Sharecropping in the 1930's

Sharecropping in the 1930's



Sharecropping in the 1930's was as near to being a slave as you could become. After slavery was abolished many of the lands that were once worked by black slaves were in need of a new work force. The land-owners then came across the prospect of sharecropping. The idea that someone else could work all of there land and take 50% of what they made and keep it. This allowed the rich land owners to suppress the for lack of a better term serfs and peons that tilled the land and worked on it. They made only enough money to keep a house going and while the rich land owners did none of the work they took the excess money and pocketed it like interest so they were being payed essentially for the use of their land and no work put in. The land owner usually provided animals or tractors to work the land. This left the sharecropper with no tools to continue his trade elsewhere and forced them to rely on the grace of the landowner. The problem with this idea came when tractors or Cats were capable of doing the work of ten families and the families were evicted with nowhere to go. This is another case of big business coming in and taking over the work of families putting them out of jobs and into the millions of unemployed.

Caterpillar Tractors...The Replacement

Grapes Of Wrath "Is a tractor bad? Is the power that turns the long furrows wrong? If this tractor were ours, it would be good- not mine, but ours. We could love that tractor then as we have loved this land when it was ours. But this tractor does two things - it turns the land and turns us off the land. There is little difference between this tractor and a tank. The people were driven, intimidated, hurt by both. We must think about this. "

(Grapes of Wrath Chapter 14,Page 151,Paragraph 2, Line 5)