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The Spanish encouraged slaves from the southern British colonies to come to Florida as a refuge, promising freedom in exchange for conversion to Catholicism.King Charles II of Spain issued a royal proclamation freeing all slaves who fled to Spanish Florida and accepted conversion and baptism. Augustine, but escaped slaves also reached Pensacola. Augustine had mustered an all-black militia unit defending Spain as early as 1683.

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Florida is the flattest state in the United States.

Florida's close proximity to the ocean influences many aspects of Florida culture and daily life.

) is the southernmost contiguous state in the United States.

The state is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the northwest by Alabama, to the north by Georgia, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, and to the south by the Straits of Florida. Jacksonville is the most populous municipality in the state and the largest city by area in the contiguous United States.

Florida is home to 51 of the world's billionaires with most of them residing in South Florida.

Florida was a challenge for the European colonial powers before it gained statehood in the United States in 1845.

The state's economy relies mainly on tourism, agriculture, and transportation, which developed in the late 19th century.

Florida is also renowned for amusement parks, orange crops, winter vegetables, the Kennedy Space Center, and as a popular destination for retirees.

Augustine, a fortified town for escaped slaves to whom Montiano granted citizenship and freedom in return for their service in the Florida militia, and which became the first free black settlement legally sanctioned in North America.

In 1763, Spain traded Florida to the Kingdom of Great Britain for control of Havana, Cuba, which had been captured by the British during the Seven Years' War.

The earliest known European explorers came with the Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de León.

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