The United Empire of the Spains is a sovereign state located in southwestern Europe in the Iberian Peninsula. Its mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with the British territory of Gibraltar; to the north by France and the Bay of Biscay; and to the northwest and west by the Atlantic Ocean and Portugal.
See Kingdom of Spain (The Legacy of the Glorious) for events between 1868 and 1890
For centuries after the independence of Portugal in the 12th century, many attempts were made to re-unify all nations in the Iberian Peninsula under the same flag. The one attempt that could have been most successful was the birth of Miguel da Paz, descendant of both the Catholic Monarchs and the Kings of Portugal, but who died at the age of two. The Iberian Union under kings Felipe II and Felipe III was another attempt, but the Portuguese managed to win their independence back in 1640.
It would not be until the late 19th century that another chance could happen. During the Portuguese Civil War, a good part of the Portuguese Royal Family died at the hands of the Republican rebels, and the last male direct heir, Afonso VII, was killed a few months after the end of the war. The nearest heir was Queen Antonia of Spain, aunt of Afonso VII, and the two nations' governments decided to hold a referendum to let the people vote on whether they wished to unite in one nation. The results were overwhelmingly in favour of unification, and after a Constitutional Convention to write a new Carta Magna, the United Empire of the Spains was formed.
The unification found initial great support from Spain's main allies, Germany, Italy, Perú and Bolivia, as well as Brazil. The main opposition came from the United Kingdom and France, who were not willing at all to let the unification completely destabilize the balance of power in Europe, so they demanded that the referendum was ignored and that Portugal's independence became fully recognised by Spain. After it became clear that the unification would not be reverted on the say-so of the British-French alliance, they sent diplomats for a meeting with Spanish representatives. Russia, on petition of its allies, and Germany and Italy, to support Spain, met in the city of Santiago de Compostela, where arguments and counterarguments were thrown around. A hidden attempt by the British and French to essentially blackmail the Spanish into giving up certain colonies and territories (Sabah, Goa, Gambia and Oran) in exchange of acceptance blew on the former's face, as the Spaniards made sure to let the world know what the British and French were doing. In the end, the Santiago Conference ended with the British and the French accepting the unification, but reluctantly and trying to find a way to break it again.
The first crisis the United Empire had to deal with was the Riffian Problems, which started when a Riffian cabila captured a party of Spanish merchants and decided to sell them as slaves. This precipitated an ultimatum from the Spanish government, telling the Sultan of Morocco that he could either deal with the Riffians and let Spanish troops search for the missing people, or get into a war with Spain. The Sultan picked the first option, and this would slowly allow the Spanish to gain influence in the court, particularly after General Antonio de Sanz Figueroa was picked to act as an advisor to the Royal Moroccan Army. This, and other actions, would eventually spark the Moroccan Civil War, between the nobles that wanted to regain their former influence and expel the Spaniards and the Spaniards and those that were loyal to the Sultan, who was sequestered by the nobles in his own palace.
The Moroccan Civil War ended with a Loyalist victory thanks to many factors, one of them the support given by Spain. The support of the Jews for the Moroccans inspired the Spanish government to welcome them back, repealing the Alhambra Decree that expelled the Jews from Spain.
The United Empire of the Spains' territorial organization owes much to that of the Kingdom of Spain it replaced.