San Agustín is by no means the first European colony in the US, but it is however the oldest enduring settlement. The architecture of the city's historic colonial district is a reflection of the years of conflict it has subsisted in the hands of the Spanish, the French and the English. As with most writings about conquests and discoveries, the stories always sound like epiphanic expeditions that should fill us with wonderment. "St. Augustine was founded on the 8th of September in the year 1565 by a Spanish admiral (feigns shock) Pedro Menéndez de Avíles”. Rarely do we find paragraphs in books that describe colonial subjugation, religious manipulation and such, because after all, history is the story of the victor. At the end of the day, we are nothing but mere foot notes.
Now, I’m not daft. I know times were different back in the day. I understand curiosity in exploration, I understand the feeling of wanting to expand territories and influence (only on my video games and businesses at least lel). One can almost say that these “things" could not be helped, but at the same time, no one can say how differently the world would have progressed if these things did not happen. Maybe some nations would have thrived better, maybe some would not have survived. Who knows, really. But we are here now- the world that we know today is the product of a singular timeline- a specific permutation in this verse where every one that has existed and exists did what they did, and do what they do. Good or bad, the enchanting town of St. Augustine stands tall today because of its troubled past.