The original idea of the Ku Klux Klan was born in the late 1865, in the minds of six young men -John Lester, James Crowe, John Kennedy, Richard Reed, Frank Mc Cord and Calvin Jones- in the quiet town of Pulaski, Tennessee. They were Confederate soldiers during the Civil War and were bored with their dull lives. So they decided to form a club that they named after the Greek term "kyklos" meaning circle of friends. But their rather innocent organization showed an incredibly fast growth and rise in popularity, so much that it turns into a craze murdering thousands of people, mainly Black. It is though difficult to put the blame of all the Klan's activities on six people, that is why we should study in what political and geographical (with the narrowed scope of the state of North Carolina) contexts it fits in.
[...] Notes Roots of Wrath: Political Culture and the Origins of the First Ku Klux Klan in North Carolina to 1875, Rene Hayden (2003) The Invisible Empire, The Ku Klux Klan Impact on History, William Loren Katz (1986), page 9 Roots of Wrath: Political Culture and the Origins of the First Ku Klux Klan in North Carolina to 1875, Rene Hayden (2003) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ku_Klux_Klan Roots of Wrath: Political Culture and the Origins of the First Ku Klux Klan in North Carolina to 1875, Rene Hayden (2003), page 203 The Invisible Empire, The Ku Klux Klan Impact on History, William Loren Katz (1986), page 26 The role of the United States Army in North Carolina Civil disturbances 1865-1872, Donald Wayne Harritan (Greenville, N. [...]
[...] Indeed, the argument of White Supremacy alone not being sufficient, the Ku Klux Klan built a whole propaganda appealing to the people of that time period and their problems. Their ability to touch thousands of people guaranteed them a success in recruiting. For example, they attracted Protestants by telling them that they were always discriminated against and still prosecuted. They also frightened the people with the Black "invasion" in the society (no loyal slave anymore because they fled) and the rise of the modern woman (indeed, more and more women had to take active roles because their husbands had died during the Civil War). [...]
[...] Then, the Civil Rights Acts of 1871 - better known under the name of Ku Klux Klan Acts because that was actually the aim that they were targeting- aimed at protecting the Black people in the South. For example, the North Carolinian legislature of March 17th prohibited secret political and military organizations. On the 20th of April, the Ku Klux Klan law made a case of suit to discourage people (by intimidation) from holding offices or testifying in court. The president was then allowed to use whatever military force he thought necessary to make the law respected. [...]
[...] The large plantations, the slave population and the burgeoning entrepreneurial economy in the cities was characteristic of North Carolina's Low Country. And this strong localism was a proof of lack of economic and geographical (because of the mountains) integration of the state in the United States. There was no centralized regional coordination. The local sovereignty ruled upon the North Carolinian economy, army and politics. And the Ku Klux Klan was a reaction against that. Indeed it established itself as a restorer of moral rights against a modernized economy. [...]
[...] The Ku Klux Klan was a very ambitious organization since it even wanted to persuade the government that it was a loss of money to try to oppose the almighty White Supremacy. The KKK was based on secrecy. Since the very beginning, the members wore outfits masking their faces. They were never called by their names. Being anonymous allowed them the worst excesses. They used a whole range of codes for the months or the days. The "Prescript", a sort of convention of the Klan written by George Gordon former confederate brigadier) in 1868, contained the questions that the applying members were asked: mainly on the Republican party and the racial equality. [...]
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