The text :

"Britain’s succession as a superpower by another Anglophone country, the United States, ensured the continuing expansion of the language until it became truly global, as the United States projected its political, economic and, especially, cultural power worldwide."

What do words " projected & succession " mean in this text?

a brief explanation of the whole text will help me more to understand their meanings.

2 Answers 2


Succession can be confusing because of the way succeed is used.

X succeeding Y (or X's succession of Y) means X has taken over or become higher in rank than Y in some manner.

X's succession by Y means the converse - Y has taken over or become higher in rank than X in some manner.

If you look at the etymology of the word project, it comes from two Latin words meaning forth (or out, away) and throw.

Many times the word project means "a goal that will take a significant amount of planning, time, and resources to complete" but it can also mean something closer to it's base etymology - in this case, it means "to put out there" or "make known/seen by many others."


Successor means "one who takes the place of", or "heir". In the context of succession, "succeed" means "take the place of", or "inherit". For example, Russia is the successor state to the Soviet Union. (Russia inherited the Soviet Union's U.N. seat, the nuclear arsenal, et cetera.)

In the original poster's example, Britain was the world's greatest naval power from the War of the Spanish Succession through World War I. The United States became the world's dominant naval power during World War II. In other words, the United States inherited the role of naval hegemon.

In the context of naval power and air power, "force projection" is the ability to make war at a great distance from one's homeland. Not only does the United States "project" military power, it also has a great deal of economic and cultural influence. (Hollywood's movies, television shows, and music have been called "cultural weapons of mass destruction" by American conservatives.) Thus, America "puts forth" economic and cultural power to most parts of the world.

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