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The Ku Klux Klan

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Introduction

When the Civil War ended in 1865 it was supposed to be the end of black oppression but that was not the case at all. Arguably, blacks faced more problems in America after they were emancipated than they did when some were still enslaved. Public harassment and terror by outraged whites were among the forefront of these problems. The most well known group that openly practiced this was the Ku Klux Klan. The Ku Klux Klan is the oldest and most infamous organization of American terrorism. The roots and origins of this group can be traced back to Tennessee during the spring of 1866, one year after the end of the Civil War. After its formation, the KKK expanded quite rapidly. The Ku Klux Klan strove to instill an unwavering fear in blacks in America. The members of the KKK took the law into their own hands and used measures that they saw fit to preserve the views and ideals that were so important to them. Many times these measures would include horrible atrocities such as lynching, tar-and-feathering, rape, and murder. These vigilante efforts would overrun many parts of the country. It was not until half a decade had passed that legal action would finally be taken to counterattack the Ku Klux Klan. Shortly after the Civil War ended, an assortment of plans to reconstruct the devastated South emerged. ...read more.

Middle

The KKK did all in its power to attempt to destroy this newly formed law. This enforcement was first demonstrated in the election of 1868 when members of the Ku Klux Klan would go out at night and intimidate or threaten or use violence against black voters (Boyer 514). These happenings occurred all over the South which made it obvious that the Ku Klux Klan was not a tiny social club anymore, instead, a terrorist group that made itself known throughout the country. This terrorist group would hold the true power in the South for many years to come. The Ku Klux Klan brought numerous southern whites of different social classes together to fight for various goals. There was amazing diversity between the members of the Ku Klux Klan. The Cincinnati Gazette claimed: Were all the Ku-Klux arrested and brought to trial, among them would be found sheriffs, magistrates, jurors and legislators, and it may be clerks and judges. In some counties it would be found that the Ku-Klux and their friends compromise more than half of the influential and voting population (Wade 57). Many highly respected positions such as doctors, lawyers, and university professors were also found to be members of the KKK (Wade 57). After gaining significant influence in the country the Ku Klux Klan stood for the suppression of black suffrage, the reestablishment of white supremacy, and the destruction of the Reconstruction governments that had begun to appear in various states (Boyer 514). ...read more.

Conclusion

At these larger sessions, the KKK group involved would make sure that all of its members undertook in the activities because it would give them a sense of brotherhood and unity. Lynching and murder were occurring at amazing rates (Wade 67). When someone was going to be killed, there were a number of things that could happen. The Ku Klux Klan could go to someone's house, bring them right outside their door, and throw a noose around the nearest tree, or they could shoot them on sight. The KKK could also bring these people into the middle of the town and continue with the proceedings for the entire town to see. Other times the Ku Klux Klan kidnapped its wanted victims and brought them to desolate areas to perform these tasks. There is no known number of deaths due to these lynching and murders, but the estimates are enormous. During these times, the Ku Klux Klan was a renegade band of terrorists and torturers. The Ku Klux Klan was a symbol of monumental evil in America. It was the manifestation of six men's dying hopes. And it was those dying hopes that would lead the country plummeting into decades upon decades of despair. The Ku Klux Klan had a presence and demeanor that was never again matched in the United States. Their actions can never be forgotten and it is a chapter in history that will always be remembered as one of the biggest mistakes that America has ever let occur. ...read more.

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