Economic America at the End of the Century
Many Americans refused any longer to accept without question the economic brigandage and ruthless exploitation which ushered in the new century. The revival of optimism and confidence which characterized the end of the century is best illustrated by the attitude of many Americans toward the rest of the world. By 1900, commercial agriculture based on the productive facilities of the respective regions had become the pattern of American farming. The story of Cuba and the causes of America's declaration of war against Spain are more complicated. The development in Europe of the beet sugar industry had forced Cuba to depend largely upon the American market for her outlet, and her prosperity rested mainly on the prices allowed by American tariffs and the American sugar trust. American business began to see the possibilities of trade expansion through foreign possessions and cooperated with imperialists in their propaganda for annexation of new territories.