Sunday, September 20, 2009

Spanish Supremacy in Florida

In debating which of the three dominant imperial powers was most successful at adjusting to Florida in the 16th-18th centuries, Spain seems to emerge as the dominant force and most successful. Although there is no clear cut champion of Florida, all three seeing some success and interest in the region, Spain would appear to be the most successful due to the long history with the region and heavy influence still left on the land and culture. It could be argued that the British colonists were more successful in a shorter amount of time, it is slightly unfair due to the fact that they had the knowledge of Spanish experience to rely on. The Spanish relations with the indigenous peoples of Florida was key to their success. It was not the most healthy and equal relationship between two foreign peoples, but the Spanish people eventually used the knowledge and labor of the native people to create a successful presence in Florida. The Spanish, like many other Europeans, had an idealized vision of the Florida environment as a "Garden of Eden". This did create many setbacks, but the Spanish successfully overcame the obstacle and survived in the harsh environment. The strength of the Spanish empire allowed it to expand and explore the areas of Florida and eventually the lack of imperial strength lead to Spain's loss of the Florida region.

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