Sand asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 8 years ago

The main purpose of the Freedmen's Bureau was to?

The main purpose of the Freedmen's Bureau was to

a. oversee relations between former masters and slaves.

b. implement the process of land redistribution.

c. deny access to legal redress for white southerners.

d. punish former slave holders.

e. get the Fourteenth Amendment passed.

3 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I would have say that the answer to this question is this: a. oversee relations between former masters and slaves.

    In 1865, the main purpose of the Freedmen's Bureau was to provide emergency food, housing, and medical aid to black and white refugees in the war-ravaged South. It also helped reunite families divided by slave sales. By late 1865, the Bureau focused its work on helping the Freedmen (freed slaves) adjust to new conditions. Its main job was setting up work opportunities and supervising labor contracts. In effect, the Bureau soon became a military court that handled legal issues regarding the Freedmen. By 1866, it was providing a base for political mobilization; many officials became carpetbaggers and as Republican activists entered southern politics. Conservative whites resented the Bureau, which became a major issue in the election of 1866. The Radical Republicans won that election and blocked efforts of President Johnson to abolish the agency.

    Most agents were northern white army veterans. George T. Ruby, a northerner who served first with the Louisiana's Army and moved to Texas in 1866, was one of only a handful of American black agents. Ruby's organizational experience and travels throughout Texas gave him the necessary skills to later become one of only two blacks to serve in the Texas legislature during Reconstruction (Crouch).

    Regarding the overall administration, one historian concluded that Howard had a "loose way of interpreting the law to fit his needs....He frequently was too ready to follow the spirit rather than the letter of the law" (Carpenter). Howard's loose interpretation of the legislation creating the Bureau allowed it to help blacks in many creative ways. For example, in spending five million dollars for schools between 1865 and 1871, Howard used money that was supposed to go for repairs toward construction of new school buildings; money allocated for rent was used to pay teachers. Bureau agents sometimes falsely suggested to Freedmen that the plantation lands of their former owners would be divided up and given to them if they voted Republican.

    At the state level, Bureau officials strived to be fair to both freedmen and employers. Although some of their subordinate agents were unscrupulous or incompetent, the majority of local Bureau agents were hindered in carrying out their duties by the opposition of anti-black elements (which included the KKK and radical liberal Democrats), the lack of a military presence to enforce their authority, and an excessive amount of paperwork (Cimbala).

    Source(s): Carpenter, John. "Sword and Olive Branch: Oliver Otis Howard." 2nd ed. Bronx: Fordham University P, 1999. Print. Cimbala, Paul. "On the Front Line of Freedom: Freedmen's Bureau Officers and Agents in Reconstruction Georgia, 1865-1868." Georgia Historical Quarterly 76 (1993): 577-611. Print. Crouch, Barry. "The Freedmen's Bureau and Black Texans." Austin: U of Texas P, 1992. Print.
  • 4 years ago

    The freedman's beureau became into customary by congress for the time of the reconstruction to help former slaves and undesirable whites in the south. They presented nutrients, clothing, look after, and education installation greater beneficial than 40 hospitals, around 4,000 colleges, sixty one commercial institutes, and seventy 4 instructor-education centers. Enrollment of 5-19 365 days previous blacks and minorities in the previous the civil war became into under 5% by 1880 partly because of the artwork of the freedman's bureau over 30% of blacks and different minorities have been enrolled as damaging to approximately 60% of whites on the time.

  • 8 years ago


Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.