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Five flags of Florida (not including the current State Flag of Florida).

The history of Florida can be traced back to when the first Native Americans began to inhabit the peninsula as early as 14,000 years ago. Recorded history begins with the arrival of Europeans to Florida, beginning with the Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León, who explored the area in 1513. Since that time Florida has had a long history of immigration, including French and Spanish settlement during the 16th century, as well as in-migration from new Native American groups. It was under colonial rule by Spain and Great Britain before becoming a US territory in 1822. More than 20 years later, it was admitted to the union as a U.S. state in 1845. Twentieth and 21st century developments and migrations have created a diverse population and an urbanized economy.

Contents

Prehistory

Shell midden at Enterprise in 1875

The first land animals entered Florida approximately 24.8 million years ago. Prior to that time, Florida was Orange Island a low-relief island sitting atop the carbonate Florida Platform. Paleo-Indians entered what is now Florida at least 14,000 years ago.[1] Due to the large amount of water locked up in glaciers during the Wisconsin glaciation, the sea level may have been 100 metres (more than 300 feet) lower than present levels. As a result, the Florida peninsula had a land area about twice what it is today. Florida also had a drier and cooler climate than in more recent times. There were few flowing rivers or wetlands. Across large areas of Florida, fresh water was available only in sinkholes and limestone catchment basins. As a result, most paleo-Indian activity was around the watering holes. Sinkholes and basins in the beds of modern rivers (such as the Page-Ladson prehistory site in the Aucilla River) have yielded a rich trove of paleo-Indian artifacts, including Clovis points.[2]

Excavations at an ancient stone quarry (the Container Corporation of America site in Marion County) yielded "crude stone implements" showing signs of extensive wear from deposits below those holding Paleo-Indian artifacts. Thermoluminescence dating and weathering analysis independently gave dates of 26,000 to 28,000 years ago for the creation of the artifacts. The findings are controversial, and funding has not been available for follow-up studies.[3]

As the glaciers began retreating about 8000 BC, the climate of Florida became warmer and wetter, and the sea level rose. The paleo-Indian culture was replaced by, or evolved into, the Early Archaic culture. With an increase in population and more water available, they left their artifacts in many more locations. Archaeologists have learned much about the Early Archaic people of Florida from the spectacular discoveries made at Windover Pond. The Early Archaic period evolved into the Middle Archaic period around 5000 BC. People started living in villages near wetlands and favored sites that were likely occupied for multiple generations.

The Late Archaic period started about 3000 BC, when Florida's climate had reached current conditions and the sea had risen close to its present level. People commonly occupied both fresh and saltwater wetlands. Large shell middens accumulated during this period. Many people lived in large villages with purpose-built mounds, such as at the Horr's Island.People began creating fired pottery in Florida by 2000 BC. By about 500 BC, the Archaic culture, which had been fairly uniform across Florida, began to fragment into regional cultures.[4]

The post-Archaic cultures of eastern and southern Florida developed in relative isolation. It is likely that the peoples living in those areas at the time of first European contact were direct descendants of the inhabitants of the areas in late Archaic times. The cultures of the Florida panhandle and the north and central Gulf coast of the Florida peninsula were strongly influenced by the Mississippian culture. Continuity in cultural history suggests that the peoples of those areas were also descended from the inhabitants of the Archaic period. In the panhandle and the northern part of the peninsula, people adopted cultivation of maize. Its cultivation was restricted or absent among the tribes who lived south of the Timucuan-speaking people (i.e., south of a line approximately from present-day Daytona Beach, Florida to a point on or north of Tampa Bay.)[5]

Native American tribes

Bernard Picart Copper Plate Engraving of Florida Indians, Circa 1721 "Cérémonies et Coutumes Religieuses de tous les Peuples du Monde" (Private Collection of L.S. Morgan, St. Augustine Beach, Fla.)

At the time of first European contact, Florida was inhabited by an estimated 350,000 people belonging to a number of tribes. The Spanish recorded nearly one hundred names of groups they encountered, ranging from organized political entities such as the Apalachee, with a population of around 50,000, to villages with no known political affiliation. There were an estimated 150,000 speakers of dialects of the Timucua language, but the Timucua were only organized as groups of villages and did not share a common culture.

Other tribes in Florida at the time of first contact included the Ais, Caloosahatchee, Calusa, Jaega, Mayaimi, Tequesta and Tocobaga. The populations of all of these tribes decreased during the period of Spanish control of Florida. At the beginning of the 18th century, tribes from areas to the north of Florida, supplied, encouraged, and occasionally accompanied by white colonists from the Province of Carolina, raided throughout Florida. They burned villages, wounded many of the inhabitants and carried captives back to Charles Towne. Most of the villages in Florida were abandoned and the survivors sought refuge at St. Augustine or in isolated spots around the state.

Some of the Apalachee eventually reached Louisiana, where they survived as a distinct group for at least another century. The few surviving members of these tribes were evacuated to Cuba when Spain transferred Florida to the British Empire in 1763. The Seminole, originally an offshoot of the Creek people who absorbed other groups, developed as a distinct tribe in Florida during the 18th century. They are now represented in the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, the Seminole Tribe of Florida, and the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida.

Spanish rule

Juan Ponce de León
1527 map by Vesconte Maggiolo showing the east coast of North America with "Tera Florida" at the top and "Lavoradore" (Labrador) at the bottom. The information supposedly came from Giovanni da Verrazzano's voyage in 1524.(Ambrosian Library in Milan, Italy.)

According to popular legend, unlikely to be true, Juan Ponce de León discovered Florida while searching for the Fountain of Youth. Although it is often stated that he sighted the peninsula for the first time on March 27, 1513, and thought it was an island, he probably saw one of the Bahama islands.[6] He landed on the east coast of the newly discovered land on April 2. He named the land La Pascua Florida, or "Flowery Easter," probably due to the abundant plant life in the area or to the fact that he arrived during the Spanish Easter feast, Pascua Florida.

Ponce de León may not have been the first European to reach Florida, as he claimed he encountered at least one Indian who could speak Spanish [7] Ponce de León returned with equipment and settlers to start a colony in 1521, but they were driven off by repeated attacks from the native population. The earliest records of inland Florida are those of conquest survivors. Pánfilo de Narváez's expedition explored Florida's west coast in 1528 but was lost at sea upon his attempted seaward escape to Mexico. One of his expedition's officers, Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, survived nine years' trudging between Florida and Mexico, returned to Spain and published his observations. He inspired Hernando de Soto's invasion of Florida in 1539. Members of his expedition later published details of Florida's natives, their lifestyles and behavior. In 1559 Tristán de Luna y Arellano established a brief settlement in Pensacola but after a violent hurricane destroyed the area it was abandoned in 1561.[8]

Timucua Indians worship a column erected by the French in 1562
1591 map of Florida by Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues

The French began taking an interest in the area as well, leading the Spanish to accelerate their colonization plans. Jean Ribault led a largely Huguenot expedition to Florida in 1562, and his associate René Goulaine de Laudonnière founded Fort Caroline in what is now Jacksonville in 1564 as a haven for the Huguenots.[9] Further down the coast the Spanish founded in 1565 by Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, San Agustín (St. Augustine)[10] is the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in any U.S. state; it is second oldest only to San Juan, Puerto Rico in the United States' current territory. From this base of operations, the Spanish began building Catholic missions.

On September 20, 1565, Menéndez de Avilés attacked Fort Caroline, killing all the French Huguenot soldiers defending it (sparing only a few Catholics), and renamed the fort San Mateo.[11] Two years later, Dominique de Gourgues recaptured the settlement from the Spanish and slaughtered all of the Spanish defenders.

After the initial destruction of Fort Caroline, St. Augustine became the most important settlement in Florida. It was little more than a fortress for many years, and was frequently attacked and burned, with most residents killed or fled. It was notably devastated in 1586, when English sea captain and sometime pirate Sir Francis Drake plundered and burned the city. Roman Catholic missionaries used St. Augustine as a base of operations and established missions throughout what is today the southeastern United States. Missionaries converted 26,000 natives by 1655, but a revolt in 1656 and an epidemic in 1659 proved devastating. Pirate attacks were unrelenting against small outposts and even St. Augustine itself.

