Jacksonville, Florida is an extremely large city and has the most Square Miles out of any of the other cities in the US. It is also home to a culturally and large varied population of more than 800,000 residents that either come from other regions in the US or from abroad. Since Jacksonville falls in the Southern US, it experiences a warm climate throughout the year. For this reason there are many retired residents that spend the winter time in Florida in order to get away from the extremely cold temperatures and then return to the North in the months of summer. These residents are often called the “Snow Birds”. Here is brief history about Jacksonville, FL that will help you in understanding how this city has become the multicultural area that we know today.
The Native American Villages in Jacksonville, FL
The Oldest Of The Native American Villages In The US is Based In Jacksonville. Pottery remnants in the area date back as far as 2500 BC and these remains were discovered by researchers from the University of North Florida. After this, a variety of differing Native groups occupied this area and most of these groups formed a portion of the Mocama Tribe. The villages were mainly centered around the St. Johns River mouth as well as into the downtown part of Jacksonville. When the Europeans landed in the village they named the area Ossachite.
Jean Ribault, a French explorer chartered the St. Johns River in the month of May 1562. He called the river in French “The River of May”. Today, you can still view the stone statue at the exact site where he claimed this territory for France. In 1564, the 1st of the European settlements was established in the area by the French by a man named Rene Goulaine de Laudonniere. He named the area Ft. Caroline. The King of Spain then ordered that the fort was attacked in order to protect their personal interests. They went onto kill just about all of the French soldiers that were there. The Spanish went on to rename the fort San Mateo and they maintained control until such stage that the whole Florida state was ceded over to the British in the year 1763.
Under the control of the British, came about cultivation of fruits and sugar cane along with cutting down trees for the purpose of lumber exports. This caused an increase in the economic prosperity in regards to the whole region which resulted in more opportunities, more ships and more jobs. But 20 years later in 1783, the British relinquished their control to the Spanish when their armies were defeated in the Revolutionary War by the Americans. In 1821, the Spanish ceded this area to the Americans, who started laying plans for a bigger town rather than just the fort. The city was named after Andrew Jackson, the first governor for Florida and the 7th president of the US.
In the era of the American Civil War, Jacksonville traded hands a number of times. It became an essential shipping point for the Confederates, which is why the Union army tried their best to maintain control of this area. Once the war was over, many of the presidents started to realize that this region was an attraction due to the milder climates in the months of winter. During this time, many rich northerners made trips to areas using steamboats and later on by railroad as the popularity of the area continued to grow.
In the modern times, demographics have undergone significant changes as immigrants from the Carribbean and from other areas of the US, flocked to the area. Over the years the area has also experienced an influx of the retirees from colder climates, particularly from the North East.