE - 950 CE
The Classic Maya Period which saw the height of the Maya Civilization in cities such as Chichen Itza, Palenque, Tikal, Copan and Uxmal.
426 CE - 437 CE
Reign of the first named Copan ruler K'inich Yax K'uk Mo.
615 CE - 683 CE
682 CE - 734 CE
Reign of Jasaw Chan K'awiil at Tikal.
850 CE - 925 CE
Uxmal establishes itself as the capital of the Puuc region of Yucatan.
950 CE - 1524 CE
The Post-Classic Period in which the cities were abandoned and the region was invaded by the Spanish conquerors.
The Battle of Utatlan in which the last Maya resistance is crushed by the conquistador Alvarado. Traditional date of the end of the Maya Civilization.
16-17th centuries - The Spanish arrive, but fail to convert the indigenous Maya to Christianity.
1600s - The area of present-day Belize becomes part of Spain's possessions in Central America and the Caribbean British buccaneers and woodcutters begin to settle around the Belize river.
1763 and 1783 - Spain signs treaties granting British subjects the privilege of wood-cutting, but retains sovereignty.
1798 - Spain tries to remove British settlers from the area by force but fails.
1847-53 - Several thousand Spanish-speaking refugees settle in northern Belize and Maya communities relocate to the north and west following the Caste War in Yucatan.
1859 - Britain and Guatemala sign treaty defining border with Belize.
1862 - Belize formally declared a British crown colony and named British Honduras.
1893 - Mexico renounces claim to Belizean territory.
1930s - Belizean economy hit by Great Depression Belize City largely destroyed by hurricane.
1954 - Constitutional reforms give Belize limited autonomy general elections won by People's United Party (PUP), led by George Price.
1961 - Hurricane Hattie kills more than 260 people.
1964 - New constitution gives Belize full autonomy and introduces universal adult suffrage and a two-chamber parliament.
1970 - Belmopan replaces Belize City as capital.
1973 - The country changes its name from British Honduras to Belize.
1981 - Belize becomes independent with George Price as prime minister, but Guatemala refuses to recognise it. About 1,500 British troops remain to defend the country against Guatemalan territorial claims.
1984 - Manuel Esquival of the centre-right United Democratic Party (UDP) becomes prime minister after defeating Price's PUP in the general elections.
1992 - Guatemala recognises Belize as a sovereign and independent state.
1993 - Manuel Esquival becomes prime minister after his UDP defeats PUP in general elections Britain says it will withdraw troops by 1994 after Guatemala recognises Belize Esquival suspends agreement reached with Guatemala while Price was premier, claiming it made too many concessions in return for recognition.
1998 - Said Musa becomes prime minister after the PUP wins a landslide election victory.
2000 October - Hurricane Keith causes widespread devastation.
2001 October - Towns flattened, thousands left homeless after Hurricane Iris hits.
2002 September - Belize, Guatemala agree on a draft settlement to their long-standing border dispute at talks brokered by the Organisation of American States (OAS). The deal, which proposed referendums in both countries, is rejected by Guatemala in 2003.
2003 March - Said Musa is elected for a second term as prime minister.
2004 January - Britain's Privy Council dismisses an appeal to overturn the Belize government's approval of the proposed Chalillo dam. Campaigners say the dam threatens rare species and communities downstream.
2005 April - Rioting breaks out in the capital during a wave of anti-government protests.
2006 April - Belize begins commercial exploitation of its oil reserves.
2007 November - Organisation of American States (OAS) recommends that border dispute with Guatemala be referred to International Court of Justice (ICJ).
2008 February - Dean Barrow becomes prime minister after the United Democratic Party (UDP) wins a landslide election victory.
2010 May - Government says it will stop sending appeals cases to British Privy Council starting 1 June.
2011 September - Belize is added to US blacklist of countries considered to be major producers or transit routes for illegal drugs.
2012 March - Elections. Ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) wins another term.
Scholars date the early pre-classic era from 2000 to 1000 B.C. Gradually, the shift from hunter-gatherer to subsistence agriculture took place as the Maya learned to domesticate plants and a few animals. Skeleton analysis from early Maya graves revealed that maize had already become a significant portion of the diet, about 30 percent. However, the Maya continued to hunt, fish and gather wild foods. During this time, the Maya settled into small agricultural or maritime villages. They began to make pottery. Their tools include wooden implements, grinding stones and stone hoes. The earliest Mayan villages appear in Belize around 1200 B.C. at Colha, Corozal and Cuello. Besides their simple thatched huts, these Maya also constructed shrines in their villages.
Mayan Government Facts
The more important cases were tried by a royal council presided over by the king, and lesser cases by the provincial rulers or local judges, according to their importance, usually with the assistance of a council and with an advocate for the defense.