Throughout the 17th century, English settlers in Virginia and the Carolinas gradually pushed the boundaries of Spanish territory south, while the French settlements along the Mississippi River encroached on the western borders of the Spanish claim. In 1702, English Colonel James Moore and allied Yamasee and Creek Indians attacked and razed the town of St. Augustine, but they could not gain control of the fort. In 1704, Moore and his soldiers began burning Spanish missions in north Florida and executing Indians friendly with the Spanish. The collapse of the Spanish mission system and the defeat of the Spanish-allied Apalachee Indians (the Apalachee massacre) opened Florida up to slave raids, which reached to the Florida Keys and decimated the native population.[12] The Yamasee War of 1715-1717 resulted in numerous Indian refugees, such as the Yamasee, moving south to Florida. In 1719, the French captured the Spanish settlement at Pensacola.[13]

The British and their colonies made war repeatedly against the Spanish, especially in 1702, and captured St Augustine in 1740. The British were angry that Spanish officials tolerated and invited runaway slaves into Florida. Invading Seminoles killed off most of the local Indians. Florida had about 3,000 Spanish inhabitants when Britain took control in 1763. Nearly all quickly left. Even though in 1783 control of Florida was restored to Spain after the Battle of Pensacola (1781), Spain sent no more settlers or missionaries.

British rule

The expanded West Florida territory in 1767.

In 1763, Spain traded Florida to the Kingdom of Great Britain for control of Havana, Cuba, which had been captured by the British during the Seven Years' War. It was part of a large expansion of British territory following the country's victory in the Seven Years War. Almost the entire Spanish population left along with most of the remaining indigenous population. The British divided the territory into East Florida and West Florida. They began aggressive recruitment programs designed to attract settlers to the area, offering free land and backing for export-oriented businesses.

East Florida was the site of the largest single importation of white settlers in the colonial period; about 1,400 people indentured by Scottish physician Dr. Andrew Turnbull arrived in July 1768. These people settled at New Smyrna, where they began to farm various crops needed in the Empire, such as indigo, grapes, silk, etc. Most crops did not do well in the sandy Florida soil, and those that did rarely equaled the quality produced in other areas. Colonists eventually tired of their servitude and the increasingly uncompromising nature of Turnbull, who on several occasions used black slaves to whip his unruly settlers. The settlement collapsed and the survivors fled to safety with the British authorities in St. Augustine. Their relatives survive to this day, as does the name New Smyrna.

In 1767, the British moved the northern boundary of West Florida to a line extending from the mouth of the Yazoo River east to the Chattahoochee River (32° 28′north latitude), consisting of approximately the lower third of the present states of Mississippi and Alabama. During this time, Creek Indians migrated into Florida and formed the Seminole tribe.

The two Floridas remained loyal to Great Britain throughout the American Revolutionary War. However, Spain (participating indirectly in the war as an ally of France) captured Pensacola from the British in 1781. In 1783, the Treaty of Paris ended the Revolutionary War and returned all of Florida to Spanish control, but without specifying the boundaries. The Spanish wanted the expanded boundary, while the new United States demanded the old boundary at the 31st parallel north. In the Treaty of San Lorenzo of 1795, Spain recognized the 31st parallel as the boundary.

Second Spanish rule

East and West Florida in 1810

Spanish presence was minor during that empire's second rule over Florida. Spain offered extremely lucrative free land packages in Florida as a means of attracting settlers, and foreigners came in droves, especially from the United States. The territory became a haven for escaped slaves and a base for Indian attacks against the U.S., and the U.S. demanded Spain reform. There were almost no Spanish settlers and only a few soldiers. In the meantime, American settlers established a foothold in the area and ignored Spanish officials. British settlers who had remained also resented Spanish rule, leading to a rebellion in 1810 and the establishment for exactly ninety days of the so-called Free and Independent Republic of West Florida on September 23. After meetings beginning in June, rebels overcame the Spanish garrison at Baton Rouge (now in Louisiana), and unfurled the flag of the new republic: a single white star on a blue field. This flag would later become known as the "Bonnie Blue Flag".

Throughout this period, Spain offered land grants to anyone who settled in Florida. As a result, hundreds of Americans came into the colony. Once Florida became a U.S. Territory, these grants—which the U.S. agreed to honor if found valid—caused years of litigation as settlers attempted to prove the validity of their claims.

On October 27, 1810, parts of West Florida were annexed by proclamation of U.S. President James Madison, who claimed the region as part of the Louisiana Purchase. At first, purchase negotiator Fulwar Skipwith and the West Florida government were opposed to the proclamation, preferring to negotiate terms to join the Union. However, William C. C. Claiborne, who was sent to take possession of the territory, refused to recognize the legitimacy of the West Florida government. Skipwith proclaimed that he was ready to "die in defense of the Lone Star flag." However, Skipwith and the legislature eventually backed down, and agreed to accept Madison's proclamation. Possession was taken of St. Francisville on December 6, 1810, and of Baton Rouge on December 10, 1810. These portions were incorporated into the newly formed Territory of Orleans. The U.S. annexed the Mobile District of West Florida to the Mississippi Territory in 1812. Spain continued to dispute the area, though the United States gradually increased the area it occupied.

After settler attacks on Indian towns, Seminole Indians based in East Florida began raiding Georgia settlements, purportedly at the behest of the Spanish. The United States Army led increasingly frequent incursions into Spanish territory, including the 1817 – 1818 campaign against the Seminole Indians by Andrew Jackson that became known as the First Seminole War. Following the war, the United States effectively controlled East Florida.

The Adams-Onís Treaty was signed between the United States and Spain on February 22, 1819 and took effect on July 10, 1821. According to the terms of the treaty, the United States acquired Florida and, in exchange, renounced all claims to Texas. Andrew Jackson formally took control of Florida from Spanish authorities on July 17, 1821 at Pensacola.

American rule

Andrew Jackson served as the first military Governor of Florida

Florida became an organized territory of the United States on March 30, 1822. The Americans merged East Florida and West Florida (although the majority of West Florida was annexed to Territory of Orleans and Mississippi Territory), and established a new capital in Tallahassee, conveniently located halfway between the East Florida capital of St. Augustine and the West Florida capital of Pensacola. The boundaries of Florida's first two counties, Escambia and St. Johns, approximately coincided with the boundaries of West and East Florida respectively.

Seminole leader Osceola

As settlement increased, pressure grew on the United States government to remove the Indians from their lands in Florida. Many settlers in Florida developed plantation agriculture, similar to other areas of the Deep South. To the consternation of new landowners, the Seminoles harbored and integrated runaway blacks, and clashes between whites and Indians grew with the influx of new settlers. In 1832, the United States government signed the Treaty of Payne's Landing with some of the Seminole chiefs, promising them lands west of the Mississippi River if they agreed to leave Florida voluntarily. Many Seminoles left then, while those who remained prepared to defend their claims to the land. White settlers pressured the government to remove all of the Indians, by force if necessary, and in 1835, the U.S. Army arrived to enforce the treaty.

The Second Seminole War began at the end of 1835 with the Dade Massacre, when Seminoles ambushed Army troops marching from Fort Brooke (Tampa) to reinforce Fort King (Ocala). They killed or mortally wounded all but one of the 108 troops. Between 900 and 1,500 Seminole Indian warriors effectively employed guerrilla tactics against United States Army troops for seven years. Osceola, a charismatic young war leader, came to symbolize the war and the Seminoles after he was arrested by deception while attending truce negotiations in 1837. First imprisoned at Fort Marion, he died of malaria at Fort Moultrie in South Carolina less than 3 months after his capture. The war dragged on until 1842. The U.S. government is estimated to have spent between US$20 million and US$40 million on the war, at the time an astronomical sum. Almost all of the Seminoles were forcibly exiled to Creek lands west of the Mississippi; about 300 were allowed to remain in the Everglades.

