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Ku Klux Klan Essay

1914 words - 8 pages

Ku Klux Klan

The Ku Klux Klan, or "KKK" as we all know today, was created in the spring of 1866. Six Confederate veterans who formed a social club in Pulaski, Tennessee founded it. This version of the "KKK" only lasted for six years, but it left enough tactics and rituals to last a lifetime. These rituals and tactics would be used in following generations of "KKK"-goers. (Ingalls, 9) The Klan, at first, was a very small group and kept everything in secrecy. The exact date the Klan began is ambiguous. Even though the Klan was in to this secrecy bit, the six "KKK" members initiated new members into their social club. (Ingalls, 9) A year after the creation of the Ku Klux Klan, the onetime social club joined the campaign against the Republican reconstruction. The Klan was now planning and organizing their platform and was ready to expand to a larger group.
The Klan adopted a prescript. This was an organizational structure permitting the Klan to spread throughout the south. New members had to be over 18 years of age, pay $1.00, and then are sworn to secrecy. Recruits also pledged to "protect the weak, the innocent, and the defenseless, from the indignities, wrongs, and outrages of the lawless, the violent, and the brutal." The highly centralized plan for expanding the "KKK" spread so rapidly that most chapters operated alone. The founders of the Ku Klux Klan lost control, and it became impossible in meetings to talk about a single chapter or operation of the "KKK". Yet Klan activities still followed a common pattern throughout the south. (Ingalls 11-12) The Klan now began their "infestation" into Tennessee. At first the Klan used tricks and tactics to keep blacks "in their place". Klan would ride around on horses, with their white robes, and white pointed hoods and tried to scare blacks. They would try to act like ghosts with their white uniforms. Unfortunately, the Klan quickly moved to more violent pranks. (Ingalls, 12) The Klan would now taunt and meddle with blacks. The Klan leaders proved unable to control their followers. It had gotten out of control and the "KKK" had become too large and spread out.
Although the violence was often promiscuous, there was a method to all of the madness. The victims were almost always black, or if white, associated with the hatred of the Republican Party. The Klan had fear of black equality and sparked attacks on schools setup for freed slaves. The Klan would warn the blacks not to attend school, and would scare the teachers out of town. (Ingalls, 12-13) Many groups started forming around the south. They were often called Ku Kluxers. The Klan was being noticed as "The Invisible Empire". Klan's of all sorts were being formed left and right yet they all formed just as the Tennessee Klan did. They were the basis and foundation for the whole "fad". The Klan became the greatest terror in 1868, when their attacks were against Republicans and elect Democrats. Thousands of blacks and whites fell victim to the...

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