Jacksonville SVG is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Florida and the twelfth most populous city in the U.S. Territorially it belongs to Duval County. Since 1968, the city and the county have been under unified management, making Jacksonville the largest city in the United States. According to the data of 2012, the city itself has about 836 thousand inhabitants, and together with the surrounding area – more than 1.3 million people.
Jacksonville SVG is located in the north-east of Florida on the banks of the St. John’s River, which flows into the Atlantic Ocean 30 kilometers downstream from the city center. The settlement of Cowford, the future Jacksonville, was established in 1791 and was originally named after a ford in a narrow area of the river, which was used to ferry livestock. In 1822, the city was named after Andrew Jackson, Florida’s first military governor and later the seventh president of the United States.
The first settlement, called Ossachite, appeared in the city about 6,000 years ago. It was inhabited by the Timukua Indians.
Europeans first appeared in this place in 1562, when the French Huguenote Jean Ribault landed here and mapped the St. John’s River. Two years later, under the direction of another Frenchman, René de Ladonniere, the first European settlement, Fort Caroline, was founded here.
Florida came under U.S. jurisdiction in 1821, and was then named after Andrew Jackson, Florida’s first military governor and seventh president. February 9, 1832The Florida Legislative Council approved the creation of the City Government.
During the Civil War (1861-1865), Jacksonville SVG became a major supplier of beef and pork to Confederate troops. The city was blocked by the Northerners and passed from hand to hand several times. In 1864, west of Jacksonville SVG, the only major battle took place in Florida, the Battle of Olasty. Although there was no significant fighting in Jacksonville, by the end of the war he was in a state of significant disorganization.
During the South Reconstruction (1867-1877) and the “Golden Age” (1870-1898), Jacksonville and the nearby town of St. Augustine became popular winter resorts for rich and famous people. Holidaymakers arrived here by steamboat and later by rail. By the end of the century, however, the flow of tourists had somewhat decreased due to the outbreak of yellow fever, as well as due to the fact that the railroad was laid further south and some of the tourist flows moved there.
On May 2, 1901 in the central part of the city there was a major fire, which began at the fiber factory. This fire was one of the biggest accidents with catastrophic consequences in the history of the state, resulting in the destruction of the Jacksonville business center and leaving about 10,000 people homeless. More than 13,000 buildings were rebuilt in the city’s reconstruction from 1901 to 1912, largely under the direction of the renowned New York-based architect Henry John Klutho.
In the 1910s, the city became popular with filmmakers who were attracted by the warm climate, exotic landscapes, the proximity of the railway and cheap labour. Over the course of a decade, it has hosted more than 30 silent film studios, for which it was nicknamed “the winter capital of world cinema”. However, with the advent of Hollywood, the center of film production eventually moved there.
In the same years, Jacksonville became a major banking and insurance center, there began to flourish such companies as Barnett National, Atlantic National, Florida National, Prudential, Gulf Life, Afro-American Insurance, Independent Life and American Heritage Life.
During World War II, three naval bases were established in the city area, and the U.S. Navy became one of the economic driving forces of the city and a major employer. After the end of the war, Jacksonville began to suffer the negative consequences of rapid urbanization of cities at the expense of rural areas. Voting in 1968 merged the municipalities of the city and the county, making Jacksonville the largest city in the continental United States.
From 1961 to 1967, the headquarters of Atlantic Coast Line Railroad was located in the city.