Crimes were punished with death - frequently by throwing over a precipice - enslavement, fines, or rarely, by imprisonment. The daughters of nobles were strictly secluded, and the older boys in each village lived and slept apart in a public building. Birthdays and other anniversaries were the occasions of family feasts.
Archaeology At Uxbenka Belize Points To Ancient Maya Wealth Disparity
Archaeology digs of numerous houses excavated at two sites in southern Belize is providing insight into gaping wealth inequality in ancient Maya cities – a disparity that researchers believe was closely linked to despotic leadership. Archaeologists on Wednesday said they studied remains of 180 homes in the medium-sized city of Uxbenká and 93 homes in [&hellip]
Belize Population By District And Sex
Here are the statistics of Belize’s population broken down by district and sex calculated as at 2010 courtesy of the Statistical Institute of Belize. From left to right the figures show Total, followed by Male and Female population totals. Population COUNTRY TOTAL Update: 420,000 – Citation 14 June 2021 Dr. Natalia Largaespada Beer, Maternal & [&hellip]
Iris Salguero Is Miss Belize Universe 2021
The new Miss Universe Belize 2020 – 2021 is 24 year old Iris Salguero from San Pedro. The announcement was made at a Miss Belize Universe Press Conference Reveal held today at the Best Western Hotel in Belize city. Iris Salguero grew up in San Pedro Ambergris Caye in Belize. As one of twelve siblings, [&hellip]
The Perils Of Living In Paradise
Belize is oft described as a tropical paradise. First inhabited by the Mayas. And then invaded by European settlers and pirates, the idyllic Caribbean destination in Central America attracts immigrants and expats looking for adventure, sunny clime and opportunity. Add to the mix the rich and famous and it can be a potent brew. Such [&hellip]
Expat Heroic Stand Against Marauding Sea Pirates
Austrian national and Placencia resort owner Christian Gigi Gusenbauer fought off sea pirates on his island home Friday 19 February. It happened at about 6:45 pm when Christian was alone on his Private Haven island located in the Lark Caye Range. That’s when he saw three to four dark-skinned men wearing hoodies approaching his house. [&hellip]
Cancun History Facts and Timeline
In the 1960s, Cancun was a deserted island, consisting of several sand dunes shaped like a 'seven'. Before this time, few people even knew that it existed, with its recent history being fairly unremarkable.
The Mayans certainly left their mark, with a number of sites located in the city itself and just beyond its outskirts. Nowadays, Cancun is one of Mexico's best-known beach resorts, attracting all kinds of international tourists.
During the time of the pre-Colombian Maya civilisation, Cancun was known as Nizuc, a name believed to mean 'promontory'. At this stage in Cancun history, much of the population was wiped out by disease and conflict, with isolated communities left on Cozumel Island and Isla Mujeres. El Rey, located in the Hotel Zone itself, is said to be one of the most accessible Mayan sites. However, serious Mayan history enthusiasts will want to travel farther afield to El Meco, a bigger mainland site in the direction of Punta Sam.
It is not known if the name Cancun has Mayan origins since it was first observed on 18th-century maps. Some historians believe that the Mayan translation is 'Throne of the Snake', corroborated by the snake icons that adorned many of the local sites. The city is also the gateway to other Mayan sites on the Yucatán peninsula, such as the wondrous Chichen Itza.
The development of Cancun was approved in 1969 and eventually began in 1970, with the construction of a road from Puerto Juarez and a small airfield. Interest from investors was slow, so much so that the Mexican government was forced to finance the first hotels.
Visitors who stay at 'Temptation Resort' will find themselves in the oldest hotel in Cancun, with this establishment dating back to 1974. The same year saw the inauguration of the resort's international airport, a key event in Cancun history, as well as the formation of the National Foundation for the Promotion of Tourism (FONATUR).
The Growth of Cancun
Cancun continued to grow during the 1980s, although the devastating 1988 Hurricane Gilbert served as a major setback. The city lost around US$87 million of tourist revenue in the wake of the hurricane, but soon bounced back and has shown resilience in the face of adversity ever since.
Since 1989, it has been regarded as the most dynamic city in Mexico, despite a further setback in 2001, when US terror attacks meant that many American citizens began to avoid overseas travel. The city continues to provide employment for many people from Yucatán and across Mexico, with its population now in excess of 500,000 people.
The ancient Mayan civilization influenced future empires and even the world as we know it today. But who were the ancient Mayan people? How did Maya history impact Aztec history? Let's find out!
Origins of the ancient Mayan civilization
Much of Maya history is shrouded in mystery. It is believed today that the Mayan peoples began to settle in the Yucatan area of what is now Mexico between 2600 BC and 1800 BC. As the centuries rolled on, their culture and religion developed. What truly originated with the ancient Mayan people and what came from other peoples in the area we may never know for sure.
