Evaluating Cruelty: Sharecropping and Slavery “After the Civil War, former slaves sought jobs, and planters sought laborers. The absence of cash or an independent credit system led to the creation of sharecropping” (Pollard para. 1). Sharecropping is the action of allowing workers, called sharecroppers, to work on someone else’s farm. This let former slaves find jobs; however, farmers found loopholes to exploit the former slaves. Because of this, the workers were rarely paid the amount they needed for their needs. Sharecropping becomes a minute step up from slavery when the fact that the workers rarely were paid if at all, that due to their debts, workers never owned their own land so they couldn’t support themselves, and that this practice …show more content…
The American historian Nell Painter made several comments regarding the importance of land for the freed slaves. For example: “So they (sharecroppers) saw their own land as a means of having a stake in society” (Painter para. 4). Some more proof of this is the fact that it’s also stated that due to most southerners being rural, owning land was crucial to their way of life (para. 4). The evidence shows that white farmers who formerly owned slaves felt that by allowing the slaves to own land made them independent took away a resource the farmers heavily relied upon: slave labor. To keep this from happening farmers made the sharecroppers indebted to them keeping the sharecroppers from having any money to support themselves. As stated, sharecropping had drastic effects on the relationship between black people and white people. Examples of this are shown when the article states: “Well, I’ve had so much trouble with these black people, I’m going to employ white people” (Painter para. 13) Additionally, the overall actions between black and white people rose wages (Painter para. 13). The evidence shows that despite the fact the black people worked hard day and night the farmers still felt that they weren’t good enough and replaced them with white people who acted in the same fashion as the black people who had just been relieved of those positions which served simply to create a rise in
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If Blacks were allowed a factory job, they were mainly likely to be paid less than the regular white man. This is only one of the many of the ways, black man was segregated. African Americans were not paid normal wages. This hurt the African American families. This made it so that they couldn’t always provide food, shelter, clothes, and the other basic necessities for life.
A freedmen is taking part in sharecropping as he gives most of the crops he produced to the land’s owner. He hopes for a better life, but he knows he will be forever indebted to the landowner. While some things changed for the better, the acceptance of African Americans was still scarce. During Reconstruction, the life of freedmen did change politically, but not socially or economically.
This led to continued to tensions between not only the north and south but also the blacks and the whites in America. According to The Unfinished Nation, the per capita income of African Americans increase from about one-quarter to about one-half of the per capita income of White citizens (365). Sadly certain
Their schools and buildings were severely underfunded and not properly maintained. Blacks could not socialize with white people in public or they risked being arrested. “A black male could not offer his hand (to shake hands) with a white male because it
The landowners took advantage of their tenants by overcharging for land and underpaying for the crops. The tenants began falling deeper into debt. They could not leave until they paid off their debt, which was nearly impossible. Although former slaves had been freed, they were still facing many struggles in free life. America’s plan for reconstruction had good intent, but did not give African Americans the equality they deserved.
No matter your stance at the time, one thing became clear: socially, politically and economically, slavery was the fabric of American success and gave birth to the Old South as we know it today. At the center of the entire institution of slavery, and central to its defense, was the economic domination it provided a young country in international markets. In the early 19th century, cotton was a popular commodity and overtook sugar as the main crop produced by slave labor. The production of cotton became the nation’s top priority; America supplied ¾ of the cotton supply to the entire world.
The blacks did not receive the same luxuries as the whites did. For instance, the colored received less than stellar entertainment where as the whites were able to get anything they wanted, “There, instead of houses and trees, there were fishing wharves, boat docks, nightclubs, and restaurants for whites. There were one or two nightclubs for colored, but they were not very good” (Gaines 25). It was unjust to the blacks that they could not enjoy themselves as much as the whites because of their skin color.
“The South grew, but it did not develop,” is the way one historian described the South during the beginning of the nineteenth century because it failed to move from an agrarian to an industrial economy. This was primarily due to the fact that the South’s agricultural economy was skyrocketing, which caused little incentive for ambitious capitalists to look elsewhere for profit. Slavery played a major role in the prosperity of the South’s economy, as well as impacting it politically and socially. However, despite the common assumption that the majority of whites in the South were slave owners, in actuality only a small minority of southern whites did in fact own slaves. With a population of just above 8 million, the number of slaveholders was only 383,637.
All things considered, this argument was convincing. In reality, one-third of the South’s population was black, and held an economic weight in society especially because of the emancipation of slaves. If whites ostracized blacks from working in the South, even as meager farmers and industrialist, the southern economy would falter as a
Imagine if the cotton businesses had no slaves the Southerners would have to create their own factories, for example, if they did have to create their own industry, they would have to sell all their slaves and that’s one of the last things that they wanted to do. If the South had no slaves, they would have to do everything all by themselves. According to page 242 it says " planters would have had to sell slaves to raise the money to build factories, most wealthy southerners had their wealth invested in land and slaves. Planters would have had to sell slaves to raise the money to build factories. Most wealthy southerners were unwilling to do this.
It is an obvious truth that in order to have a functioning society, there must be workers. In modern, first world countries, labors are paid well and are reasonably treated. However, some third world nations use an economic model harkening back to older times—slavery and serfdom. Between 1450 and 1750, European countries in the Caribbean and in the Old World utilized two forms of cheap labor—slavery and serfdom—to line their coffers and feed their populace. In the Caribbean, slavery was preferred; but in Russia, serfdom ruled.
Sharecropping emerged because slaves that did not move away from plantations. IT was a product of the struggles of the Reconstruction and was in part was a good fit for cotton agriculture. Cotton unlike sugarcane, could be raised efficiently by small farmers. Sharecroppers’ freedom meant not only their individuals lots and cabins but also the school and churches. They could work on their own terms and establish rights to marry, read and write as they pleased, and travel in search of a better life.
Post-Reconstruction US was a very difficult time for many groups of people within the US. These people, specifically blacks, struggled to get and maintain jobs due to Jim Crow laws and severe racism and segregation. Sharecropping also limited the amount former slaves could rise on the social ladder, as it was basically a legal form of segregation. Doc. 7 shows this by proving that very little blacks were actually born in Philadelphia, a city notorious for its black population.
When the farmers they worked for lost their lands, they were left in a much more