- from Kings & Queens
Queen Isabella I of Spain (1451–1504) had a dream.
She dreamed that all the countries of Europe would one day unite. They would have one ruler (herself), one government (hers), and one religion (hers again). Of course, many other monarchs had a similar dream. But they all wished for a united Europe under their rule, their government, and their faith.
For thousands of years, Europeans warred over land, power, wealth, and religion. Countries came and went. Maps changed all the time. In the Hundred Years’ War, English and French kings traded territory for more than a century (1337–1453). Moors (Arab Muslims) took over Spain, but they lost it over time (711–1492). The Ottoman Empire, one of the greatest empires in the world, thrived from the late thirteenth century until the nineteenth century. Outside forces eventually brought it down. By the time World War I ended, the great empires of Germany, Russia, and Turkey were all gone. They were replaced by various kinds of governments. These included monarchies, constitutional republics, and sheikdoms.
So much for Queen Isabella’s dream. The reality is that a united Europe would be nearly impossible to cut from one cloth. Picture instead a patchwork quilt of many different colors and designs.