Florida

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Florida
Capital Tallahassee
Nickname The Sunshine State
Official Language English
Governor Ron DeSantis, R
Senator Rick Scott, R
(202) 224-5274
Contact
Senator Marco Rubio, R
(202) 224-3041
Contact
Population 22,000,000 (2020)
Ratification of Constitution/or statehood March 3, 1845 (27th)
Flag of Florida Motto: "In God We Trust"

Florida is a state located in the southeastern United States, traditionally conservative and prominent amid the COVID-19 pandemic in opposing lockdowns, mask mandates, and vaccine passports. It is bound by Georgia and Alabama to the north, the Gulf of Mexico to the west, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Straits of Florida to the south. Originally a colony of Spain, it was purchased by the U.S. in 1819 and in 1845 became the 27th state to join the Union. The capital of Florida is Tallahassee, and the main metropolitan areas are Jacksonville, Miami, St. Petersburg and Orlando. Florida's nickname is the "Sunshine State," and its state tree is the sabal palm. Florida has grown very rapidly, pulling in thousands of hard-working retirees from the cold New England area, giving it the 3rd largest population of the 50 states.

The state Constitution of Florida, like all of the other 50 states, acknowledges God or our Creator or the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe. It says:

We, the people of the State of Florida, being grateful to Almighty God for our constitutional liberty, in order to secure its benefits, perfect our government, insure domestic tranquility, maintain public order, and guarantee equal civil and political rights to all, do ordain and establish this constitution.

History

See also History of Florida.

Florida was first settled by Europeans in 1513, when Spaniard Juan Ponce de Leon landed near where St. Augustine stands today. de Leon originally spotted Florida on Easter Sunday, so he named it Pascua Florida, which means "Flowery Easter" in Spanish.[1]

For some time, Spain and France ran competing colonies in Florida, with the Spanish eventually expelling the French. John Quincy Adams, serving as the Secretary of State for President James Monroe, negotiated the Adams–Onís Treaty with the Spanish in 1819, purchasing the territory of Florida from Spain.[2]

Florida seceded from the Union in 1861 and joined the Confederate States of America; there was little military action in the remote state.

Geography

The southernmost of America's "Lower 48" states, Florida is a largely subtropical state whose southernmost point (at Key West) is only about 90 miles north of Cuba. It has a land area of about 58,560 square miles, ranking 22nd among the states. Most of its land is part of the long, tapering Florida peninsula that juts in a south-southeastward direction toward the Caribbean, with the rest, a narrow northwestern arm extending as far west as the Perdido River just west of Pensacola, known as the Florida panhandle. The state's highest elevation, the peak of Britton Hill in Walton County near the Alabama state line, is only 345 feet above sea level, while its whole coastline lies at or just above sea level. Florida's average elevation, of only about 100 feet above sea level, is lower than every other state except Delaware and Louisiana.

The state of Florida

The state has three major natural regions: the Atlantic Coastal Plain, the East Gulf Coastal Plain, and the Florida Uplands.

  • The Atlantic Coastal Plain is a low, level expanse that covers the eastern part of the Florida peninsula, gently sloping towards the Atlantic Ocean. A considerable portion of the plain consists of freshwater and saltwater marshes, separated by small, drier heights known as "land islands." The largest of the wetlands, lying south of Lake Okeechobee, are Big Cypress Swamp and the Everglades. Just off the coast, for practically the entire length of the peninsula, is a broken string of long, very narrow islands, terminating in the Florida Keys.
  • The East Gulf Coastal Plain, which wraps around most of Florida's western and northwestern coast, is similar in terrain and other features to the Atlantic Coastal Plain, except that it is somewhat narrower in width (typically 30 miles or less). Its southernmost portion, in the Everglades, effectively merges with the other coastal plain, the two being indistinguishable except for the direction of water flow. There are fewer offshore islands on the Gulf Coast, except along the Florida panhandle.
  • The Florida Uplands comprise the state's interior portion, including the central part of the peninsula and most of the Florida panhandle. It consists largely of rolling red-clay hills, divided by fertile valleys. In central Florida, the Uplands are characterized by numerous lakes, many of them formed by sinkholes, water-filled holes created by a collapse in the underlying bed of limestone.

Economy

A large sector of Florida's economy is based on the cultivation of citrus fruit. As of 2006, Florida produced 67 percent of the United States' total citrus fruit. This breaks down to 74 percent of oranges grown in the US, 58 percent of tangerines and 54 percent of grapefruits.[3] The orange blossom is Florida's state flower, the orange is the state fruit and orange juice is the official state beverage.

