Thursday, April 1, 2010
Is Florida part of the South?
Florida is part of the South but its demographic shifts distinguish it from the rest of the South. In the Gilded Age, Florida was basically just the northern part of the state and the rest of the state was pretty much empty. Florida's racial composition in the late 19th century was also a lot simpler than most other states because its weather and swampy lands did not attract many immigrants. Shipping of resources such as lumber and turpentine was the main industry in Florida at that time, and it eventually became a tourist attraction for northerners. The Cuban Revolution, which culminated in the Spanish American War forced many Cubans to move to Florida and set up in areas such as Key West, Miami, and Tampa. The Cubans introduced the cigar industry. World War II was also great for Florida's development as many military bases and training bases were installed in Florida's cities. North Florida and South Florida had different cultures and Central Florida became a sort of middle-ground. By 1980, the population is older, more diverse, and the native-born population is smaller. Florida developed later than most other Southern states and early on it had a different immigrant population than other Southern states as well. Its demographic shifts show that Florida is not a typical Southern state.