Since the end of the Second World War in 1945 English has increasingly become the international language of business. How did this come about? How did a language, that in 1500 was spoken by maybe 5 million people, on an island off the coast of Europe come to be the lingua franca of the twenty-first century. Today, between 1.5 and 1.7 billion speak English as a first or second language in countries spread all over the work, that is almost one quarter of the population of the planet. The real story of how English came to this position of dominance in one of geopolitics and economic power. The French language had long been dominant in international affairs until the 19th century and indeed it is still one of the most influential language in international diplomacy. During the 18th and 19th centuries, the truly global British empire grew and consolidated across the globe and encompassed areas of the world such as North America, South and East Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Australia and Oceania. As the 20th century opened and Britain’s star began to wane after the First World War, the English speaking United States emerged as the new global superpower and after World War 2 left many parts of Europe and East Asia in ruins, American economic, cultural and military power became dominant on the world stage and along with it the English language.