The ku klux klan

The ku klux klan - The Ku Klux Klan Property Crime and the...

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Unformatted text preview: The Ku Klux Klan: Property Crime and the Plantation System in Reconstruction Alabama Author(s): Michael W. Fitzgerald Reviewed work(s): Source: Agricultural History, Vol. 71, No. 2 (Spring, 1997), pp. 186-206 Published by: Agricultural History Society Stable URL: . Accessed: 25/01/2012 00:02 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact [email protected] Agricultural History Society is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Agricultural History. The Ku Klux Klan: Property Crime and the Plantation System in Reconstruction Alabama MICHAEL W. FITZGERALD The Ku Klux Klan of the Reconstruction era stands as the nation's most notorious terrorist movement, but its nature defies easy explanation. Basic issues such as the identities and objectives of the Klansmen remain unre- solved. As Michael Perman observed, there is "still, at this late date, con? siderable uncertainty about the genesis and function of the Klan." The standard scholarly account of the Klan, Allen Trelease's White Terror, stresses partisan motivation. Most scholars concede the centrality of polit? ical goals, broadly defined; the victims were predominantly black and white Republicans assailed by opponents of Reconstruction. Nonetheless, there is widespread conviction that the sometimes virulent bloodshed must have had wider social origins, especially those developing from the postwar changes in the plantation system.1 One commonly held view ties the emergence of terrorism to the unprecedented labor turmoil following emancipation. In Social Origins of the New South: Alabama, 1860-1885, Jonathan M. Wiener described the Klan in the Alabama Black Belt as "an instrument of the planter class, rather than the poor whites." He holds that in the cotton belt the Klan "worked in pursuit of the goals of the planters," helping perpetuate the plantation system rather than narrow political objectives. Eric Foner's MICHAEL W. FITZGERALD is associate professor of history at St. Olaf College. He is currently working on a full-scale study of Reconstruction in Alabama. 1. Michael Perman, "Counter Reconstruction: The Role of Violence in Southern Redemption," in The Facts of Reconstruction: Essays in Honor of John Hope Franklin, ed. Eric Anderson and Alfred A. Moss Jr. (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1991), 129; Allen Trelease, White Terror: The Ku Klux Klan Conspiracy and Southern Reconstruction (New York: Harper & Row, 1971), xlvii....
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This note was uploaded on 02/29/2012 for the course HIST 232 taught by Professor Charliewilliams during the Spring '12 term at Emory.

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The ku klux klan - The Ku Klux Klan Property Crime and the...

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