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Highway Map of Florida

History of the State of Florida

The records of Florida may be traced to when the primary local people started out to inhabit the peninsula as early as 14,000 years in the past. They left at the back of artifacts and archeological evidence. Florida’s written records begin with the arrival of Europeans; the Spanish explorer Juan ponce de león in 1513 made the primary textual facts. The state acquired its name from this Spanish conquistador, who called the peninsula la Pascua Florida in reputation of the verdant panorama and because it becomes the Easter season, which the Spaniards called Pascua Florida (competition of flowers).

This vicinity changed into the first mainland realm of America to be settled by means of Europeans. As a result, 1513 marked the start of the yank frontier. From that point of touch, Florida has had many waves of colonization and immigration, together with French and Spanish agreement throughout the sixteenth century, as well as entry of recent native American agencies migrating from somewhere else in the south, and free blacks and fugitive slaves, who inside the nineteenth century have become allied with the local Americans as black Seminoles. Florida becomes beneath colonial rule with the aid of Spain, France, and exceptional Britain at some stage in the 18th and nineteenth centuries earlier than becoming a territory of the United States in 1821.

Two a long time later, in 1845, Florida was admitted to the union as the twenty-seventh nation. For the reason that the 19th century, immigrants have arrived from Europe, Latin the USA, Africa, and Asia. Florida is nicknamed the “sunshine state” due to its heat climate and days of light, that have attracted northern migrants and travelers since the nineteen twenties. Numerous population and urbanized financial systems have evolved. In 2011 Florida, with over 19 million people, passed by and have become the 1/3 largest kingdom in the populace. The financial system has evolved through the years, starting with natural aid exploitation in logging, mining, fishing, and sponge diving; in addition to farm animals ranching, farming, and citrus growing. The tourism, real property, trade, banking, and retirement vacation spot corporations followed.

Florida Vintage Postcards

Since Ponce de Leon first set foot in the wilderness of Florida in the 1500s, people have been drawn to the “Sunshine State”. The Spanish established St. Augustine in 1565 and wipe out their French competitors, then the British gain control in the 1760’s only to lose the territory again to the Spanish. Finally, in 1821 the United States purchases Florida from Spain and in 1845 the territory becomes a state! When Henry Plant and Henry Flagler built their railroads down each coast, Florida begins a gilded age of travel and tourism which continues to this day. Early Florida postcards offer wonderful views of an unspoiled state. From the 1900s to the 1960s there were lots of vintage postcards created to show the beauty of every place and culture of Florida.


The first people move into Florida. Referred to today as Paleo-Indians, they moved into the peninsula in search of new food sources. These sources included mastodons, giant armadillos and horses. At that time, the end of the last ice Age, Florida was twice the size it is today.

Florida the Sunshine State

Florida, which joined the union as the 27th state in 1845, is nicknamed the Sunshine State and known for its balmy climate and natural beauty. Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon, who led the first European expedition to Florida in 1513, named the state in tribute to Spain’s Easter celebration known as “Pascua Florida,” or Feast of Flowers. During the first half of the 1800s, U.S. troops waged war with the region’s Native American population. During the Civil War, Florida was the third state to secede from the Union. Beginning in the late 19th century, residents of Northern states flocked to Florida to escape harsh winters. In the 20th century, tourism became Florida’s leading industry and remains so today, attracting millions of visitors annually. Florida is also known for its oranges and grapefruit, and some 80 percent of America’s citrus is grown there.

Capital: Tallahassee

Population: 18,801,310 (2010)

Size: 65,758 square miles

Nickname(s): Sunshine State

Motto: In God We Trust

Tree: Sabal Palm

Flower: Orange Blossom

Bird: Mockingbird

Some Interesting Facts

  • Spanish explorer Pedro Menéndez de Avilés established the first permanent European settlement in the United States at St. Augustine in 1565.

  • Before he was president of the United States, General Andrew Jackson led an invasion of Seminole Indians in Spanish-controlled Florida in 1817. After Florida became a U.S. Territory in 1821, Secretary of State John Quincy Adams appointed Jackson its military governor.

  • Constructed over a 21-year period from 1845 to 1866, Fort Zachary Taylor in Key West was controlled by Federal forces during the Civil War and used to deter supply ships from provisioning Confederate ports in the Gulf of Mexico. The fort was also used during the Spanish-American War.

