The Ku Klux Klan- A Brief History

Essay by toshkaHigh School, 10th gradeA+, July 2005

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The Ku Klux Klan is perhaps the most famous of all hate groups in America. Originally founded at the end of the Civil War, the Ku Klux Klan was a white supremacist group that used violence and intimidation in order to reassert white domination in the United States. The Klan's attacks were directed at Blacks, Jews, Catholics, immigrants and other minority groups. It has long been notorious for its unmistakable symbols of the KKK , the white robes and hoods, horses coverd in white clothes and the burning of large crosses at the klan's gatherings.

In 1865, following the War between the States former Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest founded the original Ku Klux Klan along with five other confederate soldiers just out of uniform, in Pulaski, Tennessee. He named the group "Kuklos Klan," a mixture of Greek and Scottish meaning "family circle." The soldiers had full of ideas for their new society now that the civil war had ended.

The organization was originally social in nature, however it soon turned sinister.

The different branches of the KKK, all held a common goal: to maintain the supremacy of the white race over Black Americans. White supremacy was an ideology which held that the white race was superior to all other races. It was for this reason that only WASP's White Anglo-Saxon Protestants, could belong to the Ku Klax Klan.

While membership in the Klan has risen and fallen during its 130 year history, the scope of its hatred has expanded. The American Supremacist movement had four fundamental principals

The hatred of Blacks and other minorities

The hatred of people with disabilities/hereditary conditions

The hatred of Jews

The hatred of homosexuals

Branches of the group sprang up across the South, and many white Southerners, frustrated over Federal Reconstruction policies, used...