In 1600 St. Augustine was the only European settlement in today's United States and the capital of Spain's territory known as La Florida.1 The city was thirty-five years old as the sixteenth century blended into the seventeenth. Threats to St. Augustine's survival began and ended the seventeenth century. The Spanish crown's 1602 investigation about whether to retain St. Augustine began the century. A hundred years later the 1702 siege and burning by invaders from English Carolina ended the century. In between those events, St. Augustine endured decades of epidemics and the rise of piracy. The last third of the century saw an influx of money to build a strong fortress and more soldiers to protect the city and the La Florida colony as English settlements moved ever closer and into Spanish-claimed lands.
Parker, Susan Richbourg
"St. Augustine in the Seventeenth-Century: Capital of La Florida,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 92:
3, Article 8.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol92/iss3/8