Tourism is one of the state's largest economic sectors, with over 112 million tourists visiting in 2016 and with 1.4 million people employed in the industry (as of 2016). Particularly popular attractions include the Everglades, Walt Disney World, and Miami's South Beach district.

NASA's presence in Cape Canaveral makes Florida a very good environment for the aerospace industry. Florida is the 4th largest employer of workers in the aerospace industry, with over 23,000 employed.

State Government

Florida has a republican form of government (as guaranteed to every State by Article IV, Section 4 of the United States Constitution) that is modeled on the United States government and has three distinct branches: executive, legislative, and judicial.

The head of the executive branch is the Governor of Florida. He is elected by the voters of Florida for a term of four years, and is limited to two consecutive terms. In the State of Florida, the Governor and Lieutenant Governor are elected on the same ticket in the general election. The Governor of Florida exercises the following powers and duties: He is commander-in-chief of all the military forces of the State. He takes care that the laws are faithfully executed and commissions all the officers of the State and counties. He is the chief administrative officer of the State and is responsible for budgeting. He may initiate judicial proceedings against any executive or administrative officer. He may request judicial opinions from the Florida Supreme Court. He calls forth the militia to execute the laws. He communicates by message with the Legislature. He fills vacancies. He may veto bills passed by the Legislature.

The other elected officers of the executive branch are the Chief Financial Officer, the Attorney General, and the Agriculture Commissioner, who are also elected for four year terms and subject to term limits. Those three officers plus the Governor comprise the Florida Cabinet. For any matter requiring a vote of the Cabinet, in the event of a tie vote, the side on which the Governor voted (for or against) is the outcome.

In case of a vacancy in the office of Governor, the Lieutenant Governor becomes Governor for the remainder of the term.

The legislative branch consists of the Florida Legislature. The Legislature consists of the Florida Senate and the Florida House of Representatives. Senators serve four year terms and are limited to two consecutive terms, while Representatives serve two year terms and are limited to four consecutive terms. Bills are passed by a majority of each chamber. The Legislature may override the Governor's veto by a two-thirds vote of each chamber.

The Florida Supreme Court, district courts of appeal, circuit courts, an county courts. The Florida Supreme Court is composed of seven justices who are appointed by the Governor and subject to a retention election. Justices may not be seventy-five years old or older.

Politics

Florida is a swing state in presidential elections. The South Florida region (Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Palm Beach, along with the Florida Keys) along with the Tallahassee capital area, are heavily Democratic and the urban areas of Tampa and Orlando lean Democratic, while the northern parts of the state (especially the panhandle, due to the presence of significant military bases, but excluding the Tallahassee area), rural areas of central Florida, and the southwestern portion of the state (Naples, Fort Myers, Punta Gorda, and Sarasota) are heavily Republican. The swing state phenomenon was most pronounced during the 2000 presidential election when the margin of victory for eventual winner George W. Bush was a mere 537 votes (triggering a mandatory recount under Florida state law, an ensuing number of lawsuits and judicial rulings, and never-ending speculation as to the real winner).

2020 Elections

In the 2020 presidential elections, Floridian Latinos' (mainly devoutly religious Cuban-Americans who are strongly opposed to socialism) in the very populous Miami-Dade area, turned out strongly for Donald J. Trump. That was after Obama campaigned in Miami for Biden.[4]

Next day there was celebration among Cuban-Americans Trump-supporters in Miami.[5]

Nicaraguan-American Ana Navarro said next day: Florida... I feel like have been beaten like a piñata...[6]

State symbols

Elected officials

Federal

Statewide

Metropolitan Areas

References

  1. Florida state name origin
  2. Acquisition of Florida
  3. Florida state fruit: orange
  4. "In Florida, Trump shows strength with Latino voters." New York Times, Nov.3.2020 ...Florida, a must-win battleground for President Trump with 29 electoral votes, appeared to be edging toward the president on the strength of his support among Latinos in the Miami area. In populous Miami-Dade, Mr. Trump was overperforming his 2016 vote totals, with 512,000-plus votes so far counted in 2020 compared with about 334,000 total four years ago — an enormous improvement. The Biden campaign had sent former President Barack Obama to Miami on the eve of the election to try to rally supporters to the polls. “The reason why I’m back here in South Florida is that I know some of you have not voted yet,” Mr. Obama had said on Monday. But Mr. Biden was showing strength in other parts of the state, and the margins were too narrow to declare a winner. Mr. Biden, for instance, was leading in Duval County, home of the city of Jacksonville, which Mr. Trump carried in 2016.
  5. "Trump supporters took to streets of Little Havana after Florida win". Wednesday, November 4th 2020. (WFOR). Kake.com
  6. CNN, Nov.4.2020 7:56 am Time stamp: 00:36

[1]


  1. Constitution of the State of Florida