The Origins Of The Ku Klux Klan

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The Ku Klux Klan
When most Americans hear the words “Ku Klux Klan” images of men in white hoods and burning crosses come to mind. However, many people don’t know details about the KKK such as the origins or how it all started, the extent of the terror it brought, and how it progressed over time. The Ku Klux Klan was, and continues to be a domestic terrorist group whose violence and bigotry plague the nation.
It all started in the winter 1865 in Pulaski, Tennessee (Ku Klux Klan-History).A group of men, consisting of a few Confederate veterans, formed a group they called the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). At first, the group started out small. It was more of a social club or a fraternity of men who rode around on their horses at night in their “costumes”
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During this meeting, the KKK elected Nathan Bedford Forrest as their “grand wizard” or leader. The Klan was also split into many different sections whose leaders had different titles like “Grand Dragons,” “Titans,” “Giants,” and “Cyclops” (Ku Klux Klan-History).The group gradually became more about maintaining white supremacy and bringing terror to the lives of former slaves and their families.
The KKK’s main objectives were pushing back Reconstruction after the Civil War. African-Americans were being given rights that the members of the Klan didn’t think they deserved. In 1868, Ulysses S. Grant was elected as president and the 15th Amendment was passed (Rise of the Ku Klux Klan).This gave all black males the right to vote. The Ku Klux Klan, outraged, tried to intimidate the blacks and the Republican leaders and weaken their political power. African- Americans were often
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Even Nathan Bedford Forrest, the original Great Wizard of the Klan, tried to dismantle it in 1869 because the group grew into something he was not prepared for. Also, no one wanted to testify against the klan, in fear of being targeted by them. The group’s activity started to diminish when the Enforcement Acts in 1870-1871 were passed. The KKK Act, passed in 1871, allowed the government to act more efficiently to stop terrorist organizations (The Rise of the Ku Klux Klan). There were heavier penalties and military force used to try and curb the violence. In 1882, the KKK Act was declared unconstitutional, but by this time Reconstruction had ended and Klan activity had faded. It wasn’t until around 1915 when the klan activity started to rise

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