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In 1559, Don Tristán de Luna y Arellano established a settlement at present-day Pensacola, making it the first attempted settlement in Florida, but it was mostly abandoned by 1561. Augustine (San Agustín) was established under the leadership of admiral and governor Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, creating what would become one of the oldest, continuously-occupied European settlements in the continental U. and establishing the first generation of Floridanos and the government of Florida.
Florida has the longest coastline in the contiguous United States, approximately 1,350 miles (2,170 km), not including the contribution of the many barrier islands. The climate varies from subtropical in the north to tropical in the south.
Neither East Florida nor West Florida would send any representatives to Philadelphia to draft the Declaration of Independence. Americans of English descent and Americans of Scots-Irish descent began moving into northern Florida from the backwoods of Georgia and South Carolina.
Florida would remain a Loyalist stronghold for the duration of the American Revolution. Though technically not allowed by the Spanish authorities and the Floridan government, they were never able to effectively police the border region and the backwoods settlers from the United States would continue to immigrate into Florida unchecked.
Today, Florida is distinctive for its large Cuban expatriate community and high population growth, as well as for its increasing environmental issues.
The state's economy relies mainly on tourism, agriculture, and transportation, which developed in the late 19th century.