EAST FLORIDA. In 1763, at the conclusion of the Seven Years War,* Spain ceded its Florida colony to England. Great Britain promptly divided the colony into West Florida and East Florida, assigning royal governors to each. The British interest in Florida was primarily strategic, not economic, and relatively few British colonists settled there. East Florida did not participate in the American Revolution.* During the War for American Independence,* Spain joined with the thirteen American colonies against the British, and, in 1780, Spanish troops occupied West Florida. At the Treaty of Paris* of 1783 ending the War for American Independence, East Florida and West Florida reverted to Spanish sovereignty.
REFERENCE: Gloria Jahoda, Florida: A History, 1984.
EAST INDIA COMPANY. For much of the sixteenth century, the Indian Ocean was, for all intents and purposes, a Portuguese lake. The lucrative spice trade in Southeast Asia was dominated by Portugal, which, in fact, provided a model for Great Britain's later imperial rule in India*--particularly with respect to the control of strategic routes to India, the use of factories (warehouses) to secure goods on a year-round basis, and the use of subsidiary alliances to gain the cooperation of native princes. But Portuguese power declined as the century neared its end, and the finishing blow came when the Portuguese kingdom was annexed to Spain in 1580. The defeat of the Spanish Armada* in 1588 signaled Holland and England that the road lay open for a new eastern adventure.
The East India Company was incorporated on December 31, 1600, when Queen Elizabeth I* issued a royal charter extending monopoly rights for all trade with the "Indies"--meaning all lands "beyond the Cape of Good Hope to the Straits of Magellan"--to the "Governor and Company of Merchants of