An agroeconomic strategy where land is given in return for a share of the crop produced.
After the Civil War former landowners "rented" plots of land to blacks and poor whites in such a way that the renters were always in debt and therefore tied to the land. Farmers had to “pay” a portion of their crops to the land owner.
Sharecropping was an important method for plantation owners to maintain their control over agriculture in the post-bellum period. It boomed after the Civil War during Reconstruction from both poverty and also the influx of immigrants.