What we now call the Mayan empire really came into its own between 250 AD and 900 AD. Large-scale construction was taking place, and major cities developed.
Mayan civilization at its height
Like the Aztec civilization that was to come later, the ancient Mayan civilization was based around city-states. Some of the major cities were Tikal, Copan, Chunchucmil, Bonampak, and Palenque. Long distance trade was developed, and the famous Mayan pyramids (temples) were built. The ancient Mayan people continued to develop the art, maths and science that they are famous for even today.
Where was it?
Further south than the Aztecs would be, the Mayans dominated what are now the Mexican states of Chiapas, Tabasco, and most of the Yucatan. The empire also stretched through northern Central America, including Guatemala, El Salvador, western Honduras, and Belize.
I had the privilege of visiting one of the largest Mayan cities many years ago - now called Caracol, in Belize. It is estimated that 200,000 Mayans lived here during the height of the city's power (around 700 AD). The great Caana complex there is still the largest man-made structure in Belize. Below is a picture I took several years ago - today the complex has been cleared off and can be seen in full.
The Caana complex at Caracol,
as I saw it in 1998
Decline of an empire
There is much debate over why the empire declined in the 8th and 9th centuries. Was there an environmental disaster? A drought? Climate change? Or was it a disease, or overpopulation? All these theories are popular. Maybe it was a combination of these things.
Whatever the reason for the fall of the empire, the ancient Mayan people lived on, and their culture would come to influence others to come.
Mayans and Aztecs
Mayan peoples were to pay tribute to the Aztec empire many years later. But the culture of the Mayans was to influence the Aztecs in many ways. Again, we don't always know what originated with the Mayans, and what was just general culture of the area over the centuries.
We do know that the Aztecs shared the Mayan love of the cacao (chocolate) bean. They would also use chewing gum as the Mayans did, use the same base-20 mathematical system, and worship many of the same gods (though re-invented to suit Aztec society).
The ancient Mayan people had remarkable insight into mathematics and astronomy, and other sciences such as medicine. It's likely that the Mayan influenced many peoples of Central Mexico, and eventually the world.
Interesting Facts About Mayans: 1-10
1. Exactly how the Mayan Empire met its end is really not known. By the time the Spanish explorers came to the places where the Mayans thrived, many cities were already in their ruins, long abandoned with no trace of what happened. Climate change, drought, famine and overpopulation are some of the possible causes as hypothesized by the historians.
2. The Mayans were one of the first people to use the symbol for zero. Yes, zero was already there and the Sumerians used it before the Mayans. The Sumerians however used a slanted double wedge to denote that a number is absent. Using the symbol of zero as a place holder came from Mayans. However, they really did not use zero as a number.
The idea that zero can be used as a number came from ancient Indians. The man behind this was Aryabhatta. Though Aryabhatta did not explicitly use the symbol of zero as the Mayans, his work shaped the modern-day decimal system. Then came another Indian mathematician by the name Brahmagupta who gave the rules of using zero in his famous book Brahmagupta Siddhanta (which translates as The Opening of the Universe).
3. Nobelwomen in the Mayan culture used to have their teeth filed and shaped into points.
4. Mayans never used steel or iron. All their weapons were made of volcanic rock known as obsidian.
5. Mayans were literate people and they came up with their own writing system which was one of the most complex writing systems to have ever existed on this planet. They actually wrote on almost anything they could lay their hands on.
6. Mayans made use of different calendars (3 to be precise). Of these one was more like the modern Gregorian calendar that had 365 days. However, they also used the Long Count calendar which was deemed to be reset in 2012, leading to the prophecy of destruction of world in 2012. The Long Count calendar they used cycles every 2,880,000 days.
7. As mentioned, Mayans used various calendars but interestingly the Long Count calendar never came up with the prophecy of doomsday. The cause for such panic is modern thinking. We failed to understand that the calendar only speaks of resetting and not complete destruction.
8. Many of the written works of the Maya people were totally destroyed during Spanish conquest. Whatever was left behind was salvaged after hard work of scavenging and they were complete translated during 20 th century and 21 st century.
9. Mayans had very brutal human sacrifice rituals. The people who were usually sacrificed were slaves and prisoners. The less common method of sacrificing a human was to make him stand in front of a volley of arrows.
10. The more common method of sacrificing a human was to paint the victim in blue color and then carrying him to the top of one of the pyramids where the victim would be held down while a priest would cut out the beating heart of the person. At times, an assistant priest would skin the victim and give the skin to the priest who would then wear the skin and perform a ritualistic dance in front of the gathered crowd.
1523-24 - Spanish adventurer Pedro de Alvarado defeats the indigenous Maya and turns Guatemala into a Spanish colony.
