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Why was the Ku Klux Klan reborn in the 1920s and strong in Texas in this decade? What caused it's decline and demise?
Transcript of Why was the Ku Klux Klan reborn in the 1920s and strong in Texas in this decade? What caused it's decline and demise?
"Discontent over the break down of traditional ways in everything from popular culture to law enforcement lef many Texans in the early twenties to join the Ku Klux Klan and make that organization a potent factor in the state's culture and political life." (Gone to Texas, pg 366)
* William J Simmons Revived the Ku Klux Klan at a ceremony on Stone Mountain, Georgia in 1915.
Partnered with Edward Y Clarke in order to grow the group.
The KKK arrived in Texas in September 1920
Spread rapidly from Houston to Brownsville, Edinburg and McAllen.
By January 1922 the Klan had 75,000 members.
Appeal of Klan ideology accounted in part for its rapid growth in Texas.
Economic relations are also responsible for the growth of the Klan.
Fearing a boycott, Merchants and professionals joined the Klan.
Protestant ministers generally supported the Klan.
The Klan promised to uphold Christian morality and help guard against the menace of Catholicism.
Hiram Wesley Evans
Elected Imperial Wizard
Used influence to back friendly democratic candidates
This act made the Klan a real serious threat.
"Farmer Jim" Ferguson vs Earle B. Mayfield
Mayfield ran with backing of the Invisible Empire
Victory saw that the Imperial Wizard had put claim on Texas Politics. What caused its decline & demise? With in a year of its appearance some Texans began to resist the Klan.
Blacks, Catholics Jews but only white native born protestants could mount an effective opposition.
Texas Chamber of Commerce condemned the Klan as did the Texas Bar Association Felix D. Robertson vs Miriam A. Ferguson
Jim Ferguson attempted to run for Texas governor but because of a ban that had been placed on him due to impeachment, he could not. He placed his wife on the ticket instead.
Ma Ferguson claimed 146,424 votes
Robertson claimed 193,508 votes Robertson called Jim Ferguson a “traitor” because he had put his wife on the ticked and everyone suspected that he would really be the one to run the Texas government.
Ferguson’s campaign received a lot of attention just because “Ma” had a chance to be the first woman governor of any state August 23 in a run off election Ma Ferguson won with 413,751 to 316,019
This election wasn’t really a vote so much for “Ma” but a vote against the Klan.
This is really what caused the down fall of the Klan as a political power in Texas.
By the end of 1924, key members of the Invisible Empire in Texas bean to desert the Klan.