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A history of the ku klux klan a racisr social club

Visit Website Did you know? At its peak in the 1920s, Klan membership exceeded 4 million people nationwide. The organization of the Ku Klux Klan coincided with the beginning of the second phase of post- Civil War Reconstructionput into place by the more radical members of the Republican Party in Congress.

  • Even the Jesse James gang, bandits who regarded themselves as Confederate loyalist guerrillas , wore Klan robes and hoods during a train robbery in 1873;
  • White Southerners from all classes of society joined the Klan's ranks;
  • The 19th-century Klan reached its peak between 1868 and 1870.

Ku Klux Klan Violence in the South From 1867 onward, African-American participation in public life in the South became one of the most radical aspects of Reconstruction, as blacks won election to southern state governments and even to the U.

For its part, the Ku Klux Klan dedicated itself to an underground campaign of violence against Republican leaders and voters both black and white in an effort to reverse the policies of Radical Reconstruction and restore white supremacy in the South.

Ku Klux Klan

They were joined in this struggle by similar organizations such as the Knights of the White Camelia launched in Louisiana in 1867 and the White Brotherhood.

At least 10 percent of the black legislators elected during the 1867-1868 constitutional conventions became victims of violence during Reconstruction, including seven who were killed. By 1870, the Ku Klux Klan had branches in nearly every southern state. Even at its height, the Klan did not boast a well-organized structure or clear leadership. Klan activity flourished particularly in the regions of the South where blacks were a minority or a small majority of the population, and was relatively limited in others.

Among the most notorious zones of Klan activity was South Carolinawhere in January 1871 500 masked men attacked the Union county jail and lynched eight black prisoners. In the regions where most Klan activity took place, local law enforcement officials either belonged to the Klan or declined to take action against it, and even those who arrested accused Klansmen found it difficult to find witnesses willing to testify against them.

After 1870, Republican state governments in the South turned to Congress for help, resulting in the passage of three Enforcement Acts, the strongest of which was the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871.

Klansville U.S.A.

For the first time, the Ku Klux Klan Act designated certain crimes committed by individuals as federal offenses, including conspiracies to deprive citizens of the right to hold office, serve on juries and enjoy the equal protection of the law. The act authorized the president to suspend the writ of habeas corpus and arrest accused individuals without charge, and to send federal forces to suppress Klan violence.

This expansion of federal authority—which Ulysses S. Grant promptly used in 1871 to crush Klan activity in South Carolina and other areas of the South—outraged Democrats and even alarmed many Republicans. From the early 1870s onward, white supremacy gradually reasserted its hold on the South as support for Reconstruction waned; by the end of 1876, the entire South was under Democratic control once again.

It was fueled by growing hostility to the surge in immigration that America experienced in the early 20th century along with fears of communist revolution akin to the Bolshevik triumph in Russia in 1917. The organization took as its symbol a burning cross and held rallies, parades and marches around the country.

  1. In 1980 "fourth era" , it stood at about 5,000.
  2. Board decision, [25] which desegregated public schools.
  3. Klan activity flourished particularly in the regions of the South where blacks were a minority or a small majority of the population, and was relatively limited in others.
  4. A potent force, it was largely responsible for the restoration of white rule in North Carolina , Tennessee, and Georgia. After Reconstruction ended, so did the original Ku Klux Klan.

The civil rights movement of the 1960s saw a surge of local Klan activity across the South, including the bombings, beatings and shootings of black and white activists. These actions, carried out in secret but apparently the work of local Klansmen, outraged the nation and helped win support for the civil rights cause. In 1965, President Lyndon Johnson delivered a speech publicly condemning the Klan and announcing the arrest of four Klansmen in connection with the murder of a white female civil rights worker in Alabama.

The cases of Klan-related violence became more isolated in the decades to come, though fragmented groups became aligned with neo-Nazi or other right-wing extremist organizations from the 1970s onward.

In the early 1990s, the Klan was estimated to have between 6,000 and 10,000 active members, mostly in the Deep South.