The Ku Klux Klan's Origins During Reconstruction
A history of the Ku Klux Klan from its beginnings as a social club during the post-Civil War Reconstruction period to its eventual weakening at the hands of the U.S. government in the 1870s.
# 60227 | 4,354 words | 9 sources | APA | 2003 |
Published on Aug 14, 2005 in History (U.S. After 1865) , African-American Studies (Racism) , History (U.S. Civil War 1860-1865)
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This paper deals with a description of the history of the Ku Klux Klan from its foundation in 1866 as a social group of ex-Confederate soldiers to its "death" in the early 1870s after a crackdown by the U.S. government on Klan activities. The paper begins with a brief history of Reconstruction and the attempts by the north to bring about a peaceful unity with the south once again. The limitations put on former Confederates is emphasized as one of the main reasons for the Klan's birth, as many ex-Confederates felt that the north had completely erased any power that they had, or would ever, hold in southern politics. The paper then shifts to the Klan itself, citing journal entries by one of the six original founders for the details of how the Klan began as a social club meant to simply pass the time during Reconstruction. The Klan grew from its humble beginnings however to something more sinister, spouting out racial superiority against the freed blacks and attempting to win political power for whites in the south. Members of the Klan felt betrayed by the United States Congress for giving so much to African-Americans after the Civil War, and acting through the disguise of the Ku Klux Klan's ceremonial "hoods", they were able to enact their own justice through anonymity. The paper also gives a detailed breakdown of the organization of the first Ku Klux Klan, from regional outlets to its first supreme leader, the infamous Confederate cavalry war veteran, Nathan Bedford Forrest. Citing Forrest's actions during the war and his obvious hatred for African-Americans in all of his rhetoric, the paper demonstrates that although Forrest would attempt to hide his involvement with the Klan after a United States investigation, his guilt is well established. The paper ends with the early 1870s Congressional investigation of the Klan and the restrictions that were placed upon it under President Grant.
From the Paper:"The representatives assigned mythical names to their roles of leadership, giving more to that aura of secrecy and intrigue that drew more members into the Klan. The supreme officer of the Klan would be known as "The Grand Wizard of the Empire" and would have full control over Klan activities in the South. Below him would be Grand Dragons, who would organize statewide Klan activity. To rule over individual chapters of the Klan, the presidents of regional Ku Klux Klan sections would be known as the Grand Cyclops. This class structure continues down to the standard member, who ironically would be known as "Ghouls." "
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The Ku Klux Klan's Origins During Reconstruction (2005, August 14) Retrieved June 05, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/research-paper/the-ku-klux-klan-origins-during-reconstruction-60227/
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