In 1217 Belsele became an autonomous parish. Also Belsele and Sinaai were united in rule in a tribunal (under the Keure van Waas). In 1795, Belsele became canton Capitol of the Scheldt department, with as subordinate municipalities Daknam, Eksaarde, Elversele, Kemzeke, Sinaai, Sint-Pauwels, Tielrode and Waasmunster. This statute was in force till the Belgian Revolution in 1830. Until the first half of the twentieth century, Belsele maintained its typical character of a farmers village in the Waas. Production aimed mainly flax and wheat till 1850. This was changed in the twentieth century, where the emphasis was put on food, building and textile. Since the second world war, Belsele evoluted to a green, residential area. The most of the people work in Sint-Niklaas and Antwerp (less). The hamlet Puivelde forms a separate entity.