1821 - Guatemala becomes independent and joins the Mexican empire the following year.
1823 - Guatemala becomes part of the United Provinces of Central America, which also include Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua.
1839 - Guatemala becomes fully independent.
1844-65 - Guatemala ruled by conservative dictator Rafael Carrera.
1873-85 - Guatemala ruled by liberal President Justo Rufino Barrios, who modernises the country, develops the army and introduces coffee growing.
1931 - Jorge Ubico becomes president his tenure is marked by repressive rule and then by an improvement in the country's finances.
1941 - Guatemala declares war on the Axis powers.
1944 - Juan Jose Arevalo becomes president following the overthrow of Ubico and introduces social-democratic reforms, including setting up a social security system and redistributing land to landless peasants.
1951 - Colonel Jacobo Arbenz Guzman becomes president, continuing Arevalo's reforms.
1954 - Land reform stops with the accession to power of Colonel Carlos Castillo in a coup backed by the US and prompted by Arbenz's nationalisation of plantations of the United Fruit Company.
1963 - Colonel Enrique Peralta becomes president following the assassination of Castillo.
1966 - Civilian rule restored Cesar Mendez elected president.
1970 - Military-backed Carlos Arena elected president.
Human rights violated
1970s - Military rulers embark on a programme to eliminate left-wingers, resulting in at least 50,000 deaths.
1976 - 27,000 people are killed and more than a million rendered homeless by earthquake.
1981 - Around 11,000 people are killed by death squads and soldiers in response to growing anti-government guerrilla activity.
1982 - General Efrain Rios Montt gains power following military coup.
1983 - Montt ousted in coup led by General Mejia Victores, who declares an amnesty for guerrillas.
1985 - Marco Vinicio Cerezo Arevalo elected president and the Guatemalan Christian Democratic Party wins legislative elections under a new constitution.
1989 - Attempt to overthrow Cerezo fails civil war toll since 1980 reaches 100,000 dead and 40,000 missing.
1991 - Jorge Serrano Elias elected president. Diplomatic relations restored with Belize, from whom Guatemala had long-standing territorial claims.
1993 - Serrano forced to resign after his attempt to impose an authoritarian regime ignites a wave of protests Ramiro de Leon Carpio elected president by the legislature.
1994 - Peace talks between the government and rebels of the Guatemalan Revolutionary National Unity begin right-wing parties win a majority in legislative elections.
1995 - Rebels declare a ceasefire UN and US criticise Guatemala for widespread human rights abuses.
1996 - Alvaro Arzu elected president, conducts purge of senior military officers and signs peace agreement with rebels, ending 36 years of civil war.
1998 - Bishop Juan Gerardi, a human rights campaigner, murdered.
1999 - UN-backed commission says security forces were behind 93% of all human rights atrocities committed during the civil war, which claimed 200,000 lives, and that senior officials had overseen 626 massacres in Maya villages.
2000 - Alfonso Portillo sworn in as president after winning elections in 1999.
2001 December - President Portillo pays $1.8 millon in compensation to the families of 226 men, women and children killed by soldiers and paramilitaries in the northern village of Las Dos Erres in 1982.
2002 September - Guatemala and Belize agree on draft settlement to their long-standing border dispute at talks brokered by Organization of American States (OAS). Both nations will hold referendums on draft settlement.
2003 November - Presidential elections go to second round. Former military leader Efrain Rios Montt trails in third place, accepts defeat.
2003 December - Conservative businessman Oscar Berger - a former mayor of Guatemala City - wins presidential election in second round.
Guatemala - along with Nicaragua, El Salvador and Honduras - agrees on free-trade agreement with US.
2004 May - Former military leader Efrain Rios Montt placed under house arrest.
2004 May/June - Major cuts to the army bases are closed and 10,000 soldiers are retired.
2004 July - $3.5 million in damages paid to victims of civil war. Move follows state's formal admissions of guilt in several well-known human rights crimes.
2004 September - Deadly clashes as police try to evict around 600 squatters from private farm. Eleven people are killed.
2004 December - UN mission, set up to monitor post-civil war peace process, winds up. But UN says Guatemala still suffers from crime, social injustice, human rights violations.
2005 March - Government ratifies Central American free trade deal with US amid street protests in capital.
2005 October - Hundreds of people are killed as Tropical Storm Stan sweeps through, triggering landslides and floods.
2005 November - Guatemala's leading anti-drugs investigator is arrested in the US on charges of drug trafficking.
2006 July - A Spanish judge issues a warrant for the arrest of former military leader Efrain Rios Montt and other former officials over atrocities committed during the civil war.
2006 December - Government and the UN agree to create a commission - to be known as the CICIG - to identify and dismantle powerful clandestine armed groups.
