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On March 10 1821 President James Monroe appointed General Andrew Jackson to take possession of Florida and gave him the full powers of governor Jackson accepted the office only on the condition that he could resign as soon as the territorial government was organized1 On July 17 1821 Spain transferred Florida to the United States and Jackson sent his resignation to the president in November In all Andrew Jackson visited Florida only three times in 1814 during the War of 1812 in 1818 during the First Seminole War and in 1821 to organize the first territorial government2The change from Spanish to American rule was not a smooth transition The Spanish population quickly realized the unruly settlers who visited their homes and establishments had neither the money nor inclination to purchase their property at fair market value The volatile Mayor of St Augustine Juan Entralgo refused to cooperate with Jackson and when the Spanish Governor Don Jose Callava protested Jacksons policies Jackson threw him in jail1 Few Spaniards elected to remain under American rule Many elected to strip their homes of anything useful and burnt the foundations so the Americans were left with ruins The new Territory of Florida was second only to Georgia in land area east of the Mississippi River This huge size coupled with the states under populated peninsular posed serious problems to the states future development Northern Congressmen feared that Florida would be divided into two slave states thus disrupting the delicate balance of having equal slave and free states in the United States Senate3 Jackson felt there were more obvious problems a lack of population the absence of decent roads and physical resources and the presence of hostile Seminole Indians1 Territorial Florida had a simple governmental structure The Governor a three-year appointee of the President had to operate with a minimum of Federal funding The Territorial Council elected by the people could only borrow money issue licenses and organize a state
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