Ku Klux Klan Sources

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Section 1: Identification and Evaluation of sources (575) This investigation will explore the question: Analyze the extent to which the Ku Klux Klan was a group formed on a religious basis?
The first source which will be evaluated in depth is Jack Hurst’s Nathan Bedford Forrest: A Biography, written in 1994. The origin of this source is valuable because of the astounding credentials of the author. Hurst graduated Vanderbilt University in 1964 and had thirteen years of journalistic experience before writing this biography. Additionally, the author utilizes a plethora of primary source quotations from the time period to coincide with with the information he is simply stating. The date it was written could be considered a limitation due to 1994
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It was founded by ex-Confederates Captains “John C. Lester, John B. Kennedy, and James R. Crowe, along with Frank O. McCord, Richard R. Reed, and J. Calvin Jones” (Hurst 278). Their first meetings “consisted mostly of riding around in sheets frightening people and inducting new members in prankish initiations” (Hurst 279). While it all started as fun and games, the Klan grew into so much more than a play group. In Pulaski, Tennessee in the mid 1800s, while the Ku Klux Klan had religious roots, the society was ultimately a social group that took an extreme political stance resulting in legal acts against all future domestic extremist groups in the United …show more content…
The founders themselves even decided out of “boredom of postwar existence…[to] form a secret fraternity” (Hurst 278). The word fraternity literally means a group of people sharing a common interest. The Ku Klux Klan almost “claim[s] to be Christian” (Barnes, et al 2). While the Klan tried to portray that they were bound over a religious interest, their common interest is actually more political. There are considered five types of bias: sex, race, ethnocentric, political, and religious (McCuen 59). The Ku Klux Klan publically claimed to be ethnocentric which is “the expression of a belief that one’s own...race, [or] religion...is superior” (McCuen 59). While there is evidence that the Ku Klux Klan did aim toward white supremacy, it is more notable their race bias. It is more evident that their goal is more to suppress the African American race rather than to prove themselves superior; this is proved through the words of the leader of the Ku Klux Klan (known as the Wizard of the Saddle), Nathan Bedford Forrest. “We can use that to keep the niggers in their place”, Forrest stated after hearing about the Ku Klux Klan’s actions, but before officially joining the club (Hurst 284). While this appears to be a minor difference, this deviation causes a change in the goal (and ultimately the identity) of the Ku Klux Klan. Christian

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