Statehood

On March 3, 1845, Florida became the 27th state of the United States of America. Its first governor was William Dunn Moseley.

The brick Capitol built in 1845

Almost half the state's population were enslaved African Americans working on large cotton and sugar plantations.[citation needed] Like the people who held them, many slaves had come from the coastal areas of Georgia and the Carolinas, and were part of the Gullah-Gee Chee culture of the Low Country. Others were enslaved African Americans from the Upper South who had been sold to traders taking slaves to the Deep South.[citation needed]

In the 1850s white settlers were again encroaching on lands used by Seminoles.[citation needed] The United States government decided to make another attempt to move the remaining Seminoles to the West.[citation needed] Increased Army patrols led to hostilities. The Third Seminole War lasted from 1855 to 1858. At its end, US forces estimated only 100 Seminoles were left in Florida. In 1859, 75 Seminoles surrendered and were sent to the West, but some Seminoles continued to live in the Everglades.

On the eve of the Civil War, Florida had the least population of the Southern states. It was invested in plantation agriculture. By 1860 Florida had only 140,424 people, of whom 44% were enslaved. There were fewer than 1000 free people of color before the Civil War.[14]

Civil War, Reconstruction and Jim Crow

The Battle of Olustee was the only major Civil War battle fought in Florida

Following Abraham Lincoln's election in 1860, Florida joined other Southern states in seceding from the Union. Secession took place January 10, 1861 and, after less than a month as an independent republic, Florida became one of the founding members of the Confederate States of America. As Florida was an important supply route for the Confederate Army, Union forces operated a blockade around the entire state. Union troops occupied major ports such as Cedar Key, Jacksonville, Key West, and Pensacola. Though numerous skirmishes occurred in Florida, including the Battle of Natural Bridge, the Battle of Marianna and the Battle of Gainesville, the only major battle was the Battle of Olustee near Lake City.

After meeting the requirements of Reconstruction, including ratifying amendments to the US Constitution, Florida was readmitted to the United States on July 25, 1868. This did not end the struggle for political power among groups in the state.

After Reconstruction, conservative white Democrats wrestled for power until they regained it in 1877, partly through violent actions by white paramilitary groups targeting freedmen and allies to reduce their voting. From 1885 to 1889, the state legislature passed statutes with provisions to reduce voting by blacks and poor whites, which had threatened white Democratic power with a populist coalition. As these groups were stripped from voter rolls, white Democrats established power in a one-party state, as happened across the South.

By 1900 the state's African Americans numbered more than 200,000; 44 percent of the total population. This was the same proportion as before the Civil War, and they were effectively disfranchised.[15] Not being able to vote meant they could not sit on juries, and were not elected to local, state or federal offices. They were not recruited for law enforcement or other government positions. White Democrats proceeded to pass Jim Crow legislation establishing racial segregation in public facilities and transportation. Without political representation, African Americans were shortchanged in the state. For more than six decades, white Democrats controlled virtually all the state's seats in Congress, which were apportioned based on the total population of the state rather than only on those voting.

Migrations and tourism industry

Tourists hunting in 1893

During the late 19th century, Florida became a popular tourist destination as railroads expanded into the area. Railroad magnate Henry Plant built at Tampa the luxurious Tampa Bay Hotel, which later became the campus for the University of Tampa. Henry Flagler built the Florida East Coast Railway from Jacksonville to Key West. Along the route he provided for his passengers grand accommodations, including The Ponce de León Hotel in St. Augustine, The Ormond Hotel in Ormond Beach, The Royal Poinciana Hotel and The Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, and The Royal Palm Hotel in Miami.

In February 1888, Florida had a special tourist: President Grover Cleveland, the first lady and his party visited Florida for a couple of days. He visited the Subtropical Exposition in Jacksonville where he made a speech supporting tourism to the state; then, he took a train to St. Augustine, meeting Henry Flagler; and then a train to Titusville, where he boarded a steamboat and visited Rockledge. On his return trip, he visited Sanford and Winter Park.[citation needed]

After WWI there was a rise in lynchings and other racial violence directed by whites against blacks in the state, as well as across the South and in northern cities. It was due in part from strains of rapid social and economic changes, as well as competition for jobs. Whites continued to resort to lynchings to keep dominance, and tensions rose. White mobs committed murders, accompanied by wholesale destruction of black houses, churches and schools, in the small communities of Ocoee, November 1920; Perry in December 1922; and Rosewood in January 1923. The governor appointed a special grand jury and special prosecuting attorney to investigate Rosewood and Levy County, but the jury did not find sufficient evidence to prosecute. Rosewood was never resettled.

To escape segregation, lynchings, and civil right suppression, forty thousand African Americans migrated from Florida to northern cities in the Great Migration from 1910-1940. That was one-fifth of their population in 1900. They sought better lives, including decent-paying jobs, better education for their children, and the chance to vote and participate in political life. Many were recruited for jobs with the Pennsylvania Railroad.[16]

The 1920s were a prosperous time for much of the nation. Florida's new railroads opened up large areas to development, spurring the Florida land boom of the 1920s. Investors of all kinds, mostly from outside Florida, raced to buy and sell rapidly appreciating land in newly platted communities such as Miami and Palm Beach. A majority of the people who bought land in Florida were able to do so without stepping foot in the state, by hiring people to speculate and buy the land for them. By 1925, the market ran out of buyers to pay the high prices and soon the boom became a bust. The 1926 Miami Hurricane further depressed the real estate market. The Great Depression arrived in 1929; however, by that time, economic decay already consumed much of Florida from the land boom that collapsed four years earlier.[citation needed]

Shamu, a SeaWorld attraction

Florida's first theme parks emerged in the 1930s and included Cypress Gardens (1936) near Winter Haven and Marineland (1938) near St. Augustine. In the 1960s Walt Disney chose Central Florida as the site of his planned Walt Disney World Resort and began purchasing land. To avoid generating land speculation, he used dummy corporations and willing associates to acquire 27,400 acres (110 km², 43 mi²). In 1971, the Magic Kingdom, the first component of the resort, opened and began the dramatic transformation of the Orlando area into an international resort destination with a wide variety of themed parks. The Orlando area features theme parks including Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld, and Wet 'n Wild.

Military and space industry

Starting in the early twentieth century and accelerating as World War II dawned, the state became a major hub for the United States Armed Forces. Naval Air Station Pensacola was originally established as a naval station in 1826 and became the first American naval aviation facility in 1917. The entire nation mobilized for World War II and many bases were established in Florida, including Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Naval Station Mayport, Naval Air Station Cecil Field, Naval Air Station Whiting Field and Homestead Air Force Base. Eglin Air Force Base and MacDill Air Force Base (now the home of U.S. Central Command) were also developed during this time. During the Cold War, Florida's coastal access and proximity to Cuba encouraged the development of these and other military facilities. Since the end of the Cold War, the military has closed some facilities, including major bases at Homestead and Cecil Field, but its presence is still significant in the economy.

Kennedy Space Center

Due to the low latitude of the state, it was chosen in 1949 as a test site for the country's nascent missile program. Patrick Air Force Base and the Cape Canaveral launch site began to take shape as the 1950s progressed. By the early 1960s, the Space Race was in full swing. As programs were expanded and employees joined, the space program generated a huge boom in the communities around Cape Canaveral. This area is now collectively known as the Space Coast and features the Kennedy Space Center. It is also a major center of the aerospace industry. To date, all manned orbital spaceflights launched by the United States, including the only men to visit the Moon, have been launched from Kennedy Space Center.

Migrations and Civil Rights Movement, 1945-present

Florida's populations have been rapidly changing. After World War II, Florida was transformed as air conditioning and the Interstate highway system encouraged in-migration from the north. In 1950, Florida was ranked twentieth among the states in population; 50 years later it was ranked fourth.[17] Due to low tax rates and warm climate, Florida became the destination for many retirees from the Northeast, Midwest and Canada.

The Cuban Revolution of 1959 led to a large wave of Cuban immigration into South Florida, which transformed Miami into a major center of commerce, finance and transportation for all of Latin America. Immigration from Haiti, other Caribbean states, and Central and South America continues to the present day.

