The Freedmen's Bureau: Success or Failure?

New Review

What is freedom? The United States grappled with the question at the end of the Civil War after four million enslaved people were freed. Using circulars and images from the Reconstruction period, individuals examine how successful the Freedmen's Bureau was in upholding rights for the newly freed African Americans. 

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Instructional Ideas
  • Use a graphic organizer to examine Reconstruction laws related to the Freedmen's Bureau
Classroom Considerations
  • Pupils need background on the end of the Civil War
  • Lesson notes that transparencies should be made, but they can be converted to PowerPoint or other formats
  • Written assessment allows for synthesis and analysis of historical documents
  • Background essay is helpful
  • Lesson skirts around the violence of the Reconstruction period by focusing on paternalism
  • Resource focuses on whites in Reconstruction rather than the agency of African Americans