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The Ku Klux Klan By: Zach Horning

The Ku Klux Klan was one of the great powers in the South during the 1800’s and 1900’s.

The Klan has a meeting and prepares for another horrible act of terrorism.


_________________________________Founding The Klan In 1866 the Ku Klux Klan was formed in Pulaski, Tennessee. This was considered the second beginning of the civil war. It was supposed to be a social club for exconfederate soldiers but very quickly it turned into a white supremacist Klan. This Klan would do anything to make AfricanAmerican’s lives horrible. Because a lot of people hated African-Americans, the Klan Pulaski, Tennessee was the location brought all of the social classes together. They of the start of the Ku Klux Klan. would murder, bomb, and rape AmericanAmericans because this group hated them so much. This Klan started out rough, they had poor organization and at first they did not have a true leader. Then, a leader rose, his name was Nathan Bedford Forrest. He would be the leader of the terrorism until he could no longer lead the Klan anymore. The Klan had just started and just got organized and it was gaining more people every day.

___________________________________The Klan’s People At the start of the Klan, there were not that many people. This Klan grew and grew day by day and even hour by hour. There were so many people who did not like African-Americans, so they wanted to join a group that was against them. These people all joined together in underground meetings to figure out what their job was. Then, they would go out and do their act of terrorism. When they did their bad thing, it was impossible for anyone to tell who was doing what, and all they knew was that they were from the Ku Klux Klan. Outsiders could not tell apart the different people because the all looked the same. The dress code for the Ku Klux Klan was a white robe that had a hood, with a white mask. Of course, the symbol of the Ku Klux Klan was placed on the robe. The symbol was a white cross with a red circle around it.

Three Ku Klux Klan members in their white robes with a hood and a mask.

The Klan had a steady rise in members from the time that the Klan started in 1866 to 1920; the Klan reached four million members. As soon as the Klan reached that peak in members, the Klan started to fall apart. It kept falling from that point until 1944 when the Klan broke up. This Klan did not stop because people thought what they were


The Ku Klux Klan population during the time that the main Klan existed.

doing was wrong, the Klan stopped when the Great Depression started. The Great Depression made everyone’s lives horrible, so the Klan didn’t have to do anything to make African-American’s lives horrible. While the Klan that was mostly made of men was active, they all thought the same thing, not liking African-Americans, so they did bad things to them. Since of these members had the same goal in mind, a lot of African-Americans died or had something bad done to them.

___________________________________Acts Of Terrorism

Ku Klux Klan members preforming a burning of a cross which could also be called arson.

The Ku Klux Klan did many bad things. One of the things they would do is murder. They would go up to people and shoot them or knife them and they would die. Another thing they did was lynching. Lynching is when you to put someone to death, by hanging, without legal authority. They also did arson. Arson is burning someone’s property or burning the person. The forth thing they did was rape. They would take someone from the streets and rape them and then put them back on the street. The last and most violent thing they did was bombing. The Klan would bomb anything they felt like bombing. They made sure that the bombings would affect a lot of African-Americans even if it only killed a few of them.


The Ku Klux Klan was in charge of many wellknown things that happened in the south. One of the most popular things they did was bomb the church on Sixteenth Street in Birmingham, Alabama. This bombing killed four little girls. Four might not seem like a large number, but a lot of African-Americans were really upset about the bombing and they were really sad about the church. This is one example of how one bombing can affect a lot of people. In the end of all of this madness, the Ku Klux Klan had killed over 3000 African-Americans and the Klan had also killed many Republicans who had allied with the African-Americans. Even though the Ku Klux Klan killed a lot of African-Americans, the Klan’s activity did not stop African-American from doing what they always did. African-Americans would try to carry out their lives as normal as possible until the Ku Klux Klan got to them.

The church on sixteenth street in Birmingham, Alabama after it was bombed.

_____________________The Government’s Involvement After a few years the people in the north started to figure out what was going on in the South. No one from the North appreciated what the Ku Klux Klan was doing. A little after the people started noticing what was going on, the government noticed too. At first, the Government took action by sending fourteen spies to the South to keep note on what the Klan was doing. The spies’ job was to keep an eye on the Klan and then report back to tell what they were doing. The fourteen spies were also supposed to keep track of what kind of things the Klan was doing that would not be known nationally. An example of that would be like one murder or rape and even one hanging. Some of these things were known nationally before the spies got back because there were so many of them, but when only a few happened at a time, that was when the spies came in hand. Soon the spies noticed so many bad things going on that they realized that the government needed to take a bigger action.

____________________________________Ku Klux Klan Act In 1870, a law was put into place to limit the Klan’s actions called the Ku Klux Klan Act. It was supposed to be generally towards terrorists but it was more directly to the Ku Klux Klan. The Act said that the government could stop any terrorist activity. Some people thought that this was crazy because they thought that the Ku Klux Klan was doing a good thing. The government had tried to convince the people that what they were doing was not right. Eventually, someone got so frustrated with this act that would limit the Klan’s action that he decided to sue the United


In the Supreme Court, the Ku Klux Klan Act was considered unconstitutional.

States for making a law that was unconstitutional. This case went all the way to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court’s ruling can only be based on the law. Because of that, the guy had won the case and the Ku Klux Klan Act was taken out of place. After the verdict on the court case, the Ku Klux Klan was almost protected under the law even when they did something bad. The police made very few arrests of Klan members because of the court ruling and because most police officers did not care what they did to the African-Americans. So, after the court decided that what the Klan was doing was not against the law, the Klan was almost free to do whatever they wanted to do.

___________________________________The End Of Terror After the peak in population in the Klan in 1920, the Klan started to fall apart. The Klan did not fall apart because of changes in heart; the Klan fell apart because of the Great Depression. The lack of money that was flowing around the nation made it impossible for the Klan members to have a successful life and still have the time and money to be a part of the Klan. In 1944 the Klan was officially over. All of the members had left by this time. The 10000 members that were left when the Klan was over formed smaller terrorist groups. The group’s names were the Imperial Klans of America, the Knights of the White Kamelia, and the American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. These groups carried out what was the Ku Klux Klan’s plan until 1990. In 1990, all Klan activity was over. There were no remains of any terrorist group.


Bibliography n.d. http://lcweb2.loc.gov/service/pnp/npcc/30400/30454r.jpg. n.d. http://www.usbeacon.com/images/Tennessee/maps/Pulaski_o.gif. n.d. http://unityanddivision2.wikispaces.com/file/view/Ku-Klux-Klan.jpg/217648440/Ku-Klux-Klan.jpg. n.d. http://cdn100.iofferphoto.com/img3/item/139/163/613/kkk-flag-ku-klux-klan-flag-26cf.jpg. n.d. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/de/US_Supreme_Court.JPG. staff, History.com. Ku Klux Klan. n.d. 12 May 2014. "Ku Klux Klan." West's Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005. Encyclopedia.com. 12 May. 2014 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>. staff, PBS.org. Rise of the Ku Klux Klan. n.d. 13 May 2014.

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