The Provincial Republic of The First Coast (also known as East Florida) is a subdivision of the Republic of Florida. It is located on the east-central coast area of Florida based around Saint Augustine.
The vicinity of St. Augustine was first explored in 1513 by Spanish explorer and governor of Puerto Rico, Ponce de Leon, who claimed the region for the Spanish crown. Prior to the founding of St. Augustine in 1565, several earlier attempts at European colonization in what is now Florida were made by both Spain and France, but all failed. Amongst the Spanish attempts to settle the area, one was made by Tristán de Luna y Arellano in 1559 in the Pensacola area.
The French exploration of the area began in 1562 under the Huguenot captain Jean Ribault, sailing under orders from Admiral Gaspard de Coligny. Ribault's expedition departed from France in February 1562; he explored the St. Johns River to the north of St. Augustine before sailing north. Ribault established the settlement of Charlesfort on Parris Island in present-day South Carolina before returning to France for supplies; however, the settlers abandoned Charlesfort before he could return. In 1564 Ribault's lieutenant René Goulaine de Laudonnière launched a new colonization effort, ultimately selecting the St. Johns River as the location of the new settlement of Fort Caroline. Laudonnière explored the area much more thoroughly, entering through the St. Augustine inlet into the Matanzas River, which he named the River of Dolphins.
Founding of St. Augustine
Pedro Menéndez de Avilés sighted land on August 28, 1565. As this was the feast day of Augustine of Hippo, the territory was named San Agustín. The Spanish sailed through St. Augustine inlet into Matanzas Bay and disembarked near the Timucua town of Seloy on September 7. Menéndez's goal was to dig a quick fortification to protect his people and supplies as they were unloaded from the ships, and then to take a more proper survey of the area to determine the best location for the fort. The location of this early fort is unknown, but may be at the grounds of what is now the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park. It is known that the Spanish occupied several structures in Seloy, the chief of which, known as Chief Seloy, was friendly with the Saturiwa, Laudonnière's allies. It is possible, but not demonstrated, that Menéndez fortified one of the occupied Timucua structures as this first fort at Seloy.
While Jacksonville and Cape Canaveral were destroyed by nuclear missiles, Saint Augustine and Daytona Beach were spared. The area became a haven for refugees of Florida's destroyed and chaotic major cities.
Martial law was enforced in the city of Daytona as a result of the large amount of refugees. The main goal of the authorities was to provide food, water, and shelter, but they could not help but wonder the fate of other cities throughout Florida. After a year of independence, Daytona Beach and Saint Augustine made contact by 1984 June 5th, and after a year of planning, the nation of "The Republic of The First Coast" was formed on 1985 May 1st, which is also May Day. The First Coast has been expanding into deeper into Florida, and has invited more and more cities into the republic, with Welaka being the last city to join.
The nation made contact with the Republic of Gainesville on July 14th 1994, in which seeing another nation of Florida brought rejoice to the people of East Florida. It also made contact with South Florida two months later through Gainesville. First Coast is now more commonly know as "East Florida" with having a North and South Florida.
The Dawn of a New Age
Even as early as the late '90s, the possibilities of a unification were brought up.
While it does not have a large export market, it does have several manufacturing plants. South Florida, the most economically active of the three states in the Republic of Florida has diverted surplus taxes into repairing industrial infrastructure and widening the agriculture base.
First Coast is one of the three subdivisions of the Republic of Florida. It is controlled by a President and a Vice President, who are elected directly by the people.
The military of the republic consisted of a militia, a naval force, and a few intact planes.
It was commanded by Commodore Kurt A. Mondlak, of the naval forces, and the current commander of the Floridian Republic's Naval forces.