As the eighteenth century approached its end, the decline of the imperial power of Spain was reflected and magnified in the borderland provinces of East and West Florida. In these outposts of empire the hand of authority was weak and resources for defense were almost non-existent. The military establishment consisted of understrength garrisons in the presidios at St. Augustine, San Marcos de Apalache, Mobile, and Pensacola, and the sparsity and dispersion of the population precluded reliance on troops raised locally. Moreover, the Viceroy of Mexico and the Captain General of Cuba, who were responsible for the defense of the northern frontier, were themselves so desperately short of military and financial resources that they could offer only emergency assistance and when called for even this was generally too little and too late.
McAlister, Lyle N.
"William Augustus Bowles and the State of Muskogee,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 40
, Article 2.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol40/iss4/2