The Spanish in South Florida

The Spanish in South Florida


  • The Spanish in South Florida

Published Date

  • published 1940


[page 10]
her colonial trade. (7) Even at this time, contrary to popular historians, the
agricultural products of New Spain exceeded the output of her rich mines
and colonists of the soil were amassing fortunes unequalled by farmers in
early English America. (12) But Spain's sea power, beset by so many
enemies, was broken. Drawn into the Seven Year's War, she lost Florida to
England in 1763 only to lose it again in 1819 to the United States. (7)

Southern Florida had been under Spanish control for nearly three
hundred years. This territory was never extensively colonized because of
the greater economic opportunities then available in Peru and Mexico.

Spain, in 1550, had a population of less than seven million. (12)
About the size of New England, New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, it
was not overpopulated; yet, at the height of her colonial period, Spain
dominated an area greater than the present day United States. (12)
Although the control of this vast territory has long been in other hands,
the stamp of Spanish language, religion, and culture still remains. (12)
Even in South Florida, which the Spaniards barely touched, there exists
two indelible traces of their efforts: the numerous Spanish place names
and the records of early Spanish land grants to which reference are made
in our county deed books.