Already having bought the entire Louisiana Purchase from France President Jefferson turned next to Spain. His eyes were drawn toward Florida, the land was filled with a diverse population of Seminole Indians, Spanish colonists, English traders, and runaway slaves. Feeling like he was on a roll, he might as well continue the Nation's expansion by sending two diplomats to Spain.
Much to the dismay of Thomas Jefferson and most of America's citizens, Spain refused to sell Florida to the U.S. In response to the rejection, many American's wanted to attack and take over Florida. Slave owner's wanted Florida because sometimes slaves would run to Florida, the owners couldn't pursue them without angering the Spanish. In addition to the slaves running away, Seminole Indians would sometimes raid the slave owners' land, hoping to free as many of their "brothers" as possible.
The year was 1818, Thomas Jefferson had left office and James Monroe was in, and Americans still wanted Florida. Andrew Jackson- the hero of the Battle of New Orleans- was sent in to Georgia to with orders to end the raids. Jackson was told that he could chase raiding Indians into Florida, but not to invade the colony.
Jackson, however did not obey orders, he lead a force of 1700 troops into Florida. Over the next weeks he attacked with his army time and time again, capturing nearly every military post in the colony. He even executed two BRITISH men for stirring up trouble among the Seminole. Had the man gone mad, warring against Spain and attacking British troops? and without the President's approval no less! He even replaced the Governor of Florida with his own man! Later he said that he was sorry for not executing the Governor beside the two British men. Spain was outraged by the invasion and demanded that Jackson be punished by Washington for the illegal Invasion.
Knowing that war was brewing, Monroe asked his Cabinet for advice. He certainly didn't want war but he was willing to fight Spain for Florida if his advisors suggested it. Spain was already weakened by war with the French so everyone knew that they couldn't defend Florida with all their might. All but one of these advisors suggested that he apologize to Spain and back off, but you know how democracy is, how we live for the one. To the approval of John Adams, Monroe sent an envoy to Spain telling them to learn how to Govern or to get out!
Spain knew that about the worst thing you can do in any war is to split your resources, they also knew that they didn't want to pay the millions that American farmers demanded. Florida was given to the U.S. under only two conditions;
America paid off their own farmers claims of $5,000,000 for slaves freed by Indians
The U.S. agreed to honor Spain's longtime claim to Texas.
Many American citizens felt they had the rotten end of the deal. Newspapers claimed that "Texas was worth 10 Florida's". Other people said "Texas would allow room for more expansion to the west which was more important than filling up the east, there is more land west than in Florida!" .