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- This map, produced in the 1920s by the Transportation Department of the United States Department of Commerce, shows the railroad network of British Honduras (present-day Belize). Under the Treaty of Versailles of 1783, the Spanish Empire granted Britain the right to harvest timber in the region between the Hondo and Belize Rivers. In 1862 the crown colony of British Honduras was established. Apart from British Guiana, it was the only British possession on the mainland of Latin America. The colony was important to Britain chiefly as a source of logwood and, later, mahogany. The railroads shown on the map are all quite small and were used primarily to transport lumber, sugar cane, and bananas to the coast. A proposed longer line from the port of Belize to Guatemala is indicated but was never built. The map also shows the colony’s six administrative districts and the small number of towns and cities. British Honduras achieved full independence in 1981, becoming the country of Belize.
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