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Factors Effecting The Success Of The Ku Klux Klan In America

1403 words - 6 pages

Factors Effecting the Success of The Ku Klux Klan in America

A hate group can never be explained, only accepted and fought against. For an unjustified reason in 1915, The Ku Klux Klan was born and spread its hate across the United States. The Klan started small, but gained millions of members in just a few short years. The Klan preached its beliefs to all Americans and urged everyone to join for the good of their country. Thousands of innocent people were slain because of their backgrounds. The Ku Klux Klan was a horrible group that became a symbol of crime and lawlessness. The Klan's views were based on white supremacy and unfortunately carried into the minds of millions. Although the ...view middle of the document...

This was a perfect time for the Klan to sell themselves to the American people, they offered everything Americans wanted at the time. The Klan acted on the heels of war and took advantage of the mind crippled Americans. Mecklin also points out that "Americans acted on their emotions very blindly"(Mecklin, 122). This was in turn a perfect fit for the Klan and America. The war torn Americans never wanted to feel in danger again, and for this reason they believed in the Klan. Americans followed The Klan with the hopes of eradicating any possible foreign dangers. The Klan deceived post war Americans and preached to them what they wanted to hear. The Klan gained millions of members during this time period and must attribute it to the conditions aroused by war.

In the minds of everyone there is a natural aversion to anything foreign. This is simply unexplainable. Mecklin tells us "There is just a natural aversion to anything foreign"(The Klan, 102). With this theory in mind, the Klan preached the evils of foreigners, jews, non-Catholics, and blacks. The Klan called these people aliens and attempted to show their downfalls to everyone. The Klan instructed Americans that this was there country, and must not share it with others. In a speech given by William J. Simmons on April 30, 1923, he attracted the attention of many while he painted a vivid picture of what this country would be like if we didn’t discriminate against these so-called aliens "My friends, this great nation with all it provides can be snatched away from you in the space of one day.... When the hordes of aliens walk to the ballot box and their outnumber yours, then Americans will awake from their slumber and rush out to battle and there will be such stir as the world has never seen the like. The soil of America will run with the blood of its people"(The Klan, 102). The Klan felt a strong aversion to these people and they made it public. The Ku Klux Klan was very clever because they acted upon a natural feeling that could appeal to everyone. At this time Americans were not used to the number of foreigners they had seen in their country, this helped fuel a hatred towards the "aliens". This natural aversion to foreigners was one of the main causes the of the Klan’s success.

The early 1920's proved to be a time of hardship and despair for the Klan. With few members in hand the Klan was in trouble and they knew it. The Klan knew they had to spark new interest and attempt to find possible members. The Klan’s first move came when they appointed Edward Young Clark to the head of the propaganda department. This is when the Klan saw a huge rise in membership. The Klan actually gained millions in just several years. William McQueen informs us that the Klan owes much success to Clark "Edward Clark must be attributed with the strong success that the Klan found in the mid 1920's"(Ku Klux Klan, 129). Clark instituted many new ideas...

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