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A peninsula (Latin: paeninsula from paene "almost" and insula "island"; also called a byland or

biland) is a piece of land that is bordered by water on three sides but connected to mainland.[1]
The surrounding water is usually understood to belong to a single, contiguous body,[2][3] but is
not always explicitly defined as such.[4] A peninsula can also be a headland (head), cape, island
promontory, bill, point, or spit.[5] Note that a point is generally considered a tapering piece of land
projecting into a body of water that is less prominent than a cape.[6] In English, the plural of
peninsula is peninsulas or, less commonly, peninsulae.
Florida Listeni/ˈflɒrɪdə/ is a state in the southeastern region of the United States, bordered to the
west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia, to the east by the Atlantic
Ocean, and to the south by the Straits of Florida. Florida is the 22nd most extensive, the 4th most
populous, and the 8th most densely populated of the 50 United States. The state capital is
Tallahassee, the largest city is Jacksonville, and the largest metropolitan area is the Miami
metropolitan area.
Much of Florida is a peninsula between the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Straits of
Florida. Its geography is notable for a coastline, omnipresent water and the threat of hurricanes.
Florida has the longest coastline in the contiguous United States, encompassing approximately
1,350 miles (2,170 km), and is the only state that borders both the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic
Ocean. Much of the state is at or near sea level and is characterized by sedimentary soil. The
climate varies from subtropical in the north to tropical in the south.[8] Some of its most iconic
animals, such as the American alligator, crocodile, Florida panther and the manatee, can be
found in the Everglades National Park.
Since the first European contact was made in 1513 by Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León –
who named it La Florida ([la floˈɾiða] "Flowery Land") upon landing there during the Easter
season, Pascua Florida[9] – Florida was a challenge for the European colonial powers before it
gained statehood in the United States in 1845. It was a principal location of the Seminole Wars
against the Indians, and racial segregation after the American Civil War. Today, it is distinguished
by its large Hispanic community and high population growth, as well as its increasing
environmental concerns. Its economy relies mainly on tourism, agriculture, and transportation,
which developed in the late 19th century. Florida is also known for its amusement parks, the
production of oranges, and the Kennedy Space Center.
Florida culture is a reflection of influences and multiple inheritance; Native American, European
American, Hispanic and African American heritages can be found in the architecture and cuisine.
Florida has attracted many writers such as Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Ernest Hemingway and
Tennessee Williams, and continues to attract celebrities and athletes. It is internationally known
for golf, tennis, auto racing, and water sports.
Florida was the first part of what is now the continental United States to be visited by Europeans.
The earliest known European explorers came with the Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de
León. According to the "500TH Florida Discovery Council Round Table", on March 3, 1513, Ponce
de Leon, organized and equipped three ships which began an expedition (with a crew of 200,
including women and free blacks), departing from Punta Aguada Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico was
the historic first gateway to the discovery of Florida, which opened the doors to the advanced
settlement of the U.S. They introduced Christianity, cattle, horses, sheep, the Spanish language
and more to Florida.[12][broken citation]
Ponce de León spotted the peninsula on April 2, 1513. According to his chroniclers, he named the
region La Florida ("flowery land") because it was then the Easter Season, known in Spanish as
Pascua Florida (roughly "Flowery Easter"), and because the vegetation was in bloom.[13] Juan
Ponce de León may not have been the first European to reach Florida, however; reportedly, at
least one indigenous tribesman whom he encountered in Florida in 1513 spoke Spanish.[14]

and the area was not re-inhabited until the 1690s. and throughout the 18th century. and exchanges with Spain of possessions. Over the following century. one of the first European attempts at settlement in the continental United States. they began to become feral." The largest engagements in the state were the battle of Olustee on .)[20] Spain received both Floridas after Britain's defeat by the American colonies and the subsequent Treaty of Versailles in 1783. which the natives had eaten into extinction 10. with its capital at Pensacola.000 years ago. the Spanish colony of St. Britain tried to develop the Floridas through the importation of immigrants for labor.000 men it eventually offered up for service were generally sent elsewhere and before long. and forces from there conquered Fort Caroline that same year. Don Tristán de Luna y Arellano established a colony at present-day Pensacola. The 15. On January 10. It was abandoned by 1561 due to hurricanes. The Spanish maintained tenuous control over the region by converting the local tribes. East Florida and West Florida were two of the four colonies that did not send any representatives to Philadelphia to draft the Declaration of Independence (Upper Canada and Lower Canada were the two other colonies that did not send representatives. famine. Great Britain gained control of Florida and other territory diplomatically in 1763 through the Peace of Paris following its defeat of France in the Seven Years' War.[19] As the animals were lost or stolen. both the Spanish and French established settlements in Florida with varying degrees of success. the Spanish Crown converted them to Roman Catholicism and gave them freedom. Nonetheless. In 1559. continuing the division into East and West Florida. Those freedmen settled in a community north of St. briefly with Jesuits and later with Franciscan friars. Northern papers referred to the state as "the smallest tadpole in the dirty pool of secession. Augustine. but this project ultimately failed. 1861. and many Americans moved to them. who had established settlements in the region at the invitation of the Spanish government. Florida attracted numerous Africans and African Americans from the southern British colonies in North America who sought freedom from slavery. Florida declared its secession from the Union.[18] was reintroduced into North America with the European explorers and into Florida in 1538. burning the city and its cathedral to the ground several times. and warring tribes. while the citizens hid behind the walls of the Castillo de San Marcos. with its capital at St. Augustine. and West Florida. called Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose. before the start of the American Civil War.From 1513 onward. Of the original seventeen British colonies. The English weakened Spanish power in the area by supplying their Creek and Yamasee allies with firearms and urging them to raid the Timucuan and Apalachee client-tribes of the Spanish. Augustine (San Agustín) was established.[15][16][17] The horse. The British divided their new acquisitions into East Florida. Confederate authorities expected little in the way of help from Florida and offered it even less. Many of those slaves were also welcomed by Creek and Seminole Native Americans. They offered land grants to anyone who settled in the colonies. Once in Florida. the land became known as La Florida. the first free black settlement of its kind in what became the United States. Tegesta (after the Tequesta tribe) was an alternate name of choice for the Florida peninsula following publication of a map by the Dutch cartographer Hessel Gerritsz in Joannes de Laet's History of the New World. French Protestant Huguenots founded Fort Caroline in modern-day Jacksonville in 1564. The following year. the state became a founding member of the Confederate States of America. The English attacked St. Augustine. The area of Spanish Florida diminished with the establishment of English colonies to the north and French colonies to the west. ten days later. After 1630.

