Elected Legislative Assembly, 1854-70
The new constitution replaced the Public Meeting with a Legislative Assembly with eighteen elected members. In addition, the superintendent appointed three subordinate colonial officials who served in the assembly as ex officio, or "official," members. The elected members had to be British-born or naturalized subjects and own property worth £400 sterling. The superintendent, who was appointed by the British government, chaired the assembly and could dissolve it at will. In 1862, when the Settlement of Belize in the Bay of Honduras was officially declared a British colony known as British Honduras, a lieutenant governor subordinate to the governor of Jamaica replaced the superintendent. Later, a governor replaced the lieutenant governor. At the end of the decade, however, the Legislative Assembly petitioned for status as a crown colony, hoping that the crown would thereby shoulder more of the costs of defense. In order to accommodate such status, the Legislative Assembly voted in 1870 to replace itself with an appointed Legislative Council.
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