  • In 1944, airman and pharmacist Benjamin Green from Miami developed the first widely used sunscreen to protect himself and other soldiers during World War II. He later founded the Coppertone Corporation.

  • John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth when he blasted off from Florida’s Cape Canaveral on February 20, 1962. Seven years later, Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon after Apollo 11 was launched from the nearby Kennedy Space Center on July 16, 1969.

Early history Geologic

The foundation of Florida was located in the continent of Gondwana at the South Pole 650 million years ago (Mya). When Gondwana collided with the continent of Laurentia 300 Mya, it had moved further north. 200 Mya, the merged continents containing what would be Florida, had moved north of the equator. By then, Florida was surrounded by desert, in the middle of a new continent, Pangaea. When Pangaea broke up 115 mya, Florida assumed shape as a peninsula. The emergent landmass of Florida was Orange Island, a low-relief island sitting atop the carbonate Florida Platform which emerged about 34 to 28 million years ago. When glaciation locked up the world’s water, starting 2.58 million years ago, the sea level dropped precipitously. It was approximately 100 meters (330 ft) lower than present levels. As a result, the Florida peninsula not only emerged but 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 a few flowing rivers or wetlands.

Indigenous peoples of Florida and Indigenous people of the Everglades region

Paleo-Indians entered what is now Florida at least 14,000 years ago, during the last glacial period. With lower sea levels, the Florida peninsula was much wider, and the climate was cooler and much dryer than in the present day. Freshwater was available only in sinkholes and limestone catchment basins, and paleo-Indian activity centered around these relatively scarce watering holes. Sinkholes and basins in the beds of modern rivers (such as the Page-Ladson site in the Aucilla River) have yielded a rich trove of paleo-Indian artifacts, including Clovis points.


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.


As the glaciers began retreating about 8000 BC, the climate of Florida became warmer and wetter. As the glaciers melted, the sea level rose, reducing the landmass. Many prehistoric habitation sites along the old coastline were slowly submerged, making artifacts from early coastal cultures difficult to find. The paleo-Indian culture was replaced by or evolved into, the Early Archaic culture. With an increase in population and more water available, the people occupied many more locations, as evidenced by numerous artifacts. Archaeologists have learned much about the Early Archaic people of Florida from the 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 along the coast at 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 earthwork mounds, such as at Horr’s Island, which had the largest permanently occupied community in the Archaic period in the southeastern United States. It also has the oldest burial mound in the East, dating to about 1450 BC. People began making 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.

British rule (1763–1783) and 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, taking along most of the remaining indigenous population to Cuba. The British divided the territory into East Florida and West Florida. The British soon constructed the King’s Road connecting St. Augustine to Georgia.

The road crossed the St. Johns River at a narrow point, which the Seminole called Wacca Palatka and the British named “Cow Ford”, both names ostensibly reflecting the fact that cattle were brought across the river there. The British government gave land grants to officers and soldiers who had fought in the French and Indian War in order to encourage settlement. In order to induce settlers to move to the two new colonies reports of the natural wealth of Florida were published in England. A large number of British colonists who were “energetic and of good character” moved to Florida, mostly coming from South Carolina, Georgia, and England though there was also a group of settlers who came from the colony of Bermuda. This would be the first permanent English-speaking population in what is now Duval County, Baker County, St. Johns County and Nassau County.

The British built good public roads and introduced the cultivation of sugar cane, indigo and fruits as well the export of lumber. As a result of these initiatives, northeastern Florida prospered economically in a way it never did under Spanish rule. Furthermore, the British governors were directed to call general assemblies as soon as possible in order to make laws for the Floridas and in the meantime they were, with the advice of councils, to establish courts. This would be the first introduction of much of the English-derived legal system which Florida still has today including trial-by-jury, habeas corpus, and county-based government.

Florida in the Revolutionary War

When representatives from thirteen American colonies declared independence from Great Britain in 1776, many Floridians condemned the action. East and West Florida were backwater outposts whose populations included a large percentage of British military personnel and their families. There was little trade in or out of the colonies, so they were largely unaffected by the Stamp Act Crisis of 1765 and later policies which pushed other British colonies together in common interest against a shared threat. Thus, a majority of Florida residents were Loyalists, and the colonies of East and West Florida declined to send representatives to any of the sessions of the Continental Congress.

