Ku Klux Klan

  • A secret organisation, led underground resistance against the civil rights and political power of newly freed slaves.
  • The Klan’s goal was to re-establish the dominance of the pre-war plantation aristocracy. It was revived in an altered form in the 20th century.
  • Ku Klux Klan was sometimes called the invisible empire of the south, the KKK or the Klan.
  • Nathan Bedford Forrest was the KKK’s first grand wizard.
  • Wore white sheets to remain unknown.
  • The Klansmen killed free slaves in night time raids. With intimidation and threats, Klansmen drove blacks and their white sympathizers out of their communities, destroying their crops and burning their houses and barns.
  • The Grand wizard ordered the KKK to disband but local groups remained active.
  • The rest of the nation reacted strongly to the increased violence in the South. This resulted in federal prosecution of Klan members, however created widespread southern sympathy in their behalf.
  • Klan reorganised in 1915
  • The Klan revived with renewed vigour in the late 1970s. It fragmented into several separate and competing groups, some which allied with the neo-Nazi.
  • After being prosecuted, the Klan was estimated to have between 6,000 and 10,000 active members, mostly in the south.