Presentation on theme: "Reconstruction Freedmen’s Bureau Tenant Farming Sharecropping."— Presentation transcript:
Reconstruction Freedmen’s Bureau Tenant Farming Sharecropping
farms were in ruins homes, railways, bridges, roads were destroyed or in need of repair not enough food banks were closed – Confederate money was worthless the state owed $20,000,000 in war debt More than 40,000 Georgians had died of wounds or disease and many more were crippled and could not work Almost 20% of while male population aged 18-45 died in war Conditions in Georgia after the War
Started by U.S. government in 1865 Its job was to help freed slaves and poor whites with basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter The purpose quickly shifts to helping freedmen get an education Set up 4,000 primary schools Started industrial schools for jobs training Started teacher-training schools Not very effective – not given enough money to help blacks and only 900 Freedmen’s Bureau agents throughout the South The Freedmen’s Bureau
Agriculture After the War Many freedman believed rumors that they would receive land of their own. This “Forty acres and a mule” idea came from Gen. Sherman in 1865 saying that freed slaves could receive abandoned lands along the coast. Pres. Johnson overruled Sherman. “Fort acres and a mule” never became a reality.
Workers Needed!! Land owners had land, but needed workers. Freedman had no land, but needed work. Most obvious solution---- land owners pay wages! But There Are Problems With Paying Wages Land owners had little cash and were in debt. Confederate money was worthless. Sometimes crops failed and landowner did not make a profit. Freedman found that working in the fields for wages was somewhat like the gang system of slavery. Everyone worked in a group with strict supervision. Many freedman wanted to work more independently. Solution to the Problem Follows…
Solution 1: Sharecropping Under This System: The landowners provided land, a house, farming tools, animals, seeds, and fertilizer. Workers agreed to give the owner a share of the harvest. Until the workers sold their crop, the owners often let them have food, medicine, clothing, and other supplies at a high price on credit (the ability to buy something now and pay for it later or over a period of time). For many, credit was their undoing. After selling the crop and paying the bills, they had little, if any cash left. Because most could not read or write-- many times the plantation owner or the store owner cheated them. Year after year they had little hope they could ever save enough to buy their own land and equipment.
Solution 2 :Tenant Farming Under this system: Tenants… usually owned some agricultural equipment and farm animals (mules). bought their own seed and fertilizer may pay a fixed amount of rent $ for use of the owner’s land or agreed-upon share of the crops. may make a small profit, since they owned more than a sharecropper.
On the Surface…. it looked like landowners who used tenants and sharecroppers made a profit while taking few risks, but.. Many who did not have the $ to buy seed, fertilizer, etc. borrowed the money and used the crops to back up the loan. What happened when the crops failed????? What about interest on the $ borrowed???? Many times the interest owed was more than the crop was worth. At the end of Reconstruction cotton was again the most important crop in most of GA.
Economic and Social Reconstruction Commerce, industry, and transportation slowly recovered, often with the help of northern investors. To help save money, the state leased its convicts (prisoners) to various companies, who were suppose to pay the expenses of feeding, clothing, and housing the prisoners. Convict Lease System After the war, freedmen often established their own churches. GA established a state-funded public-system. Schools were segregated. Colleges, both state-sponsored and private reopened gradually after the war. They too were segregated.