Sugarcane, cotton, and tobacco plants produce materials that satisfy important human needs or desires. Since the widespread cultivation and use of sugarcane, cotton, and tobacco began, they have had a profound impact on the character and direction of the development of human societies around the world, and on the relationships between countries. Their cultivation and trade under an oppressive economic system that combined colonialism, capitalism, and slavery presented opportunities for making huge profits to some people, albeit at the price of enormous losses in human life and the infliction of immense misery on an untold number of others. As is often seen in history, the people who benefited the most came from the higher social strata of the stronger nations involved. Sugarcane, cotton, and tobacco are still extensively cultivated today, making these plant species some of the most evolutionarily successful plants of the present time as they continue to exert their influence on human behavior.