The Loss and the Gain of African Americans Freedom (1865-1900)

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African Americans: The Loss and Gain of Freedom(1865-1900)

The Civil War ended on April 9, 1865. The period known after the war was

called Reconstruction. During Reconstruction (also called Radical Reconstruction), the

South was in economic, political, and social trouble. In 1865 Congress established the

Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands. This became known as the

Freedmen's Bureau. It was a bureau ran by the United States Army, with several field

agents that provided medical care, food, helped black and white refugees deprived by the

war to return home, and established schools.

Goals of the African-Americans were to secure physical protection from abuse

and local terror by local whites, equal civil rights, economic independence, and political

participation. During Reconstruction African Americans were given the right to vote, the

use of hospitals, right to an education, to become part of the legal system (sheriffs,

judges, jurors, and policemen), the right to get well paying jobs, and the right to own

land. African-Americans began to cut their ties to their slave owners, go into the towns

and cities to find jobs, and find lost family members. Besides securing land, education

was one of their top priorities. With the military came people to help run the occupied

states and teachers who wanted to educate African-Americans. These people were called

carpetbaggers by hostile southern whites. Southerners that worked with carpetbaggers

were called scalawags, In time scalawags became known as "white trash."

Over 1,000 schools were built, teacher-training institutions were created, and several

black colleges were founded and some were financed with the help of the Freedmen's

Bureau. The Freedmen's Bureau had inadequate funds, was unable to discontinue most

poverty, and it failed to prevent the emergence of the Black Codes. The bureau was

later terminated in 1872. In June 1866, Congress...