KKK-3 - EmilyJohnston Mr.Barker February24,2016 1 Introduction ,Tennesseestartedbya .Membersh

KKK-3 - EmilyJohnston Mr.Barker February24,2016 1...

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The Ku Klux Klan and Congress’s Response to Klan ViolenceEmily JohnstonMr. BarkerUnited States History C PeriodFebruary 24, 2016
1IntroductionThe Ku Klux Klan originated as a social fraternity in Pulaski, Tennessee started by agroup which included Confederate veterans in 1866. Membership was only available to whiteAmericans who accepted the tenets of true Christianity. Local branches met at conventions in1867 and established an “Invisible Empire of the South”. The Klan had ended up extending intoevery southern state by 1870 and had become a major part of southern white resistance to theReconstruction policies for political and economical equality for former slaves. Members of theKKK participated in underground campaigns of intimidation and violence aimed at both whiteand black Republican leaders. The group’s primary goal was the reestablishment of whitesupremacy. They believed that keeping the United States a white man’s country was the onlyway to truly be faithful to the forefathers. The Ku Klux Klan facilitated white southern resistance1to Reconstruction and used violence to attempt to reverse the efforts of it. Congress proved itselfunsuccessful in getting rid of the Klan since, while the group was disbanded at one time, it stillexists today.The KKK is ultimately an organized terrorist group.2Origin and OrganizationThe name “Ku Klux Klan” came from the Greek wordkukloswhich means “circle”. Klanwas used rather than clan simply for alliterative purposes. This name suggested a circle ofbrothers. At first, the group was intended to be purely social similar to college fraternities. TheKlan ended up becoming a political organization in 1867 as a result of the passing of MilitaryReconstruction Acts as well as the prospect of freedmen voting in the South. White1“Ideals of the Ku Klux Klan” (4­5)mR2“Ku Klux Klan ­ History.com” accessed February 10, 2016­klux­klan
2conservatives were frustrated with their political failures and they were looking for new ways tobe able to defeat the Republicans. The overall leader of the group was referred to as the GrandWizard. Nathan Bedford Forrest, who was a former Confederate general, was the first GrandWizard and played a significant role in the spread of the Ku Klux Klan. However, Forrestdistanced himself from the Klan when things got ugly in an effort to gain the support that heneeded from the Republicans for his new railroad ventures.Klan ViolenceAt first, Klansmen participated just in pure mischief, such as trying to leave theimpression that ghosts of the Confederate dead were wandering along the countryside.White­sheeted members would ride up to the homes of black people demanding water. Afterdraining several buckets by pouring it down his sheer rather than drinking it, he would say hehad not had a drink since the battle of Shiloh as if he were a ghost. The image of armed whitemen roaming the countryside reminded former slaves of the slave patrol. As the night­riding

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