To what extent do you agree with the opinion that the organisation of labour and Trade Unions served only to hinder the progress of Black Americans du

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To what extent do you agree with the opinion that the organisation of

labour and Trade Unions served only to hinder the progress of Black

Americans during the period 1865-1945?

Whilst some historians may claim that the organisation of labour and

Trade Unions served only to inhibit the progress of Black Americans

during the period 1865 (the year the Freedman’s Bureau was

created)-1945 (the end of WW2 in Europe) there is a considerable

amount of historical evidence that can be pointed to that refutes this

claim.

Coming after the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863, which effectively

granted slaves their freedom and gave them the opportunity to look for

paid employment, the Freedmen’s Bureau was set up in 1865. A

government body empowered to support freed slaves; it established a

number of school buildings and gave assistance, albeit limited, to

young black Americans in some areas. The Bureau officially lasted

until 1872, although most of its work was finished by 1869.

The setting up of the Freedman’s Bureau by an Act of Congress showed

that the government was prepared to accept some of the responsibility

for the care of this large section of society. However, when a

proposal (the Supplementary Freedman’s Bureau Act) was put forward in

1866 to extend its powers, President Johnson attempted to veto the

passing of the Act. Although this attempt was unsuccessful it could be

argued that this showed reluctance at the top level of government.

Thus it could be argued that these both helped and hindered Black

Americans.

Following the Emancipation Proclamation the most common form of work

for freed slaves was, Sharecropping, with the...

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...been educated and employed in New Deal initiatives were

also more confident. Recent studies have shown a link between centres

of civil rights protests in the 1950s and 60s and areas of Trade Union

and New Deal activity.

I find it to be inaccurate to suggest that the orginisation of labour

and Trade Unions served only to hinder the progress of black Americans

between 1865 and 1945. It should be noted that the orginisation of

labour and Trade Unions had many positive effects on Black Americans

in this time, Trade Union’s like the CIO and New Deal initiatives like

the PWA and the WPA, aiding rather than hindering the progression of

Black Americans. However it could be argued, some Trade Unions, such

as the American UNIA, and some government initiatives, such as

Sharecropping, served more to hinder. Overall, I belie

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