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America's Hundred Years' WarU.S. Expansion to the Gulf Coast and the Fate of the Seminole,
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William S. Belko

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780813035253

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813035253.001.0001

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Mr. Rhea's Missing Letter and the First Seminole War

Mr. Rhea's Missing Letter and the First Seminole War

(p.103) 4 Mr. Rhea's Missing Letter and the First Seminole War
America's Hundred Years' War

David S. Heidler

Jeanne T. Heidler

University Press of Florida

This chapter focuses on Jackson's 1818 invasion of Spanish Florida—the First Seminole War—and the immeasurable repercussions of that brief event. It demonstrates how this conflict shaped the course of American political history. In 1819, both the Monroe administration and Congress spent an inordinate amount of their time and energy investigating the episode, even to the detriment of several prominent political issues facing the country at the same time, such as the Missouri question. Arguments for and against Jackson's actions continued well into the next decade, going so far as to convince President Andrew Jackson to anoint Martin Van Buren, rather than John C. Calhoun, as his successor to lead the Democratic Party. Beyond any doubt, the controversy surrounding the First Seminole War contributed directly to altering permanently the political landscape in Antebellum America, as the face of the Democratic Party followed that of Martin Van Buren and not John C. Calhoun.

Keywords:   First Seminole War, Monroe administration, Andrew Jackson, Antebellum America, Democratic Party, American political history

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