Second Spanish rule (1783–1821)

Spain’s reoccupation of Florida involved the arrival of some officials and soldiers at St. Augustine and Pensacola but very few new settlers. Most British residents had departed, leaving much of the territory depopulated and unguarded. North Florida continued to be the home of the newly amalgamated Seminole culture and a haven for people escaping slavery in the southern United States. Settlers in southern Georgia demanded that Spain control the Seminole population and capture runaway slaves, to which Spain replied that the slave owners were welcome to recapture the runaways themselves.

Republic of West Florida

American settlers established a permanent foothold in the western end of Florida’s panhandle, ignoring Spanish officials. The British settlers who had remained also resented Spanish rule, leading to a rebellion in 1810 and the establishment for 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”.

Republic of East Florida

In March 1812, Americans took control of Amelia Island on the Atlantic coast declared that they were a republic free from Spanish rule. The revolt was organized by General George Matthews of the U.S. Army, who had been authorized to secretly negotiate with the Spanish governor for American acquisition of East Florida. Instead, Matthews organized a group of a frontiersman in Georgia who arrived at the Spanish town of Fernandina and demanded the surrender of all of Amelia Island. Upon declaring the island a republic, he led his volunteers along with a contingent of regular army troops south towards St. Augustine.

American Frontier and the Florida Territory (1822–1845)

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.

Florida’s population mix has changed. After World War II, Florida was transformed as the development of air conditioning and the Interstate highway system encouraged migration by residents of the North and Midwest.


In 1950, Florida was ranked twentieth among the states in population; 50 years later it was ranked fourth[84], and 14 years later was number three[85][86]. Due to low tax rates and warm climate, Florida became the destination for many retirees from the Northeast, Midwest, and Canada.[87]

Florida became the battleground of the controversial 2000 US presidential election which took place on November 7, 2000. The count of the popular votes was extremely close, triggering automatic recounts. These recounts triggered accusations of fraud and manipulation and brought to light voting irregularities in the state.

Some Interesting Facts You May Not Know About Florida

You probably know Florida is home to Disney World and is nicknamed the Sunshine State. You may even know that Key West is the southernmost point in the continental U.S. and that St. Augustine is considered the oldest city in the country. If you are interested in moving to Florida consider enrolling in traffic school so you better understand the rules of the road. You can also check out some Virginia facts if you are planning a road trip. Now take a look at these 11 things you may not know about Florida.

  • Tolls

  • Florida has more toll roads and bridges than any other state in the Union.

  • Fern Capital

  • The small town of Pierson in Northeast Florida is known as the Fern Capital of the World. Ferns from farms here are shipped worldwide and these farms can be seen everywhere in the area.

  • Highest Point

  • The highest point in Florida is only 345 feet above sea level. Britton Hill is in the Florida Panhandle. The highest point in Florida’s peninsula is Sugarloaf Mountain near Clermont at 312 feet.

  • Golf

  • Florida has more golf courses than any other state and is home to the World Golf Hall of Fame and Museum in St. Augustine.

  • Gators and Crocs

  • The Florida Everglades is the only place on the planet where crocodiles and alligators live together.

  • Go with the Flow

  • Florida’s largest river, the St. Johns River, is one of only a few major rivers that flow from south to north.

  • More than Oranges

  • Florida is the largest producer of watermelons in the country. It also produces the most tomatoes, strawberries, and sugar.

  • That’s a LOT of Wood

  • Made mostly of Florida pine, The Belleview Biltmore Resort and Spa, northwest of Tampa Bay is said to be the world’s largest occupied wooden structure at 820,000 square feet.

  • Biggest City

  • You may be surprised to learn that in terms of area, Jacksonville, Florida is the largest city in the United States.

  • Long Lines

  • Sure there are long lines at Disney World. After all annual attendance is about 17 million people. That’s over 45,000 people per day on AVERAGE. Busy days will see over 100,000.

  • Cool!

  • It would make sense that mechanical refrigeration was invented in Florida. In 1851 Dr. John Gorrie of the little town of Apalachicola created the invention.

Florida’s Land Then and Now

The land we now call Florida began to form by a combination of volcanic activity and the deposit of marine sediments. It formed along northwest Africa about 530 million years ago.

In the earliest times, Florida was part of Gondwanaland, the supercontinent that later divided into Africa and South America. There is evidence that Florida separated from Gondwanaland about 300 million years ago.

Florida eventually found itself wedged between Gondwanaland and North America when they combined to form the supercontinent Pangea. When Pangea began to break up, Florida remained behind with North America.


