Robert L. Gold


Florida was smoothly transferred from Spanish to British control following ratification of the 1763 Treaty of Paris. Spain regretfully traded her St. Augustine province in North America to Great Britain for Cuba, which had surrendered to an English onslaught during the Seven Years’ War. Despite the illegal property transactions of England and Spain, the two nations generally observed most of the international provisions of the Paris pact during the transfer of eighteenth-century Florida. The exchange of colonial rule in the province was therefore marred by surprisingly few moments of discord. The entire transfer process, of course, was accommodated by the Spanish crown’s determination to evacuate and resettle the total population of colonial Florida. Actually, the Spanish Floridians and their possessions were removed to New Spain and Cuba before any significant British movement to Florida was inaugurated.