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Specifically, how did it supplant French as the international language? Even in the height of Pax Britannica, many English upperclassmen still saw French as the more romantic language. How was this status quo changed - was it Britain's empire and dominance of trade, or American dominance of trade and her soldiers being stationed in different parts of the world later on?

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closed as off-topic by American Luke, Kobunite, Mark C. Wallace, Lennart Regebro, Steven Drennon Aug 12 '13 at 22:41

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Most "English" that is spoken now is American and not British. Thus, I believe it might have started after WW2, when America became the world's top super power. Sadly, I have no strong evidence to back up opinions thus comment instead of answer. –  Sardathrion Aug 12 '13 at 13:19
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This question is answered in wikipedia –  Aaron Kurtzhals Aug 12 '13 at 14:02
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Actually, I'd place the time at WW1 when the United States became generally recognized as a superpower. –  American Luke Aug 12 '13 at 14:02
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@Sardathrion - Is that actually true? There are a rather a lot of former UK possessions out there (eg: India, with nearly a billion people) where the English is either BE, or a local derivative of it unrelated to AmE. Additionally, I notice we AmE speakers don't seem to be much of a majority on the English stack. –  T.E.D. Aug 12 '13 at 14:18