The Eighteenth American Century

The English founded the colony of Carolina at Charles Town in 1670. The same year, the Spanish in Madrid relinquished their claim to areas north of Port Royal, hoping to stave off English raids. At first, the threat to the Spanish missions was more perceived than real, although the Spanish and English skirmished indecisively throughout the late seventeenth century. By 1700, South Carolina was an aggressive, expansionist plantation colony that desired to trade with Native Americans in deerskins, firearms, alcohol, cloth, and (most unfortunately for natives associated with the missions) slaves. In 1702, Governor James Moore, as part of the larger imperial conflict known as Queen Anne’s War, struck St. Augustine with a force of 600 white colonists and 600 Native American allies. Although he destroyed the town, he failed to take the fortress, where the entire population of the town huddled with the garrison for two months. Spanish forces sailed from Cuba to reinforce the beleaguered fort. Moore’s force retreated to Charles Town, where Moore lost his post for failing to take the Spanish fort. In 1704, Moore led a devastating raid into Apalachee, killing hundreds and enslaving more than 1,000 native people. The province of Apalachee never recovered. Native Americans had revolted in Apalachicola province, so the western half of Florida reverted to native control, save for a few military outposts. Over the next few decades, the English would wear down the provinces of Guale and Timucua as well, and their new colony of Georgia (1733) would pinch Spanish designs on Florida even more tightly. English traders were able to provide better trade goods more regularly and were always willing to arm Native Americans who were willing to enslave their neighbors. Trade difficulties between the British and the Spanish in the Caribbean brought about the War of Jenkins’ Ear in the late 1730s and early 1740s. English forces under James Oglethorpe failed once again to capture the fortress at St. Augustine, and the two forces fought to a stalemate. The Spaniards could not get rid of Georgia, and the English seemed unable to remove the Spanish from Florida. France (in Canada and Louisiana) and England (along the Atlantic seaboard and beyond) were winning the contest for North America, and it mattered less and less that the Spanish hold on to forts at St. Augustine and Pensacola. During the Seven Years’ War (or French and Indian War, as it was known in North America), France and to a lesser extent Spain attempted to halt the Anglo-American advance across the continent of North America. They were unsuccessful, and Florida became two British colonies by the terms of the Treaty of Paris, signed in 1763. During the American War for Independence, the Spanish were able to recapture West Florida. In the talks that followed, the Spanish got both Floridas back, and held them, though mainly on paper, for several decades. Americans gradually moved into the area, and a series of diplomatic moves in the early years of the nineteenth century made Florida a territory of the United States. Florida became a state in 1845. Matthew Jennings See also: De Soto, Hernando; Menndez de Avils, Pedro; Ponce de Le³n, Juan; St. Augustine; Spanish Colonies on Mainland North America (Chronology); Document: The Founding of St. Augustine (1565). Bibliography Gannon, Michael, ed. The New History of Florida. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1996. Taylor, Alan. American Colonies. New York: Penguin Putnam, 2001. Tebeau, Charlton W. A History of Florida. Coral Gables, FL: University of Miami Press, 1971. Interracial Families in 18th Century: A Painting Captures … Mapq818C American Women: Paintings of 18th-Century American Families Mapq8Traditions – Another Look at Christmas in the Eighteenth Century … Mapq8

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