2007 February - Three El Salvador politicians and their driver are murdered near Guatemala City. The trio were members of the Central American Parliament, based in the capital.
2007 May - Guatemala ratifies an international adoption treaty, committing it to ensure that babies are not bought or stolen.
2007 July - Amnesty International urges the government to ratify the CICIG as a first step towards tackling the culture of impunity it says has contributed to Guatemala's soaring murder rate.
2007 August - International election monitors say they are worried about the high murder rate among political candidates and activists in the run-up to the 9 September polls.
2007 November - Alvaro Colom of centre-left National Unity of Hope Party wins presidential elections with nearly 53 percent of the vote.
2008 October - Former President Alfonso Portillo is extradited from Mexico to face corruption charges linked to disappearance of $15m (£8.5m) earmarked for Guatemalan defence department.
2008 November - Fifteen bus passengers including a Dutch national are shot dead and then set on fire in eastern Guatemala in what police believe to be a drug-related incident.
2009 May - President Colom denies involvement in murder of a prominent lawyer who in a video made before to his death claimed Colom and others were out to kill him. A UN probe clears Mr Colom.
2009 September - An ex-paramilitary officer, Felipe Cusanero, becomes the first person to be jailed for the forced disappearance of civilians in Guatemala's civil war.
Severe food shortages. President Colom declares "state of public calamity" to try to mobilise funding.
2009 December - Retired colonel becomes first army officer to be convicted of crimes committed during civil war.
2010 March - Country's police chief and anti-drugs czar are sacked over the theft of cocaine.
2010 May - State of emergency declared after Pacaya volcano erupts.
2010 September - Former President Alfonso Portillo goes on trial on charges of embezzlement, denies the accusations.
2010 October - US apologises for deliberately infecting hundreds of Guatemalans with gonorrhoea and syphilis as part of medical tests in the 1940s. President Colom describes the tests as a "crime against humanity".
2011 April - President Colom and his wife Sandra Torres divorce so that she can stand for election as president.
2011 August - Four former soldiers found guilty of a village massacre become the first to be convicted of rights abuses during the civil war.
2011 November - Former army general Otto Perez Molina of the right-wing Patriotic Party wins presidential elections, takes office in January.
2011 December - President Colom apologises to the relatives of the more than 200 victims of the 1982 massacre in the village of Dos Erres during the civil war.
2012 March - President Perez Molina proposes decriminalising drugs as a way of combatting the illegal narcotics trade.
2012 May - Ex-military leader Efrain Rios Montt faces a second genocide trial when a judge rules he can be prosecuted over the Dos Erres massacre. He was charged in January on separate counts of genocide and crimes against humanity.
2012 July - Dozens are injured, including the ministers of the interior and education, in police clashes in Guatemala City with teacher trainers protesting against having to spend more time studying for the qualifications.
TIMELINE FOR BELIZE
12, 000 years ago , a traveler from the cities of Tiahuancaco and Sacsahuaman in South America, crosses the Gulf of Honduras by passage in a trading canoe, landing on Wild Cane Caye to camp the night, before passing up Golden Stream to the towns he can see in the distance hills.
5,109 years ago (3,114 B.C.) The new revised Mayan calendar reaches the people of Belize and replaces the old one.
2,338 years ago (342 B.C.) , Caracol the capital of central Western Belize a vassal state to Tikal, hosts the visiting ruling Lord of Tikal and his huge entourage for public ceremonies.
2,846 years ago (850 B.C.) , Mik Chan of today's Corozal, loses the last of his cargo he had brought from Xelha to the north during a drunken spree at the town we now call Xcalak on the Belize/Mexican coastal border inside the barrier reef.
2,646 years ago (650 B.C.) , Tutul Xiu a teenage youth from, today I s Corozal, sees the barrier reef islands for the first time on a trading trip south with his uncle to the country we today call Honduras.
2,183 years ago (187 B.C.) , Cob Chan is the first victim sacrificed to the Gods at the temple of Cerros in northern Belize on Chetumal Bay.
2,003 years ago , The people around Chetumal Bay in northern Belize abandon the feudal system experiment with Kings, Lords and temples, while other parts of meso-america just begin.
1,938 years ago , The final families abandon Cerros, the city state.
1,918 years ago (78 A.D.) , A wave of central American west coast Chol Maya flood the towns of Belize as new immigrants.
1,620 years ago (376 A.D.) , Lord smoking Frog conquers Rio Azul and war refugees flee into Caracol and southern Belize.
1,314 years ago (682 A.D.) , Lubaantun in the Southern Toledo District of Belize is on the regular trade routes from the central Peten city states and political alliances.
1,121 years ago (850 A.D.) , All of Belize from north to south was a thriving country with a population over 300, 000 in different city states about 67 kilometers apart.
