Today in Legal History: Florida Purchased by the United States

Of all the great deals that have been made by U.S. Presidents, John Adams did pretty well for himself. On February 22, 1819, in return for the U.S. assuming some $5 million in claims of U.S. citizens against Spain, Spain ceded all control of the Florida territory to the U.S. under the Adams-Onis Treaty. In exchange, the U.S. ceded claims for Texas and California. Florida was not the only gain for the U.S.; Spain also gave up all its claims north of Texas to the United States (including the Oregon Territory, which included Washington State). And, of course, the United States took back both Texas and California in the Mexican-American War.

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