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Freedmen’s Bureau is known to be a Bureau of Refugees established in 1865 by Griffin after several years of serious debates. Most historians believe that Freedman’s Bureau has had little contribution to African-American history, though it is difficult to agree with them. Therefore the research paper provides thoroughly selected information about Freedman’s Bureau: how did it begin, how did it become a Bureau of Refugees, why was it criticized and what contribution did it make to the history.The purpose of the paper is to enlarge knowledge about African-American history and Freedman’s Bureau as the main hope for better future. The guidelines of the paper are to define the tasks of Freeman’s Bureau and to assess their impact on the history.  This issue is still remaining rather important, contradictive and is under discussion. So the objective of the paper is to provide a clear and true idea about Bureau’s activities throughout the history. The present research paper will be assessed through the methods of description and desktop research. This theoretical knowledge will become the basis for fulfilling the main purpose of the present research paper. A wide variety of sources are being utilized including books, articles and online resources.Freedmen’s Bureau as Hope for Better FutureActually the most important task of Freedman’s Bureau was to deal with all matters regarding African-American refugees within the states during the period of reconstruction. Despite the fact that Bureau didn’t have appropriate budget, it did their best to promote the ideal of freedom and equal rights fore African-Americans. Freedmen’s Bureau was “commissioned as a subsidiary of the War Department and depended upon it for funds and staff”[1]. As it is mentioned above, the contribution of the Bureau is still under discussion among historians, because they think Freedmen’s Bureau hasn’t had any impact during reconstruction. The main reasons why Bureau has failed to provide social welfare for African-American refugees are:§  Lack of sufficient funds§  Weak internal structure of Bureau§  Conservatives opposed Bureau’s activities§  Weak support from southern communityNevertheless, despite provided arguments, Freemen’s Bureau succeeded in helping African-American refugees to “gain access to the rights that they were denied during slavery”[2]. Therefore Bureau’s contribution should be assessed in the following keys:§  Social contribution: the main contribution was that Bureau had helped African-American refugees and poor communities to establish churches and schools. Thus Bureau ensured relative education for children and adults. During slavery, African-Americans hadn’t access to religion and education. Therefore, it is apparent that Freedmen Bureau “laid the foundation” of educational opportunities for African-Americans.Read also  – ANALYSIS OF OUR SECRET BY SUSAN GRIFFIN§  Justice and violence: it is known that civil authorities were controlled by Freedmen’s Bureau if the cases touched African-Americans.  Bureau made attempt to establish their own court of law, because most Southern states prohibited African-Americans to testify in the courts[3].§  Labor contribution: it is obvious that labor systems of the Southern states were completely restructured after war. Thus former slaves were tricked by former owner, because they wanted to enter contracts having the same terms and conditions as slavery system. Therefore, Freedmen’s Bureau negotiated fair contracts for African-Americans and ensured relatively satisfying labor conditions and property.§  Family Contribution: African-Americans were offered an opportunity to have a firm family structure. Thus Freedmen’s Bureau “acted as a clearinghouse of information to aide African-Americans in finding lost relatives and mediated domestic disputes”[4].To sum up the material above it is apparent that the main functions of Freedmen’s Bureau were to ensure relative relief of African-Americans, refugees, homeless citizens after the ending of Civil war and to monitor affairs involving former slaves in the Southern community. Furthermore, Bureau administered all abandoned and confiscated lands. It means that profits from administrating the confiscated lands had to be spent on Bureau’s operating, though “the bill establishing the agency did not appropriate money for it”[5].It is known that in order to implement objectives “the assistant commissioners relied on the sub-assistant commissioners, who operated on the local level”[6]. Freedmen’s Bureau should be respected, because it tried to find lost relatives of former slave. Moreover, Bureau provided a relatively successful network aimed at providing information about missing relatives in the Southern community. Therefore, the impact of Freedmen’s Bureau can’t be either ignored or neglected. Summing up main contributions and achievement, it goes without saying that freedmen’s Bureau:§  Controlled legal cases concerning African-Americans and led the legal process if necessary to guarantee fairness of the outcome.§  Controlled all labor contracts “voided those that were signed by freedmen under duress or were patently unfair to the African-American laborer”[7].§  Protected African-Americans and former slaves and opposed those who had committed crimes against them.§  Organized schools and ensured teacher’s safety.From the very beginning Freedmen’s Bureau tended to build effective network in Texas, though all the efforts were defeated by state policy, poor transportation opportunities and communication facilities. Furthermore, population remained hostile to Freedmen’s Bureau. Thus their abilities were strictly limited because of misunderstanding and negative attitude towards former slaves and African-Americans. Moreover, Bureau’s resources were limited as well.  During 19865-1866, sub-assistant commissioners were sent to stations across East Texas to establish Bureau’s branches in more countries. Consequently, more military officers were required, though Bureau’s operations failed to succeed despite all efforts.Historians say that “though the increased number of agents did increase the amount of supervision bureau agents could provide on the local level, the number was still quite inadequate”[8]. Firstly, Griffin ensured that every military officer was in the area where Bureau didn’t exist and thus officer was obliged to act as Bureau’s agent. Additionally, commanders were placed in Fort Inge, Camp Verde, and Fort Belknap, because no or few Bureau’s branches existed there. Secondly, the ability to ensure protection to the military officers and sub-assistances was paid more attention instead f fulfilling duties in the districts. Three main sources provided commissioners to Freedman’s Bureau: Northern communities, Texans and Army. It is necessary to outline that despite severe restrictions and lack of proper funding, Freedmen’s Bureau has made their best to protect former slaves and African-Americans from famine, disease and starvation.Bureau’s contribution is wrapped up in lots of controversy. For example, Freedmen’s Bureaus was negatively portrayed in earlier Texas documents. But recent researches revealed the truth and revised the whole picture.  It is though that Freedmen’s Bureaus had succeeded in short-term objectives, though long-term had been completely failed.  After reconstruction period, African-Americans were effectively constrained and their rights were limited as well meaning that segregation was enhanced by laws and customs. And it was Freedmen’s Bureau that provided protection and positive contribution to refugees and former slaves. Many African-Americans realized that better future was possible and thus they turned to Bureau to ask for protection, help and support[9].According historian, Freedmen’s Bureaus succeeded in educational efforts. For example, in 1865 more than a thousand of African-American students were allowed to study in sixteen schools. In 1870 more than hundred schools enrolled about 9,000 African-American children, though 1870 was the last year of Bureau’s activity. It is known that Freedmen’s Bureaus faced fierce opposition in all spheres of activities. For example, white citizens “burned school buildings, harassed teachers, and otherwise obstructed progress”. Nevertheless, with years the intensity of opposition significantly declined.According to last reports, “the burning of school houses and maltreatment of teachers so common at the commencement of the Bureau operations, have almost entirely ceased”[10]. Initially historians critically evaluated Bureau’s activities, though later they realized that Bureau significantly contributed educational sphere for African-Americans in Texas. They admitted that without Freedmen’s Bureau it would be impossible for African-Americans to become educated. Thus the contribution of Freedmen’s Bureau should be underlined and respected.

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