British Honduras
British Honduras was a British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 colony that is now the independent nation of Belize
Belize is a constitutional monarchy and the northernmost country in Central America. Belize has a diverse society, comprising many cultures and languages. Even though Kriol and Spanish are spoken among the population, Belize is the only country in Central America where English is the official...


First colonised by Spaniards in the 17th century, the territory on the east coast of Central America, south of Mexico, became a British crown colony
Crown colony
A Crown colony, also known in the 17th century as royal colony, was a type of colonial administration of the English and later British Empire....

 from 1862 until 1964, when it became self-governing
Self-governing colony
A self-governing colony is a colony with an elected legislature, in which politicians are able to make most decisions without reference to the colonial power with formal or nominal control of the colony...

. Belize became fully independent from the United Kingdom in 1981. Belize was the last continental possession of the United Kingdom in the Americas
The Americas, or America , are lands in the Western hemisphere, also known as the New World. In English, the plural form the Americas is often used to refer to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions, while the singular form America is primarily...

For history prior to 1862 and following 1981, see History of Belize (1502-1862)
History of Belize (1502-1862)
Belize, on the east coast of Central America, southeast of Mexico, was settled by Spaniards in the 17th century, became a British crown colony from 1862 through 1964, and is now independent.-Pre-Columbian societies and the conquest:...

 and History of Belize#Independence.

The Treaty of Versailles (1783) between Britain and Spain, gave the British rights to cut logwood between the Hondo
Hondo River (Belize)
The Rio Hondo is a river of Central America, approximately 150 km in length, which flows in a northeasterly direction to discharge into Chetumal Bay on the Caribbean Sea...

 and Belize
Belize River
Belize River is a 180-mile river in Belize that drains more than one-quarter of the country as it winds along the northern edge of the Maya Mountains across the center of the country to the sea just north of Belize City . However, the Belize River/Mopan River Catchment contains over 45 percent of...