Topic: In 1866, the Ku Klux Klan was founded by many former confederate veterans in retaliation to their current Republican Party’s Reconstruction-era policies aimed at establishing political and economic equality for blacks. The Reconstruction era sparked by President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation clearly defined that the days of white superiority were in dissolution. Through a willful ignorance and an insecurity of what might postlude the civil rights movement, the KKK rose, using terror in pursuit of their white supremacist agenda. Nathan Bedford Forrest, a former Lieutenant general in the Civil war, became the KKK's first Grand Wizard. Now with a steady leader the klan became a persistent political party aimed at dismantling the increasingly
The victory in the Civil War in 1865 gave 4 million slaves freedom, but the Reconstruction in the south introduced a problem. For a while it was a dream that reconstruction might come true. Reconstruction was the action of rebuilding in the south. Many were hopeful that the Reconstruction may happen. There was terrorist attacks and acts of prejudice going on but who or what killed reconstruction? Although the South was an important contributor The north caused reconstruction to end.
During the Reconstruction Era, Congress passed many laws to provide equal rights to people of color. But at the local level, specifically in the South, many Democrats took the law into their own hands. They supported the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) hoping to restore the pre-Civil War social hierarchy. The texts in Going to the Source illustrate two groups of individuals who opposed the KKK. In testimonies given by white witnesses, Republicans from the North felt the KKK posed a political and social danger in the South, but did not feel intimidated. The testimonies given by black witnesses were people who had experience of the Klan’s violence, and felt their lives were threatened. The Klan’s attacks on whites were more inclined towards social harassment, while their attacks on blacks, which consisted of voting intimidation and night rides, were violent and abusive because the KKK’s main goal was white supremacy.
To understand the Klan, then, it is necessary to understand the character and present mind of the mass of old-stock Americans. The mass, it must be remembered, as distinguished from the intellectually mongrelized "Liberals.'
There are three distinct historical interpretations of the Klan as an organization. The first historical interpretations argue that the Klan was established as an organization answering to a society in need of help with maintaining social order and law. Historians within this interpretation emphasize the playfulness and theatrical nature of the Klan which is unique to this particular historical perspective. This era of interpretation focuses very little on the violence that the Klan inflicted on Southern society, often completely eliminating its violent accounts from their historical works. The second historical interpretations argue that the Klan was established as a racially motivated political organization. Historians argued that because of the Klan’s origins as a racially motivated organization, the Klan would go on to establish political dominance and control over much of Southern society. The third and final historical interpretation argues that the Ku Klux Klan was established as a result to a struggling plantation system. Within this historical era of interpretation, Michael W. Fitzgerald describes the Klan as a non-violent enforcer that was created to control petty theft and labor riots. The establishment of the Klan as a political organization with race
In Redemption: The Last Battle of the Civil War, Nicholas Lemann describes how reconstruction failed because of the violent strategies and intimidation of white southerners to African Americans, which took place mainly in Southern states like Mississippi and Louisiana. Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation to free slaves in the south in 1863. Later on, the thirteenth amendment was ratified to abolish slavery in 1865. Even though these documents were completed, African Americans were still fighting for their rights and went through hardships to keep their rights with the help of a few leaders. White Southerners believed that racial hierarchy was the natural order and that’s the only order they will go by.
The goal of this investigation is to delve into the question of: to what extent was the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan during the 1920s a reflection of societal change? In order to assess this question from multiple perspectives on the topic, research is needed to further look into the Klan’s motives both prior to their revival as well as after. Events in the 1870s, when the Klan ended, as well as events in the 1920s, when the klan was reborn, will be considered in this investigation in order to make connections between the KKK and why their revival in the 1920s reflected societal change. Among these events include the end of Reconstruction, the Progressive Era, increase of immigration to the United States, as well as the “red scare” of communism.
Is the South truly to blame or was it the North? The United States just finished the Civil war and now they have two things to deal with one being what to do with the former slaves and what to do with the infrastructure of the south. This is known as Reconstruction. During the Civil War the North destroyed the South burning down plantations, homes, and pretty much anything they could see leaving it nothing. Reconstruction was implemented to help former slaves and the south rebuilt, however, because the North went beserk and burned down the plantations the North ended up suffering economically,however, the KKK’s terrorism didn’t help either.
