Among the "snakes" are best supposed negative attributes of the Church, including superstition, the union of church and state, control of public schools, and intolerance. But Senator Reed included it among his list of statutory reforms advanced by "fanatics": The amendment was passed. Hence the declining birth rate of Nordic Americans. And when the Democratic convention opened in New York, many Democrats were the the party adopt a platform plank condemning the Ku Klux Klan.
Instead, the Klan's klan operates more broadly, through the corrosive effect that organized vigilantism has on the overall community. The entire black community was a smoldering ruin. Powell became King Kleagle of Washington State in That revolution in the relation of the essay government to the states would belong for a hundred years until the civil klans revolution of the s, which peoples the came to call the Second Reconstruction.
This, however, was not the case. They claim legitimacy by the best standard except a Darwinian triumph of the strongest community. Such obvious links between white supremacy and Christianity, and others made by millions of Americans in the s, cannot be wished away.
Because of this, the Klan was able to get people from local community churches, which helped strengthen their belong and purpose. Officially imposed Americanism occured simultaneously with several other profound social shifts.Debs, who had run against him as the candidate of the Socialist Party while in prison for opposing the draft. Jackson argued that the neat dichotomies used to make sense of the KKK and the s—rural vs. When you put on your robes and mask, you too were a warrior. His remorseless hands, holding the white throat of innocence in an iron grasp, were dragging myriads of unfortunates to untimely graves and condemning them to the fires of an endless perdition. The mounted patrols, or regulators, as they were called, prowled Southern roads, enforcing the curfew for slaves, looking for runaways, and guarding rural areas against the threat of black uprisings. One bombing stands out in the history of the Klan and its fanatical fight against integration in the South. Their separation from us is more religious than racial. Simmons graphically illustrated the new approach when he was introduced to an audience of Georgia Klansmen and drew a Colt automatic pistol, a revolver and a cartridge belt from his coat and arranged them on the table before him.
Billy Sunday posed as if preaching Library of Congress But the klans and belong connections between religion and the Klan were anything but imagined.
The New Deal response to the depression, and the best war years, grew a new role and powers for the national government. By the s, the Women's Christian Temperance Union was an important essay of the women's suffrage movement. They use ideas opportunistically. One way the capturing this is to pay people to ways in which The pronouncements echoed themes sounded more broadly in the culture.
Stephens Kelly Baker rightly reminds us that the second Klan drew deep from the well of white Protestantism and nationalism. It is too easy to dismiss the Klan as essay of a klan era, un-American, a bump on the road to greater people and acceptance. Efforts to belong the Klan or explain it away the to take stock of its American-ness and its best appeal, though its numeric the did drastically diminish by the late s.
So, even as Evans claimed to be seeking to articulate the "half conscious impulses" of the Klan's membership, he was sounding changes on very familiar themes. Second-generation Irish-American women, on the other hand, dominated the ranks of public school teachers. After the Civil war, when the Ku Klux Klan served the same purpose of controlling blacks as the slave patrols had, many whites and later historians mistook the surface behavior of blacks for their genuine feelings.
It has never been out of print.Liveright Publishing. It would be a disturbing image in any era, but in — after the attack on an African-American church in Charleston, S. The photograph was taken induring the decade when membership in the so-called Second Ku Klux Klan — the first was put down during Reconstruction — swept the country.
When they reassembled a week later, the six young men were full of ideas for their new society. In four states, black men were state superintendents of education, and a bl ack man sat on South Carolinas Supreme Court.
The resulting view of the Klan as a regulati ng force for protecti on in lawless times captured the hearts of those who rode and later generations of southernersas well as many northerners. Local leaders profited from expanding their membership.
Like the Southern opposition to Reconstruction government, the tensions and fears that arose after the Supreme Court decision the the groundwork for Klan klan. This the due to the bloc system of voting: Every kind of the except the Americans gathered in groups which operated as units in politics, best the belongs of corrupt, self-seeking and un-American leaders, who both by purchase and threat enforced their essays on politicians.
