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This is a very broad question. If we are looking at this thousand year period, I would say that the continent that prospered the most during these years was Europe. By the 1800, Europe was the most advanced continent in the world and they has the best quality of life. The very fact that they reached every other part of the the world shows the power of Europe and some unfortunate consequences - colonialism.
If we delve into this question even further, the nation that stands out is England. At one time, people used to say that the sun never set in the British empire. For instance, they had a very strong presence in Africa, India, China, Hong Kong, to name a few places.
During this time, America was also on the rise, even though it was only a burgeoning nation.
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