After the end of the Civil War, limited economic opportunity for freedmen led many to become sharecroppers working for former slave owners. Although sharecroppers were technically contracted employees, their contracts were frequently unfair and exploitative. In this lesson, students critically evaluate their classroom textbook’s account of sharecropping by comparing it to a sharecropping contract from 1882.
Image: Photo of sharecroppers taken by Dorothea Lange in Mississippi in 1937. From the Library of Congress.