In 1800, the European order dominated the world map with its rival, the Ottoman Empire, falling behind. In 1800, the United States was independent, but the southwest remained under Spanish control. Central and South America, in addition to the West Indies, were western European possessions. The British controlled much of India, while the Dutch and French had colonized much of the East Indies. Europeans began to colonize Africa further; the Dutch colony of Cape Town, which had fallen, temporarily, to the British (1795–1802), had long been established as a way station for ships, trading in Asia. Britain had recently claimed Australia and the Chinese Qing dynasty, while still at its apogee, was uneasy about European possessions encroaching on its borders. China provided Europe with silk, tea and ceramics and was paid in silver and opium, eventually leading to the Opium Wars and partial colonization by the British and Portuguese.
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