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Suppression Of The Kkk Essay

3391 words - 14 pages

Suppressing the Ku Klux Klan"I am a member of the white race. My people built this civilization, built this country . We have the intelligence and the initiative for the task. Our blood is different and special. Our heritage has been taken from us; inferior races have taken power through the cunning...Ultimately, we or our enemy will be destroyed" (Ezekiel xvii). This is the view of people associated with the Ku Klux Klan. The Ku Klux Klan is an organization of white supremacy. In American history, the Ku Klux Klan has stirred up both chaos and violence in both the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The nineteenth century Klan was formed almost right after the Civil War (Ku17). It was ...view middle of the document...

When the civil rights came to be an issue in the 1960s, the Klan had somewhat of a rebirth. But, in the late twentieth century, membership had decreased to a few thousand. Throughout the history of America, the Ku Klux Klan was suppressed by congressional acts in the early 1870s, klan activities post World War One, and the federal government's actions taken after 1960.The federal government suppressed the Ku Klux Klan by its acts in the early 1870s. One example of how congressional acts suppressed the Ku Klux Klan in the early 1870s is through the fifteenth amendment. The fifteenth amendment became part of the Constitution in March of 1870 (The 76). It disallowed suffrage to anyone in the United States because of their race (Wade 82). It was really the first and only thing that the United States did to try to stop the Klan activities of the Klan. By passing this amendment, the government could do anything that was needed to carry out its ideas and plans. President Grant was so excited about the ratification of the amendment, he claimed it as being "The most important event that occurred since the nation came into life" (Wade 82). Between May of 1870 and April of 1871, Congress passed acts that were enforced to guarantee voting rights for blacks because of the passing of the fifteenth amendment (Groffman 10). On May 31, 1870, the government passed the first act related to the fifteenth amendment. "The new statute banned the use of force, bribery, of intimidation to interfere with voting" (Wade 83). They felt this to be necessary because the Klan was having a huge interference in the elections. But unfortunately, the act did not have much of an effect. There was a great deal of Klan violence in the South that had to do with voting (Wade 83). All the first act seemed to do was stir up controversy, and the South became infested with violent acts brought about by the Klan. With the first act not working to plan, congress passed a second act. This second act gave more "direct federal supervision of congressional elections" (Wade 85). This allowed the government to form the Scott Committee, which investigated North Carolina to find answers about the Ku Klux Klan. The investigation stated the Ku Klux Klan was real and not made up. It told the government that the Klan had many members and thought the same way as the Confederates of the Civil War (Wade 860). By passing this second act dealing with the fifteenth amendment, the federal government was able to find out answers about the Klan. This gave the government an idea of what was needed to stop the Klan and their terrible, violent acts. The fifteenth amendment opened the door to allow Congress to pass many acts to help suppress the Ku Klux Klan throughout the history of America.Another example of congressional acts passed in the early 1870s that suppressed the Ku Klux Klan was the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871. The Ku Klux Klan Act of 1870 was really the third of the enforcement acts (Urofsky 452). This act...

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