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The Ku Klux Klan 2 Essay, Research Paper

The Ku Klux Klan The KU KLUX KLAN is a group of white

secret societies who oppose the advancement of blacks, Jews, Gays and

other Minority groups. The Ku KLux Klan also known as the KKK or the

Klan, Is active in The United States of America and Canada. It often

uses violence to achieve its goal in society. The KKK members wear robes

and hoods, and burn crosses at their outdoor meetings. They will also

burn crosses to scare non-members. The KKK was formed as a social club

by a group of confederate army veterans in Pulaski, Tenn., in 1866, but

still goes on today. A former confederate general , was the first Klan

Leader , called the Grand Wizard. The group took its name from the Greek

word kyklos, meaning circle, and the English word clan. Klan members,

who believed in the superiority of whites, soon began to terrorize

blacks to keep them from voting or exercising the other rights they had

gained during Reconstruction, the period following the end of the

American Civil War in 1865. The Klan threatened, beat, and murdered many

blacks in the South. To hide their identity, Klan terrorists wore robes

and hoods, draped sheets over their horses, and rode at night. The KKK

spread rapidly throughout the Southern United States and became known #

as the Invisible Empire. Its attacks helped drive blacks out of Southern

political life. In 1871, Congress passed the Force Bill, which gave the

President the authority to use federal troops against the Klan. The KKK

soon disappeared. They then returned to Society in the early 1900’s. In

1915, William J. Simmons, a former Methodist clergyman, organized a new

Klan in Atlanta, Ga., as a patriotic, society. The Klan directed its

activities against groups it considered un-American, including blacks,

immigrants, Jews, and particularly Roman Catholics. The KKK grew rapidly

and by the mid-1920’s had more than 2 million members throughout the

country. The Invisible Empire of the 1920’s was neither centered in the

southern and rural areas, and wasn’t all about white supremacists,

violence. It was lead by an Atlanta fraternal organizer and first gained

popularity on the national scene in the wild years after the end of

World War I. The Ku Klux Klan then presented themselves as the defender

of Americanism and the savior of Christian ideals. It received a charter

in 1916 as a “patriotic secret, social , benevolent order,” but found

many occasions to abuse Catholicism, integration, Judaism, immigration,

and internationalism as threats to traditional American values.

Enrolling over two million members between 1920 and 1926, the Klan

commanded almost as much support as organized labor and was described

with great accuracy by journalist Stanley Frost as “the most vigorous,

active, and # effective force in American life outside business.” The

first nationwide notice of the Ku Klux Klan came in the fall of 1921. On

September 6, after months of research by Rowland Thomas, the New York

World began a three-week exposure of the secret order, with great

concern on its more violent aspects. Carried by eighteen leading

newspapers, the articles documented Klan purposes ideals, and practices.

The World estimated its combined strength in forty-five states as five

hundred thousand and, on September 19, 1921, it listed 152 separate

outrages connected to the Invisible Empire, including four murders,

forty-one floggings and twenty-seven tar-and-feather parties. White

supremacy was a basic part of the Klan in the South, but urban klan

members took up the club even more violently towards the Roman

Catholics. In 1922, the Klan attempted to intimidate the Atlanta Board

of Education into dismissing Catholics from teaching assignments and

threatened the lives of board members. Local employers were urged to

fire Catholic workers, while merchants with ” Roman” sympathies were

boycotted. Even the city council was infected with the fever, passing in

September 1921, a resolution denouncing the Knights of Columbus as an

un-American order. Some Klan members burned crosses and whipped,

tortured, and murdered people whose activities angered them, but most

relied on peaceful means. By electing public officials, the Klan became

a powerful # political force throughout the South and also in many

Northern and Western states, including Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, Maine,

Ohio, and Oregon. However, public outbursts of Klan violence and

conflicts among Klan leaders weakened the organization. During the Great

Depression of the 1930’s, the Klan’s membership dropped dramatically,

and after a federal suit for income tax delinquency in 1944, the Klan

went bankrupt. However, in the mid-1960s, as civil rights workers

attempted to promote compliance with the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the

Klan briefly revived once again. It faded rapidly after President Lyndon

Johnson denounced the organization in 1965. Beginning in the mid-1970’s,

new leaders tried to give a more respectable image to competing Klan

groups. Some accepted women as members and set up youth groups. The KKK

especially appealed to whites who hated special programs designed to

help blacks and job competition from blacks and recent immigrants. Also

in the 1970’s, it largely abandoned its dislike towards Roman Catholics.

Klan membership rose to about 10,000 by 1980. The KKK still attracted

people with extreme views who often used violence. In 1979, Klan members

and their supporters killed five anti-Klan demonstrators in Greensboro,

N.C. Klan members murdered a black youth in Mobile, Ala., in 1981. Since

then, declining interest in the Klan and some prosecutions for illegal

activities have reduced KKK membership to about 6,000. # The Ideals of

the Ku Klux Klan: 1.The White Race is the irreplaceable hub of the

nation, the Christian faith, and the high levels of Western Culture and

technology. 2.America should come first before any foreign or alien

influence of interest. 3.The Constitution, as originally written and

intended, is the finest system of government ever conceived by man.

4.There should be an end to high-finance. 5.Americans have a right to

practice their Christian faith-including prayer in schools. 6.The family

unit, is one of the most important ingredients in the preservation of

White Christian civilization


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