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Forever Changed: La Florida, 1565-1821

The Spaniards who settled La Florida after the era of exploration built settlements, missions, and forts. In the process, they changed the way of life of Florida’s native peoples. The settlements supported the forts, and the forts in turn protected settlers when hostile forces threatened. St. Augustine depended on the missions to provide Indian labor and food. When the mission system collapsed in the early 1700s, Florida changed again. The area would continue to evolve as political control was transferred between the Spanish, British, and, later, the Americans.