The U.S. Gets Florida

The United States won independence in the late 1700s. After seeing the country win, other countries started to do the same thing. Many of these countries were in South America. By 1825, Spain had lost almost all of its colonies. The only ones that were left were Puerto Rico and Cuba.

One of the colonies that Spain lost was in the United States. This colony was Florida. The first record of Florida was in 1513. A Spanish explorer called Juan Ponce de Leon landed in the country. He named it for Spain's Easter festival.

The people in Florida did not fight for their freedom. Most of the people that lived there were African American. They did not want to be free from Spain.

Since the 1700s, Spain had helped to protect and hide people that had run away from plantations in the South. A Native American tribe called the Seminoles let the runaway slaves live near their villages. The runaway slaves were called black Seminoles. They would give the Native Americans part of the crops that they raised.

Southerners were worried about things that were happening in Florida. Native Americans would sometimes come into Georgia. They would raid some of the settlements in that state. Also, many slaves would run and hide in that state. That made whites in the south angry. These people could not go into Florida and look for the slaves that had run away.

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