Shawn Lay, from “ The Second Invisible Empire and Toward a New Historical Appraisal of the Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s”, rejects the view of the KKK as a radical fringe group comprised of marginal men and instead characterizes the KKK of the 1920s as a
The Klan included mayors, judges, sheriffs, and often common criminals. They murdered black politicians and political leaders. The men beat and murdered thousands of people. And they intimidated tens of thousands of others (The Rise and Fall of Jim crow; Jim Crow stories). The KKK vowed to defend their own white-Protestant culture against any group that seemed to be un-American. The Klansman’s Manual stated “Klansmen are to be examples of patriotism. They are to organize the patriotic sentiment of native-born white, Protestant Americans for the defense of distinctively American institutions. Klansmen are dedicated to the principle that America shall be made American through promulgation of American doctrines, the dissemination of American ideals, the creation of wholesome American sentiment, the preservation of American institutions.”. As the Klan grew power, many Southern politicians relied on their power (BBC – Higher Bitesize History).
Frustrated confederate soldiers made their way back home after losing the war that they had been fighting for four years. These men formed vigilante groups, attacking black people. While soldiers did this, wealthier men who had avoided fighting in the war formed agricultural and police clubs for the same purpose; both groups soon took shape and evolved into one large group, known as the Ku Klux Klan and Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest became the first leader, known as the Grand Wizard. The name Ku Klux Klan is derived from the Greek word, Kyklos, meaning circle. The Ku Klux Klan, often shortened to the KKK, was founded in Tennessee in 1866 and grew to be one of the most feared terrorist groups in the United States, before dying off in 1869, but later being revived in 1915 (History.com Staff). The Ku Klux Klan negatively impacted the Reconstruction period through terror, intimidating Republican voters, and killing Republican officials.
Hooded Americanism: The First Century of the Ku Klux Klan: 1865 to the Present by David Chalmers records the history of the Ku Klux Klan quite bluntly, all the way from its creation following the civil war, to the early 1960’s. The author starts the book quite strongly by discussing in detail many acts of violence and displays of hatred throughout the United States. He makes a point to show that the Klan rode robustly throughout all of the country, not just in the southern states. The first several chapters of the book focus on the Klan’s creation in 1865. He goes on to discuss the attitude of many Americans following the United State’s Civil War and how the war shaped a new nation. The bulk of the book is used to go through many of
Eight months after the Civil War, in the south the government was weak and there were no jobs available. On Christmas Eve of 1866, six confederate veterans started a social hate group in Pulaski, Tennessee. The six confederate veterans were John Lester, James Crowe, John Kennedy, Calvin Jones, Richard Reed, and Frank McCord. The group started off as just wanting to have fun and keep themselves entertained. The six founders were well educated and came from wealthy families. From their Greek knowledge, they use the word kyklos meaning circle and then added the word Klan. The Ku Klux Klan was then born. Nathan Bedford Forrest was the first leader of the Klan. He was known as the “Grand Wizard.”
North Carolina should have been the state where the KKK thrived most during the mid-1960s — Cunningham reports that in mid-1966 it had 192 Klaverns, (branches of the Ku Klux Klan), and 52.2 percent of the total Klan membership in the 10 states of the South — was a mystery to many and a source of considerable dismay to the state’s leadership, which prided itself on its nonviolent response to the challenges posed by the civil rights movement. The state had been described by V.O. Key, in his immensely influential (if now somewhat dated) “Southern Politics in State and Nation” (1949), as “energetic and ambitious” with “a reputation for progressive outlook and action in many phases of life, especially industrial development, education, and race relations,” a judgment that had been confirmed by the election in 1960 of a notably capable and progressive governor, Terry Sanford.
Members of both parties, in the Ku Klux Klan and the anti-war protests of the 1960s rebelled because they felt that they were the victims of social change and political oppression. The KKK first emerged after the South’s defeat in the Civil War and emerged rejuvenated for the third time following the civil rights