Florida slipped slowly beneath the waves to become part of North America’s continental shelf. The landmass that is now Florida remained shallowly submerged beneath the ocean. Coral, shellfish, and fish skeletons piled up. This created a layer of limestone hundreds (in some places thousands) of feet thick.

As the Appalachian Mountains eroded, sand and clay were deposited over Florida’s limestone layer. Much of the quartz sand covering the state today came from the rocks of that mountain chain.

Throughout most of its history, Florida has been underwater. Portions of the Florida peninsula have been above or below sea level at least four times. As glaciers of ice in the north expanded and melted, the Florida peninsula emerged and submerged.


When the sea level was lowest, the land area of Florida was much larger than it is now. The sea level was as much as 100 feet lower than at present. Florida’s west coastline was probably 100 miles further out. As the climate warmed, the glaciers melted. This raised the sea level and flooded the Florida peninsula. The sea level stood at least 100 to 150 feet above the present level. Florida probably consisted of islands.

The formation of the Florida Keys occurred when tiny coral created a 150-mile long chain of underwater coral reefs. As the landmass of southern Florida began its slow rise, the reefs also began to emerge.


The Florida peninsula is the emergent portion of the Florida Platform. This is a wide, relatively flat land formation. The Florida Platform lies between the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. Florida’s landscape varies widely. Many of Florida’s prominent features have resulted from karst, a landscape with a base layer of limestone. Because limestone is porous, freshwater gradually dissolves the rock and forms cracks and passages.

The limestone layer of the state is honeycombed with underground rivers. Where the rivers break through to the surface, springs and sinkholes are found. Lakes and wetlands are abundant.

Although Florida is relatively flat, there are different elevations. They range from 0 to 320 feet above sea level. The highest elevations in the state are in the central highlands, which run down the center of the state.

Florida is classified as a stable geological area. This means that although some areas may experience tremors, severe weather events (such as hurricanes and tornadoes) pose tremendously greater threats to Florida than do earthquakes.

Flood prone areas in Florida are in either low-lying coastal areas or near inland rivers and lakes. Severe flooding problems can result from the storm surge developed as hurricanes approach the shoreline. Florida’s shoreline is constantly changing. Sand is being moved around by wind and waves.


Evidence indicates a trend toward global warming. If the world’s temperature warms, this may mean that the sea level will rise along most of the world’s coastlines. Florida has an extended coastline and many major cities are near the coast. Any rise in sea level poses a threat.

In the 20th century, tourism became Florida’s leading industry and remains so today, attracting millions of visitors annually. Florida is also known for its oranges and grapefruit, and some 80 percent of America’s citrus is grown there.

Old Vintage Florida City Postcard Value Calculator - How Much is Postcard Worth

Florida City Video$ Hi - LoNumber of PostcardsEbay Link to Postcards
Over 4 Million Cards
JacksonvilleVideo$ 127.50 / 1.174.924Jacksonville Postcards
MiamiVideo$ 312.17 / .4915,965Miami Postcards
Tampa Video$ 149.99 / 3.994,079Tampa Postcards
St PetersburgVideo$ 159.48 / 1.259,638St Petersburg Postcards
HialeahVideo$ 125.00 / 1.79875Hialeah Postcards
Port St LucieVideo027Port St Lucie Postcards
TallahasseeVideo$ 29.00 / .17813Tallahassee Postcards
Cape CoralVideo$ 9.99 / .25189Cape Coral Postcards
Fort LaudervilleVideo030Fort Lauderville Postcards
Pembroke PinesVideo$ 1.006Pembroke Pines Postcards
HollywoodVideo$ 14.48 / .171,209Hollywood Postcards
MiramarVideo$ 49.36 / .29626Miramar Postcards
GainesvilleVideo$ 42.00 / .06834Gainesville Postcards
Coral SpringsVideo$ 7.50 / 1.0013Coral Springs Postcards
Fort MyersVideo$ 20.75 / .501,380Fort Myers Postcards
KissimmeeVideo00Kississimmee Postcards
Daytona BeachVideo$ 75.00 / .993,969Daytona Beach Postcards
Panama CityVideo$ 46.00 / 2.001,311Panama City Postcards
Fort PierceVideo$ 34.00 / .01326Fort Pierce Postcards
OrlandoVideo$ 159.50 / 1.252,504Orlando Postcards
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