Florida's economy did not fully recover until the military buildup for World War II. left for better opportunities. North Atlantic right whale. 1868. The climate. West Indian manatee Mammals: Florida panther. marsh rabbit. Florida's congressional representation was restored. Devastating hurricanes in 1926 and 1928. With a population of more than 18 million according to the 2010 census. and strawberries. Florida scrub jay (state . which brought a brief period of intense land development.[52] Birds: peregrine falcon. Florida is the most populous state in the Southeastern United States. In 1885 they created a new constitution. literacy tests. Both were Confederate victories.[26] The war ended in 1865. and early 20th-century lynchings and racial violence caused a record number of African Americans to leave the state in the Great Migration to northern and midwestern industrial cities. In 2012. followed by the stock market crash and Great Depression. tempered by the growing availability of air conditioning. eastern cottontail rabbit. white and brown pelicans. tomatoes. On June 25. striped skunk. Fauna Further information: List of mammals of Florida and Snakes of Florida An American alligator in the Florida Everglades. citrus. Migration from the Rust Belt and the Northeast sharply increased the population after the war.[53] bald eagle. sugarcane. white Democrats succeeded in regaining power in the state legislature in the 1870s. Virginia opossum Reptiles: eastern diamondback and pygmy rattlesnakes. nine-banded armadillos. gray fox.[27] The boll weevil devastated cotton crops. green and leatherback sea turtles. wild boar. just south of Tallahassee.[28] Historically.February 20.542. osprey. Florida was the least populous Southern state. northern river otter. gopher tortoise. and eastern indigo snake. Florida black bear. whooping and sandhill cranes. In 1900 its population was only 528. snail kite. 1864 and the battle of Natural Bridge. Economic prosperity in the 1920s stimulated tourism to Florida and related development of hotels and resort communities. the second most populous state in the South behind Texas. and the fourth most populous in the United States. brought that period to a halt. and residency requirements. and low cost of living made the state a haven. roughly one-fifth of their 1900 population. bobcats. Florida's economy was based upon agricultural products such as cattle farming. Combined with its sudden elevation in profile was the Florida land boom of the 1920s. coyote. 1865. northern caracara. mink. there were about one million American alligators and 1. short-finned pilot whale. Forty thousand blacks. raccoon. Disfranchisement for most African Americans in the state persisted until the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s gained federal legislation in 1965 to enforce protection of their constitutional suffrage. of whom nearly 44% were African American. roseate spoonbill. Provisions included poll taxes. 20th century Soldiers and crowds in Downtown Miami 20 minutes after Japan's surrender ending World War II (1945).500 crocodiles. Florida is host to many types of wildlife including: Marine mammals: bottlenose dolphin. After Reconstruction. more migrants have come for the jobs in a developing economy. sea gulls. Until the mid-20th century. In recent decades. followed by statutes through 1889 that effectively disfranchised most blacks and many poor whites over the next several years. squirrel. Key deer. on March 6. white-tailed deer.

harlequin ducks. Meleagris gallopavo. is found only in Florida. African rock pythons. and razorbills. These have been seen in the northern part of the state.[58] A number of non-native snakes and lizards have been released in the wild.[60] . The only known calving area for the northern right whale is off the coasts of Florida and Georgia.[59] Green iguanas have also established a firm population in the southern part of the state. Africanized bees. namely subspecies osceola. including Florida. there have been small numbers of several new species normally native to cooler areas to the north: snowy owls. snow buntings. termites.endemic). green anacondas. to 3.000 feral pigs in Florida. They are more aggressive than most native ant species and have a painful sting. the red imported fire ant population has increased its territorial range to include most of the Southern United States. American cockroach. the Miami blue butterfly. [56] The native bear population has risen from a historic low of 300 in the 1970s. and others. As a result of climate change.[55] Invertebrates: carpenter ants. and Nile monitor lizards. There are about 500.000 in 2011.[54] The state is a wintering location for many species of eastern North American birds. In 2010 the state created a hunting season for Burmese and Indian pythons.[57] Since their accidental importation from South America into North America in the 1930s. One subspecies of wild turkey. and the grizzled mantis.