Society and Politics in Belize
Belize is an anomalous society.1 On the one hand, it is singular among Caribbean societies because of its Central American location; on the other hand, despite its location, it is rarely included in discussions of Central American politics and societies. Belize’s historical connections — cultural, economic and political — have been largely with the Anglophone Caribbean, and there can be no doubt that Belize is part of the Caribbean ‘socio-cultural area’,2 yet the country’s future may well lie in closer relations with its immediate neighbours. Perhaps given this position, Belize may be able to play a special role as a link between Central American and Caribbean societies.3 At any rate, the culturally and racially pluralistic nature of the society, which includes a large proportion of Creole or Afro-Belizeans, the persistence of colonialism until very recently, the liberal-democratic nature of the political system, and the increasingly pervasive influence of the United States, are features that Belize shares with many other Caribbean nations.
KeywordsOpposition Parti Colonial Government National Party Executive Council Colonial Administration
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 2.Sidney W. Mintz, ‘The Caribbean as a Socio-cultural Area’, Journal of World History, Vol. 9, No. 4 (1966), pp. 912–37.Google Scholar
- 4.E.G. Squier, The States of Central America (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1858), p. 588.Google Scholar
- 5.O. Nigel Bolland, ‘The Labour Movement and the Genesis of Modern Politics in Belize’, in Malcolm Cross and Gad Heuman (eds), Labour in the Caribbean (London: Macmillan, 1988).Google Scholar
- 6.In a paper presented at the First Annual Studies on Belize Conference, 25–26 May 1987, Harriot W. Topsey, the Commissioner of Archaeology, referred to ‘an escalating ethnic war’ in Belize: ‘The Ethnic War in Belize’, in Belize: Ethnicity and Development (Belize City: SPEAR, 1987), p. 1.Google Scholar
- 7.See ‘Race, Ethnicity and National Integration in Belize’, in O. Nigel Bolland, Colonialism and Resistance in Belize: Essays in Historical Sociology (Kingston: Institute of Social and Economic Research, 1988).Google Scholar
- 11.M.G. Smith, The Plural Society in the British West Indies (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1965), p. 310.Google Scholar
- 13.M.G. Smith, Culture, Race and Class in the Commonwealth Caribbean (Mona, Kingston: University of the West Indies, 1984), p. 35.Google Scholar
- 14.C.H. Grant, The Making of Modern Belize: Politics, Society and British Colonialism in Central America (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1976), p. 8.Google Scholar
- 15.O. Nigel Bolland, ‘African Continuities and Creole Culture in Belize Town in the Nineteenth Century’, in Charles V. Carnegie (ed.), Afro-Caribbean Villages in Historical Perspective (Kingston: Afro-Caribbean Institute of Jamaica, 1987).Google Scholar
- 17.O. Nigel Bolland and Assad Shoman, Land in Belize, 1765–1871 (Kingston: Institute of Social and Economic Research, 1977), pp. 77–83Google Scholar
- 21.Assad Shoman, Party Politics in Belize, 1950–1986 (Belize: Cubola Productions, 1987), p. 39.Google Scholar
- 23.D.A.G. Waddell, British Honduras: A Historical and Contemporary Survey (London: Oxford University Press, 1961), pp. 77–8.Google Scholar