Spain joined the Seven Years’ War in Europe (1754-1763) on the side of France against England. The war, often referred to as the French and Indian War in the context of the Americas, was also waged in the colonies.
The war saw Spain lose both Havana and Manila to England in 1762, and at the conclusion of the war in the following year, Spain agreed to cede Florida to the English in exchange for the return of Cuba. Diplomats had accomplished with the Treaty of Paris (1763) what innumerable English and Indian soldiers over the previous century had been unable to do with guns.
St. Augustine would never again be a typical Spanish-American town. It was a British colony from 1764 until 1784, when Spain regained Florida. During the ensuing 37-year second period of Spanish colonial rule St. Augustine was not an isolated Spanish colony, but rather an international settlement closely connected to the new United States, and through them to a much wider Atlantic world.
It was a period of economic and social internationalization, with a population of English, Spanish, Minorcan, Seminole Indian, African American, Swiss, and other residents, and a far-flung network of trade relations. St. Augustine’s colonial period came to a close in 1821, when Florida became a territory of the United States.