Like other states in the South, Florida had many African American leaders who were active in the Civil Rights Movement. In the 1940s and '50s, a new generation started working on issues. Harry Moore built the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in Florida, rapidly increasing its membership to 10,000. Because Florida's voter laws were not as restrictive as those of Georgia and Alabama, he also had some success in registering black voters. In the 1940s he increased voter registration among blacks from 5 to 31% of those age-eligible.[18]

The state had white groups who resisted change to the point of attacking and killing blacks. In December 1951 was the notorious bombing of the house of activists Harry Moore and his wife Harriette, who both died of injuries from the blast. Although their murders were not solved then, a state investigation in 2006 reported they had been killed by an independent unit of the Ku Klux Klan. Numerous bombings were directed against African Americans in 1951-1952 in Florida.[19]

The state's population had changed markedly by in-migration of new groups, as well as outmigration of African Americans, 40,000 of whom moved north in earlier decades of the twentieth century during the Great Migration.[20] By 1960 African Americans in Florida numbered 880,186 citizens, but represented only 18% of the state's population.[21] This was a much smaller proportion than in 1900, when according to the census, they comprised 44% of the state's population but numbered 231,209 persons. Since the 19th century, educated black middle classes had developed in numerous cities. By their leadership in Florida and other states, African Americans gained national support and passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965, which protected voting for all citizens.

In the years after such legislation, African Americans and other minorities in the South began to vote and participate more fully in the political process.

The state created a Civil Service in the constitutional rewrite of 1968.[22] Until that time, every time a cabinet officer or governor changed, "three fourths of the employees lost their jobs."[23]

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2000 Presidential election controversy

Florida became the battleground of the controversial 2000 US presidential election, when a count of the popular votes held on Election Day was extremely close. Accusations of fraud and manipulation arose. Subsequent recount efforts degenerated into arguments over mispunched ballots, "hanging chads," and controversial decisions by the Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris and the Florida Supreme Court. Ultimately, the United States Supreme Court ended all recounts and let stand the official count by Harris, which was accepted by Congress. The result was that George W. Bush was determined to have won the Presidential election.

Hurricanes and environment

Destruction in Lakes by the Bay near Miami following Hurricane Andrew

Florida has historically been at risk from hurricanes and tropical storms. These have presented higher risks and property damage as the concentration of population and development has increased along Florida's coastal areas. Not only are more people and property at risk, but development has overtaken the natural system of wetlands and waterways, which used to absorb some of the storms' energy.

Hurricane Andrew in 1992 struck Homestead, just south of Miami, and was, until Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the most expensive natural disaster in US history. Besides heavy property damage, the hurricane nearly destroyed the region's insurance industry.

The western panhandle of the state was damaged heavily in 1995, with storms Allison, Erin, and Opal hitting the area within the span of a few months. The storms increased in strength as the season went on, culminating with Opal's landfall as a Category 3 in October.

Florida also suffered heavily during the 2004 Atlantic hurricane season, when four major storms struck the state. Hurricane Charley made landfall in the Charlotte County area and cut northward through the peninsula, Hurricane Frances struck the Atlantic coast and drenched most of central Florida with heavy rains, Hurricane Ivan caused heavy damage in the western Panhandle, and Hurricane Jeanne caused damage to the same area as Frances, including compounded beach erosion. Damage from all four storms was estimated to be at least $22 billion, with some estimates going as high as $40 billion.

In 2005, South Florida was struck twice, by Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Wilma. The panhandle was struck by Hurricane Dennis.

Environmental issues include preservation and restoration of the Everglades, which has moved slowly. There has been pressure by industry groups to drill for oil in the eastern Gulf of Mexico but so far, large-scale drilling off the coasts of Florida has been prevented.

The governor requested that the federal government declare the state an agricultural disaster area because of 13 straight days of freezing weather, during the growing season in January, 2010.[24]

See also

History of places in Florida

Bibliography

Notes
  1. ^ Purdy: 2 states that the evidence for the presence of humans in Florida by 14,000 years ago is "indisputable".
  2. ^ Milanich 1998:3-12
  3. ^ Purdy: 106-15
  4. ^ Milanich 1998:12-37
  5. ^ Milanich 1998:38-132
  6. ^ FloridaHistory.org, retrieved June 17, 2006.
  7. ^ Hale G. Smith and Marc Gottlob. 1978."Spanish-Indian Relationships: Synoptic History and Archaeological Evidence, 1500-1763", in Milanich, Jerald and Samuel Proctor. Tacachale: Essays on the Indians of Florida and Southeastern Georgia during the Historic Period. Gainesville, Florida: The University Presses of Florida. ISBN 0-8130-0535-3
  8. ^ Bense 1999, p. 6
  9. ^ Rowland-Moore-Rogers 1996, p. 26.
  10. ^ Rowland-Moore-Rogers 1996, p. 27.
  11. ^ Rowland-Moore-Rogers 1996, p. 28.
  12. ^ Gallay, pp. 144-147
  13. ^ Wharton 1821, p. 95
  14. ^ Historical Census Browser, accessed 10/31/2007
  15. ^ Historical Census Browser, 1900 US Census, University of Virginia, accessed 15 Mar 2008
  16. ^ Maxine D. Rogers, et al., Documented History of the Incident Which Occurred at Rosewood, Florida in January 1923, Dec 1993, p.5, accessed 28 March 2008
  17. ^ Census.gov
  18. ^ "Harry and Harriette Moore", Civil Rights Movement Veterans, accessed 30 Mar 2008,
  19. ^ John Egerton, Speak Now Against the Day: The Generation Before the Civil Rights Movement in the South. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1994, pp. 562-563
  20. ^ Maxine D. Rogers, et al., Documented History of the Incident Which Occurred at Rosewood, Florida in January 1923, Dec 1993, accessed 28 Mar 2008
  21. ^ Historical Census Browser, 1960 US Census, University of Virginia, accessed 13 Mar 2008
  22. ^ Law.fsu.edu
  23. ^ Cotterell, Bill (1 May 2009). "Legendary legislator Horne dies at 84". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. pp. 6B. 
  24. ^ "Crist wants ag disaster declared in Florida". Florida Today (Melbourne, Florida: Associated Press): pp. 6B. 16 January 2010. http://www.abcactionnews.com/news/national/story/Crist-wants-ag-disaster-declared-in-Florida/LKG_5mjyM0KQcqpawqnCUg.cspx. 
References
  • Bense, Judith Ann (1999). Archaeology of colonial Pensacola (1999 ed.). University Press of Florida. ISBN 0813016614.  - Total pages: 294
  • Gallay, Alan. The Indian Slave Trade: The Rise of the English Empire in the American South, 1670-1717. Yale University Press. 2002. ISBN 0-300-10193-7.
  • Milanich, Jerald T. Florida's Indians From Ancient Time to the Present. University Press of Florida. 1998.
  • Milanich, Jerald T.. Florida Indians and the Invasion from Europe. University Press of Florida. 1995. ISBN 0-8130-1360-7
  • Purdy, Barbara A. Florida's People During the Last Ice Age. University Press of Florida. 2008. ISBN 978--0-8130-3204-7
  • Rowland, Lawrence Sanders; Moore, Alexander ;Rogers, George C.. The History of Beaufort County, South Carolina: 1514-1861 (1996 ed.). University of South Carolina Press. ISBN 1570030901.  - Total pages: 521
  • Wharton, Edith (1821). The North American review, Volume 13 (1821 ed.). O. Everett.  - Total pages: 514

Further reading

Surveys

  • Burnett, Gene M. Florida's Past: People and Events That Shaped the State. Pineapple Press: 1998. ISBN 1-56164-115-4. * Colburn, David R. and deHaven-Smith, Lance. Government in the Sunshine State: Florida since Statehood. (1999). 168 pp.
  • Colburn, David R. and Landers, Jane L., eds. The African American Heritage of Florida. (1995). 392 pp.
  • Fernald, Edward A. and Purdum, Elizabeth, eds. Atlas of Florida. (1992). 280 pp.
  • Gannon, Michael. The New History of Florida. University Press of Florida: 1996. ISBN 0-8130-1415-8. 480pp
    • Gannon, Michael. Florida: A Short History‎ (2003) 192 pages
  • George, Paul S., ed. A Guide to the History of Florida. (1989). 300 pp.

