The peace treaty by which the American colonists gained their independence in 1783 created a situation along their southern border almost designed, it seemed, to provoke hostility. By the treaty, the provinces of East and West Florida, which had belonged to Britain for the previous twenty years and had remained loyal to the Crown, were returned to Spain. Thus Europe’s oldest colonial power regained a foothold on the southeastern seaboard of North America, but now was threatened by an ambitious young republic - the first independent nation in the western hemisphere. Furthermore, a portion of the border remained in dispute until 1796. The controversy between the two governments concerned the northern limit of West Florida, from the Mississippi River to the source of the St. Mary’s River, which was the northern border of East Florida.
Tanner, Helen Hornbeck
"Zespedes and the Southern Conspiracies,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 38
, Article 4.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol38/iss1/4