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Why Was the Freedmen’s Bureau Established?


The Freedmen’s Bureau was a federal agency established on March 3, 1865 just before the end of the Civil War, during the Reconstruction Era.  The Freedmen’s Bureau was established to help and protect emancipated slaves (freedmen) during their transition from a life of slavery to a life of freedom. Some 4 million slaves gained their freedom as a result of the Union victory in the war, which left many communities in ruins and destroyed the South’s plantation-based economy.  Former slaves needed help transitioning from being owned by another person to developing the skills needed to start life on their own.

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