Location played an important role in the selection of the Pensacola settlement site. It also played a role in the circumstances that led to the development of Franco-Spanish trade and interaction on the northern Gulf coast The 1698 Santa Maria de Galve settlement was established at Pensacola to protect Spanish treasure fleets and New World territories that were being threatened by impinging French settlements.
The placement of Pensacola on an isolated frontier, where the colonists were frequently ill supplied, forced the Spanish to survive by their own wits. The same was true for the French colony established in 1702 at Mobile. Regulations forbidding inter-colonial trade were overlooked in the face of starvation. Out of necessity an extraordinary Franco-Spanish interaction developed which resulted in the institution of a unique triangular trade route involving Pensacola, Veracruz and Mobile.