Indians and colonial

  • Brown, Robin C. Florida's First People: 12,000 Years of Human History. Pineapple Press: 1994. ISBN 1-56164-032-8.
  • Henderson, Ann L., and Gary R. Mormino. Spanish Pathways in Florida: 1492-1992. Pineapple Press: 1991. ISBN 1-56164-004-2.
  • Landers, Jane. Black Society in Spanish Florida. University of Illinois Press: 1999. ISBN 0-252-06753-3
  • Milanich, Jerald T. Florida's Indians from Ancient Times to the Present. (1998). 224 pp.

To 1900

  • Baptist, Edward E. Creating an Old South: Middle Florida's Plantation Frontier before the Civil War. (2002) 408 pp. online review
  • Brown, Canter, Jr. Ossian Bingley Hart: Florida's Loyalist Reconstruction Governor. (1997). 320 pp. on reconstruction
  • Hoffman, Paul E. Florida's Frontiers. (History of the Trans-Appalachian Frontier series.) (2002). 470 pp.
  • Nulty, William H. Confederate Florida: The Road to Olustee. (1990).
  • Revels, Tracy J. Grander in Her Daughters: Florida's Women during the Civil War. (2004) 221 pp. online review
  • Rivers, Larry Eugene. Slavery in Florida: Territorial Days to Emancipation. (2000). 369 pp. online review
  • Rivers, Larry Eugene, and Brown, Canter, Jr. Laborers in the Vineyard of the Lord: The Beginnings of the AME Church in Florida, 1865-1895. (2001). 244 pp. history of the leading black denomination; online review
  • Brown, Canter Jr. and Larry Eugene Rivers. For a Great and Grand Purpose: The Beginnings of the AMEZ Church in Florida, 1864-1905.(2004) 268ppl the other large black church online review
  • Sprague, John T. The Florida War. (1964), on Seminole war 597 pp.
  • Taylor, Robert A., and Lewis N. Wynne. Florida in the Civil War. Arcadia Publishing: 2002. ISBN 0-7385-1491-8.* Taylor, Robert A. Rebel Storehouse: Florida in the Confederate Economy. (1995). 218 pp. online review

20th century

  • Akin, Edward N. Flagler: Rockefeller Partner and Florida Baron. (1988). 305 pp.
  • Colburn, David R. and deHaven-Smith, Lance. Florida's Megatrends: Critical Issues in Florida. (2002). 161 pp. online review
  • Colburn, David R. From Yellow Dog Democrats to Red State Republicans: Florida and Its Politics since 1940. (2007) 272pponline review
  • Colburn, David R. and Scher, Richard K. Florida's Gubernatorial Politics in the Twentieth Century. (1980). 342 pp.
  • Crispell, Brian Lewis. Testing the Limits: George Armistead Smathers and Cold War America. (1999). 234 pp. politics in 1950s and 1960s
  • Danese, Tracy E. Claude Pepper and Ed Ball: Politics, Purpose, and Power. (2000). 300 pp. politics of 1950s
  • Flynt, Wayne. Cracker Messiah: Governor Sidney J. Catts of Florida. (1977). 359 pp. Democratic governor 1917-21
  • Kallina, Edmund F., Jr. Claude Kirk and the Politics of Confrontation. (1993). 253 pp. Republican governor 1967-71
  • Kleinberg, Eliot. War in Paradise: Stories of World War II in Florida. (1999). 96pp.
  • Klingman, Peter D. Neither Dies nor Surrenders: A History of the Republican Party in Florida, 1867-1970. (1984). 233 pp.
  • McCarthy, Kevin M. Baseball in Florida. (1996). 272 pp.
  • Manley, Walter M., and Canter Brown. The Supreme Court of Florida, 1917-1972. (2006). 428 pp. online review
  • Newton, Michael. The Invisible Empire: The Ku Klux Klan in Florida. (2001). 260 pp.
  • Mormino, Gary. Land of Sunshine, State of Dreams: A Social History of Modern Florida. (2005) 474 pp. online review
  • Peirce, Neal R. The Deep South States of America: People, Politics, and Power in the Seven Deep South States. 1974
  • Riley, Nano, and Davida Johns. Florida's Farmworkers in the Twenty-First Century (2002) 225pp. online review
  • Rowe, Anne E. The Idea of Florida in the American Literary Imagination. (1986). 159 pp.
  • Stuart, John A., and John F. Stack, eds. The New Deal in South Florida: Design, Policy, and Community Building, 1933-1940. 263 pp. online review
  • Vickers, Raymond B. Panic in Paradise: Florida's Banking Crash of 1926. (1994). 336 pp.
  • Wagy, Tom R. Governor LeRoy Collins of Florida: Spokesman of the New South. (1985). 264 pp. Democratic governor 1955-61

Cities, regions, social history

  • Bartley, Abel A. Keeping the Faith: Race, Politics, and Social Development in Jacksonville, Florida, 1940-1970. (2000). 177 pp. online edition
  • Brown, Canter, Jr. Tampa in the Civil War and Reconstruction. (2000). 246 pp.
  • Brown, Canter, Jr. In the Midst of All That Makes Life Worth Living: Polk County, Florida, to 1940. (2001). 325 pp. online review
    • Brown, Canter, Jr. None Can Have Richer Memories: Polk County, Florida 1940-2000 (2005) online review
  • Croucher, Sheila L. Imagining Miami: Ethnic Politics in a Postmodern World. (1997). 235 pp.
  • Drobney, Jeffrey. Lumbermen and Log Sawyers: Life, Labor, and Culture in the North Florida Timber Industry, 1830-1930. (1997). 241 pp.
  • Dunn, Marvin. Black Miami in the Twentieth Century. (1997). 414 pp.
  • Faherty, William Barnaby Florida's Space Coast: The Impact of NASA on the Sunshine State. (2002) 224pp online review
  • García, María Cristina. Havana USA: Cuban Exiles and Cuban Americans in South Florida, 1959-1994. (1996). 290 pp. online review
  • Hann, John H. Apalachee: The Land between the Rivers. (1988). 450 pp.
  • Kerstein, Robert. Politics and Growth in Twentieth-Century Tampa. (2001). 440 pp.
  • McNally, Michael J. Catholic Parish Life on Florida's West Coast, 1860-1968. (1996). 503 pp.
  • McNally, Michael J. Catholicism in South Florida, 1868-1968. (1982). 316 pp.
  • Moore, Deborah Dash. To the Golden Cities: Pursuing the American Jewish Dream in Miami and L.A. (1994). 358 pp.
  • Mormino, Gary Ross and Pozzetta, George E. The Immigrant World of Ybor City: Italians and Their Latin Neighbors in Tampa, 1885-1985. (1987). 368 pp.
  • Muir, Helen. Miami, USA. (1953) 355 pp.
  • Portes, Alejandro and Stepick, Alex. City on the Edge: The Transformation of Miami. (1993). 281 pp.
  • Portes, Alejandro and Rumbaut, Rubén G. Legacies: The Story of the Immigrant Second Generation. (2001). 406 pp. children of immigrants in Miami

Environment

  • Barnes, Jay. Florida's Hurricane History. (1998). 330 pp.
  • Barnett, Cynthia. Mirage: Florida and the Vanishing Water of the Eastern U.S. (2007). 240 pp. online review
  • McCally, David. The Everglades: An Environmental History. (1999). 215 pp.
  • Miller, James J. An Environmental History of Northeast Florida. (1998). 223 pp.
  • Provenzo, Eugene F., and Asterie Baker Provenzo. In the Eye of Hurricane Andrew. (2002). 184 pp. online review
  • Williams, John M. and Duedall, Iver W. Florida Hurricanes and Tropical Storms, 1871-2001. (2002). 176 pp. online review

Primary sources

  • Romans, Bernard. A Concise Natural History of East and West Florida. ed. by Kathryn E. Holland Braund, (1999). 442 pp. online review travel in 1770s

External links


Genealogy

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Familypedia

Five flags of Florida (not including the current State Flag of Florida).

