Law of the United States
The law of the United States comprises many levels of codified and uncodified forms of law, of which the most important is the United States Constitution, the foundation of the federal government of the United States. The Constitution sets out the boundaries of federal law, which consists of Acts of Congress, treaties ratified by the Senate, regulations promulgated by the executive branch, case law originating from the federal judiciary; the United States Code is the official compilation and codification of general and permanent federal statutory law. Federal law and treaties, so long as they are in accordance with the Constitution, preempt conflicting state and territorial laws in the 50 U. S. in the territories. However, the scope of federal preemption is limited because the scope of federal power is not universal. In the dual-sovereign system of American federalism, states are the plenary sovereigns, each with their own constitution, while the federal sovereign possesses only the limited supreme authority enumerated in the Constitution.
Indeed, states may grant their citizens broader rights than the federal Constitution as long as they do not infringe on any federal constitutional rights. Thus, most U. S. law consists of state law, which can and does vary from one state to the next. At both the federal and state levels, with the exception of the state of Louisiana, the law of the United States is derived from the common law system of English law, in force at the time of the American Revolutionary War. However, American law has diverged from its English ancestor both in terms of substance and procedure, has incorporated a number of civil law innovations. In the United States, the law is derived from five sources: constitutional law, statutory law, administrative regulations, the common law. Where Congress enacts a statute that conflicts with the Constitution, state or federal courts may rule that law to be unconstitutional and declare it invalid. Notably, a statute does not automatically disappear because it has been found unconstitutional.
Many federal and state statutes have remained on the books for decades after they were ruled to be unconstitutional. However, under the principle of stare decisis, no sensible lower court will enforce an unconstitutional statute, any court that does so will be reversed by the Supreme Court. Conversely, any court that refuses to enforce a constitutional statute will risk reversal by the Supreme Court. Commonwealth countries are heirs to the common law legal tradition of English law. Certain practices traditionally allowed under English common law were expressly outlawed by the Constitution, such as bills of attainder.</ref> and general search rrts. As common law courts, U. S. courts have inherited the principle of stare decisis. American judges, like common law judges elsewhere, not only apply the law, they make the law, to the extent that their decisions in the cases before them become precedent for decisions in future cases; the actual substance of English law was formally "received" into the United States in several ways.
First, all U. S. states except Louisiana have enacted "reception statutes" which state that the common law of England is the law of the state to the extent that it is not repugnant to domestic law or indigenous conditions. Some reception statutes impose a specific cutoff date for reception, such as the date of a colony's founding, while others are deliberately vague. Thus, contemporary U. S. courts cite pre-Revolution cases when discussing the evolution of an ancient judge-made common law principle into its modern form, such as the heightened duty of care traditionally imposed upon common carriers. Second, a small number of important British statutes in effect at the time of the Revolution have been independently reenacted by U. S. states. Two examples are the Statute of 13 Elizabeth; such English statutes are still cited in contemporary American cases interpreting their modern American descendants. Despite the presence of reception statutes, much of contemporary American common law has diverged from English common law.
Although the courts of the various Commonwealth nations are influenced by each other's rulings, American courts follow post-Revolution Commonwealth rulings unless there is no American ruling on point, the facts and law at issue are nearly identical, the reasoning is persuasive. Early on, American courts after the Revolution did cite contemporary English cases, because appellate decisions from many American courts were not reported until the mid-19th century. Lawyers and judges used English legal materials to fill the gap. Citations to English decisions disappeared during the 19th century as American courts developed their own principles to resolve the legal problems of the American people; the number of published volumes of American reports soared from eighteen in 1810 to over 8,000 by 1910. By 1879 one of the delegates to the California constitutional convention was complaining: "Now, when we require them to state the reasons for a decision, we do not mean they shall write a hundred pages of detail.
