Sharecropping and Tenant Farming
After the Civil War, Slaves in the Southern States and been freed. Slaves in the Southern States were very valuable. They did all feid and farming work. Some even worked inside the house taking care of cleaning responsibilities. Without slaves, planters in the Southern States had no one to work their land unless they paid them. Many blacks and poor farmers were desperate for work and money. It seems like the planters could just hire the blacks and poor farmers pay them and it be a win win situation, but in realitity that is not what really happened. What really happened was more like a legalized version of slavery.
Sharecropping was when land owners provided land, a house, farming tools, animals, seed and fertilizer to the worker in return for a large share of their harvest of the crop. Until workers sold their crop, owners would also give them food, medicine, clothing and other supplies at high prices on credit. Credit is buying something now and paying for it later. Because the owner gave the worker supplies on high credit and took a large portion of the crop money, the worker got almost nothing and was usually left with a huge amount of debt that they could never pay therefore making that person a slave and work for the owner until his debt was paid.
Tenant farming was very similar to sharecropping. Tenant farmers usually owned agricultural equitment and farm animals such as mules. They also bought their own seed and fertilizer and all owner had to do was provide land and a house. At the end of the year, workers paid the landowners a set amount of cash or agreed share of the crop usually more than it was really worth. Even though tenant farming wasn't as bad as sharecropping, they sill usually ended up in debt.
Diffrences between Sharecropping and Tenant Farming
- owner provided a house, farming tools, animals, seed and fertilizer.
- workers gave owners a share of their harvest of crop
- owner provided land
- usually ended in heavy debt
- owner provided a house
- usually already owned agricultural equipment
- Bought own seed and fertilizer
- At end of year workers paid set amount of money or shore of crop