The area known as West Florida was originally claimed by Spain as part of La Florida, which included most of what is now the southeastern United States. Spain made several attempts to conquer and colonize the area, notably including Tristán de Luna's short-lived settlement in 1559, but permanent settlement did not occur until the 17th century, with the establishments of missions to the Apalachee. In 1698 the settlement of Pensacola was established in order to check French expansion into the area.
Beginning in the late 17th century the French established settlements in the region as part of Louisiana, notably including Mobile (1702) and Fort Toulouse (1717) in present-day Alabama. After years of contention the Perdido River (the modern border between Florida and Alabama) was agreed upon as the boundary between French Louisiana and Spanish Florida.
In the treaty negotiations concluding the French and Indian War (Seven Years' War), France ceded to Britain the part of Louisiana east of the Mississippi River, notably excluding the Île d'Orléans, which includes New Orleans, to Britain. A separate treaty transferred the rest of Louisiana to Spain. Spain ceded Florida to Britain in exchange for Cuba, which the British had captured during the war. As a result of these exchanges the British controlled nearly all of the coast of the Gulf of Mexico east of the Mississippi. Most of the Spanish population left Florida, and its colonial government records were relocated to Havana, Cuba.
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“... every experience in life enriches ones background and should teach valuable lessons.”
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