In 1763, Britain acquired the Spanish territory of Florida in the southeastern part of North America from Spain and France following the Seven Years’ War also known as the French and Indian War.
At the same time, Britain received all of French Louisiana east of the Mississippi River, with the exception of New Orleans, from France.
Determining this new territory too large to administer as one single unit, the British divided its new southeastern acquisitions into two new colonies separated by the Apalachicola River: East Florida, with its capital in the old Spanish city of St. Augustine, and West Florida, with its capital at Pensacola.
Both British Florida’s remained loyal to Great Britain during the American War of Independence.
Spain participated indirectly in the war as an ally of France and captured Pensacola from the British in 1781.
In the 1783 Treaty of Paris, which ended the American Revolutionary War, the British ceded both Florida’s back to Spain.
Spain continued to administer East and West Florida as separate provinces.
The Spanish offered favorable terms for acquiring land, which attracted many settlers from the newly formed United States.
On October 27, 1810, U.S. President James Madison proclaimed the annexation of the Republic of West Florida, based on a tenuous claim that it was part of the Louisiana Purchase.
The West Florida government opposed annexation, preferring to negotiate terms to join the Union.
On May 24, 1818, Andrew Jackson captured Pensacola incorporating West Florida into the Mississippi Territory.
Spain then formally ceded East Florida to the United States under the Adams-Onís Treaty in 1819 (ratified in 1821) in exchange for the US ceding its claims on Texas and the US paying any claims its citizens might have against Spain up to $5,000,000.
On March 30, 1822, the United States Congress merged East Florida and part of West Florida into the Florida Territory.
Andrew Jackson served as military governor of the newly acquired territory, but only for a brief period.
On April 17, 1822, William Pope Duval became the first official governor of the new Florida Territory.
A new capital was also established at Tallahassee in 1824, but only after removing a Seminole tribe from the land.
Then on March 3, 1845, Florida was admitted as the 27th state of the United States.
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