The history of Florida can be traced back to when the first Native Americans began to inhabit the peninsula as early as 14,000 years ago. Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León first arrived and explored the area in 1513.

Contents

Prehistory of Florida

Paleo-Indians entered what is now Florida 14,000 years ago, soon after they are believed to have crossed over to North America from Asia. Due to the large amount of water locked up in glaciers during the Wisconsin glaciation, the sea level may have been 100 metres (more than 300 feet) lower than it is today. As a result, the Florida peninsula had a land area about twice what it is today. Florida also had a drier and cooler climate than in more recent times. There were few flowing rivers or wetlands. Over large areas of Florida the only fresh water available was in sinkholes and limestone catchment basins. As a result most paleo-Indian activity was around the watering holes, and sinkholes and basins in the beds of modern rivers (such as the Page-Ladson prehistory site in the Aucilla River) have yielded a rich trove of paleo-Indian artifacts, including Clovis points.[1]

As the glaciers began retreating about 8000 BCE, the climate of Florida became warmer and wetter, and the sea level rose. The paleo-Indian culture was replaced by, or evolved into, the Early Archaic culture. There were now more people in Florida, and as they were no longer tied to a few water holes in an arid land, they left their artifacts in many more locations. (Archaeologists have learned much about the Early Archaic people of Florida from the spectacular discoveries made at Windover Pond.) The Early Archaic period evolved into the Middle Archaic period around 5000 BCE. People started living in villages near wetlands, and favored sites may have been occupied for multiple generations. The Late Archaic period started around 3000 BCE, when Florida's climate had reached current conditions and the sea had risen close to its present level. People now lived everywhere there were fresh or salt water wetlands. Large shell middens accumulated during this period. Many people lived in large villages with purpose-built mounds, such as at the Horr's Island. Fired pottery appeared in Florida by 2000 BCE. By about 500 BCE, the Archaic culture that had been fairly uniform across Florida began to fragment into regional cultures.[2]

The post-Archaic cultures of eastern and southern Florida developed in relative isolation, and it is likely that the peoples living in those areas at the time of first European contact were direct descendants of the inhabitants of the areas in late Archaic times. The cultures of the Florida panhandle and the north and central Gulf coast of the Florida peninsula were strongly influenced by the Mississippian culture, although there is continuity in cultural history, suggesting that the peoples of those cultures were also descended from the inhabitants of the Archaic period. Cultivation of maize was adopted in the panhandle and the northern part of the peninsula, but was absent or very restricted in the tribes that lived south of the Timucuan-speaking people (i.e., south of a line approximately from present-day Daytona Beach to a point on or north of Tampa Bay.[3]

Native American tribes

Bernard Picart Copper Plate Engraving of Florida Indians, Circa 1721 "Cérémonies et Coutumes Religieuses de tous les Peuples du Monde" (Private Collection of L.S. Morgan, St. Augustine Beach, FL)

At the time of first European contact, Florida was inhabited by an estimated 350,000 people belonging to a number of tribes. The Spanish recorded nearly one hundred names of groups they encountered, ranging from organized political entities such as the Apalachee, with a population of around 50,000, to villages with no known political affiliation. There were an estimated 150,000 speakers of dialects of the Timucua language, but the Timucua were only organized as groups of villages, and did not share a common culture. Other tribes in Florida at the time of first contact included the Ais, Calusa, Jaega, Mayaimi, Tequesta and Tocobaga. All of these tribes diminished in numbers during the period of Spanish control of Florida. At the beginning of the 18th century, tribes from areas to the north of Florida, supplied, encouraged, and occasionally accompanied by white colonists from the Province of Carolina, raided throughout Florida, burning villages, killing many of the inhabitants and carrying captives back to Charles Towne to be sold as slaves. Most of the villages in Florida were abandoned and the survivors sought refuge at St. Augustine, or in isolated spots around the state. Some of the Apalachee eventually reached Louisiana, where they survived as a distinct group for at least another century. The few surviving members of these tribes were evacuated to Cuba when Spain transferred Florida to the British Empire in 1763. The Seminole, originally an offshoot of the Creek people who absorbed other groups, developed as a distinct tribe in Florida during the 18th century, and are now represented in the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, the Seminole Tribe of Florida, and the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida.

Spanish rule

Main article: Spanish Florida
Juan Ponce de León

According to popular legend, unlikely to be true, Juan Ponce de León discovered Florida while searching for the Fountain of Youth. Although it is often stated that he sighted the peninsula for the first time, mistaking it for an island, on March 27 1513, he probably actually saw one of the Bahama islands.[4] He landed on the east coast of the newly discovered land on April 2. He named the land La Pascua Florida, or "Flowery Easter," probably due to the abundant plant life in the area or to the fact that he arrived during the Spanish Easter feast, Pascua Florida. However, Ponce de León may not have been the first European to reach Florida, as he claimed he encountered at least one Indian who could speak Spanish [5] Ponce de León returned with equipment and settlers to start a colony in 1521, but they were driven off by repeated attacks from the native population. The earliest records of inland Florida are those of conquest survivors. Pánfilo de Narváez's expedition explored Florida's west coast in 1528, but was lost at sea upon his attempted seaward escape to Mexico. One of his expedition's officers, Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, survived nine years trudging between Florida and Mexico, returned to Spain and published his observations. He inspired Hernando de Soto's invasion of Florida in 1539. Members of his expedition later published details of Florida's natives, their lifestyles and behavior. In 1559 Tristán de Luna y Arellano established a brief settlement in Pensacola that was abandoned in 1561.

File:Florida worship french column 1591.jpeg
Timucua Indians at a shrine they set up around a column erected by the French in 1562.

The French began taking an interest in the area as well, leading the Spanish to accelerate their colonization plans. Jean Ribault led an expedition to Florida in 1562, and his associate René Goulaine de Laudonnière founded Fort Caroline in what is now Jacksonville in 1564 as a haven for the Huguenots. San Agustín (St. Augustine), founded in 1565 by Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, is the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in any U.S. state; it is second oldest only to San Juan in the United States' current territory.

From this base of operations, the Spanish began building Catholic missions.

File:Florida Moyne 1591.jpeg
1591 map of Florida

On September 20, 1565, Menéndez de Avilés attacked Fort Caroline, killed all the French soldiers defending it (except Catholics), and renamed the fort San Mateo. Two years later, Dominique de Gourgues recaptured the settlement from the Spanish and slaughtered all of the Spanish defenders. After the initial destruction of Fort Caroline, St. Augustine became the most important settlement in Florida. It was little more than a fortress for many years, and was frequently attacked and burned, with most residents killed or fled. It was notably devastated in 1586, when English sea captain and sometime pirate Sir Francis Drake plundered and burned the city. Roman Catholic missionaries used St. Augustine as a base of operations, and established missions throughout what is today the southeastern United States. Missionaries converted 26,000 natives by 1655, but a revolt in 1656 and an epidemic in 1659 proved devastating. Pirate attacks were unrelenting against small outposts and even St Augustine itself.

Throughout the 17th century, English settlers in Virginia and the Carolinas gradually pushed the boundaries of Spanish territory south, while the French settlements along the Mississippi River encroached on the western borders of the Spanish claim. In 1702, English Colonel James Moore and allied Yamasee and Creek Indians attacked and razed the town of St. Augustine, but they could not gain control of the fort. In 1704, Moore and his soldiers began burning Spanish missions in north Florida and executing Indians friendly with the Spanish. The collapse of the Spanish mission system and the defeat of the Spanish-allied Apalachee Indians (the Apalachee massacre) opened Florida up to slave raids, which reached to the Florida Keys and decimated the native population.[6] The Yamasee War of 1715-1717 resulted in large numbers of Indian refugees, such as the Yamasee, moving south to Florida. In 1719, the French captured the Spanish settlement at Pensacola.