We not mean that they shall include the small cases, impose on the country all this fine judici
United States Department of Defense
The Department of Defense is an executive branch department of the federal government charged with coordinating and supervising all agencies and functions of the government concerned directly with national security and the United States Armed Forces. The department is the largest employer in the world, with nearly 1.3 million active duty servicemen and women as of 2016. Adding to its employees are over 826,000 National Guardsmen and Reservists from the four services, over 732,000 civilians bringing the total to over 2.8 million employees. Headquartered at the Pentagon in Arlington, just outside Washington, D. C. the DoD's stated mission is to provide "the military forces needed to deter war and ensure our nation's security". The Department of Defense is headed by the Secretary of Defense, a cabinet-level head who reports directly to the President of the United States. Beneath the Department of Defense are three subordinate military departments: the United States Department of the Army, the United States Department of the Navy, the United States Department of the Air Force.
In addition, four national intelligence services are subordinate to the Department of Defense: the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the National Reconnaissance Office. Other Defense Agencies include the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Defense Logistics Agency, the Missile Defense Agency, the Defense Health Agency, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, the Defense Security Service, the Pentagon Force Protection Agency, all of which are under the command of the Secretary of Defense. Additionally, the Defense Contract Management Agency provides acquisition insight that matters, by delivering actionable acquisition intelligence from factory floor to the warfighter. Military operations are managed by ten functional Unified combatant commands; the Department of Defense operates several joint services schools, including the Eisenhower School and the National War College. The history of the defense of the United States started with the Continental Congress in 1775.
The creation of the United States Army was enacted on 14 June 1775. This coincides with the American holiday Flag Day; the Second Continental Congress would charter the United States Navy, on 13 October 1775, create the United States Marine Corps on 10 November 1775. The Preamble of the United States Constitution gave the authority to the federal government to defend its citizens: We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. Upon the seating of the first Congress on 4 March 1789, legislation to create a military defense force stagnated as they focused on other concerns relevant to setting up the new government. President George Washington went to Congress to remind them of their duty to establish a military twice during this time.
On the last day of the session, 29 September 1789, Congress created the War Department, historic forerunner of the Department of Defense. The War Department handled naval affairs until Congress created the Navy Department in 1798; the secretaries of each of these departments reported directly to the president as cabinet-level advisors until 1949, when all military departments became subordinate to the Secretary of Defense. After the end of World War II, President Harry Truman proposed creation of a unified department of national defense. In a special message to Congress on 19 December 1945, the President cited both wasteful military spending and inter-departmental conflicts. Deliberations in Congress went on for months focusing on the role of the military in society and the threat of granting too much military power to the executive. On 26 July 1947, Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947, which set up a unified military command known as the "National Military Establishment", as well as creating the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Council, National Security Resources Board, United States Air Force and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The act placed the National Military Establishment under the control of a single Secretary of Defense. The National Military Establishment formally began operations on 18 September, the day after the Senate confirmed James V. Forrestal as the first Secretary of Defense; the National Military Establishment was renamed the "Department of Defense" on 10 August 1949 and absorbed the three cabinet-level military departments, in an amendment to the original 1947 law. Under the Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1958, channels of authority within the department were streamlined, while still maintaining the ordinary authority of the Military Departments to organize and equip their associated forces; the Act clarified the overall decision-making authority of the Secretary of Defense with respect to these subordinate Military Departments and more defined the operational chain of command over U. S. military forces as running from the president to the Secretary of Defense and to the unified combatant commanders.
Provided in this legislation was a centralized research authority, the Advanced Research Projects Agency known as DARPA. The act was written and promoted by the Eisenhower administration, was signed into law 6 August 1958; the Secretary of Defense, appointed by the president with the advice and consent of the Senate, is by federal law (1
Kelley Barracks is a U. S. military installation and headquarters of United States Africa Command, is a part of US Army Garrison Stuttgart in Stuttgart-Möhringen in Germany. The post is administered by IMCOM- Europe. Located in the outer Stuttgart district of Möhringen, Helenen Kaserne opened May 7, 1938, housing members of the 5th Air Signal Regiment of the Luftwaffe. On December 5, 1945 Helenen Kaserne became an American installation part of Stuttgart Post; the 7700th Troop Information and Education Group of the US Army became the first permanently assigned unit in 1947. From 1948 to 1951 the US Constabulary occupied the post. In November 1951, Helenen Kaserne became the headquarters of the reactivated VII Corps. In September 1949 Helenen Kaserne was renamed by Brigadier General Arnold J. Funk to the Kelley Barracks in honor of Staff Sergeant Jonah E. Kelley, of the 78th Infantry Division, posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for actions occurring at Kesternich, Germany in January 1945 during the Second Battle of Kesternich.
