THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO
27 January 2014
Things That Make You Go
Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory.It has an area of 2.6 square miles and juts from the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula, overlooking the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea. Roughly 30,000 people live in the territory, whose sole distinguishing feature is the very large rock which runs along the eastern edge of the territory and culminates in a dramatic promontory in the northeastern corner.That's it there, on the right ... see? Gibraltar was captured by an Anglo-Dutch force in 1704 during the War of the Spanish Succession, in which European countries fought each other over who had the right to succeed King Charles II as ruler of Spain.Charles (or Carlos) had died without heirs, bringing
to its nal extinction the mighty House of Habsburg,
which had dominated European royalty for three centuries. In his will, Charles had designated his 16-year-old grandnephew Philip, Duke of Anjou, as his successor.Philip was the grandson of the reigning French king, Louis XIV, the famous "Sun King"; and the prospect of an early 18th-century Franco-Spanish alliance at the heart of Europe was unnerving to others, who saw it as potentially destabilizing the delicate balance of power; and so, as Europeans tended to do in the days before they got around to creating the
EU, they opted to ght a war.
This war turned out to be quite the bar brawl, spilling out of Spain and into Germany, the Netherlands, and, somehow, America, as the French and the English fought each other in Florida, New England, Newfoundland (huh?), and Carolina.(Thankfully, the prospect of an Hollande/Rajoy alliance at the heart of today's Europe would provoke nothing more than uncontrollable laughter, so Europe is far safer now; but then it was a different world.)