• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How far do you agree that the KKK had a strong political influence and public support in the 1920s?

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐How far do you agree that the KKK had a strong political influence and public support in the 1920s? ?the Klan defends against the invader?. This quote represents the growing conflict between value systems in 1920 America; America throughout the 20s became divided between a traditional, white, Anglo-Saxon Protestant America and a developing urban, cosmopolitan, migrant population of the north. WW1, combined with the Red Scare, instated a atmosphere of fear and chaos and exposed the underlying tensions of race and immigration which were present within American society. For centuries the white, protestant America had reigned supreme over influential institutions and policies in America, however, with this growth of immigration these traditional values, political power, availability of jobs and housing (to them) became limited. This atmosphere of intolerance caused by the fear in losing hold of society was exploited by the KKK. Through the medium of propaganda, The KKK were portrayed as a fraternal organization that best represented the prejudices that Anglo-Saxon Protestant America held . The KKK became a body of traditional and conservative protest, by transforming the America of ?freedom? into an America that advocated ?100% Americanism? and laid emphasis on the assertion of old, traditional values of prohibition, family morals and religious faith. This combined with increased methods of intimidation (reducing opposition) ...read more.


However, although initially confined to that of the southern states, the effectiveness of the Klan can further be witnessed through its expansion towards the north - an example being that Indiana had the greatest number of Klaverns of any state and in 1925 40% of Klan membership was from the three northern states in that of Ohio, Illinois and Indiana. The northern states of America in the 1920s were the states of progress, development and immigration and the fact that the Klan infiltrated these areas, further represents the popularity and public opinion of the KKK in America; the KKK were not just confined to the poor rural areas of America, the KKK had gained middle class support by using the KKK as a franchise of solidarity that represented 100% Americanism. Synonymous to increased public support of the organization was the growth in their political influence. The political influence held by the Klan can be witnessed during the 1924 Democratic convention or ?Klanbake?. A candidate for the democrats, Al Smith, was virtually not allowed to take office due to him being a Roman Catholic and therefore not having the backing of the Klan. Furthermore, the Pleasy vs Ferguson case (1896) is a further representation of the political influence of the Klan, with southern states passing pieces of legislation decreeing white only primaries by working on the basis of ?separate but equal? and parallel to ...read more.


and the exaggeration of the dangers of the Red Scare throughout the 1920s, the Republican government indirectly led to the growth of the KKK by providing the KKK with the ammunition required to recruit individuals; with the KKK using the immigration laws as evidence to suggest that traditional American values were in danger and through violence and intimidation they had to be restored. The hysteria caused from events of the Red Scare such as the Palmer Raids allowed the KKK to exploit the tensions in America - these tensions being a direct result of the legislation passed by the American government. Overall, the Klan in the 1920s held considerable amount of political power - both within the northern areas and the southern states of America, however, in terms of the overall success of the Klan, this political power (as can be seen in the democratic convention of 1924) was limited federally and did not impact the legislation passed by Washington. In reference to public opinion, there is no doubt that in the mid 1920s public opinion was at the highest of 5 million nationwide, however, although films such as Birth of a Nation increased public opinion, the corruption at the heart of KKK combined with their continuing policy of racialism isolated many supporters in an America who saw these disputes as irrelevant in comparison to the oncoming economic crash in 1929 - this led to a decrease in numbers in 1928 and increased the irrelevance that the KKK had within American culture. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level History of the USA, 1840-1968 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level History of the USA, 1840-1968 essays

  1. How far do you agree with this description of the prosperity of the USA ...

    It was not a perception of wealth, businesses were making more money, but the wealth earned was undone when businesses started to overproduce and could not sell off their surplus stock abroad. This was perhaps created by a perception of wealth, as businesses started to manufacture their products so that

  2. To what extent was the economic boom of the 1920s caused by the development ...

    boom however due to the focus on the higher classes, they were arguably less influential than the development of mass production methods. The development of credit in the 1920s is a significant contributing factor to the economic boom. The introduction of credit enabled consumers to buy goods they otherwise would


    not prevented from using their profits to speculate on the stock market, adding further insecurity (gambling!) to Wall Street. Unfortunately, by the end of the 1920s, many trusts - such as car giants like Ford - were producing more than was needed (and couldn't sell their surpluses abroad thanks to the government's tariff policy).

  2. Assess the significance of the influence of internal migration on social and political tensions ...

    The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, brought forward by Douglas, in the name of democracy, was a turning point in tensions as they seeped out of politics and, like a virus, spread into society. Both North and South occupants swept into Kansas to take part in the voting to determine the

  1. To what extent does a fear of Communism explain the changes in American policy ...

    After the bombing of his house in 1919, he set the blame on 'foreign radicals', who he believed would be found in immigrant communities, and pledged to purge it. His General Intelligence Division was set up to spy on these immigrants.

  2. a) "How far do these sources support the view expressed in source one that, ...

    Between the years 1069 and 1070 the North revolted. Rebels in the North burned to death a Norman Earl, Robert of Commines, in Durham. A Viking army of 240 ships, led by the sons of Swegn Estrithsson, landed at Humber and marched on York.

  1. Prohibition - The Importance of January 16th 1920 to the US.

    Even further influence of Prohibition is the movement against alcoholism substance abuse and the depleating ?dry? counties today. The war against drugs is predicted to cause the same problems of prohibition. One of these problems foreseen by historians is that prohibition of any substance causes the formation of drug lords and cartels.

  2. Assess the view that the introduction of National Prohibition in the USA was inspired ...

    The feminists within America were anxious to enforce the Prohibition law onto immigrants, though fearing that their influence from foreign backgrounds would reject the law and disrupt the Prohibition movement. Thirdly, America rejected wholly the infiltration of foreigners into their society and lifestyle.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work