Keywords

Freedmen, Florida education, Reconstruction, Florida history, teachers, northern reformers

Abstract

As the Civil War closed and Reconstruction began, a small army of teachers arrived in Florida. Under the auspices of northern aid societies, churches, and educational associations, they proposed to educate the newly emancipated slaves, believing that education would prepare African Americans for citizenship. Teachers found Florida's freedmen determined to acquire literacy by whatever means they could, but they faced a white populace resistant to outsiders. Reformers, politicians, literate blacks, and Yankee businessmen intent on socially, politically, and economically transforming Florida joined educators in reconstructing Florida. Florida's educational system transformed during Reconstruction, and an examination of the reciprocity between Reconstruction-era teachers and Florida's freedmen provides a window into how Florida's learning community changed. Teachers exerted a profound influence on Florida's freedmen and on the development of Florida's educational system. But it was not simply a matter of outsiders transforming freedmen. While previous writers have emphasized the teachers' limitations, conservatism, or sacrifice, this study examines the complex interplay, and at times mutual dependence, between northern reformers and freedmen. Teachers partnered with Florida's black community, which was determined to seize education by whatever means available; they joined with the state's white community, struggling to come to terms with radical social changes; and they worked with Yankee strangers, who saw education of freedmen as an opportunity to transform the state politically. The reciprocal process of social change created a new politically charged educational system in Florida.

Notes

If this is your thesis or dissertation, and want to learn how to access it or for more information about readership statistics, contact us at STARS@ucf.edu

Graduation Date

2004

Semester

Fall

Advisor

Adams, Sean

Degree

Master of Arts (M.A.)

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

History

Degree Program

History

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0000199

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0000199

Language

English

Release Date

December 2004

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)

Restricted to the UCF community until December 2004; it will then be open access.

Included in

History Commons

Share

COinS