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East Florida is a state of the Carolinian Confederacy, bordered by Georgia to the north, West Florida to the west, and maritime borders with the United Commonwealth (via the Bahamas), and Cuba. First settled by the Spanish in the 14th Century, region was claimed by the British in the mid 18th Century, and returned to Spanish control until becoming part of Carolina in 1821.
Due to its location on the Florida peninsula, the state has a recognizable shape. East Florida's varying geography and climate helped shape the state's diverse demographics. East Florida is well known for its cattle ranching traditions and Cracker heritage.
Following the French and Indian War, Spain ceded control of Florida to Great Britain (in exchange for regaining Cuba and gaining Louisiana). Under British rule (1763-1783), the territory was divided into two colonies (East and West) and moves to colonize the territories were underway.
With the outbreak of the American Revolution, both Floridas remained loyal to the British (despite being asked to join the Continental Congress). During the ongoing revolution, Spain too the opportunity to retake Pensacola in 1781. With the conclusion of the war in 1783, Spanish rule was regained in the Floridas. During this second rule (1783-1821), Spain ruled the area lightly.
The dissolution of the United States of America in 1788 brought little change to the area, despite border dispute remaining between Spain and the newly established Carolinian Confederacy. By the early 1800s, Carlina showed interest in gaining the Floridas, with support mounting among the British subjects who remained in the Floridas after Spanish rule resumed.
By the 1810s, tensions across the Spanish Empire began to take affect in the Floridas and neighboring Louisiana. In September 1810, an Anglo-Carolinian controlled government was proclaimed in St. Francisville. The Republic of Florida would ultimately claim what is now East and West Florida, despite only controlling as far east as Mobile. Florida won independence in 1814, with Spain (at the time) only recognizing the republic's territory as far west as the Perdido River. Despite the land issue, the republic was admitted into Carolina a few months later as the State of West Florida.
By the late 1810s, Spain had lost control of Louisiana and parts of Florida. As a means to prevent further conflict and to regain some monetary means, Spain offered to sell the remaining parts of Florida to Carolina. The 1819 treaty took affect in 1821. The following year, the Territory of East Florida was organized out of the historic boundaries.
Due in large part to its unique shape and climate, East Florida has one of the most diverse demographics within its borders. Upon its incorporation into Carolina, the majority of settlers into East Florida came from Georgia and the two Carolinas; with most settling in the northernmost portions of the state. Within central East Florida, the territory was mostly populated by the Seminole and runaway slaves.
Early European settlement into this part of the state came during British rule. Among these settlers were mostly cattle ranchers who employed a distinct form of ranching. These early cowmen (or cowhunters) would use whips and dogs to hunt down cattle within a large area. Latter immigration from the rest of Carolina, but most notably from the German-speaking areas of Central Europe, would help define this culture into a unique identity which continues to exist to this day. The term "Cracker" has come to express the character of East Florida in literature, music, and barbeque (unique from the rest of Carolina).
With the exception of the Florida Keys, southernmost East Florida avoided large-scale settlement by whites (due in great part to its climate). Among the first non-native population to settle the area were runaway slaves further north, using the everglades and the native population to escape slavery. After the abolition of slavery throughout the 1890s and 1900s, this part of East Florida gradually became a destination were many freed families hoped to start a new living. By the 1950s, the region had developed as a Black-dominated area within Carolina.