Building Blocks for History Lab: Essential Question

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Building Blocks for History Lab:

Essential Question: How did Reconstruction affect people living in Florida?

Before introducing this history lab to students, they must be familiar with the general details surrounding the events leading up to European Exploration. In general students will need to understand the reasons why Christopher Columbus set to explore the new land. See below for a partial list:

  • Age of Exploration

  • Discovery of America

  • Christopher Columbus background

  • Christopher Columbus’ voyages

Name _____________________________________________ Period _____ Date _____________________

SS.4.A.5.2 Summarize challenges Floridians faced during Reconstruction.

Essential Question: How did Reconstruction affect people living in Florida?


Main Idea / Message / Important Details

How does this document answer the essential question?

Source 1

Freedman Contracts

Source 2

Constitution of 1868

Source 3
“Black Minister Gains Office”

Source 4

The Plant System

Summary Statement: __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Source 1

Freedman Contracts

A page from a contract between M. Coleman, Asa May, and

a group of freedmen, indicating the terms of employment, the

signatures of the employers, and the "X" marks of the laborers

This set of freedmen's contracts contains handwritten agreements between landowners in Jefferson County and laborers, primarily, African-Americans, who agreed to farm the land in exchange for a share of the crop and the means necessary to live and complete their work. The Freedmen's Bureau, established in 1865 by the United States government to assist former slaves through the difficulties attending the end of the Civil War, helped landowners and laborers write these contracts, and filed them in the county's records. Generally, each contract identifies the landowner or overseer, the individuals agreeing to work the land, the kind of work to be performed, the form and amount of compensation, and any additional stipulations. The level of detail in these contracts varies. In some, only the most basic conditions are explained, while in others, the employer goes so far as to specify the length of the mid-day break, the foodstuffs to be provided to the laborers, and even restrictions on foul language.

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