A Look at the History of Florida

If you’re a Florida resident, or if you’re just curious about the history of the Sunshine State, then this blog post is for you! In this post, we will take a brief look at the history of Florida. From its earliest inhabitants to the present day, Florida has been through a lot!

1.   Pre-Columbian Florida

The first settlers of what is now known as Florida lived here thousands of years before the Europeans arrived. These people referred to as “pre-Columbian,” were members of various indigenous tribes and nations, many of whom are still in existence today.

These tribes include the Ais, Apalachee, Calusa, Creek, Miccosukee, Seminole, Timucua, and Yemassee. It is believed that they began inhabiting this area as long ago as 12,000 BCE.

By 500 CE, these early inhabitants had developed several elaborate societies along the coastlines and inland areas; some even had writing systems and developed agriculture. To this day, it is evident that their lasting legacy can be seen in the state as much of Florida’s flora and fauna have been impacted by these earliest settlers.

2.   Spanish Exploration and Colonization

When discussing the topic of Spanish exploration and colonization in Florida, it’s important to understand how Spain managed to come out on top and control the region.

It was during the 16th century when, under the rule of King Charles I, Spain sent a number of expeditions to different parts of what is today considered Florida with the goal of establishing colonies in Central America.

The purpose of doing this was to find new lands that could provide financial gain for the country. The expedition led by Juan Ponce de León was especially effective because he landed at many ports throughout his voyage and set up numerous settlements along the coast.

Eventually, with more and more settlers coming from Spain and other territories, Spain gained responsibility for governing over large sections of what is now Florida as they defeated a number of indigenous tribes. Despite facing some difficult battles, Spain ultimately gained control due to their relentless dedication and forward-thinking strategy.

3.   The British Period

After the signing of the Treaty of Paris, which ended the Seven Years’ War between Britain and France in 1763, Spain was forced to cede Florida to the British.

During this period, many settlers from Britain began to colonize the region by establishing settlements and trading posts throughout the state. This influx of people had a major impact on the region as it resulted in the displacement of many Native American tribes, who had been living there for centuries.

In addition to this, British rule also saw a number of societal changes such as the introduction of slavery, which was not seen prior to their arrival. This period ended in 1783 when Florida became a Spanish territory again after the signing of the Treaty of Paris.

4.   Statehood

In 1821, Florida became a part of the United States after it was purchased from Spain for $5 million. Over the next few decades, there were several attempts at gaining statehood for Florida; however, none of them were successful until 1845 when the state was officially admitted into the union as the 27th state of the United States.

Since then, Florida has continued to grow and develop with each passing year, becoming one of the most populous states in the country. It’s also become a leader in the movement to legalize and destigmatize marijuana, as you can easily apply for a medical marijuana card if you visit Veriheal.

Beyond this, Florida is also home to many world-famous tourist attractions such as Disney World and Universal Studios which are visited by millions of people each year. It’s clear that the journey to becoming a state was well worth it for both the people of Florida and its visitors alike. The rich history and culture found in Florida have made the state a destination in itself.


As you can see, Florida’s history is both long and complex. From its earliest inhabitants to its modern-day tourist destinations, Florida has seen many changes over the centuries. While Spain and Britain both played a role in the development of what is now known as Florida, it’s ultimately the hardworking people who have made this state into what it is today.

Photo by Denys Kostyuchenko on Unsplash

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