The British and their colonies made war repeatedly against the Spanish, especially in 1702, and captured St Augustine in 1740. The British were angry that Spanish officials tolerated and invited runaway slaves into Florida. Invading Seminoles killed off most of the local Indians. Florida had about 3000 Spaniards when Britain took control 1763. Nearly all quickly left. Even though in 1783 control was restored to Spain, Spain sent no more settlers or missionaries. The US took control in 1819.

British rule

The expanded West Florida territory in 1767.

In 1763, Spain traded Florida (which, at the time, extended south only to around the area of present day Gainesville) to Great Britain for control of Havana, Cuba, which had been captured by the British during the Seven Years' War. Almost the entire Spanish population left along with most of the remaining indigenous population. The British divided the territory into East Florida and West Florida, and began aggressive recruitment programs designed to attract settlers to the area, offering free land and backing for export-oriented businesses.

East Florida was the site of the largest single importation of white settlers in the colonial period, about 1,400 people indentured by Scottish Physician Dr. Andrew Turnbull arrived in July 1768. These people settled at New Smyrna, where they began to farm various crops needed in the Empire, such as indigo, grapes, silk, etc. Unfortunately for them, most crops did not do well in the sandy Florida soil, and those that did rarely equaled the quality produced in other areas. Colonists eventually tired of their servitude and the increasingly uncompromising nature of Turnbull, who on several occasions used black slaves to whip his unruly settlers. The settlement collapsed and the survivors fled to St. Augustine. Their relatives survive to this day, as does the name New Smyrna.

In 1767, the British moved the northern boundary of West Florida to a line extending from the mouth of the Yazoo River east to the Chattahoochee River (32° 28′north latitude), consisting of approximately the lower third of the present states of Mississippi and Alabama. During this time, there was a migration into Florida of Creek Indians, who would form the Seminole tribe.

During the American Revolutionary War, the Spanish, then allied with the French (who were actively at war with Britain), took advantage of the distraction and recaptured portions of West Florida, including Pensacola. In 1784, the Treaty of Paris ending the Revolutionary War returned all of Florida to Spanish control, but without specifying the boundaries. The Spanish wanted the expanded boundary, while the United States demanded the old boundary at the 31st parallel. In the Treaty of San Lorenzo of 1795, Spain recognized the 31st parallel as the boundary.

Second Spanish rule

East and West Florida in 1810

Spanish presence was minor during that empire's second rule over Florida. Spain offered extremely lucrative free land packages in Florida as a means of attracting settlers, and foreigners came in droves, especially from the United States. The territory became a haven for escaped slaves and a base for Indian attacks against the U.S., and the U.S. demanded Spain reform. There were almost no Spanish settlers and only a few soldiers. In the meantime, American settlers established a foothold in the area and ignored Spanish officials. British settlers who had remained also resented Spanish rule, leading to a rebellion in 1810 and the establishment for exactly ninety days of the so-called Free and Independent Republic of West Florida on September 23. After meetings beginning in June, rebels overcame the Spanish garrison at Baton Rouge (now in Louisiana), and unfurled the flag of the new republic: a single white star on a blue field. This flag would later become known as the "Bonnie Blue Flag".

Throughout this period, Spain offered land grants to anyone who settled in Florida. As a result, hundreds of Americans came into the colony. Once Florida became a U.S. Territory, these grants -- which the U.S. agreed to honor if found valid -- caused years of litigation as settlers attempted to prove the validity of their claims.

On October 27, 1810, parts of West Florida were annexed by proclamation of U.S. President James Madison, who claimed the region as part of the Louisiana Purchase. At first, purchase negotiator Fulwar Skipwith and the West Florida government were opposed to the proclamation, preferring to negotiate terms to join the Union. However, William C. C. Claiborne, who was sent to take possession of the territory, refused to recognize the legitimacy of the West Florida government. Skipwith proclaimed that he was ready to "die in defense of the Lone Star flag." However, Skipwith and the legislature eventually backed down, and agreed to accept Madison's proclamation. Possession was taken of St. Francisville on 6 December 1810, and of Baton Rouge on 10 December 1810. These portions were incorporated into the newly formed Orleans Territory. The U.S. annexed the Mobile District of West Florida to the Mississippi Territory in 1812. Spain continued to dispute the area, though the United States gradually increased the area it occupied.

After settler attacks on Indian towns, Seminole Indians based in East Florida began raiding Georgia settlements, purportedly at the behest of the Spanish. The United States Army led increasingly frequent incursions into Spanish territory, including the 1817 – 1818 campaign against the Seminole Indians by Andrew Jackson that became known as the First Seminole War. Following the war, the United States effectively controlled East Florida.

The Adams-Onís Treaty was signed between the United States and Spain on February 22, 1819 and took effect on July 10, 1821. According to the terms of the treaty, the United States acquired Florida and, in exchange, renounced all claims to Texas. Andrew Jackson formally took control of Florida from Spanish authorities on July 17, 1821 at Pensacola.

American rule

Main article: Florida Territory
Andrew Jackson served as the first military Governor of Florida.
Seminole leader Osceola

Florida became an organized territory of the United States on March 30, 1822. The Americans merged East Florida and West Florida (although the majority of West Florida was annexed to Orleans Territory and Mississippi Territory), and established a new capital in Tallahassee, conveniently located halfway between the East Florida capital of St. Augustine and the West Florida capital of Pensacola. The boundaries of Florida's first two counties, Escambia and St. Johns, approximately coincided with the boundaries of West and East Florida respectively.

As settlement increased, pressure grew on the United States government to remove the Indians from their lands in Florida. To the chagrin of Georgia landowners, the Seminoles harbored and integrated runaway blacks, and clashes between whites and Indians grew with the influx of new settlers. In 1832, the United States government signed the Treaty of Payne's Landing with some of the Seminole chiefs, promising them lands west of the Mississippi River if they agreed to leave Florida voluntarily. Many of the Seminoles left at this time, while those who remained prepared to defend their claims to the land. White settlers pressured the government to remove all of the Indians, by force if necessary, and in 1835, the U.S. Army arrived to enforce the treaty.

The Second Seminole War began at the end of 1835 with the Dade Massacre, when Seminoles ambushed Army troops marching from Fort Brooke (Tampa) to reinforce Fort King (Ocala), killing or mortally wounding all but one of the 108 troops. Between 900 and 1,500 Seminole Indian warriors effectively employed hit and run guerrilla tactics against United States Army troops for seven years. Osceola, a charismatic young war leader, came to symbolize the war and the Seminoles after he was arrested at truce negotiations in 1837 and died in prison less than a year later. The war dragged on until 1842. The U.S. government is estimated to have spent between US$20 million and US$40 million on the war, at the time an astronomical sum. Almost all of the Seminoles were forcibly exiled to Creek lands west of the Mississippi; about 300 were allowed to remain in the Everglades.

On March 3, 1845, Florida became the 27th state of the United States of America. Almost half of the state's population were black slaves working on plantations.

The Civil War and Reconstruction

Main article: Florida in the American Civil War
The Battle of Olustee was the only major Civil War battle fought in Florida.

Following Abraham Lincoln's election in 1860, Florida joined other Southern states in seceding from the Union. Secession took place January 10, 1861 and, after less than a month as an independent republic, Florida became one of the founding members of the Confederate States of America. As Florida was an important supply route for the Confederate Army, Union forces operated a blockade around the entire state. Union troops occupied major ports such as Cedar Key, Jacksonville, Key West, and Pensacola. Though numerous skirmishes occurred in Florida, including the Battle of Natural Bridge and the Battle of Gainesville, the only major battle was the Battle of Olustee near Lake City.

After meeting the requirements of Reconstruction, including amendments to the US Constitution, Florida was readmitted to the United States on July 25, 1868.

Tourism industry

Shamu, a popular SeaWorld attraction.

During the late 19th century, Florida started to become a popular tourist destination as railroads expanded into the area. Railroad magnate Henry Plant built a luxury hotel in Tampa, which later became the campus for the University of Tampa. Henry Flagler built the Florida East Coast Railway from Jacksonville to Key West and built numerous luxury hotels along the route, including in the cities of St. Augustine, Ormond Beach, and West Palm Beach.

