Like so many other innovations, the idea of one common language for all mankind appeared for the first time, in European thought, during the Renaissance. It has been estimated that since then nearly ‘seven hundred such artificial languages’ have been tried. Undoubtedly, this had to do with the collapse of Latin as the common language of education, soon to be replaced by the various, rising national languages. Europe's great expansion overseas, in this epoch, also created the need for a unified vehicle of communication.
In many ways, the world, and not just Europe, is now facing a similar challenge. While English has become the Latin of the contemporary world, such a position, one can say in the light of historical experience, has always been precarious. Whether English will be unanimously accepted as the one unifying, international language of the globe, whether it will share this role with one or more other languages, or whether an artificial language will be adopted for that purpose is the question that sooner or later we will all be facing.