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Cross-Cultural Encounters and Conflicts$
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Charles Issawi

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780195118131

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195118131.001.0001

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The Struggle for Linguistic Hegemony, 1780–1980

The Struggle for Linguistic Hegemony, 1780–1980

Chapter:
(p.133) Eight The Struggle for Linguistic Hegemony, 1780–1980
Source:
Cross-Cultural Encounters and Conflicts
Author(s):

Charles Issawi

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195118131.003.0009

The chapter traces how French was gradually replaced by English as a world language. The ascendancy of French in the 17th century was ensured by the overwhelming military and political dominance of France. France had a rich culture and enormous wealth. A fascination with Louis XIV of France and his court formed a model for European monarchs. However, new forces in the picture shifted this balance. Britain became the leading commercial, financial, and industrial nation. As the British Empire extended, so did the English language. The United States also felt some expansion resulting from an increase in the number of English speakers settling there. British and American science and technology also rose up and became another favorable factor in the expansion of English. America's participation in the two world wars and the emergence of the United States as a superpower finally tipped the balance.

Keywords:   French, English, world language, United States, English speakers, Britain, British Empire

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