Upheaval characterized eighteenth-century Florida. European powers continued to fight for dominance in the region and Great Britain emerged as Spain's primary competitor, obtaining control of the peninsula and its environs, at least on paper, for two decades (1763-1783) before Spain again claimed ownership. Most native groups continued to decline in population due to disease, migration, warfare and enslavement while others, specifically the Seminoles, grew in numbers and regional influence for many of the same reasons. African Americans, both enslaved and free, expanded their presence in Florida, steadily asserting their autonomy militarily, socially and culturally. St. Augustine and Pensacola remained the primary urban centers though by 1800, settlers of varied backgrounds were residing elsewhere along the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts, altering the environment as they migrated and set down roots. As revolution engulfed the Americas, inhabitants of Florida became involved in hemispheric systems and conflicts while at the same time maintaining localized patterns of subsistence and survival reminiscent of earlier centuries.
Lester, Connie L.
"500 Years of Florida History - The Eighteenth Century,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 93:
3, Article 3.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol93/iss3/3