Before Reconstruction Plantation owners relied on their slaves to tend their crops and make the owners wealthing. During Reconstruction the plantation owners wealth was going down the drain because they had no slaves to tend their crops. Even freed slaves were in danger because they did not own any land for themselves. They were also uneducated so they couldn't get a real job. Some slaves returned to the plantations, but were still not payed because the plantation owners had confederate money which was worth nothing in the Union. That's when sharecropping started that solved problems for the Plantations Owners and the Freed Slaves. It was a system that allowed the Freed Slaves to work and get payed by keeping some of the crops and the rest goes to the Owner. They would also rent a house on the Plantation so they would get payed and have shelter.