History and Economy of Florida

Florida’s economy and infrastructure

Florida is an interesting destination for vacationers from all over the world and is becoming a permanent or temporary retirement home for many retirees from the United States and expats. In addition, the Port of Miami and Port Canaveral in Florida are two of the largest cruise ports in the world.

In addition to the travelers and the fact that the most important launch site for NASA and the US Air Force is located there, the state earns money by growing fruits. Florida is particularly known for citrus fruits (50 percent of US consumption) and its many orange plantations. There are also many banks. All in all, Florida achieved the fourth highest economic output of all US states with an economic output of 926 billion US dollars (2016).

Florida’s history

The state’s history is one of changing rule during the period when the Spanish, British and French vied for their colonies in the New World. After various peoples were at home in Florida over 14,000 years ago, the Spanish navigator and explorer Juan Ponce de León discovered the peninsula in 1513 and named it Pascua Florida, which in Spanish stands for Easter time. Pascua Florida Day is still held as a public holiday in early April.

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A few years later, in 1565, the Spaniard Pedro Menéndez de Avilés founded St. Augustine in the then Spanish colony of Florida, which is still the oldest European settlement in the USA. A period of changing rulers followed until Florida was handed over from the Spanish to the British in 1763 after the end of the Seven Years’ War. Of these, it became the 27th state to be transferred to the USA in 1854, but left the Union again in 1860/61 at the beginning of the civil war as an ally of the other southern states. After the defeat, Florida was accepted back into the Union in the course of Reconstruction in 1877.

After Miami Beach was founded in 1915, there was a real construction boom in the 20s of the last century with a sharp increase in population. And when Disney World opened in 1971, the rise to a tourist magnet was unstoppable.


The inventor Thomas Aiva Edison and the automaker Henry Ford were friends and neighbors in Fort Myers during the winter. Their winter houses can now be viewed as part of the site. The facility is only accessible as part of guided tours, but participation is definitely recommended.

2350 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers, The parking lot entrance is approximately 2.5 miles from Colonial Blvd. away. Warning: the signs are not very clear (you can easily drive past them), daily from 9 a.m. to 5.30 p.m., last tour from 4 p.m., admission depending on the tour, Public toilets are also located outside the entrance to the site, Official website: www.edisonfordwinterestates.org

In addition to the furnished former residential buildings (delivered prefabricated as prefabricated houses at the time and then assembled on site), the tour leads through Edison’s botanical garden with numerous exotic plants, which are explained.

You can get a foretaste of this at the entrance, where a – fenced – banyan tree of Indian origin takes up enormous space. At certain times at the swimming pool you meet an actor who plays Edison and tells a little about him. The concrete swimming pool was a concession from Edison to his wife. He never used the pool himself. The pool is said not to have undergone major renovations since it was built. The former Edison laboratory is a highlight. It is still set up today in such a way that you would think Edison was about to start work.

Owned by Henry Ford since 1916

Henry Ford acquired his property in 1916. The furnishings of the residential buildings are essentially the same as those of the time. The automobiles from Ford production on display in a shed are particularly interesting, including a Model T built in 1914 and a Model A built in 1929. The guided tour ends at the Edison Museum, which can be visited without a guide (subject to the entrance fee). Here is an overview of the incredibly diverse developments of this man. It’s not just the well-known gramophones, Portland cement, latex products and much more are also part of it. A total of at least 2 hours should be allowed for the tours.

Economy of Florida