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Labor for the Picking: The New Deal in the South

Warren C. Whatley
The Journal of Economic History
Vol. 43, No. 4 (Dec., 1983), pp. 905-929
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2121055
Page Count: 25
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Labor for the Picking: The New Deal in the South
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Abstract

During the Great Depression of the 1930s southern landlords began to replace sharetenants and mules with wage laborers and large-scale preharvest machinery. Informed observers in the 1920s did not expect this to happen until the advent of the mechanical cotton picker, which came after World War I. This paper presents evidence supporting the claim that the AAA policies of the 1930s, and the economic depression they were designed to cure, induced this tenant displacement by increasing the asset value of land rights without securing tenants a share right, and by relaxing the harvest labor constraint that had previously impeded mechanization.

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