896 years ago (1100 A.D.) , Altun Ha in northern Belize is still thriving, while the city states of the Peten are disintegrating. Lubaantun in the southern Toledo District of Belize is also going strong. The 200 year drought affects all the American continents.
873 years ago (1,123 A.D.) , Throughout Belize, the Yucatec Maya rise up and overthrow the Itza-Maya (from the Peten), the rulers and overlords.
1346 (Christian calendar), Shi Col attends ceremonies on Wild Cane Caye in the Toledo District, then returns to her hill village.
1487 The Aztec spread their influence and send spies as far as Belize, for politics and trade economics.
1508 First known date of Spanish excursions into Belize. Maya resist Spanish attempts at control.
1511 Geronimo de Aguilar is the first Spaniard, settling around Chetumal Bay, where he raises a family. He arrived in the Yucatan from a shipwreck off Jamaica.
1528 Francisco de Montejo, the Adelanto arrives in Corozal, northern Belize.
1542 The official Spanish Declaration of invasion and conquest occurs.
1544 The conquest of Dzuluinicob (northern Belize) is accomplished when the western political capital of Tipu on the Macal River is occupied.
1546 A massive rebellion and uprising throw out the Spanish from Belize.
1547 The Pecheco cousins and friends receive another Spanish Grant to Belize and start another conquest, killing, burning and torturing through the villages.
1548 Warfare, makes Pecheco give up on Belize, he moves north into the Yucatan with a new and larger grant to a more pacified area.
1562 Infamous catholic Bishop Landa instigates the destruction of Maya culture and hegemony for the conquest and enslavement of the Maya.
1567 The Spanish from the Yucatan organize another reconquest. of Belize, invading, burning, killing, torturing and destroying anything to do with Mayan cultural identity and books.
1568 Juan de Garzon assembles another military force and lays waste Mayan communities throughout Belize nearly reaching as far south as Lake Isobel.
1569 The Dutch arrive and raid along the Belize coast.
1571 The first black person is recorded in a census in this year.
1582 Bishop Fray Gregorio de Montalvo recommends against Belize reductions due to the widespread orchards and famous agricultural production.
1608 Tipu the capital of Belize and center of Maya political power is reduced by the Spanish.
1615 The Spanish reduce Tipu once again to stamp out Maya politics.
1618 The Catholic Franciscans are given the right in Merida, to attempt a peaceful persuasive enslavement and conquest of Belize under Father Orbita and Father Fuensalida.
1623 Father Diego Delgado gets himself and eighty Tipu-Maya men killed by the Itza-Maya in the central Peten.
1627 to 1630 Famine and plagues of locusts devastate the country from Belize to Merida. Tens of thousands of Maya starve to death as four seasonal crops in a row are destroyed.
1630 The towns of Belize are abandoned as people flee to the bush to eat roots.
1631 Political Mayan leaders order the remaining people to continue to abandon the Spanish controlled towns when the famine is over.
1636 Major war ensues between the Maya and Spanish who wish to re-enslave the inhabitants of Belize.
1637 The population of Belize nears extinction.
1638 Mayan political leaders out of the western capital of Belize at Tipu start a new independence movement. Piracy along the Belize coast becomes common.
1639 Three famous independence resistance leaders, Gaspar Puc, alcalde of Lamanai, Don Luis Kinil the cacique of Pacha and Andres Uxul are transported in chains to Merida by the Spanish and put to death by torture.
1641 The Itza-Maya of the central Peten assist Belizeans with soldiers against the Spanish invaders and oppressors.
1642 The war for Belize is won and independence of Belize achieved.
1643 Pirate raids increase along Belize.
1648 Pirates sack Bacalar again.
1650's Estimated date of beginning of British settlement.
1654 Captain Francisco Perez tries another re-conquest of Belize.
1655 A new governor in Merida sends Mayan males fleeing to Belize from the Yucatan looking for refuge. Taxes are extorted by torture. Tipu swells to over one thousand people, mostly males.
1655 The census around the cacao orchards near current day Belmopan is about 450.
1677 The Spanish give up on central, western and northern Belize. A coastal expedition to the south attempt a limited area conquest. Failure occurs for the Spanish when one catholic priest, two religious are killed and others are wounded by Maya militia in the Toledo District. The Spanish party hides for a month in the jungle and flees north over the mountains.
1678-1680 The Catholic Franciscans return in vengeance with a large military force invading northern and western Belize as far as Tipu.
1695 The Maya become weak and disorganized.
1695 The Spanish apply a two pincer attack against the central Peten Itza-maya, the left pincer passing through Belize and Tipu.
