Monday, September 9, 2019

What do the freedman's bureau papers tell about african american life Term Paper

What do the freedman's bureau papers tell about african american life in the reconstruction era - Term Paper Example This bureau was established in the year 1865 after a debate was raised against its establishment and it took care of all matters concerning the refugees who lived in the southern states which were mainly under reconstruction following the destruction of property and land after the civil war. The bureau depended on funds and stuff contribution since there were no funds allocated to it by the central government. Commissioner General O.O Howard took control of the freedman bureau after being appointed by President Andrew Johnson and he was assisted by deputy commissioners appointed by the senate of each of the ten states which were undergoing reconstruction. The freedmen’s bureau got its funds from selling and renting the land confiscated in the south during the war though the president returned the lands the initial owners which led to lack of funds to the bureau. This move by the president caused the crisis among the freed slaves since the land was also their source of funding also making the bureau strain in providing the freed slaves with basic necessities due to lack of funds. The freedman’s bureau is believed to have made a great impact during the reconstruction period by helping the freed slaves in reconstructing their livelihoods though it encountered the following difficulties which led to its failure in proving social welfare to the freed slaves.: 1. Lack of funds The main source of funding for the freedman’s bureau was selling and renting of the confiscated land after the civil war. This source of funding was cut short after the president returned the confiscated land to their original owners hence making it difficult for the bureau to provide the freed slaves with basic amenities since they were in the initial stages of reconstructing their livelihoods (Louisa 55–56). 2. Weak organization of the bureaus internal structure The bureau structure was made up of the commissioner who was appointed by the president the assistant co mmissioners appointed by the senate of the states under reconstruction and agents who were appointed by the commissioner and assistant commissioners. This mode of appointment intuited that the bureau was not an independent authority since the commissioners and their assistant depended on decisions made by the authority which appoints them. This prevented them from implementing their decisions, which favored the freedmen welfare (Freedman Bureau NP). 3. Opposition from conservatives The freedman’s bureau faced a lot of opposition especially from the senate members of the northern states. This made it difficult for the bureau to implement most of its projections, which had to be passed through the senate for implementation. Some of these projections included: provision of basic needs to the freedmen and freed women in southern states. Despite many challenges faced by the freeman bureau, it contributed a lot during the reconstruction period in Virginia states, which was among th e ten southern states undergoing reconstruction after the war (Freedman Bureau NP). The bureau helped the freedmen and women during reconstruction in the following ways: 1. Provision of social services During slavery, the African-American community was denied access to social amenities such as schools, hospitals, churches and entertainment. Establishment of schools by the Freemans bureau helped the African-American community to gain access to formal education, which enabled them to learn more of their history and helped them to integrate in the modern American society (Francis Rollin). The black community in America had been denied access to religion during slavery the freeman’s bureau helped to establish churches which gave the African community a sense of belonging to a particular religion

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