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Ku Klux Klan Essay

1921 words - 8 pages

The Ku Klux Klan was assembled in the south after their loosing the civil war, and was originally just a social group, but it grew to be an anti-black terrorist group and greatly increased racism in the south. The Klan was assembled, grew to a large number, and gained great leadership, but the leadership lost control and violence broke out. Blacks and black sympathizers feared the men in white hoods. The Klan did eventually lose power and fade away. In 1866 the south has lost the war and is in the emits of reconstruction. In Pulaski Tennessee population 6,610, a group of men started a social group (O'Brien 226). The group of men where made six different men Calvin Jones, Frank McCord, Richard Reed, John Kennedy, John Lester, and James Crowe (Randel 5). These men where all educated men (Newton VII). These six men where veteran officers of the confederate army (Gossett 82). Another thing these men had in common is that they where Scottish-Irish (Newton VII). What they looked upon as a social club soon developed. They gave the club a name. The name was Ku Klux from the Greek word kuklos which means circle (O'Brien 226). Klan was later added by one of the members. It was much like a fraternity of a college: group of boys, fond of each others company, giving permanent friendship along with some admixture of mystery and exclusiveness (Randel 6). At the beginning, the Klan stood primarily for the purity and preservation of the home and for the protection of the women and children, especially the widows and orphans of the confederate soldiers (Randel 8).With the growth of the Klan the racism and prejudice in the Klan began to grow. Violence started to break. "The worlds oldest and most persistent terrorist organization began to grow" (Newton VII). It was the first of its kind and its place of origin was the southern United States of America. Somewhere in Tennessee Klansmen started to dress as ghosts to scare the superstitious blacks (Newton VIII). White, the emblem of purity was chosen for the robes. The conspicuous red emblem of the blood which the Klansmen where ready to shed (Randel 8). Other tricks they pulled on the superstitious blacks was while dressed up to try to shake hands with a black and extend a skeleton hand (Randel 9). It was tricks like this that the Klan did on there raids at night in the beginning. In the south other similar societies began to spring up. For example, The Knights of White Camellia, was one of the similar groups (O'Brien 227). They were all basically the same had the same principals and goals. With the spread of these Klans there roots dug deeper and deeper in the south. It spread to all of the southern states. The number of members climbed to near a half million in the 1870's (Newton VIII). Before any real structure of leadership was organized within the Klan orders where given from mainly gentry attorneys, planters, veterans of the confederate army, and...

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