In 1898 the U.S. assumed control of Puerto Rico, and so now had a military base in the Caribbean. They continued, however, to be interested in the Danish islands. There were fears that other powers might gain control of them. One of the rumours in circulation was that after 1873 the Germans were considering exchanging Northern Schleswig, which Denmark had lost in the war, for the Danish West Indies.
So in 1900 the U.S. made a new offer and a new treaty was drawn up, this time covering all three islands. The price was $5 million, a sum approved by the U.S. Congress in 1902. But now there was resistance from Denmark. The Danish Parliament passed the sale, but conservatives in the second chamber [Landsting] voted against it because members of the business community had pledged to kick-start the islands’ economy. In the newly founded Danish West Indies Plantation Company, experiments were made with new crops like cotton, maize, potatoes, bananas and pineapples. The new Colonial Law of 1906 released the colony from its debts, and transferred all costs of its administration, military and school system to Denmark.