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Republicans! Unfavorable Acts Caused The Rise Of The Ku Klux Klan

947 words - 4 pages

REPUBLICANS! UNFAVORABLE ACTSCAUSED THE RISE OF THE KU KLUX KLANThe years after the civil war were frustrating times forthe Americans. New laws and rules were posted for whichto abide by and due to the outcome of the civil war, thepeople from the south had now to accept the new slaverylaws issued by the political parties and congress. Thiscreated turmoil amongst both northerners, who mostly wereagainst slavery, and southerners. This was also true forboth political parties that consisted of the Republicans andthe Democratics. Again the issue was always on the rightsof blacks. The battles with certain individuals who felt ittheir duty to stand up for their idea of what the Americanway was.In 1866, just a year after the civil war, sixconfederate veterans formed a social club in the small townof Pulaski Tennessee. These men were set out to perpetuatewhite supremacy through out the south. The social clubbecame official. The members came up with the name ofKu Klux Klan. It was a name taken from the Greek word'Kuklos' which means circle. They came up with ritualscopied from college fraternities. They also assignedpositions to special members. They were composed of theGrand Cyclop, The President, the Grand Magi, the vice-president, and the Grand Exchequer, the treasurer. TheKlansmen adopt a uniform. The uniforms were white, longrobes, White masks, And high pointed hats. ( Ingalls,Hoods 3 )Adopted during 1866-67, the Republican party'sReconstruction program threatened to turn southern societyupside down. The promise of equal rights for blacks flew inthe face of the widely held opinion of the white Southernersthat the black race was innately inferior. This deep-seatedracist belief had served to justify slavery, and it remained amajor obstacle to uplifting blacks after the civil war.Indeed, Antiblack hatred drove some whites to extrememeasures to resist Reconstruction.( Ingalls, Hoods 6 )The Republicans feared that barrings theblacks from politics would make theDemocratics Party dominant again in the southand in congress. Congress divided the south intofive military districts controlled by martial law.It took the vote away from large numbers ofrebel whites. It declared that all black men couldvote and hold office. And it ordered the rebelstates to write new and democratic constitutions.Since Tennessee had become the first southernstate to give black men and freed slaves the rightto vote, it became most affected. ( Meltzer, 23 )With the republican party controlling stategovernment, exconfederates began to take up arms tooppose Reconstruction. Intimidation and violence wereincreasingly used against blacks and their supporters in theRepublican party. ( Ingalls, Hoods 11 ) These rampages ofbrutal acts were mostly the work of the dreaded Ku KluxKlan.In 1867, Klansmen met in Nashville where theyadopted a prescript, or constitution. This permitted theKlan to spread across the south. Prescript set an initiationfee, a dollar a member. Sworn to secrecy, recruits...

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