HIST 310—History of the United States to 1877
Module 15 Assignment—Evaluating the Efforts of the Freedmen’s Bureau
Readings/materials: Exploring American Histories, Chapter 14; Primary source packet (5 total primary sources); Video lecture presentations on Canvas; Video clips on Reconstruction (available to view on Canvas)
Click here to view or download the primary source packet (it is also available elsewhere on Canvas).
Assignment objective: Using available primary and secondary source information about the period of Reconstruction in the United States (1863-1877), answer the two following sets questions with your own fact-based interpretations.
Instructions: Review the material in Module 15 and Chapter 14 of the textbook that specifically addresses the goals of the Freedmen’s Bureau during Reconstruction. Also, make sure that you understand how to read and use primary and secondary sources in history. Finally, you will need to read and review all the primary sources on Reconstruction to find specific and relevant information that will help you respond to the questions below.
Questions for response:
Choose one of the primary responsibilities or goals of the Freedmen’s Bureau and explain in a few complete sentences why you believe it was especially important to accomplish that goal. How would the achievement of that goal help newly freed African Americans become successful and truly free?
Next, read and review the primary sources and choose at least one of the sources that you think directly addresses the goal you wrote about in your first response. If you think there is more than one source with useful information about the goal you chose, then please write about as many as you like. Using specific details from the sources, write a few complete sentences that show how the sources discuss that goal.
Find at least two specific pieces of information in each of the sources you picked to respond to the following question: Did the Freedmen’s Bureau achieve its stated goal or fail to achieve that goal? Again, please write a response in complete sentences that discusses the information that found.
Based on your understanding of the documents, respond to this last question: Did the Freedmen’s Bureau’s efforts and programs have any effect on the overall goal of supporting the needs of African Americans as they gained their freedom and citizenship? Your response should not stop with a “yes, it had an effect” or “no, it did not have an effect” type of response, but should use factual information from the primary and secondary historical sources you have read to explain why you reached that conclusion.
Completing and submitting your work for credit
You will use the primary source documents in the packet distributed in class (and available on Canvas) along with information presented in lecture, videos, and the course textbook to develop your individual responses to the assigned questions. There will be a class discussion as well to enable students to consult each other about their ideas.
IMPORTANT: You must discuss at least one of the sources in the primary source packet in your responses. If you do not write about from a primary source in your assignment, you will not receive full credit.
All responses must be in the form of complete sentences. Please proof read your work for errors in grammar, sentence structure, spelling, and punctuation.
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