Freedmen in Context: Reconsidering the Role of the Freedmen’s Bureau in Reconstruction Histories
AbstractThe Freedmen's Bureau's role has been panned by historians. Following the first Reconstruction, the Freedmen's Bureau was characterized by failure. However, as we move into the second Reconstruction, historians began to debate the role the Bureau actually had. This historiography tracks the arguments relating to the Bureau over several decades and notes the trends which were used historically to characterize the successes and failures of the Bureau following the Civil War. This historiography tracks the changing identity of the Bureau from its earliest descriptions as being entirely neutral in Reconstruction, to being an oppressive figure in Reconstruction, then being a victim of racial policies, and eventually to a contextual identity that blends all previous characterizations.
Copyright (c) 2015 Courtney Walcott
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