The city of Tampa, situated on an inlet reaching far into the west coast of Florida, is the economic centre of western Florida. The city centre is an area of high-rise office blocks, but Tampa also has historic old quarters such as Ybor City and Old Hyde Park.The maps drawn by the Spanish conquistadors show a number of Indian settlements around Tampa Bay. In 1824 the Americans built a fort at the mouth of the Hillsborough River directed against the Seminole Indians. After the Second Seminole War a port and trading center were established here, and this soon developed into a regional center. The Civil War brought a period of stagnation, until a boost was given to the town by the construction of the South Florida Railroad.

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