1696 The population of Tipu is reduced again by military force and modern weapons.
1697 Martin de Ursula and his military expedition conquer the Itza-Maya island stronghold at Lake Flores on March 13th. The population flee, leaving the Spaniards to starve.
1698 The Spanish give up and vanish from Belize.
1707 The Spanish force the Tipu Maya to help in the fight against the Itza-Maya. Then turn on the Belizeans and sell them into slavery.
1708 Civil War in Belize between the Tipu town area Yucatec Maya influenced by the Spanish and the Mozul-Maya of central southern Belize who continue to fight the Spanish. The Mozul- Maya lose and are wiped out.
1763 Ignoring the native owners of Belize, now the Mayan scattered Belizean Residents of the land, who have successfully repelled all Spanish invasions for 225 years, the Europeans contesting for rights of invasion, conquest and enslavement of Belizean Maya, agree to the "Treaty of Paris" over in Europe. This permits Spain to give authorization to British Logwood cutters to work in Belize, but giving the British exploiting invaders only logging rights. Absentee Spain with no troops on the ground, or in occupation of Belize, still claims paper map sovreignty via the Papal Bull. Belizeans were neither consulted, or invited to participate in this European conference of invasion rights, dividing up the potential spoils of Belize.
1779 The Spanish attack British settlers for the fourth time since 1717.
1783 Treaty of Versailles signed with terms similar to Treaty of Paris.
1786 Convention of London signed allowing Baymen to cut wood but not establish plantations, fortifications, or government in Belize territory first British superintendent to Belize.
1798 British defeat Spanish in the Battle of St. George's Caye.
1809 The Maya of Belize attack British logwood camps.
1816 Spain protests erection of fortification in Belize.
1817 British superintendent assumes authority to grant land titles.
1820 Fourth recorded slave revolt since 1765.
1821 Central American region declares its independence from Spain.
1823 U.S. pronouncement of the Monroe Doctrine.
1824 There are an estimated 2,300 slaves in Belize, including Africans, creoles, and descendants of Indians.
1831 "Coloured subjects of free condition" are granted civil rights.
1838 Emancipation (four years after Britain) of slaves, who compose less than one-half of the population. Free blacks and coloreds compose about half the population, and whites about one-tenth.
1839 Central American federation disintegrates Guatemala claims to have inherited sovereign rights over Belize from Spain.
1840 Laws of England declared to be in force in Belize Executive Council formed to assist superintendent. Spain does not attempt to reassert authority.
1850 U.S.-British treaty Britain agrees to refrain from occupying, fortifying, or colonizing any part of Central America. Britain claims this treaty exempts Belize as prior settlement.
1854 Formal constitution adopted, providing for Legislative Assembly. Belize now a colony in all but name.
1855 Legal system regularized.
1859 Guatemala recognizes British sovereignty but claims it signed treaty because Britain agreed to build road to Caribbean coast.
1862 Officially declared colony and recognized as part of British Commonwealth with name British Honduras.
1863 Treaty with Guatemala which further defines road-building responsibilities.
1871 Status changed to crown colony under governor in Jamaica Legislative Council with five official and four unofficial members.
1884 Colonial ties to Jamaica severed separate colony status announced. Guatemala threatens to repudiate treaty of 1859.
1890 Request is made to introduce elected members. Request turned down because only 400 are white in population of 30,000.
1893 Treaty with Mexico settling boundary dispute.
1894 Mahogany workers organize.
1919 Belizean soldiers returning from World War I protest discrimination in Ex-Servicemen's Riot.
1922 Establishment of Civil Service Association.
1931 Hurricane hits Britain supplies aid for reconstruction and regains reserve powers under new constitution.
1936 Constitution promulgated with elective principle. Property, income, and literacy qualifications restrict eligible voters. Britain offers E50,000 to help build the road to coast without admitting liability Guatemala demands 2400,000.
1937 Formation of Laborers and Unemployed Association (LUA), which stages boycotts and demonstrations.
1939 Formation of British Honduras Workers and Tradesmen Union, which later becomes General Workers Union (1943).
1941 Mass meetings held demands made for adult suffrage and right to elect government. Labor unions legalized by colonial governor.
1945 Belice is defined as the 23rd department in Guatemala's new constitution.
1949 People's Committee formed to protest devaluation of British Honduras dollar.
1950 Formation of People's United Party (PUP). Minimum age for women voters lowered from 30 to 21.
1952 General Workers Union (GWU) mounts 49-day strike.
1954 New constitution promulgated which provides for universal adult suffrage, and elected majority in Legislative Council. PUP begins 30-year winning streak in all general and most local elections.
1955 Semi -ministerial government introduced but governor keeps reserve powers.
1958 Formation of National Independence Party (NIP) as first political opposition to PUP.
1960 In new constitution, majority of Executive Council is elected.
1961 Belize obtains associate-member status in United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America. Belize turns down offer to become associate state of Guatemala. Hurricane Hattie levels Belize City.