In February 1888, Florida had a special tourist. President Grover Cleveland, the first lady and his party visited Florida for a couple of days. He visited the Subtropical Exposition in Jacksonville where he made a speech supporting tourism to the state; then, he took a train to St. Augustine, meeting Henry Flagler; and then a train to Titusville, where he boarded a steamboat and visited Rock Ledge. On his return trip, he visited Sanford and Winter Park.

The 1920s were a prosperous time for much of the nation. Florida's new railroads opened up large areas to development, spurring the Florida land boom of the 1920's. Investors of all kinds, mostly from outside Florida, raced to buy and sell rapidly appreciating land in newly platted communities such as Miami and Palm Beach. A majority of the people who bought land in Florida were able to do so without stepping foot in the state, by hiring people to speculate and buy the land for them. By 1925, the market ran out of buyers to pay the high prices and soon the boom became a bust. The 1926 Miami Hurricane further depressed the real estate market. The Great Depression arrived in 1929; however, by that time, economic decay already consumed much of Florida from the land boom that collapsed four years earlier.

Florida's first theme parks emerged in the 1930s and include Cypress Gardens (1936) near Winter Haven and Marineland (1938) near St. Augustine. Walt Disney chose Central Florida as the site of his planned Walt Disney World Resort in the 1960s and began purchasing land. In 1971, the first component of the resort, The Magic Kingdom, opened and began the dramatic transformation of the Orlando area into a resort destination with a wide variety of themed parks. Besides Disney, the Orlando area today features theme parks including Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld, and Wet 'n Wild.

Military and space industry

A Space Shuttle launch.

Starting in the early twentieth century and accelerating as World War II dawned, the state has proven itself to be a major hub for the United States Armed Forces. Naval Air Station Pensacola was originally established as a naval station in 1826 and became the first American naval aviation facility in 1917. The entire nation mobilized for World War II and many bases were established in Florida during this time, including Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Naval Station Mayport, Naval Air Station Cecil Field, and Homestead Air Force Base. Eglin Air Force Base and MacDill Air Force Base (now the home of U.S. Central Command) were also developed during this time. During the Cold War, Florida's coastal access and proximity to Cuba continued the development of these and other military facilities. Since the end of the Cold War, Florida has seen some facilities close, including major bases at Homestead and Cecil Field, but the military presence is still significant.

Due to Florida's low latitude, it was chosen in 1949 as a test site for the country's nascent missile program. Patrick Air Force Base and the Cape Canaveral launch site began to take shape as the 1950s progressed. By the early 1960s, the Space Race was in full swing and generated a huge boom in the communities around Cape Canaveral. This area is now collectively known as the Space Coast and features the Kennedy Space Center. It is also a major center of the aerospace industry. To date, all manned orbital spaceflights launched by the United States, including the only men to visit the Moon, have been launched from Kennedy Space Center.

Since 1945

Florida's populations are continually changing. After World War II, Florida was transformed as air conditioning and the Interstate highway system encouraged migration from the north. In 1950, Florida was ranked twentieth among the states in population; 50 years later it was ranked fourth.[7] Due to low tax rates and warm climate, Florida became the destination for many retirees from the Northeast and Canada. The Cuban Revolution of 1959 led to a large wave of Cuban immigration into South Florida, which transformed Miami into a major center of commerce, finance and transportation for all of Latin America. Immigration from Haiti and other Caribbean states continues to the present day.

2000 Presidential election controversy

Florida became the battleground of the controversial 2000 US presidential election, when a count of the popular votes held on Election Day was extremely close and mired in accusations of fraud and manipulation. Subsequent recount efforts degenerated into arguments over mispunched ballots, "hanging chads," and controversial decisions by the Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris and the Florida Supreme Court. Ultimately, the United States Supreme Court ended all recounts and let stand the official count by Harris, which was accepted by Congress.

Hurricanes and environment

Hurricanes and tropical storms are an increasing problem stemming from Florida's rapidly developing coastal areas. Hurricane Andrew in 1992 struck Homestead, just south of Miami, and was, until Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the most expensive natural disaster in US history. Besides heavy property damage, the hurricane nearly destroyed the region's insurance industry.

The western panhandle of the state was damaged heavily in 1995, with storms Allison, Erin, and Opal hitting the area within the span of a few months. The storms increased in strength as the season went on, culminating with Opal's landfall as a Category 3 in October. Florida also suffered heavily during the 2004 Atlantic hurricane season, when no less than four storms struck the state. Hurricane Charley made landfall in the Fort Myers area and cut northward through the peninsula, Hurricane Frances struck the Atlantic coast and drenched most of central Florida with heavy rains, Hurricane Ivan caused heavy damage in the western Panhandle, and Hurricane Jeanne caused damage to the same area as Frances, including compounded beach erosion. Damage from all four storms was estimated to be at least $22 billion, with some estimates going as high as $40 billion. In 2005, South Florida was struck twice again by Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Wilma. The panhandle was struck by Hurricane Dennis in 2005 as well.

Environmental issues include preservation and restoration of the Everglades and how to respond to pressure to drill for oil in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. To date, large-scale drilling off of the coasts of Florida has been prevented.

See also

References

  1. ^ Milanich. (1998) Pp. 3-12
  2. ^ Milanich. (1998) P. 12-37
  3. ^ Milanich. (1998) P. 38-132
  4. ^ [1]- retrieved June 17, 2006.
  5. ^ Hale G. Smith and Marc Gottlob. 1978. Spanish-Indian Relationships: Synoptic History and Archaeological Evidence, 1500-1763, in Milanich, Jerald and Samuel Proctor. Tacachale: Essays on the Indians of Florida and Southeastern Georgia during the Historic Period. Gainesville, Florida: The University Presses of Florida. ISBN 0-8130-0535-3
  6. ^ Gallay, pp. 144-147
  7. ^ http://www.census.gov/population/cen2000/phc-t2/tab01.pdf

Sources and further reading

  • Baptist, Edward E. Creating an Old South: Middle Florida's Plantation Frontier Before the Civil War.
  • Barnes, Jay. Florida's Hurricane History. University of North Carolina Press: 1998. ISBN 0-8078-4748-8.
  • Brown, Robin C. Florida's First People: 12,000 Years of Human History. Pineapple Press: 1994. ISBN 1-56164-032-8.
  • Burnett, Gene M. Florida's Past: People and Events That Shaped the State. Pineapple Press: 1998. ISBN 1-56164-115-4.
  • Gallay, Alan. The Indian Slave Trade: The Rise of the English Empire in the American South, 1670-1717. Yale University Press. 2002. ISBN 0-300-10193-7.
  • Gannon, Michael. The New History of Florida. University Press of Florida: 1996. ISBN 0-8130-1415-8.
  • Henderson, Ann L., and Gary R. Mormino. Spanish Pathways in Florida: 1492-1992. Pineapple Press: 1991. ISBN 1-56164-004-2.
  • Landers, Jane. Black Society in Spanish Florida. University of Illinois Press: 1999. ISBN 0-252-06753-3
  • Milanich, Jerald T. Florida's Indians From Ancient Time to the Present. University Press of Florida. 1998.
  • Milanich, Jerald T.. Florida Indians and the Invasion from Europe. University Press of Florida. 1995. ISBN 0-8130-1360-7
  • Peirce, Neal R. The Deep South States of America: People, Politics, and Power in the Seven Deep South States. 1974
  • Sobel, Robert The Money Manias: The Eras of Great Speculation in America, 1770-1970 (1973) reprinted (2000)
  • Taylor, Robert A., and Lewis N. Wynne. Florida in the Civil War. Arcadia Publishing: 2002. ISBN 0-7385-1491-8.

External links


This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at History of Florida. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.

This article uses material from the "History of Florida" article on the Genealogy wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

Simple English

Florida was originally was settled by Seminole Indians 14,000 years. The history of recorded began when Europeans explored the peninsula.


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