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1513, Spaniard Juan Ponce de León became the European to explore
He claimed the region for Spain but was unable to establish a
colony due to Indian attacks.
In 1539, Hernando de Soto landed in the Tampa Bay.
He explored central and northern Florida on his way to the
missionaries settled Fort Caroline near present-day Jacksonville in
following year, Spanish troops arrived and drove the French out of
They established St. Augustine, the first permanent European
1763, Spain lost Florida to England.
During the Revolutionary War, Spanish troops entered Florida and
repossessed the land by 1783.
Settlers attempted revolution several times against Spain.
During the War of 1812, Spain allowed Britain to use Pensacola as
a naval base.
In 1814, American troops captured the base.
Other battles eventually led to U.S. control of Florida in 1821.
1822, the Florida Territory was organized and settlers entered by the
The U.S. government offered land in Oklahoma to the Seminole
Indians who lived in Florida.
Some refused to leave and fought for their lands.
The Seminole Wars killed many of the Indians and forced all but a
few out of Florida in 1858.
was admitted to the Union as a slave state on March 3, 1845.
Conflict over slavery led to the Civil War (1861-1865).
Florida seceded from the Union and joined the Confederacy.
Although most of Florida’s coast was captured, Confederate
troops won the Battle of Olustee in 1864 and protected Tallahassee and
Florida’s interior region.
After the war ended, Florida was placed under military control.
In 1868, Florida was readmitted to the Union with a new state
constitution guaranteeing civil rights and giving blacks the right to
grew immensely during the early 1900s.
Railroads expanded to Key West in 1912, opening new land for
Swamps were drained and the growing tourist industry attracted
people from all over the world.
Citrus groves expanded throughout northern and south-central
parts of the state.
Florida’s population grew considerably at this time.
hit the economy in Florida during the 1920s.
Hurricanes swept through the state destroying property and
killing hundreds of people.
As the state’s economy was struggling to recover, the Great
Depression occurred in 1929.
Banks closed, tourism stopped, and thousands lost their jobs.
The U.S. government helped to provide jobs by developing
Florida’s natural resources.
War II (1939-1945) provided several government jobs as military bases
were established along the coast of Florida.
After the war, many who had served in the military remained in
Tourism continued as the state’s leading industry and new
industries diversified the economy, such as chemical, computers,
electronics, and oceanography.
In 1950, Cape Canaveral became a space and rocket center.
the early 1960s, thousands of Cubans fled Cuba and settled in Florida.
Racial problems increased.
In 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled segregation of public
Florida began integration in 1959; by the late 1960s, most public
schools had integrated and several new universities were built.