Ku Klux Klan Essay

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Founded in 1866 by ex-confederate soldiers and other Southerners, most of whom used to be slave owners, the Ku Klux Klan opposed Reconstruction after the Civil War. Although the Federal Force Acts of 1872 outlawed the Klan, the organization was revived after the debut of D.W Griffith’s movie, “Birth of a Nation”. Most historians have seen the Klan as an undoubtedly terrorist organization, but the movie depicts the members of it as knights. Therefore, as far as I am concerned, we cannot judge one thing only by listening what most of people said. Things always happened for a reason. For the Klan, we should put it into specific time period and analyze its actions. After the civil war, federal government wanted to bring the south states back to normal as soon as possible. As a result, it implemented several reconstruction policies. However, all these political actions designed to raise the status of African Americans intrigued dissent among white people in the South. Some of them wanted their pre-civil war life back, and so they founded Ku Klux Klan. What the organization did was to harass and intimidate black citizens by putting burning crosses on the fields of individuals, arson of barns or houses and riding on the horseback in groups to African American communities and frightening them. In a word, they did whatever they could to show their dissatisfaction with the change of social status of colored people. “They beat him powerfully. She said they made her put her arms around his neck and then they whipped them both together. I saw where they struck her head with a pistol and bumped her head against the house, and the blood is there yet.” It is a description from a testimony by Joint Select Committee about the Ku Klux Klan violence in Georgia, which depicts how brutal the Ku Klux Klan was when they targeted black veterans and freedmen. After reading

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