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Florida Travel Guide

Florida History

Florida's history can be described back to when the first Native Americans started to reside the peninsula as early as 12,000 years ago. Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León first came and investigated the area in 1513.

At the time of first European contact Florida was resided by an approximately 350,000 people pertaining 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.

Archaeological finds point that Florida had been occupied for thousands of years before any European colonies. Of several indigenous people, the most known were the Ais, the Apalachee, the Calusa, the Timucua and the Tocobago tribes.

Juan Ponce de Len, a Spanish conquistador, called Florida in honour of his discovery of the land on April 2, 1513, throughout Pascua Florida, a Spanish term for the Easter season. From that date forward, the land was known like "Florida."

Over the following century, both the Spanish and French constituted settlements in Florida, with varying degrees of success. The Spanish never possessed a firm hold on Florida, and conserved tenuous control over the region by transforming the local tribes, briefly with Jesuits and later with Franciscan friars.

The local leaders (caciques) presented their fidelity to the Spanish by converting to Roman Catholicism and welcoming the Franciscan priests into their communities. On March 3, 1845, Florida was recognized the 27th state of the U.S.A

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