Florida (The Sunshine State) is a state in the United States that is located in the extreme southeastern area of the country. The territory of this state includes the entire Florida peninsula and, along the Gulf of Mexico, a long and narrow part in the north-western section, in this area there is also the capital of the state Tallahasee. While the most important city is Miami, which is located along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean.
Florida is washed to the east by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean and to the west by those of the Gulf of Mexico, while to the north it borders on Alabama and Georgia.
A FLAT AND MARSHY TERRITORY
Most of Florida is flat and of karst origin. In the southern part there are the vast swamps of the Everglades, a natural area protected by the homonymous national park, and Lake Okeechobee. The southern tip of the peninsula is dotted with islands, the Florida Keys, which go hundreds of kilometers towards Cuba.
The highest point in the state is Britton Hill, only 105 meters high, it is located in the north-west along the border with Alabama. Florida is famous for its mild climate, which has made it a popular tourist destination. The Florida coastline with its tropical beaches and bays attracts millions of visitors every year.
A TERRITORY CONTESTED BY SPANISH AND FRENCH
Florida was discovered by the Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon in 1513, when he was in search of the mythical Fountain of Youth. In the 16th century the country saw several attempts of Spanish and French colonization. These two colonial powers founded several often short-lived colonies. Finally, it was Spain that had the upper hand over the French attempts and Florida remained a Spanish colony until 1763, when, following the peace of Paris, it was ceded to Great Britain. In 1783, with the treaty of Versailles, Spain returned to the possession of the territory. Florida was definitively ceded from Spain to the United States in 1819.
- Area: 170,304 sq. km. (22th largest state of the United States of America)
- Population: 18,350,000 (data 2008) (Whites 78.0%, Blacks 14.6%; Asian 1.7%, Amerindian 0.3%. Hispanics (classified into different racial types) are 16.8%. Data 2000).
- State Capital: Tallahasee.
- Languages: The official language is English (spoken as a first language by 74,5% of the population). Spanish is spoken as a first language by 18,6% of the population. The French Creole by 1,6%. Data 2005).
- Religion: Christian 77% (Roman Catholic (26%), Evangelical (25%), Protestant (23%), Orthodox (1%)), Jehovah’s Witnesses (1%), Jewish (3%), Muslim (1%).
- Time zone: (UTC-5; Summer UTC-4; Panhandle (the strip of northwestern Florida) UTC-6; Summer UTC-5).
ACCOMMODATIONS, APARTMENTS, B&B AND HOTELS
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