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Abolitionists and the Klu Klux Klan

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  1. Introduction
  2. The abolitionist movement
    1. Begining of the movement
    2. Its growth in the North
  3. Strategies used by the abolitionists
  4. Reasons for success
    1. Fighting for a just cause
    2. The size of the population
  5. The abolitionist mindset today
  6. The Ku Klux Klan movement
    1. Acts of violence against African Americans
    2. Membership in the Klan
    3. The movie Birth of a Nation
    4. Strategies used by the Ku Klux Klan
    5. A show of power
    6. The clan's failure to achieve its goals
  7. Comparing the Abolitionist movement and the Ku Klux Klan
  8. Conclusion
  9. Works cited

Social movements can be very influential within a nation, and they often result in massive changes. When a large number of individuals are dissatisfied with a policy and believe it is necessary to take action against that policy, social movements are born. These movements can take various forms, such a protests and the creation of organizations. During the 1800's, two groups, the Abolitionists and the Ku Klux Klan, created ideologies that were based on their views regarding slavery and the treatment of African Americans. The abolitionist movement began as an organization that resented the slave trade and fought for its abolishment, while the Ku Klux Klan organization began when white supremacists felt that their rights were being violated by the new freedoms of African Americans. The abolitionist movement was extremely successful, and most Americans today fully agree with their views. The Ku Klux Klan movement and its revivals throughout the 20th century, however, were not as successful. The following is a discussion of the history of these movements, the strategies that were used by the groups, and an explanation as to why one group was more successful than the other in achieving its objectives.

[...] The organization flourished when people were angry, and deteriorated when times improved, proving that the Ku Klux Klan survived because of emotional appeal rather than an unwavering ideology that all members fully agreed with. Without an ultimate goal and serious of steps that can be used to achieve this goal, no organization will ever be successful. These two social movements demonstrate the importance of using a non-violent approach in order to be successful, and they highlight the fact that justice will prevail over injustice, especially in a nation that cherishes freedom. [...]

[...] The Ku Klux Klan believed in traditional values in which African Americans should be oppressed, and this organization made discrimination against others their ultimate ideology. Unlike the Abolitionists, Ku Klux Klan members believed that violence and the show of force was the ultimate method for achieving their objectives. Ironically, the Ku Klux Klan did not start out as a violent organization. Between 1865 and 1866, six former confederate officers in Tennessee formed a social organization that did not have any ultimate goals or ambitions (Encarta 2000) The members of this organization would ride horses in the middle of the night wearing strange costumes, and this would scare many of the former slaves living in the area. [...]

[...] Today, the Ku Klux Klan has been broken up into affiliated groups, such as the American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, the Knights of the White Kamelia and the Imperial Klans of America ( These groups suffer from limited resources and are very disorganized. They use the Internet as their means of recruitment, but few Americans are interested in their goals. The Klan is often viewed as an outdated organization whose agenda can even be considered humorous in modern America. [...]

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