Florida Forays, Fiascos, and Conquests

Andrew Jackson, John Quincy Adams, and the First Seminole War

Authored by: Samuel Watson

The Routledge Handbook of American Military and Diplomatic History

Print publication date:  August  2014
Online publication date:  September  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415533805
eBook ISBN: 9781315817347
Adobe ISBN: 9781317813354


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U.S. military forces invaded Spanish Florida six times in a single decade (1810–11, 1812–13, 1813, 1814, 1816, and 1818), engaging Spanish forces in four of those campaigns (1812, 1813, 1814, and 1818). Two of these incursions (1812, 1816) were unauthorized by Congress or the executive branch; two (1814, 1818) exceeded War Department instructions. American citizens acting contrary to U.S. neutrality law and international peace (“filibusters”) invaded Florida, or Americans rebelled against Spanish authority there, in 1804, 1810, 1812, and 1814. Groups of American citizen-filibusters also invaded Texas in 1812 and 1819, to say nothing of many intrusions by individuals contrary to Spanish law and international custom. In sum, the United States and its citizens conducted an unprovoked quasi-war against Spain.

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