Ku Klux Klan Reconstruction

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The years that followed the Civil War were harsh, difficult, and filled with debates regarding the reconstruction that was going to take place in the South. Throughout the 1860s the South and North had divergent views on certain issues such as slavery and state rights. During this time a new group of white supremacists were emerging. They called themselves the Ku Klux Klan, or the KKK. They would soon have a hand in an important part of African American History. The Ku Klux Klan was an organization formed in 1866 by six former confederates. It originated in Pulaski, Tennessee, and was named after the Greek word, kyklos, which meant “circle” and the Scottish-Gaelic word, “clan”. The KKK started to take shape during the Reconstruction era in the south. They were known for killing, harassing, and hurting thousands of African American, and creating danger for them. For example, at the time of 1868 election, between Ulysses S. Grant(R) and Horatio Seymour (D), the KKK began threatening and violently abusing voters in the Republican Party. In spite of…show more content…
To be a member one must have been a “native- born, white Protestant U.S. citizen” (West’s Encyclopedia of American Law). The membership numbers grew to several hundred thousand while reconstruction took place in the South. The group consisted of many planters, lawyers and other workers. Many radical republicans believed that the president should be preventing the spread of the KKK. A radical republican in congress named Benjamin Butler led an investigation that soon went to court in front of a grand jury. After the jury recognized the existence of the KKK, the Ku Klux Klan act was passed by congress. The act gave the president the authority to use military and other forces to destroy the KKK. After the act was established, Ulysses S. Grant eliminated the KKK and its movement throughout the
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