Spain established several settlements in Florida, with varying degrees of success.In 1559, Don Tristán de Luna y Arellano established a settlement at present-day Pensacola, making it the first attempted settlement in Florida, but it was mostly abandoned by 1561. Augustine (San Agustín) was established under the leadership of admiral and governor Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, creating what would become the oldest European settlement in the continental U. and establishing the first generation of Floridanos and the government of Florida.Florida culture is a reflection of influences and multiple inheritance; African, European, indigenous, and Latino heritages can be found in the architecture and cuisine.Florida has attracted many writers such as Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams, and continues to attract celebrities and athletes.
The earliest known European explorers came with the Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de León.
This would be the first introduction of much of the English-derived legal system which Florida still has today including trial by jury, habeas corpus and county-based government.
Neither East Florida nor West Florida would send any representatives to Philadelphia to draft the Declaration of Independence. Americans of English descent and Americans of Scots-Irish descent began moving into northern Florida from the backwoods of Georgia and South Carolina.
In May 1539, Conquistador Hernando de Soto skirted the coast of Florida, searching for a deep harbor to land.
He described seeing a thick wall of red mangroves spread mile after mile, some reaching as high as 70 feet (21 m), with intertwined and elevated roots making landing difficult.