History of Pensacola city government
The modern City of Pensacola government traces its history to 1821. On July 17 of that year, General Andrew Jackson accepted the transfer of Spanish West Florida to the United States at Plaza Ferdinand VII.
The City of Pensacola is currently organized under a 1931 charter.
Prior to the transfer of Spanish West Florida to the United States, Pensacola was its capital, and served as both a Spanish settlement and military outpost. Troops manned Fort San Carlos de Barrancas, and the de facto head of the city's government was the Spanish commanding officer.
On July 18, 1821, General Andrew Jackson appointed a city constable, effectively forming the Pensacola Police Department. Soon thereafter, Jackson established city limits encompassing an area of 9.75 square miles.
Provisional Municipality of Pensacola
After the Civil War, Pensacola government was dominated by the Republican Party. In 1885, the City's charter was revoked by Special Act of the Florida Legislature, at the urging of Democratic Florida Governor Edward Aylesworth Perry (himself a Pensacolian). The City government was dissolved and replaced by the Provisional Municipality of Pensacola, governed by a state-appointed commission, which Perry filled with Democrats. In 1893, the City was granted a temporary charter, followed by a full charter in 1895.
The city was organized under a mayor-council government by the 1895 charter. This form of government and charter remained in place until it was superceded by the 1913 charter, which provided for a city commission government.
In 1913, Pensacola again adopted a new charter, which provided for a three-member commission.