Thursday, April 1, 2010

Is Florida Part of the South?

Florida was very different from the rest of the South for many reasons. Florida was very empty at the beginning and was basically a series of small trading posts. There were much less immigrants in Florida than other Southern states because the land of central Florida was not particularly attractive for living and was known as a swamp area. Northern Florida had a little more of the "Southern feel" and was very much in favor of the Confederacy, while Southern Florida was still primarily empty. Racially Florida in the late 19th century was much simpler than its Southern neighbors because of this lack of immigration. There was some development for Florida in the late 80's and early 90's which was mostly related to vacation-type towns. Unfortunately, before the invention of air conditioning, Florida was unpleasantly hot during the summer; so much of its population was seasonal as opposed to permanent residents. Overtime, more developments gradually occurred mostly related to tourism. For example, Jacksonville was the home of Dixieland Park and other tourist attractions such as racetracks which developed greatly during this time and gained tremendous popularity. The main multicultural aspect of Florida was mostly Latin Americans. The long periods of instability in Cuba caused many Cubans to immigrate to Florida. Basically, overtime Florida slowly began to develop and big changes occurred mostly the result of railroad building, air conditioning, military bases, and National Highway System. Even though Florida was evolving, its changes still set them apart from their Southern neighbors. Even today, I feel that Florida is not your typical "Southern" state.

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