From 1951 until the headquarters deactivated in 1992, VII Corps was headquartered at the base. In remembrance of the 41-year history of VII Corps at Kelley during the Cold War and Gulf War, an M4 Sherman tank and a Gulf War era T-72 Iraqi tank flank the main flagpole along with the seal of VII Corps on the main street of the installation; the tanks were removed in 2018. A segment of the Berlin Wall is displayed as a memorial; the 602nd Air Support Operations Group of the United States Air Force was stationed at Kelley Barracks in support of the VII Corps HQ and subordinate units until the inactivation of VII Corps in 1992. Following the large drawdown of US forces after the Cold War and Gulf War, Kelley was used as headquarters for the 6th ASG, now US Army Garrison-Stuttgart. An 8-story Guest house was opened in 2001 to house transient personnel and visitors to the Stuttgart Military Community. In February 2007, Kelley Barracks was designated to house the Transition Team of United States Africa Command and became the permanent headquarters when the command was activated on October 1, 2008.
Kelley Barracks was scheduled to close in 2009, but the Army has spent hundreds of millions of dollars upgrading the base for Africa Command, while telling Congress that it is just a temporary home. In February 2013, the Pentagon announced that AFRICOM will remain in Germany, ending efforts to relocate the command to the United States. Due to heightened security at all installations, the Main Entrance Gate - used since opening in 1938 - is being replaced to conform to current force protection standards, it employs 1,700 soldiers, US civil service, local nationals and contractors. Kelley lacks a post exchange; the installation hosts a variety of a theater and recreation center. Kelley is located near the SI-Centrum entertainment complex which offers a wide variety of entertainment. Dependent children housed at Kelley must leave the installation for school as Kelley is the only installation in the Stuttgart Military Community lacking DODEA schools; the US DODEA operates Elementary schools at nearby Robinson Barracks, Patch Barracks and Panzer Kaserne.
Alexander M. Patch American High School is located at Patch Barracks and the International School of Stuttgart is located nearby. MWR Stuttgart Family Child Care operates daycare services on Kelley. A small Clinic annex operates with limited services for eligible personnel. Kelley Hotel is a 68-room hotel on post at Kelley Barracks. Like other DoD hotels, Kelley Hotel has many amenities; the Stuttgart Stadtbahn has a station nearby allowing residents easy access to the public transit system. Bus stops are near both the South gates of the installation. Panzer Kaserne Patch Barracks Robinson Barracks List of United States Army installations in Germany Kelley Barracks Commissary Kelly Hotel Stuttgart VVS Map of Public Transit in the Kelley Barracks area Kelley Barracks Travel Buddy Page Jonah Edward Kelley Family Website
Command and control
Command and control or C2 is a "set of organizational and technical attributes and processes... employs human and information resources to solve problems and accomplish missions" to achieve the goals of an organization or enterprise, according to a 2015 definition by military scientists Marius Vassiliou, David S. Alberts and Jonathan R. Agre, The term refers to a military system. Versions of the United States Army Field Manual 3-0 circulated circa 1999, define C2 in a military organization as the exercise of authority and direction by a properly designated commanding officer over assigned and attached forces in the accomplishment of a mission. A 1988 NATO definition and control is the exercise of authority and direction by a properly designated individual over assigned resources in the accomplishment of a common goal. An Australian Defence Force definition, similar to that of NATO, emphasises that C2 is the system empowering designated personnel to exercise lawful authority and direction over assigned forces for the accomplishment of missions and tasks.
