How is sharecropping better than slavery?

why is sharecropping better than slavery

1 Answer
Mar 5, 2018

In reality, it wasn't that much better. It did have some benefits though.


The reality is that sharecropping was former slave owners' way of recreating slavery under a different name in order to keep their source of labor. However, there were some improvements. In terms of the labor itself, former slaves had slightly more independence because they got to work their own portion of land. However, it was a minute improvement.

They still were forced to rely on former slave owners for tools. They had absolutely no money after being released from slavery, so they were forced to go into debt with their former owners to rent tools and land. Since it was almost impossible to produce enough crop to repay that debt, the former slaves almost always ended up stuck for life locked in debt.

The only other improvement from slavery is that there was less abuse towards the African Americans because they weren't property anymore. However, lynchings, beatings, and other brutal forms of racism still persisted without hinderance.

In sum, sharecropping was a baby step in the right direction, but most of the brutality of slavery was still very much present in the new system. I generally think of it more as a euphemism for legal slavery then a huge actual improvement for Southern African Americans' lives.