How Far Do You Agree with the View That in the 1920’s the Kkk Possessed Neither Sizable Support nor Significant Influence?

2042 Words Jan 21st, 2013 9 Pages
How far do you agree with the view that in the 1920’s the KKK possessed neither sizable support nor significant influence?

The 1920’s marked a period of great racial tension throughout American Society, with the period often regarded as a melting pot due to such strains and tensions. The immigration of new, non-protestant immigrants such as Catholics and Jews since the turn of the century had brought about large scale unease due to the sheer number of immigrants. Combined with Mexicans, Orientals as well as a rapidly growing black population, these minority groups were to suffer at the hands of those concerned with the values of White, Anglo-Saxon Protestants, with these values playing a fundamental role in the American way of life.
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Throughout the 1920′s the Klan’s membership saw an increase, estimates at the time ranged from 3-5 million and profits rolled in from the sale these memberships, regalia, costumes and rituals. The Ku Klux Klan used intimidation, threats, beating and even murder in their quest for a “purified America”, thus appealing to many Americans due to their proactive approach, which had not been mirrored by that of the republican government during the period. An example of such influence is the alleged election of governors in Maine, Colorado and Louisiana who had KKK support.

Additionally, the Klan arguably aimed to defend the American way, reflecting fear amongst many Americans who feared the emergence of more radical, especially socialist ideas, which had spread from Eastern Europe due to the influx of immigrants during the early 20th Century. The Red Scare is a key proponent of this fear, thus providing the perfect breeding ground for bigotry. Many Americans had either witnessed, or heard of the Bolshevik Russia, which was ultimate seen as a threat to the capitalist society america has formed upon. In 1919 there were 3,600 strikes involving over 400,000 workers, possibly highlighting a feeling of tension and fear amongst a considerable proportion of the population. Ultimately, this scare has proved that the KKK was a defender of such ideology, considerably suggesting that
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