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Ku Klux Klan - Obstacle to Civil Rights

Higher Paper 1: USA

Mr Farrell

on 3 September 2018

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Transcript of Ku Klux Klan - Obstacle to Civil Rights

All members of the KKK had to be WASP's
What's going on in this picture?
Black Americans were inferior human beings.
They were against civil rights for black people.
They were against Jews and Catholics.
The 1920s saw the revival of the Ku Klux Klan (or KKK).
The KKK was a racist group, founded by people who believed in white supremacy.
Source A , R. A. Patton, writing about the activities of the Ku Klux Klan in Current History (1929)

A lad whipped with branches until his back was ribboned flesh: a Negress beaten and left helpless; a white girl, divorcee beaten into unconsciousness in her home; a naturalized foreigner flogged until his back was pulp because he married an American woman; a Negro lashed until he sold his land to a white man for a fraction of its value.
How useful is Source A as evidence of the activities of the KKK in America during the 1920's?
The Ku Klux Klan, a white racist organization,
was first founded in Tennessee during the period
of Reconstruction following the Civil War.
Though it was suppressed by the federal government
in the early 1870s, the Klan reappeared in
Georgia in 1915 following the release of D. W.
Griffith’s film, The Birth of a Nation, which romanticized
Klan activities.1 The second Klan also drew
strength from a growing anti-immigrant movement
in the United States that was hostile toward
immigrants from southern and eastern Europe
and Asia. Immigrants from these countries did
not fall into the white Anglo-Saxon Protestant
(WASP) profile and were more likely to be Catholic,
Jewish, or another faith, such as Buddhist or
the application asks if the applicant is a white male Gentile, if the applicant believes in white supremacy and pure Americanism, and
if the applicant will “strictly obey the authority of the fraternity.”

•Appeal of ceremony & uniform, liked the image.
Why did
for Klan Grow in 1920s?

Describe the actions of the KKK? (5)

The KKK believed in White Anglo-Saxon Protestant supremacy in America. (WASPs) (1)

The Klan wanted segregation between blacks and whites and to take away legal rights from blacks. (1)

They believed in the use of violence, terror, murder and lynching to get their way. (1)

The Klan held secret meetings threatened, attacked, and murdered Negroes usually at night. (1)

They intimidated and threatened witnesses to stop them testifying in court. (1)

Members wore robes and hoods to disguise themselves and used a fiery cross as a symbol of terror. (1)

The Klan intimidated black people and prevented them from voting. (1)

They often punished people for divorce, adultery, homosexuality, and sexual relations outside marriage. (1)

The Klan organised a very successful publicity and recruiting campaign using newspapers, radio etc. (1)

The Klan secretly recruited many sheriffs, judges, and politicians. (1)

Source D: Memphis
Annie, Blues singer, 
When voting time came 
round the Ku Klux Klan
would be waiting
outside the voting
place.  No coloured folk 
would try to vot
“The history of the world is the fight for the survival of the White race. Either we win or we die. The Klan will not die”
•Appealed to all who were anti-black, anti-Catholic, anti-Jewish & anti-immigrant.
•Lack of education (ignorance) of members.
Felt they were protecting America.
•Appeal of anonymity (nobody knew who was behind white hoods)
•Increase of immigrants who were threats to jobs & housing; threat of new religions & customs.
•Increase of black population in North due to industrial growth.
It also states that only members will receive protection and that members
must accept whatever penalty is imposed if they are deemed to be “untrue.”
Bribery of police & officials, threats to members who leave, blackmail people, racism in national government and police are some of the reasons why it was difficult to stop the Klan's influence.
The Ku Klux Klan was an organised group who practiced discrimination against black Americans.

All members had to be native-born Americans
White, Protestant males, 16yrs or older.
Hiram Wesley Evans, Imperial Wizard, KKK.
White, Anglo Saxon, Protestant
The revival!
This had started in the deep south at the end of the American civil war around the 1860's. There was a revival in 1915 after the release of ''The Birth of a Nation.' It depicted the Klan as protectors of southern white society against black terror. This film was publicity endorsed by President Wilson.

By 1921, the KKK had over 100,000 members. By 1925 members had risen to 5 million.
Describe the actions of the KKK?
5 marks
Ku Klux Klan
Increase in popularity due to Increase of immigrants who were threats to jobs & housing; threat of new religions & customs. Lack of education (ignorance) of members.
The KKK was created to defend the 'American way of life.' By 1920's the Klan had over 3 million members and continuing to grow. Peaked at 5 million in 1925.
Southern prejudice of KKK made Blacks the main target of hate and abuse. Held secret meetings and attacked at night. These were known as 'night rides.'
The KKK had important friends in high places. Some local politicians and police officers were KKK members. Unfair justice system - 'Judge lynch common' - How can black Americans change society?
Lynchings, murder, terror & arson were all tactics used by the KKK. Some people were also marked.
The KKK wore white robes, presented the American flags and held marches and meetings all across the country.
How was the
Klansmen wore white robes or sheets and pointed hoods
The Klan sought to protect white supremacy from black Americans.
The Klan organised a very successful publicity and recruiting campaign using newspapers and radio. Important as it enabled more people to have access to klan beliefs.
White Supremacy had to be protected.
Often formed in large groups to attack Blacks
The Ku Klux Klan is a racist, anti-Semitic movement with a commitment to extreme violence to achieve its goals of racial segregation and white supremacy. The KKK is still in existence today.
The Klan claimed it was trying to protect the American way of life and was dedicated to 100% Americanism.

Why Was KKK Immune from Prosecution?
In March of 1925, over 60,000 Ku Klux Klan members marched in Washington DC to the White House and US Capitol . This was important to display their ever-increasing numbers across not only the South but the North of America as well.
HOWEVER - Klan's influence only really in the southern states and not in the north. Example of Decline in Klan membership in the south - Alabama dropped to less than 6,000 by 1930. Decline came at time of great depression in America where people more focused on daily lives and getting by.
Analysis +
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