Downfall of the Ku Klux Klan Essay

Submitted By FrancesRicaza1
Words: 2533
Pages: 11

Founded around the late 1860s, the Ku Klux Klan was an organization that was created by a few Confederate veterans as a social club in a small town in Tennessee. The Klan began its second phase of post- Civil War Reconstruction which was placed by the more radical Republican Party in the Congress. Under the provision of the Reconstruction Act, the South was divided into five different military districts which involved each state having to approve the 14th Amendment provided that there will be “equal protection” of the Constitution to former slaves and enacted universal male suffrage. The formation of the Klan was all in all due to the fact that the black people in the South started gaining equal if not more rights than the white Southerners causing them to feel threatened which then led to them creating a society for whites to enforce their supremacy by eliminating all the other races such as the blacks and to provide opportunities for many other white citizens. After the Civil War, the Klansmen did not produce a lot of violence, but soon enough they realized that their hooded organization can be used to wage a secret war against the Yankee governments of Reconstruction. At wars end, southern state legislatures passed laws to maintain white superiority. “These laws known as the Black Codes severely curtail the newly freed slaves Civil Rights and in fact returning them to state of bondage and making them second class citizens” (107). In response, angry congressional Republicans passed the Reconstruction Act of 1867 which was a strict set of laws temporarily abolished Southern state governments divided the south into military districts and gave blacks the right to vote. The defeated South again felt invaded by the Northern authorities which meant that the white supremacy felt threatened. As the Klan spread throughout the rest of the Southern states after the Reconstruction Act was formed, they started enforcing a lot more violence so that they can threaten the blacks and keep them out of the voting polls. In the 1920s, many Americans and Klan members felt invaded as the number of immigrants and Catholics increased, they felt that America was no longer the America they knew therefore they had to take action in order to restore the old America to its original glory. “American institutional racism” (84) increased by this point in time because of the idea that has been brought to the people’s attention. The Klansmen along with the other citizens in the nation felt that it was unfair for the newly immigrated citizens to come into their nation and take away the opportunities that belonged to them. This belief of injustice urged many of the Klan members to feel the need to attack the immigrants, mainly Jews, Catholics and blacks. In order to accomplish their goal of regaining control within their society, the remainder of the Ku Klux Klan members decided to start recruiting many more citizens by promising them an acceptance into the exclusive brotherhood, protection and the ability to take on a high rank in the organization which allows them to lead the men into their future battles. As the Ku Klux Klan expanded, they were becoming known as the “southern agricultural environment that communicated primarily through institutionalized symbols of violence, force, privilege, and patronage” (84). The Ku Klux Klan’s attempt to preserve the white superiority within the nation has worked because they managed to keep the blacks from voting and also they were able to recruit even the highest members of certain organization such as the churches.
After all this, the Ku Klux Klan also found time to start going up against religion in addition to their hatred towards other races which enraged many people causing them to rebel against the Klan for disrespecting them. In an article titled The Ku Klux Klan: Reasons for Support or Opposition Among White Respondents, the author states that the Klan “attempted to light two crosses