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Ribault erected a stone column at the site, claiming the newly discovered land for France.In 1564, René Goulaine de Laudonnière established the first European settlement, Fort Caroline, on the St. Philip II of Spain ordered Pedro Menéndez de Avilés to protect the interest of Spain by attacking the French presence at Fort Caroline.The location of Fort Caroline is subject to debate but a reconstruction of the fort was established on the St. Spain ceded Florida to the British in 1763 after the French and Indian War, and the British soon constructed the King's Road connecting St. The British introduced the cultivation of sugar cane, indigo and fruits, as well the export of lumber.As a result, the northeastern Florida area prospered economically more than it had under the Spanish.During Reconstruction and the Gilded Age, Jacksonville and nearby St.Augustine became popular winter resorts for the rich and famous.
Though no battles were fought in Jacksonville proper, the city changed hands several times between Union and Confederate forces.
The area was originally inhabited by the Timucua people, and in 1564 was the site of the French colony of Fort Caroline, one of the earliest European settlements in what is now the continental United States.