The US Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms defines command and control as: "The exercise of authority and direction by a properly designated commander over assigned and attached forces in the accomplishment of the mission. Called C2. Source: JP 1"; the edition of the Dictionary "As Amended Through April 2010" elaborates, "Command and control functions are performed through an arrangement of personnel, communications and procedures employed by a commander in planning, directing and controlling forces and operations in the accomplishment of the mission." However, this sentence is missing from the "command and control" entry for the edition "As Amended Through 15 August 2014."Commanding officers are assisted in executing these tasks by specialized staff officers and enlisted personnel. These military staff are a group of officers and enlisted personnel that provides a bi-directional flow of information between a commanding officer and subordinate military units; the purpose of a military staff is that of providing accurate, timely information which by category represents information on which command decisions are based.
The key application is that of decisions that manage unit resources. While information flow toward the commander is a priority, information, useful or contingent in nature is communicated to lower staffs and units; this term is in common use within the computer security industry and in the context of cyberwarfare. Here the term refers to the influence an attacker has over a compromised computer system that they control. For example, a valid usage of the term is to say that attackers use "command and control infrastructure" to issue "command and control instructions" to their victims. Advanced analysis of command and control methodologies can be used to identify attackers, associate attacks, disrupt ongoing malicious activity. There are a plethora of derivative terms which emphasise different aspects and sub-domains of C2; these terms come with a plethora of associated abbreviations – for example, in addition to C2, command and control is often abbreviated as C2, sometimes as C&C. Command and control have been coupled with Communication / Communications Intelligence Information / Information Systems Computers / Computing Surveillance Target acquisition Reconnaissance Interoperability Collaboration Electronic warfareand others.
Some of the more common variations include: C2I – Command, Control & Intelligence C2I – Command, Control & Information C2IS – Command and Control Information Systems C2ISR – C2I plus Surveillance and Reconnaissance C2ISTAR – C2 plus ISTAR C3 – Command, Control & Communication C3 – Command, Control & Communications C3 – Consultation and Control C3I – 4 possibilities. Command: The exercise of authority based upon certain knowledge to attain an objective. Control: The process of verifying and correcting activity such that the objective or goal of command is accomplished. Communication: Ability to exercise the necessary liaison to exercise effective command between tactical or strategic units to command. Computers: The computer systems and compatibility of computer systems. Includes data processing. Intelligence: Includes collection as well as distribution of information. A command and control center is a secure room or building in a government, military or prison facility that operates as the agency's dispatch center, surveillance monitoring center, coordination office and alarm monitoring center all in one.
Command and control centers are operated by a government or municipal agency. Various branches of the US military such as the US Coast Guard and Navy have command and control centers. T
Scott Air Force Base
Scott Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base in St. Clair County, near Belleville and O'Fallon, 25 miles East of downtown St. Louis. Scott Field was one of thirty-two Air Service training camps established after the United States entered World War I in April 1917, it is headquarters of Air Mobility Command, is the headquarters of the U. S. Transportation Command, a Unified Combatant Command that coordinates transportation across all the services; the base is operated by the 375th Air Mobility Wing and is home to the Air Force Reserve Command's 932d Airlift Wing and the Illinois Air National Guard's 126th Air Refueling Wing, the latter two units being operationally gained by AMC. The base employs 13,000 people, 5,100 civilians with 5,500 active-duty Air Force, an additional 2,400 Air National Guard and Reserve personnel, it was announced in June 2014 that two new cybersecurity squadrons will be added to the three on base. Its airfield is used by civilian aircraft, with civilian operations at the base referring to the facility as MidAmerica St. Louis Airport.
