Tampa /?tæmp?/ is a city in and the county seat of Hillsborough County, Florida, United States. It is located on the west coast of Florida on Tampa Bay, near the Gulf of Mexico, and is part of the Tampa Bay Metropolitan Area. The city had a population of 346,037 in 2011.
Tampa's modern history can be traced to the founding of Fort Brooke at the mouth of the Hillsborough River in today's downtown in 1824, soon after the United States had taken possession of Florida from Spain. The outpost brought a small population of civilians to the area, and the town of Tampa was first incorporated in 1855. Growth came slowly and sporadically for the village of Tampa during its first half-century, as poor transportation links, conflicts with the Seminole tribe, and repeated outbreaks ofyellow fever made development difficult. The United States Civil War and Reconstruction were especially tough times, so much so that the city government disincorporated for over a decade.