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system of farm tenancy once common in some parts of the United States. In the United States the institution arose at the end of the Civil War out of the plantation system. Many planters had ample land but little money for wages. At the same time most of the former slaves were uneducated and impoverished. The solution was the sharecropping system, which continued the workers in the routine of cotton cultivation under rigid supervision. Economic features of the system were gradually extended to poor white farmers. The cropper brought to the farm only his own and his family's labor. Most other requirements—land, animals, equipment, and seed—were provided by the landlord, who generally also advanced credit to meet the living expenses of the cropper family. Most croppers worked under the close direction of the landlord, and he marketed the crop and kept accounts. Normally in return for their work they received a share (usually half) of the money realized. From this share was deducted the debt to the landlord. High interest charges, emphasis on production of a single cash crop, slipshod accounting, and chronic cropper irresponsibility were among the abuses of the system. Farm mechanization and a marked reduction in cotton acreage have virtually put an end to the system.


See D. E. Conrad, The Forgotten Farmers: The Story of Sharecroppers in the New Deal (1965); A. F. Raper and I. D. Reid, Sharecroppers All (1941, rep. 1971); R. Coles, Migrants, Sharecroppers, Mountaineers (1972).

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an arrangement whereby a landholder receives a given amount of a harvest from those working the land. Various forms of land possession may be covered by this arrangement: the ‘landholder’ may or may not have absolute ownership of the land, and the share cropper may or may not have rights of possession of the land. The Macmillan Dictionary of Anthropology (Seymour-Smith, 1986) neatly summarizes sharecropping as an arrangement between a land-supplier and a labour-supplier. This is a common arrangement in AGRARIAN SOCIETIES and one of the various ways in which the PEASANTRY have access to land and its products. Examples have been found throughout history and in most areas of the world (Pearce, 1983). The most common arrangement historically has been for there to be a 50/50 split of the harvest between the labourer and the land-supplier. This arrangement seems to be most common when other means of labour control have broken down and the supervisory control of the land-supplier is weakened. Thus sharecropping became common in the postbellum southern United States after the abolition of slavery and persisted until the 1930s. Similarly, it has been argued that it rose in importance with the decline of SERFDOM in Europe. Sharecropping continues to exist in many parts of the contemporary THIRD WORLD, especially in Latin America and Asia. As with other noncapitalist rural labour arrangements, there is debate as to whether it is compatible with the spread of CAPITALISM. Thus it has been seen as transitional between tenant farming and wage labour.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a particular form of rent relations. In sharecropping the tenant (sharecropper) receives land, draft animals, agricultural implements, and seed from the landowner and pays him from a third to a half of what he raises. Sharecropping came into being in the USA after the Civil War (1861-65), chiefly in the southern states and primarily involving the Negro population. As agriculture became mechanized, sharecropping declined. Between 1930 and 1964 the number of sharecroppers decreased from 800,000 to 100,000.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Taxpayer X was engaged in a farming arrangement with another taxpayer for sharecropping purposes whereby direct expenses including processing expenses were allocated based on the percentage of crops to which each was entitled.
Moreover, tracing non-catastrophic climatic and meteorological phenomena can clarify long-term interconnections between particular agricultural productions and their underlying socio-economic structures--for example, of sharecropping. Specific farming systems, such as those in Northern Piedmont that centred on more hardy crops and cereals, were substituted with chestnut trees, rye and corn when climate changes and subsistence needs demanded it, and when further shaped by external factors such as rising competition from Turin, the new capital of Savoy.
It is the common practice regulated by informal norms, conventions and customs of sharecropping. It is considered as a form of bonded labour in development reports and survey based scientific research[1,
For this reason, as far as the Zolfino bean is concerned, it is necessary to consider the relationship between the self-sustaining sharecropping system, where the Zolfino bean originally belonged, and the contemporary heritage policies where it has been introduced.
Sharecropping (living on and working someone else's land, paying rent and a portion of the harvest) and tenant farming (a system in which you had the luxury of owning maybe a mule, a few tools, and some seeds) had been standard Southern practice since the antebellum era.
Orbie's sharecropping grandparents, by defying convention with unnerving grace, become founts of colloquial wisdom whose appeal is impossible to resist, and the Orbie they nurture -- the best version of a boy who may otherwise have been lost -- is someone the reader comes to love.
Joseph (international studies, Zayed U., United Arab Emirates) analyzes how 17th- through early 19th-century Hanafi law (official Ottoman law), as evidenced in legal opinions and legal commentaries from Ottoman-ruled Syria, legally defined sharecropping and tenancy agreements and tenant/landlord rights and obligations.
Lawmakers also ended the Bracero program, a guest worker scheme for Latin Americans that critics put "on a par with Southern sharecropping."
Whether through the memoirs of men and women who sought their freedom from a then-legal institution on the Underground Railroad or the impassioned pleas of African Americans and immigrants trapped in sharecropping and peonage in the years after the Civil War, slavery's brutal toll has been given witness time and again by those who suffered and survived.
After the war he is outraged when freed slaves are brought back into bondage through the demeaning practice of sharecropping that continues to give the white landowners a source of cheap labor.
"It's like, 'What's happening in the news?'" Bernstein, who has many projects, recently added a 2-acre biodynamic farm in a sharecropping agreement with a winery.
Sharecropping dominates the floodplains while landlords lead comfortable lifestyles in Karachi, living off the profits of this feudal agrarian economy.