MidAmerica has operated as a Joint Use Airport since beginning operations in November 1997. Allegiant Air, the only commercial airline with scheduled flights at the airport, pulled out of the airport on January 3, 2009, but resumed direct flights to Orlando in 2012. Scott Air Force Base is home to the headquarters of many major military organizations, including: United States Transportation Command United States Army Surface Deployment and Distribution Command Air Mobility Command Eighteenth Air Force 635th Supply Chain Operations Wing Defense Information Technology Contracting Organization Defense Information Systems Agency, Global Operations - * Continental United States Air Force Network Integration Center - * the Air Force Communications Agency The 375th Air Mobility Wing is the host to more than 30 tenant units, including the Air Force Office of Special Investigations 3rd Field Investigations Region, the 932d Airlift Wing, the 126th Air Refueling Wing, the 3rd Manpower Requirements Squadron.
During World War I, Secretary of War Newton Baker advocated an expanded role for aviation. Business and political leaders on both sides of the Mississippi River wanted the Midwest to be chosen as a site for one of the new "flying fields." Aerial expert Albert Bond Lambert joined the St. Louis Chamber of Commerce and directors of the Greater Belleville Board of Trade to negotiate a lease agreement for nearly 624 acres of land. After inspecting several sites, the U. S. War Department agreed to the lease June 14, 1917. Congress appropriated $10 million for its construction, 2,000 laborers and carpenters were put to work; the layout of Scott Field was typical of aviation fields built during World War I. Construction began in June 1917; the government gave the Unit Construction Company 60 days to erect 60 buildings, lay a mile-long railroad spur, to level off an airfield with a 1,600 foot landing circle. Construction was underway when the government announced, on July 20, 1917, that it would name the new field after Corporal Frank S. Scott, the first enlisted service member killed in an aviation crash.
Scott had died after an unexpected engine failure had brought down the aircraft that Lieutenant Lewis Rockwell had been giving him an orientation flight in at College Park, Maryland, on September 28, 1912. Scott Field began as an aviation-training field for World War I pilots in August 1917 when the 11th and 21st Aero Squadrons from Kelly Field, arrived. Construction was completed in August, the first flight from Scott Field occurred 2 September 1917. Flying instruction began 11 September 1917; the 85th and 86th Aero Squadrons arrived, more than 300 pilots and many ground units were trained for service by the war's end in 1918. Training units assigned to Scott Field were: Post Headquarters, Scott Field – October 1919 114th Aero Squadron, February 1918Re-designated as Squadron "A", July–November 1918221st Aero Squadron, December 1917Re-designated as Squadron "B", July–November 1918242d Aero Squadron, April 1918Re-designated as Squadron "C", July–November 1918Squadron "D", July–November 1918 Flying School Detachment, November 1918-November 1919By 2 September, William Couch, a civilian flying instructor, Scott Field Commander, Major George E. A. Reinburg, made the first flight from Scott Field in a Standard J-1 two-seater biplane.
At least seven J-1s were on Scott. Operable from the front or rear seat, the 8-cylinder, 90- horsepower, Jenny would become the primary trainer used on Scott Field. Everything moved fast in a wartime environment, including the dangerous act of learning to fly airplanes. A judgment error or weather shift could produce severe accidents in the fragile aircraft of the day, so it soon became apparent that Scott Field needed a medical air evacuation capability. Determined to improve the recovery of Scott's downed pilots, Captains Charles Bayless, Early Hoag and A. J. Etheridge, along with Second Lieutenant Seth Thomas, designed two air ambulances, or hospital planes—using a configuration modeled after one in use at Gerstner Field, Louisiana. By the summer of 1918, Scott Field's engineering department had completed the rear cockpit modifications needed to convert two Jennies. Not long thereafter, on 24 August 1918, as aviator with a broken leg became Scott's first air evacua
United States Strategic Command
United States Strategic Command is one of ten unified commands in the United States Department of Defense. Headquartered at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, USSTRATCOM is responsible for strategic deterrence, global strike, operating the Defense Department's Global Information Grid, it provides a host of capabilities to support the other combatant commands, including strategic warning. This dynamic command gives national leadership a unified resource for greater understanding of specific threats around the world and the means to respond to those threats rapidly. USSTRATCOM employs tailored nuclear, space, global strike, joint electronic warfare, missile defense, intelligence capabilities to deter aggression, decisively respond if deterrence fails, assure allies, shape adversary behavior, defeat terror, define the force of the future. Strategic Deterrence Decisive Response A Combat-Ready Force Embrace strategic deterrence, consisting of innovative joint fighting forces integrated and synchronized in multiple domains to ensure national security.
