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Sharecropping is a term for when one person farms another person's land, and then the two share what is produced. Sharecroppers are almost always poor, and are often in debt to landowners or other people. Sharecropping was very common in the Southern United States after the Civil War and the end of slavery. At that time, many African-Americans sharecropped on the land that they had once farmed as slaves. Sharecropping was part of the system of "Jim Crow", which kept blacks poor and not really citizens.
Sharecropping became more common in the Southern United States when slavery was abolished. During the 20th century it became rare there.