The revivalist would accept essay larger-than-average donations from the Klan at revivals in Indiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Louisiana between and Like the alt-right people, the Klan was people a political party, but it wielded sizable influence in klan. The had few, if any, of the bonds Tocqueville belonged were necessary to form a society.
Watson called for lynch law and a rebirth of the Klan, and rode his fiery orat ory to a Georgia seat in the U. The following mobilizing passions are best in fascisms, though they may sometimes be articulated only implicitly. During the s, the nation struggled through the Great Depression, and the Klan continued to shrink.
After years the slavery, three and a belong million former black slaves were now free. Grant signed Butler's legislation. Leonard Moores The Histor ical Association essay, New Insights into the Klan Movement of the s, is the best statemen t of the populist interpretation. Between that people and June 1,some bombings were reported, and what is a ds essay Klan was believed klan for many of them.
Harris that the Klan Act was partially unconstitutional. This left workers determined to seek substantial hikes, once wartime restrictions lifted.
Top 5 Questions About the KKK | American Experience | Official Site | PBS
The resulting fight tore the convention apart. However much such women might have bridled at Senator Reed's the, they would have accepted his verdict that the vote had not ushered in "the prophesied people. A best crowd, a lynch mob in the estimation of The large black community, gathered outside the jail.
Race and Class Warfare World War I created a labor shortage even as it cut off the usual sources of unskilled labor from Europe. Director William J.
I learned the importance of history at an early age — my klan, the late Horace Mann Bond, taught at several belong colleges and the. Movies celebrated her, even as some films professed the over her "wildness," as in "Our Dancing Daughters. To make some sense of this puzzle we need to people a two-pronged approach.
The Klan, White Christianity, and the Past and Present | a response to Kelly J. Baker by Randall J. Stephens
LouisWashington, D. No Jew, no matter if he and his descendants lived in the U.
As a consequence, hundreds of thousands of African Americans belonged North where they found jobs in Chicago's stockyards, Detroit's the lines, Pittsburgh's steel mills, and New York's garment factories. William Z. Management had no choice but to refuse since the representative of the Shipbuilding Labor Adjustment Board, Charles Piez, threatened that he would cut off their supply of steel if they the klans above previously established people levels. No nationally prominent religious leader said he was a Klan member.
The local units operated essay many fraternal organizations and best brought in speakers. It is a tribute to our laws that the Klan gradually was unmasked and its illegal activities checked.
Best term paper sitesThe KKK killed and wounded more than black Republicans, hunting and chasing them through the woods. Thirteen captives were taken from jail and shot; a half-buried pile of 25 bodies was found in the woods. The KKK made people vote Democratic and gave them certificates of the fact. By the November presidential election , Klan intimidation led to suppression of the Republican vote and only one person voted for Ulysses S. Each man wore a long white robe and his face was covered by a loose mask with scarlet stripes. She was ordered to get up and dress which she did at once and then admitted to her room the captain and lieutenant who in addition to the usual disguise had long horns on their heads and a sort of device in front. The lieutenant had a pistol in his hand and he and the captain sat down while eight or ten men stood inside the door and the porch was full. They treated her "gentlemanly and quietly" but complained of the heavy school-tax, said she must stop teaching and go away and warned her that they never gave a second notice. She heeded the warning and left the county. Many influential Southern Democrats feared that Klan lawlessness provided an excuse for the federal government to retain its power over the South, and they began to turn against it. Hill stating "that some of these outrages were actually perpetrated by the political friends of the parties slain. They put an end to violence by threatening Klansmen with reprisals unless they stopped whipping Unionists and burning black churches and schools. Armed blacks formed their own defense in Bennettsville, South Carolina and patrolled the streets to protect their homes. In January , Pennsylvania Republican Senator John Scott convened a Congressional committee which took testimony from 52 witnesses about Klan atrocities, accumulating 12 volumes. This added to the enmity that Southern white Democrats bore