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sharecropping

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A system of farming that developed in the South after the Civil War, when landowners, many of whom had formerly held slaves, lacked the cash to pay wages to farm laborers, many of whom were former slaves. The system called for dividing the crop into three shares — one for the landowner, one for the worker, and one for whoever provided seeds, fertilizer, and farm equipment.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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