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Many aspects of this culture persist in the area despite nearly 500 years of European domination.Prior to about 2500 BC, some hunting and foraging bands settled in small farming villages; they later domesticated crops such as corn, beans, squash, and chili peppers.

The British first appointed a superintendent over the Belize area in 1786.

Before then the British government had not recognized the settlement as a colony for fear of provoking a Spanish attack.

Spanish conquistadors explored the land and declared it a Spanish colony but chose not to settle and develop because of its lack of resources and the hostile Indian tribes of the Yucatán.

English and Scottish settlers and pirates known as the Baymen entered the area in the 17th and 18th centuries respectively and established a logwood trade colony and port in what became the Belize District.

), formerly British Honduras, is an independent country on the eastern coast of Central America.

Belize is bordered on the north by Mexico, on the south and west by Guatemala, and on the east by the Caribbean Sea.

From 3 September to 5 September, the Spaniards tried to force their way through Montego Caye shoal, but were blocked by defenders.

Spain's last attempt occurred on 10 September, when the Baymen repelled the Spanish fleet in a short engagement with no known casualties on either side.

The delay in government oversight allowed the settlers to establish their own laws and forms of government.

During this period, a few successful settlers gained control of the local legislature, known as the Public Meeting, as well as of most of the settlement's land and timber. George's Caye was a 1798 military engagement off the coast of Belize between an invading Spanish fleet and a small force of Baymen and their slaves.

The wood yielded a fixing agent for clothing dyes that was vital to the European wool industry.

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