What was sharecropping and the crop-lien system?

Under the crop-lien system, a sharecropper planted what the landlord told him to. That was always the cash crop: cotton or tobacco. Neither was edible for humans. Concentrating on the cash crop, sharecropper families rarely grew enough food to feed themselves.

What was the crop-lien system in simple terms?

In the post-Civil War South, the crop lien system allowed farmers to obtain supplies, such as food and seed, on credit from merchants; the debt was to be repaid after the crop was harvested and brought to market.

How was sharecropping abused?

It was also commonly used, and abused, by plantation owners on plantations to force field slaves to work long hours with physical punishments if they didn’t complete their tasks. Because of these complaints, sharecropping was adopted by the Bureau instead of gang-labor.

What was the problem with a crop lien?

Abuses in the crop lien system reduced many tenant farmers to a state of economic slavery, as their debts to landlords and merchants carried over from one year to the next. Many landowners joined the ranks of farm tenants when excessive indebtedness led to foreclosure.

What is sharecropping system?

Sharecropping is a system where the landlord/planter allows a tenant to use the land in exchange for a share of the crop. This encouraged tenants to work to produce the biggest harvest that they could, and ensured they would remain tied to the land and unlikely to leave for other opportunities.

How did sharecropping affect freed African Americans?

In addition, while sharecropping gave African Americans autonomy in their daily work and social lives, and freed them from the gang-labor system that had dominated during the slavery era, it often resulted in sharecroppers owing more to the landowner (for the use of tools and other supplies, for example) than they were …

What percent of sharecroppers were white?

Approximately two-thirds of all sharecroppers were white, and one third were black. Though both groups were at the bottom of the social ladder, sharecroppers began to organize for better working rights, and the integrated Southern Tenant Farmers Union began to gain power in the 1930s.

How did sharecropping and crop-lien system impact the South?

After the Civil War, the crop-lien system replaced slavery in the cotton belt of the South. This arrangement allowed country merchants to front supplies to poor farmers – at high interest rates – in return for a lien on the farmer’s upcoming crop.

Why is sharecropping bad?

Sharecropping was bad because it increased the amount of debt that poor people owed the plantation owners. Sharecropping was similar to slavery because after a while, the sharecroppers owed so much money to the plantation owners they had to give them all of the money they made from cotton.

What is the difference between sharecropping and slavery?

Sharecropping is when anyone lives and/or works on land that is not theirs and in return for their effort they pay no bills. Slaves pretty much did the same thing accept for the fact that they were the property of the land owner, without the choice of weather they wanted to work or not.

How did sharecropping affect slaves?