Ensure that we can and will provide a decisive response to aggression, against any threat, when called upon by national leadership. Anticipate and meet tactical and strategic demands through our campaign plan, our operational plans, capability development. Develop the next generation of professionals and capabilities in order to prevail in future conflicts. J1 - Manpower & Personnel: Develops and administers command manpower and personnel policies, human resources, personnel assignment programs. J2 - Intelligence: Responsible for delivering all-source intelligence while enabling the execution of assigned strategic deterrence and cyberspace operations. Directs all intelligence-related support for the Commander and ensures unity of intelligence effort across the Command. J3 - Global Operations: Coordinates the planning and operation of DoD strategic assets and combines all current operations and global command and control operations. Subdivisions within J3 include Combat and Information Operations, Current Operations and Joint Electromagnetic Spectrum Operations.
J4 - Logistics: The Logistics Directorate plans and executes joint logistics functions, provides capability-based readiness assessments and facilities management in support of U. S. Strategic Command's global mission. J5 - Plans and Policy: Responsible for coordinating the development and implementation of national security policy as it applies to the command and the execution of its mission. Develops future plans and strategy across all mission areas as outlined in the Unified Command Plan. J6 - C4 Systems: Coordinates, facilitates and assesses systems and communications requirements. J7 - Joint Exercises and Assessments: Manages the USSTRATCOM Commander's Joint Exercises and Assessments programs in order to ensure readiness to perform the Command missions. Provides modeling and simulation support for exercises and training events to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Combatant Commands, other Major Commands. Manages the Joint Lessons Learned Program. Augments the battle staff during a crisis. J8 - Capability and Resource Integration: Conducts force management and analysis to include integrating, coordinating and advocating USSTRATCOM future concepts, mission capability needs, weapons system development, support for emerging technologies, command and control architecture across the mission areas.
Responsible for all command requirement processes, ensures appropriate decision support tools and assessment processes are in place to enhance operational capabilities. J10 - Joint Reserve Directorate: The Joint Reserve Directorate advises CDRUSSTRATCOM and staff on matters related to the Army, Air Force and Marine Corps Reserve personnel assigned to USSTRATCOM; the J10 coordinates Reserve funding requests with the applicable service. U. S. Strategic Command's day-to-day planning and execution for the primary mission areas is done by the following USSTRATCOM components: Joint Force Air Component Commander, Barksdale AFB, LA – Conducts kinetic and non-kinetic effects planning and execution. JFACC manages global force air activities to assure allies and to deter and dissuade actions detrimental to the United States and its global interests. Joint Forces Maritime Component Commander, Naval Station Norfolk, Norfolk, VA - to conduct operations in the maritime envrionment for strategic deterrence.
