Why was the sharecropping system so hard to overcome?
People were so caught up in the system that it was nearly impossible to exit.
This is a great question. The sharecropping system went in a circular fashion, so much so that people were caught up in it for life. Take a look at this diagram to see why.
In this diagram, you can see a couple of things:
- The sharecropper is already giving the landowner half of his crop. He can only sell the other half of the crop.
- The sharecropper needs to buy all his necessities from the landowner, who usually charged him at sky-high rates. This would have further cut into his cash.
- The landowner treated the sharecropper unfairly, charging the sharecropper more than he needs to pay. Until the sharecropper pays off this debt, he needs to keep working, which is why the system is so difficult to overcome.