This essay juxtaposes the trial of a prominent Hispanic, Manuel Jesús Castillo, in 1882 with the celebrations of the centenary of St. George's Caye in 1898 to gain a deeper understanding of the methods employed by officials in Belize to impose order on the complex post–Caste War society there in a way that was materially and politically advantageous to colonial rule at the nineteenth century's end. Colonial officials used the language and theme of loyalty to further imperial and class agendas in the context of political, social, and economic contestation. The idiom of loyalty served to simplify the complex reality of an often-discordant multiethnic society into a simple binary of loyalty versus disloyalty that determined the Britishness of the colony's subjects and provided beleaguered colonial officials with the vehicle for counteracting the dominance of the unofficial members of the colonial government.

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