3.1 Verbal proliferationLong before the current extent of the expansion of English as a global language, there were other minor spreads of the language, as for instance the spread of English to Scotland because of the military escapades of William the Conqueror in the 11th century, or to Ireland with the Anglo-Norman troops sent by Henry II. Before British Imperialism and the globalization of literature and media English was spread verbally by those travelling to different parts of the world such as tradesmen, soldiers and sailors. Even centuries afterwards, in the 14th, 15th, 16th centuries, English was just another European language and certainly less important, at various points, to a number of the Romance languages.3.2 Linguistic imperialismThe influence of British imperialism, especially in the 18th and 19th century, started English off on its path to being a lingua franca. Nevertheless, the global spread of the English language began in the late 16th century, when the language became a tool of imperial expansion. This is when Great Britain made its first experimental efforts to establish overseas settlements. This is when the first groups of settlers from England came to the American continent in search for a new land in which they expected to be able to purify their faith. The other groups of English speaking people came to the continent for trading. Starting from this point, English reached the American continent which then also spread to the south, to the West Indies and to the southern part of the mainland. The English language reached Australia and New Zealand when prisons in England became overcrowded and the British rulers needed a new distant place to send and settle these prisoners. During the 17th century, maritime expansion was stimulated by rivalry and commercial ambitions between the English and the French, this resulted in English spreading to other parts of the world through colonization growing from trading between traders under the East Indies Company (EIC) and native people in Asia and Africa. The trading changed into colonization when the British rulers supported the traders by sending them soldiers. The major parts of Africa and Asia were under the direct rule of Britain making the people to become bilingual.