The Spanish Legacy of Florida

Presented By Steve Noll

This presentation looks at the long influence of Spain and Spanish culture on the Sunshine State from early exploration to today’s multi-cultural (and multi-lingual) society. It examines the periods of Spanish control and how they shaped Florida into a very different place than those colonies settled by the English and the French. It looks at the differing forms of labor established under the Spanish and how that affected race relations. It the Spanish origins of Florida agriculture and the relationship of Spanish influence upon Ybor City and Tampa. Finally, it looks at the return of Spanish influence in the last half or the 20th century, making Florida’s relationship with Spanish culture and influence a close-knot one once again.

Dr. Steve Noll is a master lecturer in the history department at the University of Florida. He received his PhD from there in 1991. He taught special education in the public schools of Alachua County for 28 years before moving over full-time to UF in 2004. He has written extensively on two widely disparate topics- Florida history & the environment and disability history. In 2009, he published the award winning Ditch of Dreams, about the ill-fated Cross Florida Barge Canal and is currently working on two books- one on the disability rights movement of the 1970s, and the other on Florida environmental policy and the politics of removing the Rodman Dam on the Ocklawaha River.

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Steve Noll