Aftermath of the Seminole Wars


The purpose of this lesson is to introduce students to the consequences of the Seminole Wars.

Materials Needed

Next Generation Sunshine State Standards

  • SS.8.A.4.4: Discuss the impact of westward expansion on cultural practices and migration patterns of Native American and African slave populations.

  • SS.8.A.4.17: Examine key events and peoples in Florida history as each impacts this era of American history.

  • SS.8.A.4.18: Examine the experiences and perspectives of different ethnic, national, and religious groups in Florida, explaining their contributions to Florida's and America's society and culture during the Territorial Period.

Florida Standards

  • LAFS.68.RH.1.1: Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.

  • LAFS.68.RH.1.2: Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.

  • LAFS.68.RH.1.3: Identify key steps in a text’s description of a process related to history/social studies (e.g., how a bill becomes law, how interest rates are raised or lowered).

Background Information

The American desire to obtain Florida led directly to the series of conflicts known as the Seminole Wars. It was through the Seminole Wars that Florida became part of the United States.

The influence of the Seminole Wars is evident today throughout Florida as revealed in its place names. The Florida landscape is dotted with places named for generals, like Andrew Jackson, Thomas Sidney Jesup, and Zachary Taylor; for Seminole leaders like Osceola and Micanopy; and with Muscogee-language words like Okeechobee, Tallahassee, and Caloosahatchee.

Many modern Florida cities owe their early settlement to the era of the Seminole Wars, such as Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Fort Brooke (now Tampa), and Fort Dallas (now Miami).

The removal of the vast majority of Seminoles and their black allies from Florida also brought about changes in the social and economic history of the state. Planters moved onto Seminole lands and brought with them large numbers of African-American slaves.

For the Seminoles, the long period of warfare meant migration. The Seminole Wars forced the Seminoles to leave their farms and cattle herds in North Florida and move to a land covered by water, the Everglades. 

The Seminoles who avoided removal adapted their way of life in order to live in South Florida. The 200 or so Seminoles who remained in Florida after the Seminole Wars learned to build new types of houses, hunt new animals, eat new foods, and find new sources of employment.

Today, many members of the Seminole Tribe of Florida and the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida live on federal reservations in South Florida.


Part I: Introducing Content

  1. Teachers should begin by reviewing what students know about the causes and effects of the Seminole Wars.

Part II: Aftermath of the Seminole Wars

  1. The teacher will use the maps in the PowerPoint or the PDF with the notes to illustrate the causes and effects of the Seminole Wars.
  2. After the presentation, the teacher will hold a short class discussion and answer any questions.

Part III: Retelling the Story

  1. The students will retell the story of the causes and effects of the Seminole Wars in their own words, using the maps.