Ku Klux Klan and Current Klan Organizations Essay

Submitted By hihi00
Words: 1086
Pages: 5

The Ku Klux Klan (KKK), or just the Klan, is the name of three distinct movements in the United States. They first played a violent role against African Americans in the South during the Reconstruction Era of the 1860s. The second was a very large controversial nationwide organization in the 1920s. The current manifestation consists of numerous small unconnected groups that use the KKK name. They have all emphasized secrecy and distinctive costumes, and all have called for purification of American society, and all are considered right-wing.[7][8]

The current manifestation is classified as a hate group by the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center.[9] It is estimated to have between 5,000 and 8,000 members as of 2012.[3]

The first Ku Klux Klan flourished in the Southern United States in the late 1860s, then died out by the early 1870s. Members made their own white costumes: robes, masks, and conical hats, designed to be outlandish and terrifying, and to hide their identities.[10] The second KKK flourished nationwide in the early and mid-1920s, and adopted a standard white costume (sales of which together with initiation fees financed the movement) and code words as the first Klan, while adding cross burnings and mass parades.[11] The third KKK emerged after World War II and was associated with opposing the Civil Rights Movement and progress among minorities. The second and third incarnations of the Ku Klux Klan made frequent reference to the USA's "Anglo-Saxon" blood, harking back to 19th-century nativism.[12] Though most members of the KKK saw themselves as holding to American values and Christian morality, virtually every Christian denomination officially denounced the Ku Klux Klan.[13]

Contents [hide]
1 Overview: Three Klans
1.1 First KKK
1.2 Second KKK
1.3 Third KKK
2 First Klan: 1865–1874
2.1 Creation and naming
2.2 Activities
2.3 Resistance
2.4 Decline and replacement by other groups
3 Second Klan: 1915–1944
3.1 Refounding in 1915
3.1.1 The Birth of a Nation
3.2 Social factors
3.3 Activities
3.3.1 Prohibition
3.4 Urbanization
3.5 The burning cross
3.6 Education
3.7 Women
3.8 Political role
3.9 Resistance and decline
3.9.1 Labor and anti-unionism
3.10 Historiography of the second Klan
3.10.1 Elitist interpretations
3.10.2 New social history interpretations
3.10.3 Indiana and Alabama
4 Later Klans: 1950–1960s
4.1 Resistance
5 Contemporary Klan: 1970s–present
5.1 Altercation with Communist Workers Party
5.2 Jerry Thompson infiltration
5.3 Tennessee shooting
5.4 Michael Donald lynching
5.5 Neo-Nazi alliances and Stormfront
5.6 Current developments
5.7 Current Klan organizations
5.8 Other countries
6 Titles and vocabulary
7 Popular culture
8 See also
9 References
9.1 Sources
10 Further reading
11 External links
Overview: Three Klans
First KKK
The first Klan was founded in 1865 in Pulaski, Tennessee, by six veterans of the Confederate Army.[14] The name is probably derived from the Greek word kuklos (κύκλος) which means circle, suggesting a circle or band of brothers.[15]

Although there was little organizational structure above the local level, similar groups rose across the South and adopted the same name and methods.[16] Klan groups spread throughout the South as an insurgent movement during the Reconstruction era in the United States. As a secret vigilante group, the Klan targeted freedmen and their allies; it sought to restore white supremacy by threats and violence, including murder, against black and white Republicans. In 1870 and 1871, the federal government passed the Force Acts, which were used to prosecute Klan crimes.[17] Prosecution of Klan crimes and enforcement of the Force Acts suppressed Klan activity. In 1874 and later, newly organized and openly active paramilitary organizations, such as the White League and the Red Shirts, started a fresh round of violence aimed at suppressing blacks' voting and running Republicans out of