Out of the Emancipation Proclamation of African American slaves following the Civil War, grew the system reflective of the power and the ownership White’s exercise of the plots known as sharecropping. This system grew from the struggle between planters and ex-slaves on how to organize production. In the mid-19th century, white farmers began to explore the salt for fertile farmland. The slaves they bought with them, preformed the hard work that would turn the South into the richest cotton farming land in the world. Sharecropping and cotton production became vital in the southern economy. In the sharecropping system, sharecroppers worked in an assigned plot of the plantation land, while the landowners provided tenant workers with housing, food, …show more content…
Following the end of the Civil War, white southern plant farmers implemented the sharecropping system in the South. It was kept in place by an unjust political and economic system that exploited the labor of sharecroppers. This system in conjunction with segregation allowed for the exploitation of black workers by white landowners and farmers. By providing a steady and docile supply of socially subordinate cheap labor. This labor force was controlled by low wages and a lack of legal …show more content…
Although they were free from their masters they truly weren’t completely free. Turner essentially seemed grateful for the shelter provided to him and his family, even though they were being swindled by their landlords. African Americans during the late 19th and early 20th centuries felt as though they had no choice but to accept their injustices or else, they would be subjected to the punishments implemented by the system of white supremacy. They were aware of the consequences and punishments for being a disobedient “nigger”. These punishments include several unjust treatments. The main use of punishments many white people used was lynching. Their main purpose was to make an example of blacks who dared to act out. The fear of being homeless, destitute, and even being lynched deterred action from black sharecropping families. However, with many jobs opening in Northern cities, millions of negro families migrated leaving the South, sharecropping, and the cotton fields behind. After World War II, new technology essentially threw sharecropping families off landowner’s land. This put an end to the sharecropping system by the mid-20th century. Sharecropping and tenant farming continued in some parts of the South, through to the end of the 20th
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The Task System and the Gang System. The Task system was common for rice and coastal cotton plantations. Once the assigned work was finished, workers/slaves were given the opportunity to do their own thing such as rest, help others, or manage their own small plot of land for their personal use. The Gang System however, was more ruthless, slaves worked from morning to nightfall. All slaves were constantly under the surveillance of an overseer and almost no slave negotiation for their own good.
It was not uncommon for African Americans to be found lynched or beaten for just walking down the street. Furthermore, it was common to find African Americans with low income jobs that made it hard for them to make ends meet for their family.
This book covered a story of someone who had a clean vision of what it felt like to be free. Nat Turner’s skillful plan of a slave rebellion was succeeded by the influence of religion amongst African Americans and by his status amongst white Americans. Unawareness and anxiety were the effects of Turner’s rebellion on white Americans which eventually led to a number of consequences for slaves. As we all know slavery was a vital part of life in the South and Virginia in the 1800s.
If you notice how a lot of the slave owners in the 1800’s was actually not the type to treat their slaves unfairly. Many of the slave owners allowed time with family, and even holidays off. The deep south where a little over one-third of the white families were slave owners, they believed that if they were to keep their slaves so busy serving their masters they would not be able to have time, nor the strength, to come up with a plan to revolt against slavery. In the book, you notice right off the bat that Mr. Turner is not quite like other slaves. Turner, just like others, was born into slavery and was not brought over from another country, but just born into.
Let’s start with the Sharecropping labor contract, in the bright sides, it stated that it was the opportunity for African Americans finally had the rights and freedom to work for themselves, and also, be protected by the laws. As the law put out several regulations to govern the contracts which included the supply of goods, foods, quarter and medical for the sharecropper, the reality was not exact as it described in the laws. The sharecropping contract, or in other words, a legal form of slavery that rich white who owned lands used to keep black working for them. Far away from the original intention which provides land for freedman blacks to farms for their own goods, white landowners used that to keep advantage of the slavery which were taken away from them. “We further bind ourselves to and with said Ross that we will do work and labor ten hours a day on an average, winter and summer.
Among the Americans left out of the prosperity were the farmers who experienced difficult economic times especially in the southern and western regions. In those regions, farmers worked as tenants and were paid minimum wage because of the sharecropping system. Both white and black tenant farmers in poverty since the owner mostly got all the money from the
Pertaining to the rights of African Americans a new south did not appear after the reconstruction. While they were “free” they were often treated harshly and kept in a version of economic slavery by either their former masters or other white people in power. Sharecropping and the crop-lien system often had a negative impact on both the black and white tenants keeping them in debt with the owner. Jim Crow laws, vigilantes and various means of disfranchisement became the normal way of life in the South. It was believed that white people were superior to black people and when they moved up in politics or socially they were harassed and threatened.
Sharecropping is a cycle in which the former slave would have to use a landowner's land to grow crops, which leads to a continuous cycle of debt. In a diagram displaying the process of sharecropping, it is shown that the sharecropper was taken advantage of by the landowner, as they had to buy tools and clothing from the landowner, and after their harvest they were wonky guaranteed half of the earnings, minus the debt the sharecropper has for the year. It also shows how the sharecropper would have to pay more than what they profited from, forcing the sharecropper to attempt to increase the share of the following year's crop (Document B). This cycle lead to an extreme amount of debt that would be carried down into future generations, dooming their entire family. It provided no benefit for the sharecroppers, as they rarely were able to pay off their debt.
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.
“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.
During the years that led up to the Civil War, the economic system between the North and the South were completely incompatible. The South’s economy was based on agriculture, whereas, the North was depended on manufacturing. The difference between the economic systems significantly created a conflict between the North and the South such as Anti-slavery, pro-slavery, and political demand. The plantation system in the South had rapidly grown, especially with the invention of the cotton gin.
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.
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.
The 19th century was an era of dramatic change in the lives of African Americans. By the early 1800s, cotton was the most profitable cash crop, and slave owners focused on clearing lands and securing laborers to proliferate cotton production. The lack of available, fertile land in coastal areas compelled the move into the southern interior, sparking a massive westward migration of planters and slaves. The demands and rewards of the "King Cotton" economy resulted in a fivefold population increase during the first six decades of the 19th century, but it kept the South an unsophisticated agricultural economy.