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The Sharecropping System

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Presentation on theme: "The Sharecropping System"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Sharecropping System

2 Background The Civil War (1861–1865) brought the end of slavery to the United States.

3 Background Plantation owners needed labor to farm their land.

4 Background The southern economy was in shambles. Plantation owners couldn’t even afford to buy seed, much less pay farm hands.

5 Background At the same time, former slaves were still living in slave quarters trying to raise enough food to keep from starving.

6 Background A bargain was struck.

7 Background The white landowners scraped together enough cash, by mortgaging their property, to provide seed, food and clothing, and shelter for African-Americans who were willing to stay on and work.

8 Background In return, the African-Americans planted and harvested the crops.

9 Background The plantation owners sold the harvest, computed each African-American family’s fair share of the proceeds, deducted the market value of the food and clothing, and paid the workers the difference.

10 Background In theory, the system was fair enough, but in practice, it was heavily weighted against African-Americans. At the end of the year, many African-Americans found themselves in debt to the landowner no matter how hard they worked.

11 Before Sharecropping Before the Civil War, slaves lived in huts grouped together behind the plantation owner’s house.

12 After Sharecropping The former slaves lived in slightly larger huts spread out around the plantation. There were more roads as well as a church and school.

13 Quiz After the Civil War, the plantations were taken by the government.  TRUE  FALSE

14 False The former slaves hoped that the plantations would be divided among them so that they could provide for themselves, but the plantations were returned to their former owners.

15 Quiz Former slaves wanted to work for the whites for wages.  TRUE

16 False Many former slaves did not want to work for wages because they would still have to do what they were told by the whites. The solution lay in sharecropping.

17 Quiz Former plantations were broken up into small parcels of land.

18 True Plantation owners broke up their estates into small parcels of land upon which the former slaves could grow their own crops.

19 Quiz Sharecroppers had to give a percentage of their crop to the owner of the land.  TRUE  FALSE

20 True In return for seed and equipment, the sharecropper would give the plantation owner a third or a half of his crop.

21 Discussion Question 1 Do you think sharecropping was a good thing? Why or why not? Discuss your answers within your group.

22 Discussion Question 2 Store owners often gave sharecroppers credit at their stores with the under-standing that they would be paid back by the landowners as soon as the crops were sold. Why do you think they did this? Discuss your answers within your group.

23 End

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