Change in the plantation system: American South, 1910-1945

Many questions have not been answered about the tenant plantations in the twentieth century. This paper uses county level data from special plantation censuses taken in 1910 and 1945 to examine changes in the geographic distribution of plantations and how production was organized on them. Although the percentage of land in tenant plantations went down in the South during this period, it increased in some areas and decreased in others. In the areas where it increased, cotton production also increased. This result suggests that in some circumstances plantations had an advantage over small farms.