The Freedmans Bureau
The Freedmans Bureau was set up after the Civil War even though it went against three main traditional values of the time. The first being limited government, which mean that the government could and could not do certain things. It also was the basis for the idea of the governments power being limited. The second was sanctity of private property. At this time you made your own money to buy land and it was your land that no one could take away from you. The government did not give handouts. The last was self-help, which meant that if you had problems, and then you and only you solved them. It also made the people question welfare, unemployment, and government aid, and their simple solution was not to have it.
The bureau however had its success and failures contrary to these fundamental ideas. One of the main successes was the education program that the bureau set up. By 1870 there were over 150,000 African Americans enrolled in these schools. Many of the schools set up still stand and educate many today even. Three of the main failures of the bureau came about because of the hatred in the south, and the anti-black attitude. The first being the land that was supposed to be given to the freed men after the civil war, never happened because the land was given back to the plantation owners. The second was the labor contracts, they began as a good idea, but the contracts were often unfair. They were set up to determine wages, clothing, and medical care, often it was made to be worse than slavery was. The final unsuccessful part was the judicial system of the bureau. Over time it became rather unfair and was the main cause for the labor contracts to be so harsh. The other blame of the failure can be linked to the attitude of southerners.
The southerners did not see blacks as equals. They would fight to the end to keep the blacks lower than them. The measures they took could sometimes be as extreme as burning down their houses if they went to school, or public lynching on the town square. This brought about one of the main hatred groups of that time that has lasted throughout our history. The Klu Klux Klan. The Freedmans bureau however was the basis for a modern government with equal rights to all the citizens and not just the white males.