Invisible Empire of the South: The Klan Essay

Submitted By WillieGinNC
Words: 1180
Pages: 5

Paper Project: Terrorism

What is the KKK? Well, the KKK stands for the Ku Klux Klan, who are a group of white males that was founded in 1866 and was originated in the South by a group of Confederate veterans. The Ku Klux Klan happen at the same time that the second phase of the Civil War Reconstruction. This was started by there being Republicans in Congress at the time. At first it started out as a social club in Tennessee. Different branches of the Ku Klux Klan met together and formed one group called the “Invisible Empire of the South.” There was one man who was a Confederate general who took on the responsibility of being the leader of the group. His name was Nathan Bedford Forrest. He was called the “grand wizard” of the Ku Klux Klan. He was the highest ranking person in the Ku Klux Klan. He was in charge of all of the different lower positions in the Klan; which were the grand dragons, the grand titans and the cyclopses. For a brief period of time, the Klan was disbanded because of the establishment of the Jim Crow laws. The Klan had a huge revival in the 1920s when it was strongly against immigration. In 1925, the Klan marched in Washington, D.C. and was thought to of had over 5 million people supporting the cause of the Ku Klux Klan. Soon after the Klan’s power reduced dramatically because of internal battles of power and the newspapers exposés.
The members of the Ku Klux Klan were determined to have only white people in the world. All of their violence was towards all blacks and anyone who supported the equal rights idea. They wanted everyone to know that whites were the supreme race and that everyone else does not matter. There were large forms of violence throughout the United States. Most of the violence was in the south. There were countless accounts of crosses being burned in front yards of people’s houses. They were also known for staging rallies and parades disapproving of immigrants, Catholics, Jews, blacks and organized labor. The Klan dedicated most of its violence towards Republican leaders and voters, black and white, to try to flip around the policies of Radical Reconstruction and restore the image of whites being the ultimate race. The Ku Klux Klan were not the only people who felt this way. They were helped by a few other groups of people that believed that whites were superior to every other race. Two of the bigger groups that helped the Ku Klux Klan were the Knights of the White Camelia and the White Brotherhood. By 1870, the Ku Klux Klan had spread so far that almost every state in the south was part of the Klan. The members of the Klan wore masks and white robes and hoods. They usually had their attacks at night when no one was prepared for them. All of the different groups were spread out and did not have one official leader that they had to listen to in order to attack someone or a group of people. Instead, they all had leaders of their own groups that all had the same common goals; defeating the Radical Reconstruction and bringing back white supremacy. In 1870, the Republicans turned to the South for help in Congress. They passed the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871. The Ku Klux Klan Act stated that certain crimes committed by the members of the Ku Klux Klan were federal crimes. One of the most famous zones of the Klan’s activity was in South Carolina. There was a report in January of 1871 where over 500 members of the Ku Klux Klan attacked the Union county jail and lynched eight black prisoners.
The Great Depression caused the Klan’s membership to decrease and to slowly fall away until 1944 when the Ku Klux Klan was officially disbanded. Soon later, the Ku Klux Klan arose a third time in the 1960s to try and stop the civil rights movement and to try and keep the segregation in court rulings. The Ku Klux Klan suddenly had multiple reports coming in that said that the Ku Klux Klan was responsible for bombings, beatings and shootings of black and white people who supported blacks. This mad the