African Americans in the Post–Civil War Era

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What did the Freedmen's Bureau do for former slaves?

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The Freedmen's Bureau was established by the United States government near the end of the Civil War. As the war was drawing to a close, the U.S. government realized that they would need to provide assistance to recently freed slaves as they began to adjust to free life. The Freedmen's Bureau attempted to provide care and greater opportunity for newly freed African Americans. Some of the efforts of the Freedmen's Bureau included providing medical care for former slaves, as well as providing education for former slaves. As slaves, many African Americans did not receive proper medical care and education was forbidden. The Freedmen's Bureau undertook the task of helping to feed recently freed African Americans who were in need of food. The Freedmen's Bureau also attempted to help former slaves acquire land on which they could use their agricultural skills to establish greater independence and economic opportunity.

While the Freedmen's Bureau made many attempts to improve the situation for freed slaves, they also faced many obstacles. Many southern whites opposed the efforts of the Freedmen's Bureau and actively hindered their progress. Groups like the KKK harassed and threatened representatives of the Freedmen's Bureau. The Freedmen's Bureau eventually came to an end as it lacked funding and faced great opposition from white southerners. While many of the efforts it undertook are viewed positively, it also often noted that the longterm success of the Freedmen's Bureau was not achieved. Many of the longterm goals the Freedmen's Bureau set out to achieve were ultimately unrealized.

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The Freedmen’s Bureau did a lot for the former slaves. The main goal of the Freedmen’s Bureau was to help former slaves adjust to freedom. It is not an easy adjustment to make, especially when a person has been told what to do throughout his or her entire life.

The Freedmen’s Bureau wanted to be sure the medical needs of the former slaves were covered. It provided medical care for them. It also helped the former slaves get food and clothing. The Freedmen’s Bureau helped African-Americans set up schools. It was important for the former slaves to get an education. The Freedmen’s Bureau also helped the former slaves formalize their marriages. In some cases, the Freedmen’s Bureau helped the former slaves get land, get fair wages, and have transportation to jobs. During Reconstruction, the Freedmen’s Bureau was able to prosecute people who violated the rights of African-Americans.

The Freedmen’s Bureau played an important role in helping the former slaves adjust to freedom.

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