1884-1918 1945-1981

Belize, 1918-1945

In 1919 a protest by black soldiers against white rule escalated in a riot.
British colonial administration provided political stability. Yet, the economy was severely hit by the Great Depression. In addition, Belize city was devastated by a hurricane in 1931. Political dissatisfaction resulted in the establishment of a trade union. In 1936, elections were introduced for the colony's assembly; the franchise was restricted to literate men of property.
As a British colony, British Honduras was drawn into World War II in September 1939. In 1941, a movement demanding universal adult suffrage (i.e. abolishing the literacy, property and income restrictions) gained wide support among the population; LABOUR UNIONS were legalized.

In 1931, British Honduras had 51,347 inhabitants. The largest city was Belize (21,683, in 1926). In 1935 BH had 40 km of railroad, in 1937 238 km of roads; in 1938, 134 cars and 112 trucks were registered. In 1936, state revenues amounted to 1,598 million $, expenses to 1.389 million $. Main trade partners were the USA and the British Empire. The main export item was mohagony, main import items included lumber, flour etc.; imports exceeded exports by over 2:1.

Article from Infoplease : Belize
DOCUMENTS Flag of British Honduras (1870) from FOTW
REFERENCE Hübner's Weltstatistik, 73rd edition, edited by Ernst Rösner, Wien 1939
Tom Barry, Central America Inside Out, Grove Press 1991; see Belize Chronology, pp.49-51 [G]
Article : British Honduras, in : Statesman's Yearbook 1919 pp.320-321, 1924 pp.319-321, 1925 pp.323-325, 1926 pp.322-325, 1928 pp.321-323, 1929 pp.326-328, 1932 pp.329-330, 1937 pp.353-354, 1943 pp.271-273 [G]
Article : Honduras, British, in : Americana Annual 1927 pp.409-410, 1928 p.366, 1930 p.376, 1931 pp.375-376, 1932 pp.339-340, 1933 p.373, 1934 pp.292-293, 1935 pp.346-347, 1936 p.345, 1937 p.338, 1938 p.327, 1939 p.359, 1940 p.368, 1943 p.348, 1944 p.324, 1945 p.345 [G]
Article : British Honduras, in : Americana Annual 1946 pp.123-124 [G]
Article : British Honduras, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1944 pp.129-130, 1945 p.125 [G]

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2001, last revised on August 26th 2007

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