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Thursday October 11th 2018Tim Candler9

 

     Difficult to avoid the history of Florida. You hear the quote, "because the Spanish gave the area the name Land of Flowers." Think of the ludicrous Viking name Greenland, I guess. Unfortunately, letters home from the early US garrisons stationed in the territory during the Second Seminole War described a land that was basically a hell hole of insects, heat and disease ridden swamps. In time the indigenous Seminole, and the slaves who'd escaped the more northern plantations or Black Seminoles as they were called. were defeated. Seminoles who survived were relocated East of the Mississippi, Black Seminoles sent back to slavery. By the 1860's the population of Florida was 140,000, 44% of them were slaves working the cotton fields in Northern Florida. Following the Civil War, the period of Reconstruction was particularly unpleasant, freed slaves fled intolerance to places like Michigan to look for work in manufacture. A time that's still called the Great Migration. A reach for freedom the music of which still influences much of our less reactionary world.

 

Past

      Generally Florida was a kingdom of horribleness run by the agricultural interests dominated by the old time Democrats until the 1920's when there was a land boom, money poured in and it all came to a screaming halt  in the 1930's.  And nothing much happen until the military build up of the Second World War. But if you're looking for blame, blame the railway line to Palm Beach which before the air liner gave the wealthy from the North a wintering phase, and then in the 1950's and 1960's there was air conditioning. Today around 21 million people live in Florida, 20% are over 65, the US average for over 65 is 14%, so they're not all as old as you think. If you've ever been there the high point is Britton Hill, 345 feet above sea level, it's up in the panhandle, otherwise Florida is mostly flat, dull as Kansas but with no shortage of flood zones and everyone talks about beaches and paradise. Me, I'm not a big fan of the state, and if you're interested, Plato had much to say about how "beginnings" kind of determine "ends."

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