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It is internationally known for golf, tennis, auto racing and water sports.

By the 16th century, the earliest time for which there is a historical record, major Native American groups included the Apalachee of the Florida Panhandle, the Timucua of northern and central Florida, the Ais of the central Atlantic coast, the Tocobaga of the Tampa Bay area, the Calusa of southwest Florida and the Tequesta of the southeastern coast.

A large portion of the Floridano population left, taking along most of the remaining indigenous population to Cuba. Johns River at a narrow point called Wacca Pilatka, or the British name "Cow Ford", ostensibly reflecting the fact that cattle were brought across the river there.

The British soon constructed the King's Road connecting St. The British government gave land grants to officers and soldiers who had fought in the French and Indian War in order to encourage settlement.

As a result of these initiatives northeastern Florida prospered economically in a way it never did under Spanish administration.

Furthermore, the British governors were directed to call general assemblies as soon as possible in order to make laws for the Floridas and in the meantime they were, with the advice of councils, to establish courts.

Spain maintained strategic control over the region by converting the local tribes to Christianity.

The marriage between Luisa de Abrego, a free black domestic servant from Seville, and Miguel Rodríguez, a white Segovian, occurred in 1565 in St. It is the first recorded Christian marriage in the continental United States.

Florida attracted numerous Africans and African Americans from adjacent British colonies who sought freedom from slavery.Florida was the first region of the continental United States to be visited and settled by Europeans.The earliest known European explorers came with the Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de León.In 1763, Spain traded Florida to the Kingdom of Great Britain for control of Havana, Cuba, which had been captured by the British during the Seven Years' War.It was part of a large expansion of British territory following their victory in the Seven Years' War.

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Today, Florida is distinctive for its large Cuban expatriate community and high population growth, as well as for its increasing environmental issues.

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