Between 1889 and 1893, a series of ‘land runs’ resulted from opening up former Indian reservation land in western Oklahoma to settlers. In 1890, the US Census Bureau formally declared the American Frontier closed, based on the spread of settlement throughout the West. A cluster of state admissions reflected the facts on the ground. North and South Dakota, Montana and Washington were admitted in 1889, Idaho and Wyoming the following year. Utah was admitted in 1896. America’s remaining frontier wilderness, Alaska, garnered the nation’s trademark catalyst for unbridled settlement in 1896, with the discovery of gold in the Klondike. Business interests in the sugar industry would now play a key role in further US expansion. They helped trigger war with Spain and the invasion of Cuba (1898) as America flirted with the possibility of a colonial empire. Sugar magnates also incited the coup in Hawaii (1894) preceding its annexation (1898).
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