Sort of, Jaspike, although whether you can say one way is correct and another isn't is rather debatable. The long "a" was an affectation used by the upper class to try to differentiate themselves from the rest. In the manner of people everywhere, it caught on to become if not dominant, at least a very strong part of language use.
As far as the way the English speak now is concerned, it is very different from that of a few hundred years ago. In Shakespeare's time, pronunciation was in many areas almost phonetic when put against our current spelling methods, and the "r" was much stronger. Indeed, it is quite possible that the American accents are closer to the way we used to speak than the current English accents, although it is not true to say that the English used to speak with an "American" accent, it is far more complex than that. However, you do hear words that are often called "Americanisms" in the English of a few hundred years back. "Gotten" is a good example of a word that died out of use here, but continued across the Atlantic.
English is a unique language, and the differences between the various speakers around the world is something we should celebrate. What makes it different is its ability to absorb languages and words from around the world. This isn't new. English began as an Anglo-Saxon tongue, sounding very much like German, but you can hear a number of words still in use, and the construction is similar. When the Vikings arrived, rather than one language supplanting the other, the two were infused. A good way of showing this is how two words which meant the same thing were both kept, but given slightly different meanings - the Anglo Saxon "job", and the Norse "skill". Indeed, many of the "sk" words are Norse in origin. Also, because spelling wasn't formalised, you had different pronunciations leading to different words. "Church", and "Kirk" are both derived from the same word, but the spellings reflect the different ways of saying it in southern England (church) and northern England and Scotland (kirk).
When the Normans arrived, there was another infusion of words, and the way they are used reflected the social status of the speakers. For example, the Anglo-Saxon peasantry kept "pigs" and "cows", whilst the Norman nobility ate "pork (porque)" and "beef (boeuf)".
As the Normans settled through the ages, their French drifted apart from what you might call real French, and since the children tended to be brought up by Anglo-Saxon maids, Anglo-Saxon re-asserted itself, albeit with huge volumes of Norman words. This was eventually encouraged by the Norman rulers, as their French was ridiculed by their cousins across the Channel, and in any case, they had begun to regard themselves as English, not French.
The next language expansion came in the 16th century, when scholars "decided" to import lots of Latin, but Anglicised words into English, and to try to formalise the spelling. In the manner of scholars everywhere, this simply made it far more confusing, similar in outcome to the American attempt to formalise spelling three hundred years later, because people adopted some changes and ignored the rest.
Navy and empire then added various words and expressions from around the word, and latterly US pre-eminence has done the same.
Sorry, it got a little of topic there, but I thought you might be interested.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.