Political Violence During Reconstruction Hyde Summary

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In the article, “Political Violence During Reconstruction,” Samuel C. Hyde, Jr. meticulously examines racially based threats and violence that take place after the Civil War. The Ku Klux Klan and the Knights of the White Camellia are the focal points of Hyde’s article. These groups’ main objective was to maintain the power in the South with the planter elite. The planter elite was entirely comprised of wealthy white men. This is no surprise because during this time period, one only had power if he was white, wealthy and a man. The poor people were taken advantage of by the planter elite. The peculiar part here is that the poor people helped the wealthy white people stay rich, rather than help themselves. This happened mainly because of the planter elite; they manipulated the poor people into helping them. The poor people were coerced into helping the planter elite with two incentives: to become wealthy and to have a stronger…show more content…
Examples of how Hyde states this are, “The membership of the White Camellia represented the best elements of white society. Most of their leaders... the emerging business and professional class... former state senators and Washington Parish patriarch Hardy Richardson, exemplified the old elite’s commitment to the movement,” (Hyde, Jr. 12). Hyde shows how most of the leaders were high power people. They were senators, businessmen, and priests; all powerful and/or wealthy. These are definitely recurring themes: wealth and power. The White Camellia could quite easily manipulate the poor because of their leaders’ social and economic statuses. Occasionally, when their power did not help them with manipulation, the White Camellia, as well as the Ku Klux Klan, used violence did force the poor people into helping them, the planter elite. They would hang the poor and lynch them in other ways in order to force them into helping the planter elite gain

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