Guiding Question: To what extent did Founding principles of liberty, equality, and justice become a reality for African Americans from Reconstruction to the end of the nineteenth century?
- I can interpret primary sources related to Founding principles of liberty, equality, and justice from the colonial era to the outbreak of the Civil War.
- I can explain how laws and policy, courts, and individuals and groups contributed to or pushed back against the quest to end slavery.
- I can create an argument using evidence from primary sources.
- I can analyze issues in history to help find solutions to present-day challenges.
Many individuals also took aim at the Freedmen’s Bureau, attacking its perceived wastefulness and the purpose of its programs. Particular attention was paid to its goals of integrating African Americans into society. The level of hostility is evident in the 1866 political cartoon below.
Attacking the Freedmen’s Bureau poster, 1866
A poster from 1866 attacking the Freedmen’s Bureau
Comprehension and Analysis Questions
- The caricatured African American figure in this cartoon is meant to represent African Americans in general under the Freedmen’s Bureau. What does the cartoonist want the reader to believe about African American life?
- There are white figures in the foreground and background on the left side of the cartoon. What are they portrayed as doing?
- How does the cartoonist want the reader to connect the images of the white men on the left with the African American figure at the center of the cartoon?
- Why would white supremacists push this stereotype in the media?