The Role Of The Ku Klux Klan In U.S. Society

1697 words - 7 pages

The Role of the Ku Klux Klan in U.S. Society

Originally, the Ku Klux Klan was founded immediately after the Civil
war and lasted until the 1870’s, after which it collapsed. The Klan
was then reformed in 1915 and is still conducting till the present
day. The Activists had set up for many different reasons, the foremost
ones being, to create a business or rather as a ‘social club’, invite
members who were anti-Civil war and of course to restore white
supremacy after their defeat in the Civil war. The Ku Klux Klan had
become immense in its time, but how immense was this immensity?

The Klan’s first branch in the 19th century was initially organised as
a social club by Confederate veterans in Pulaski, Tennessee. Their
main objective was to prevent African Americans from voting, through
intimidation and violence. During the next two years Klansmen wearing
masks, white cardboard hats and draped in white sheets, designed to
frighten superstitious blacks and to prevent identification by the
occupying federal troops- whipped, tortured and killed African
Americans and sympathetic whites in night time raids. Successful black
businessmen were attacked and any attempt to form black protection
groups such as trade unions was quickly dealt with by the Ku Klux
Klan. The Klan reached its peak between 1868 and 1870. A ‘potent
force’, it was largely responsible for the restoration of white rule
in the Deep south or otherwise had come to know as the “Invisible
Empire of the South” after the Civil war.

The organisation had become so large a ‘Grand Wizard’ was chosen to
take control of its establishment, which was followed by a descending
hierarchy of grand dragons, grand titans, and grand Cyclopes,
respectively. The Klan reached its peak by 1870 and as a result the
Klan’s excessive violence increased. The Government ordered it’s
disbanded which prompted them to pass the Force Act in 1870 followed
by the Ku Klux Act in ‘71. However in 1882, the Supreme Court declared
the Ku Klux Act was unconstitutional, but by that time the Klan had
practically disappeared seeing that its original objective—the
restoration of white supremacy throughout the South—had been largely
achieved during the 1870s. This illustrates how the Ku Klux Klan had
much support from its fellow white citizens, especially in the Deep
South and southern west of the country. It was successful, popular and
“‘in fashion’” but extremely dangerous.

A near half a century had passed on, till the Ku Klux Klan had found
its roots again. It was re-organised by two female Marketing experts,
Edgar Clarke and Elizabeth Tyler. The Klan was once revived again, by
not only to continue on its old traditions, to victimise the Blacks
but partly by patriotism and partly because of nostalgia for the ‘old
South’. More importantly, it was a response or...

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