Today’s in History:
February 22, 1819
The United States Purchases Florida
Spain was losing its grip on its New World territories. Years of war and tension with England and France had left the Spanish empire without the means to firmly control its colonies. General Andrew Jackson, while fighting the First Seminole Wars against Native Americans in Georgia had on occasion attacked and captured Spanish forts in Florida without provocation. When Spain was unable to retaliate, President John Monroe and his Secretary of State John Quincy Adams saw an opportunity.
Forcing Spain to the negotiating table, Adams demanded the purchase of Florida. Residents there had grievances against Spain amounting to slightly more than $5,000,000. In exchange for agreeing to pay those claims, the United States was granted all of Spanish Florida in the treaty known as the Adams-Onis Treaty