Sharecropping is a farming method in which a landowner lets a tenant to utilize his property in exchange for a portion of the crop grown on the land. After the Civil War, the South developed this method. The government gave emancipated slaves no land and most only knew how to produce cotton. So, they rented land from white farmers who needed labor during off seasons. If the slave didn't work the land himself, he would be sent home.
This system provided many blacks with their own land and freed them from slavery, but it also created problems. If the farmer failed to give the slave his share of the harvest, then the black could lose everything he had earned through several years' worth of sharecropping.
The slave might not get paid at all if the farmer couldn't afford to pay him or if she refused payment; however, most often, he would be given time to repay the loan. If he was late paying back the principal and interest, more slaves would be brought in until the field was again cleared. This way, the farmer kept profit sharing crops like cotton and corn, while the slaves got to keep the less profitable vegetables like ginseng and tobacco.
Since blacks were not allowed to own land in the South, they shared their wages with whites, who in turn hired them out at lower rates. This arrangement was called "indentured servitude."
Sharecropping is an agreement in which a landowner rents out their property to a farmer in exchange for a percentage of the produce rather than cash. It lessens the farmer's risk because they only have to pay depending on what they can grow rather than a predetermined sum as is common in most cash-rent arrangements. The landowner benefits from increased production due to the presence of a stable tenant who will not move away. The sharecropper also benefits because they get to keep whatever they can sell or consume themselves while still being able to pay their bills.
In modern times, sharecropping has been replaced by contract farming and cooperative farming. With contract farming, one farmer agrees to farm some amount of land within a certain period of time with another farmer. The first farmer receives a fixed price per acre plus a percentage of the profits made from the crops grown on that land. The second farmer takes on all of the risk since they will only be paid if the crops do well. This arrangement is useful when there are not enough farmers to form a co-op but still want to reduce risk.
Co-ops are groups of farmers who work together by sharing expenses and risks but still receive compensation when crops do well. This is the most common type of farming in developed countries because it reduces costs for both small and large farmers. However, co-ops cannot operate outside of this system because they need some way to compensate unsuccessful members so they do not quit.
Sharecropping was an agricultural system that was implemented in the American South following the Civil War. A poor farmer who did not own land would labor a plot owned by a landowner under the sharecropping system. As payment, the farmer would receive a portion of the crop. If the farmer made no production errors or failed to take out any liens against his share, he would keep all of the money. If he did make a mistake, such as planting cotton when sugar cane should have been planted, he would be penalized by losing his investment.
In its most basic form, sharecropping involved a farmer renting land from a landowner and working it himself while some other person (the sharecropper) shared in the profits. If the farmer made a profit, he kept it; if he lost money, the sharecropper took the loss. The sharecropping system provided farmers without access to capital or credit with an opportunity to get into agriculture. It also allowed landowners to obtain cheap labor since they could fire the sharecropper at any time and find another one to take his place.
Sharecropping was very common among small farmers in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Texas. In fact, between 1865 and 1940, more than 10 million Americans were employed in sharecropping arrangements. Although sharecropping has gone extinct, mortgage lending practices similar to those used during reconstruction continue to drive poverty today.
Sharecropping is a method of farming in which households rent small plots of land from a landowner in exchange for a share of their produce, which is then returned to the landowner at the end of the year. Sharecropping was very common in the American South until the early 20th century.
Landowners tended to be wealthy farmers who wanted to avoid the labor-intensive work involved in tilling the soil and harvesting crops. They hired poorer farmers called "sharecroppers" to do this work instead. Sharecropping was more profitable than traditional agriculture because it required less physical effort and could therefore be done by people without much experience or training. It also provided an incentive for farmers to maintain their land because they received their money regardless of what they did with it.
There are two main types of sharecropping agreements: contract sharecropping and crop sharing. In contract sharecropping, the sharecropper rents the land directly from the owner and is expected to farm it according to the owner's specifications. If the sharecropper fails to meet these requirements, they will be terminated from the contract and will not receive another lease from the owner. In crop sharing, the sharecropper farms the land but is allowed to keep whatever profit they make. The landowner receives some amount of control over how the land is farmed through the use of crop shares.
By the early 1870s, the sharecropping system had grown to dominate agriculture across the cotton-growing South. Under this arrangement, black families would rent small pieces of land, or shares, to labor themselves; in exchange, they would provide the landowner a percentage of their produce at the end of the year. The system was designed by landowners who wanted to avoid the risks associated with farming and finance the effort through annual rents from other farmers.
In practice, sharecropping meant that a black family would rent a piece of land from a white farmer for one year. If the family produced more than they needed, they could keep the excess for themselves. If they produced less, they would make up the difference with money or goods from the farmer. Either way, the family would have enough income to survive. If the crop failed, however, the family would have nothing to fall back on. In that case, they would be forced to borrow money from the farmer at high interest rates to pay for another season's rent.
The sharecropping system gave white farmers access to cheap labor while also providing an incentive for farmers to increase production. Because families would not receive any product until after it was harvested, they had an incentive to work hard and plant more crops.
However, the sharecropping system also had many problems.