Essay On The Freedmen's Bureau

861 Words4 Pages
In this paper I will show that the Freedmen’s Bureau was able to affect positive transition of blacks after the civil war despite the lack of support from the federal government. I will first give you a description of the Freedmen’s Bureau. I will discuss what the Freedmen’s Bureau was created to do and the social environment they operated in. Next I will talk about some of the programs the Freedmen’s Bureau operated that positively impacted the transition from slavery for many black people. Finally I will show how those programs helped black transition. The Civil War was period of change in American history. Following the warfare, congress established a federal agency named the Freedmen’s Bureau to facilitate the freed people’s transition from slavery to freedom. Southern blacks encountered the worst chaos, displacement, illnesses, poverty and epidemics, which were limiting to the bureaus successes during reconstruction (Finley 2013, 82). During the war, lack of basic needs and medicine hindered the efforts of improving economic social and political freedom. As a result, the Freedmen’s Bureau was designed to help black southerners transition from slavery to freedom. The challenges faced during this transition were enormous, as the civil war had ruined the region completely. The farms faced destruction during the war and huge amounts of capital depleted in the war. When the civil war ended, the social order of the region was chaotic and slave owners as well as their former slaves were forced to interact socially in a different way than before (Finley 2012, 82). The Freedmen’s Bureau was a unique effort by the federal government to improve the social wellbeing of the American nation. Major General Oliver Howard headed the Free... ... middle of paper ... ...ant commissioners to apply jurisdiction in such cases (Weitzel 2011, 22). Labor relations were re-evaluated to allow hiring of the freemen. The bureau assisted in drafting of contracts on favorable terms to ensure that the planter and worker met their end of the bargain. Finally, the bureau enacted an educational system that allowed blacks to study so that they could take part in normal activities and protect themselves from discrimination that they had faced earlier. The efforts of the Freedmen’s Bureau included provision of relief food, offering health services to the sick, allocating land for settlement to the former slaves, setting up of a judicial system, enacting an education system and enforcing labor laws that allowed the freed men to seek employment. While they were unable to help everyone, they did set precedents and have a huge impact on reconstruction.
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