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After 1800, the Industrial Revolution brought prosperity to Britain and Western Europe.
The main powers set up colonies in most of the Americas and Africa, and parts of Asia.
Today, most countries west of Russia belong to the NATO military alliance, along with the United States.Some of the best-known civilizations of prehistoric Europe were the Minoan and the Mycenaean, which flourished during the Bronze Age until they collapsed in a short period of time around 1200 BC.The period known as classical antiquity began with the emergence of the city-states of Ancient Greece.Led by Genghis Khan, the Mongols were a group of steppe nomads who established a decentralized empire which, at its height, extended from China in the east to the Black and Baltic Seas in Europe.As Mongol power waned towards the Late Middle Ages, the Grand Duchy of Moscow rose to become the strongest of the numerous Russian principalities and republics and would grow into the Tsardom of Russia in 1547.
Of all of the Germanic peoples, the Franks would rise to a position of hegemony over Western Europe, the Frankish Empire reaching its peak under Charlemagne around 800.