Last month we began a blog campaign discussing the effects of racially motivated policy in Des Moines, today we will be focusing on our first policy in this series.

Andrew Johnson’s Land Policies and Sharecropping:

“After the Civil War, only 30,000 African Americans owned small plots of land, compared to
4 million who did not because an 1865 federal law rescinded the government’s promise of
40 acres of land for former slaves. These 4 million blacks largely resorted to renting the
farmland of their previous master in exchange for a “share” of their crop. This system of
“sharecropping” tied farmers to their former master because they were legally obligated to
BUY all farming materials (usually at higher prices) and SELL their farming crops solely to their
former master (usually at lower prices)”

This policy was enacted from 1865-1880, it is important to understand the connotations behind historical policy when we discuss racism within the United States, and Iowa, today. Make sure you subscribe to our blog for the continuation of the next 12 policies!