>I have yet to see any mention of power. When the French were powerful, their language was the most >important at top-level meetings. When the British Empire existed English took the place of French. Now that the >USA is the most powerful country, English is the main world language

This is a good point but not complete picture. Russian empire used to be very powerful and not only in Europe but in Asia ass well but nobody (big groups of people outside the empire) ever tried to study Russian. Too complicated. I think that Chinese as the most difficult language has only theoretical advantages (which Esperanto also has but see the discussion) and it will never become the language of the Net, for example.

English language is as simple as Basic in contrast with C++ if you compare it with Chinese, German or even French.