It is commanded by US Fleet Forces Command. Joint Force Space Component Commander, Peterson AFB, CO – JFSCC directs assigned and attached USSTRATCOM space forces providing tailored, responsive and global space effects in support of national objectives. JFSCC executes operational command and control of space forces through the Combined Space Operations Center at Vandenberg AFB. JFCC - Integrated Missile Defense Schriever AFB, CO – JFCC-IMD is monitoring for any missile activity or threat against the United States and its allies. In the event of an attack, IMD coordinates the necessary actions to counter the threat; when directed provides alternate missile defense execution support. Joint Warfare Analysis Center Dahlgren, VA – The Joint Warfare Analysis Center provides combatant commands, Joint Staff, other customers with precise technical solutions in order to carry out the national security and military strategies of the
Florida is the southernmost contiguous state in the United States. The state is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the northwest by Alabama, to the north by Georgia, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by the Straits of Florida. Florida is the 22nd-most extensive, the 3rd-most populous, the 8th-most densely populated of the U. S. states. Jacksonville is the most populous municipality in the state and the largest city by area in the contiguous United States; the Miami metropolitan area is Florida's most populous urban area. Tallahassee is the state's capital. Florida's $1.0 trillion economy is the fourth largest in the United States. If it were a country, Florida would be the 16th largest economy in the world, the 58th most populous as of 2018. In 2017, Florida's per capita personal income was ranking 26th in the nation; the unemployment rate in September 2018 was 3.5% and ranked as the 18th in the United States. Florida exports nearly $55 billion in goods made in the 8th highest among all states.
The Miami Metropolitan Area is by far the largest urban economy in Florida and the 12th largest in the United States with a GDP of $344.9 billion as of 2017. This is more than twice the number of the next metro area, the Tampa Bay Area, which has a GDP of $145.3 billion. Florida is home to 51 of the world's billionaires with most of them residing in South Florida; the first European contact was made in 1513 by Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León, who called it la Florida upon landing there in the Easter season, known in Spanish as Pascua Florida. Florida was a challenge for the European colonial powers before it gained statehood in the United States in 1845, it was a principal location of the Seminole Wars against the Native Americans, racial segregation after the American Civil War. 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 on tourism and transportation, which developed in the late 19th century.
Florida is renowned for amusement parks, orange crops, winter vegetables, the Kennedy Space Center, as a popular destination for retirees. Florida is the flattest state in the United States. Lake Okeechobee is the largest freshwater lake in the U. S. state of Florida. Florida's close proximity to the ocean influences many aspects of daily life. Florida is a reflection of multiple inheritance. Florida has attracted many writers such as Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams, continues to attract celebrities and athletes, it is internationally known for golf, auto racing, water sports. Several beaches in Florida have emerald-colored coastal waters. About two-thirds of Florida occupies a peninsula between the Gulf of the Atlantic Ocean. Florida has the longest coastline in the contiguous United States 1,350 miles, not including the contribution of the many barrier islands. Florida has a total of 4,510 islands; this is the second-highest number of islands of any state of the United States.
It is the only state that borders both the Gulf of the Atlantic Ocean. Much of the state is characterized by sedimentary soil. Florida has the lowest high point of any U. S. state. The climate varies from subtropical in the north to tropical in the south; the American alligator, American crocodile, American flamingo, Roseate spoonbill, Florida panther, bottlenose dolphin, manatee can be found in Everglades National Park in the southern part of the state. Along with Hawaii, Florida is one of only two states that has a tropical climate, is the only continental state with either a tropical climate or a coral reef; the Florida Reef is the only living coral barrier reef in the continental United States, the third-largest coral barrier reef system in the world. By the 16th century, the earliest time for which there is a historical record, major Native American groups included the Apalachee of the Florida Panhandle, the Timucua of northern and central Florida, the Ais of the central Atlantic coast, the Tocobaga of the Tampa Bay area, the Calusa of southwest Florida and the Tequesta of the southeastern coast.
Florida was the first region of the continental United States to be visited and settled by Europeans. The earliest known European explorers came with the Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de León. Ponce de León spotted and landed on the peninsula on April 2, 1513, he named the region Florida. The story that he was searching for the Fountain of Youth is mythical and only appeared long after his death. In May 1539, Conquistador Hernando de Soto skirted the coast of Florida, searching for a deep harbor to land, he described seeing a thick wall of red mangroves spread mile after mile, some reaching as high as 70 feet, with intertwined and elevated roots making landing difficult. The Spanish introduced Christianity, horses, the Castilian language, more to Florida. Spain established several settlements with varying degrees of success. 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 abandoned by 1561.
In 1565, the settlement of St. Augustine was established under the leadership of admiral and