The Ku Klux Klan - Term Paper Example

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The Ku Klux Klan The Ku Klux Klan is a racist, anti-Semitic society with a dedication to excessive violence to attain its goals of racial separation and white dominance. It first emerged in 1866 following the American Civil War and it is considered to be America’s first terrorist group…
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Download file to see previous pages According to Newton (202); however, the activities were surpassed by growing neo – Nazi organizations in the United States in the 1990s and in the early 2000s. The Ku Klux Klan was basically based in the Southern states of America where they targeted the African Americans set free after the American Civil War. The Klan had never considered the former slaves as being free and they terrorized the African Americans to maintain their supremacy as well as to express their anger at the freedoms granted to these former slaves. The root cause for their actions was that although America experienced great economic prosperity after the Civil War, not much of the wealth generated filtered to the South and it was the racism, mixed with anger at their economic plight that inspired the activities of the Ku Klux Klan. The Klan was a violent organization and they burnt the churches of the African American population, murdered, raped and castrated those who they targeted and they were rarely caught because most senior law enforcers in the South were also high ranking Klan members or were sympathetic to its aims. According to Bullard (9), the earliest branch of the Ku Klux Klan was created in Pulaski, Tennessee in 1866 and most of its leaders had been previous members of the Confederate army in the Civil War. During the next two years after its founding, they tortured and killed African – Americans and those whites who were sympathetic to them. Immigrants, who the Klan blamed for the election of radical Republicans, were also targeted and between 1868 and 1870, the Ku Klux Klan was instrumental in the restoration of white rule in the states of North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia. West (110) states that the original objective of the Ku Klux Klan was to stop the African American people from voting so that white domination of the Southern states would be maintained. After all-white governments had been established in the South, this group continued to undermine the power of African Americans by attacking successful black businessmen and by stifling any attempt to form black protection groups such as trade unions. Since the Ku Klux Klan had achieved its main objective in the Southern states, by the end of 1871, the organization had practically disappeared. In addition, after its formation, the Klan quickly became a terrorist organization in the service of the Democratic Party and white supremacists and that its main goal was to destroy Congressional Reconstruction by either murdering blacks and some whites who were in active Republican politics or educating black children Gitlin (133). They burned churches and schools and drove thousands of people out of their homes and because local law enforcement representatives were incapable or reluctant to stop them, Congress approved the Force Bill in 1871 giving the Federal government the authority to take legal action against the Klan. Dedicated prosecutors managed to win convictions and break up Klan activity and although relatively few people were punished, federal action did put an end to Klan activities, at least for a while. Maclean (23) states that the Ku Klux Klan was reorganized in 1915 by William Simmons, a preacher who had been influenced by the book The Ku Klux Klan written in 1905 by Thomas Dixon and a film version of the book, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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