1962 Formation of National Federation of Christian Trade Unions.
1963 Guatemala breaks off negotiations with Britain, threatens war.
1964 In movement toward independence, Executive Council of governor evolves from advisory council to Cabinet of ministers, reserve powers are practically eliminated. Control of local government passes to Belize, Britain retains control over defense, foreign affairs, internal security, terms and conditions of public service. Governor general appoints George Price as prime minister.
1965 U.S. lawyer appointed by President Johnson mediates dispute with Guatemala. His proposal favors Guatemala and is rejected by all parties in Belize.
1968 Formation of Democratic Independent Union.
1969 Formation of National Federation of Workers.
1972 Guatemala breaks off negotiations with Britain, threatens war by mobilizing troops at border. Britain sends fleet and several thousand troops to Belize.
1973 Name changes to Belize Belmopan becomes capital. Formation of the United Democratic Party (UDP).
1975 Tension with Guatemala prompts Britain to send squadron of Harrier jets to Belize. Britain allows Belize government to act in international matters. First of series of votes by United Nations on Belize's right to self-determination, United States abstains.
1976 Panama's President Torrijos supports Belize's independence bid.
1977 Latin American countries begin to shift from siding with Guatemala to solidarity with Belize.
1978 Hurricane Greta causes major damage, leveling banana plantations, but no deaths. Formation of Belize Defense Force.
1979 Refugees from El Salvador and Guatemala begin flowing into Belize.
1980 UN passes resolution demanding secure independence of Belize before next session in 1981. No country votes against measure Guatemala refuses to vote.
1981 New constitution promulgated.
Apr. Negotiations with Guatemala (Heads of Agreement) provoke riots and state of emergency in Belize.
Sep. Belize becomes fully independent member of Commonwealth of Nations. Queen of England remains ceremonial head of state. Price first prime minister of independent Belize. Belize joins United Nations and Non-Aligned Nations. United States begins security forces training.
1984 The UDP wins in landslide victory in parliamentary elections, Manuel Esquivel becomes prime minister. Voice of America transmitter installed at Punta Gorda.
1985 Esquivel government signs economic stabilization agreement with U.S. Agency for International Development (AID), requires government to adopt neoliberal economic policies including privatization of public corporations and agencies.
1987 Formation of Security Intelligence Service (SIS) modeled on British M15.
1989 PUP narrowly wins September parliamentary election (15 to 13 seats) that returns George Price to prime minister's office. Government dismantles SIS and relaxes control of media.
1991 PUP wins five of seven town board elections. Belize celebrates ten years of independence. Guatemala recognizes Belize as an independent state but territorial dispute remains unsettled.
1991 Disatisfaction from the public with party politics and failed parliamentary rule. First Civics and Government book sent to High Schools through Belize, pointing out, Belize was NOT A DEMOCRACY! Seven more Civics and Government books published and mailed to High Schools and civic leaders and politicians, outlining problems with the governing political setup of the Belize Constitution over the next five years.
1992 Bipartisan support for Maritime Areas Bill collapses in the face of internal UDP dissension, bill aimed at resolving territorial dispute passes National Assembly with PUP backing.
1992 The main newspapers, the Amandala and The Reporter take up articles on revision of the Belize Constitution, seeking de-centralization and democracy.
1993 British government announces withdrawal of troops and end to security guarantee. PUP calls early elections for June 30 and narrowly loses to UDP (16 to 13 seats). Esquivel returns as Prime Minister. Negotiations with Guatemala collapse due to Serrano's problems.
1994 UDP wins all seven town board elections. British troops complete withdrawal.
1995 The Future of Belize is Yours To Make! Seventh edition of the Civics and Government series, hits the high schools and public. Much more comprehensive, it outlines problems with the governing system and suggested solutions.
1996 The Ketchi and Mopan Maya of the Toledo District seek international aid in fighting the paternal absentee northern Belizean politicians, who sell out their way of life to Asian exploitive lumber companies.
1997 The UDP Party in control of the country, under elected dictator Prime Minister Esquivel, with his rubber stamp Senate and Legislature, states his political party, will not de-centralize and want to retain strong party control and centralization of the government system.
1998 The UDP Party lose the five year national elections in a landslide, to a protest vote, based on failed Political Reform of the Belize Constitution. The PUP win and promise to change the way Belize is governed, with wider dispersal of political power and policy making. Checks and balances are suggested from many sources, to elected dictatorial rule by winning party Ministers of the Cabinet. By now, there are several Civics books out and various booklets outlining democratic changes to the way Belize should be governed. The PUP form many study committees to research the situation of turning Belize into a democracy.