Ku Klux Klan - Research Paper Example

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Professor: Module: Ku Klux Klan Ku Klux Klan or simply the KKK is a group which this paper will concentrate on. Its history dates back in 1865 when it was formed by Confederate Army in Tennessee. The KKK borrowed its name from a Greek word kuklos which essentially means a circle therefore a circle of brothers…
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Download file to see previous pages The group had become a harbor for extremists who championed for white supremacy. The group is in essence comprised of three Klans on historical basis the first starting from 1865 to 1874, second from 1915-1944 and later Klans from 1950s to present. The group is one of the most famous not only in the United States but the whole world as it has transcended the test of time since its inception despite the many attempts, legal and otherwise, to try and extinguish its presence and influence. KKK - 1865 - 1874 KKK at this time did not have a definite structure as an organization most likely due to the nature of its objectives. There was however other groups existing at the same time i.e. 1865 especially in the Southern United States which took up the same name KKK as well as mannerisms (McVeigh 263). This is one of the first ways in which it spread. The Klan members acted as vigilantes whereby they murdered mostly radical republicans irrespective of whether they were black or white. They wore masks and robes to hide their identities and usually ambushed their targets at night. This group was formed almost immediately after the Civil War whereby the veterans were against the changed society where people from different races had acquired some freedom seemingly undermining white supremacy. Many states after the Civil War experienced long periods of lawlessness which fuelled their efforts to use violence with impunity against black people. They later turned to Republicans and their ideologies claiming they were pro-blacks. They claimed that African Americans were largely voting for Republicans consequently trying to curtail their rights to vote, education and economic wellbeing. The group went as far as assassinating a congressman, J. M. Hinds and members of the legislature who were Republicans. Roughly 2,000 people were reported dead in Louisiana in 1968 just before the elections which followed a boycott by Republicans from voting in Fall of that year (Parker 63). The same actions were happening in other southern states leaving hundreds dead in the woods and thousands injured. By 1871, Acts had been passed that made it possible to prosecute the group’s crimes. In 1974 Klan groups reformed targeting Republicans by removing them from office through violence and intimidation. These actions were largely attributed to the landslide victory by Democrats in the South back in 1877 (78). KKK - 1915-1944 This Klan rekindled the ones that had died four decades earlier. The origin was in Georgia where its functions were largely concentrated. However, as time went by new recruits joined across the nation and the group leaders notably William Simmons realized the potential they had and immediately started fresh recruitment drives all over United States (Dray 113). This was a time of prosperity in the country and they found it easy to gain many affluent members. Apart from being heavily racist KKK had messages that were anti-Catholicism. They also preached against communism and Semitism. The group increasingly became violent towards these groups or people affiliated to them regardless of their race. This KKK had a definite structure at both national and state levels and by 1925 the group widely publicized claims that its membership comprised of more than 15 percent of the total US population. These claims were however refuted as they had no scientific or factual basis. They were mere ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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