<p>The Seminole are a Native American people originally of Florida, who now reside primarily there and in Oklahoma. The Seminole nation emerged in a process of ethnogenesis out of groups of Native Americans, most significantly Creek from what is now Georgia and Alabama, who settled in Florida in the early 18th century. The word Seminole is a corruption of cimarrón, a Spanish term for "runaway" or "wild one", historically used for certain Native American groups in Florida. The Seminole are closely related to the Miccosukee, who were recognized as a separate tribe in 1962.
After an initial period of colonization in Florida, during which they distanced themselves increasingly from other Creek groups, the Seminole established a thriving trade network during the British and second Spanish periods (roughly 1767–1821). The tribe expanded considerably during this time, and was further supplemented from the late 18th century with the appearance of the Black Seminoles – free blacks and escaped slaves who settled in communities near Seminole towns, where they paid tribute to the Native Americans in exchange for protection. However, tensions grew between the Seminole and the United States to the</p>