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The Ku Klux Klan

In Greek, kyklos means a circle of friends. That was it. KuKlux, they called themselves, and added Klan for more zip. The figured 'KuKlux Klan' would make people sit up and take notice, and they were right."2

Since its inception, the Klan has stood for white supremacy. This was a popular view by many in the Old South, and the Klan found plenty of support with disenfranchised soldiers, and former slave owners. However, many authors point to the fact that the Klan found its most vehement support in the poor, uneducated White population of the South, many of whom had lost small farms or plots of land in the Reconstruction.

By the late 1800s, the Klan had become enough of a force to exert some limited influence in the political spectrum of Southern politics. For example, in the 1868 election, the Klan supported New York Governor Horatio Seymore against war hero General Ulysses S. Grant. Klan methods included various kinds of intimidation. Their threats were printed in local newspapers, posted on trees, or on town bulletin boards. They warned Grant supporters (Republicans) to either leave town or stay home on election day. Since there was no secret ballot at the time, the Klan's methods were somewhat effective, in particular the type of violence they used against the new Black electorate. Although Grant won the election, the pattern was now set that the Klan could have political influence, especially in the South.3

By the 1920s, the Klan has spread to 4


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The Ku Klux Klan. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 22:46, October 24, 2014, from
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