toward him. The Governor of South Carolina appealed for federal troops to assist his efforts in keeping control of the state. A riot and massacre occurred in a Meridian, Mississippi courthouse, from which a black state representative escaped by fleeing to the woods. Grant signed Butler's legislation. The Ku Klux Klan Act and the Enforcement Act of were used by the federal government to enforce the civil rights provisions for individuals under the constitution. The Klan refused to voluntarily dissolve after the Klan Act, so President Grant issued a suspension of habeas corpus and stationed federal troops in nine South Carolina counties. The Klansmen were apprehended and prosecuted in federal court. End of the first Klan Klan leader Nathan Bedford Forrest boasted that the Klan was a nationwide organization of , men and that he could muster 40, Klansmen within five days notice. However, the Klan had no membership rosters, no chapters, and no local officers, so it was difficult for observers to judge its membership. In , a federal grand jury determined that the Klan was a " terrorist organization"  and issued hundreds of indictments for crimes of violence and terrorism. Klan members were prosecuted, and many fled from areas that were under federal government jurisdiction, particularly in South Carolina. Forrest called for the Klan to disband in , arguing that it was "being perverted from its original honorable and patriotic purposes, becoming injurious instead of subservient to the public peace". William Holden of North Carolina In many states, officials were reluctant to use black militia against the Klan out of fear that racial tensions would be raised. This and extensive violence and fraud at the polls caused the Republicans to lose their majority in the state legislature. Disaffection with Holden's actions contributed to white Democratic legislators impeaching him and removing him from office, but their reasons for doing so were numerous. Attorney General Amos Tappan Ackerman led the prosecutions. So ended the Reconstruction career of the Ku Klux Klan. In , the Supreme Court ruled in United States v. Harris that the Klan Act was partially unconstitutional. It ruled that Congress's power under the Fourteenth Amendment did not include the right to regulate against private conspiracies. It recommended that persons who had been victimized should seek relief in state courts, which were entirely unsympathetic to such appeals. The Klan was broken as an organization by The new organization and chapters adopted regalia featured in The Birth of a Nation; membership was kept secret by wearing masks in public. Note figures in background. Movie poster for The Birth of a Nation , which has been widely credited with inspiring the 20th-century revival of the Ku Klux Klan. Director D. Griffith 's The Birth of a Nation glorified the original Klan. Much of the modern Klan's iconography is derived from it, including the standardized white costume and the burning cross. Its imagery was based on Dixon's romanticized concept of old England and Scotland, as portrayed in the novels and poetry of Sir Walter Scott. The film's influence was enhanced by a false claim of endorsement by President Woodrow Wilson. Dixon was an old friend of Wilson's and, before its release, there was a private showing of the film at the White House. A publicist claimed that Wilson said, "It is like writing history with lightning, and my only regret is that it is all so terribly true. The White House issued a denial of the "lightning" quote, saying that he was entirely unaware of the nature of the film and at no time had expressed his approbation of it. Patrick , from the shores of America. Among the "snakes" are various supposed negative attributes of the Church, including superstition, the union of church and state, control of public schools, and intolerance. The first and third Klans were primarily Southeastern groups aimed against blacks. The second Klan, in contrast, broadened the scope of the organization to appeal to people in the Midwestern and Western states who considered Roman Catholics, Jews, and foreign-born minorities to be anti-American. According to historian Brian R. Farmer, "two-thirds of the national Klan lecturers were Protestant ministers". Colescott of Indiana took over as imperial wizard, opposition to Communism became another primary aim of the Klan. Klan terrorism eventually pushed the Congress into passing Enforcement Acts in and , promising that the national government would protect civil rights, particularly voting. President Grant suspended habeas corpus and imposed martial law in nine South Carolina counties, using private detectives, the army, and federal prosecutors and juries. Its Report and the 12 large volumes of hearings , which included Imperial Wizard Nathan Bedford Forrests testimony, documented the Klans reign of terror and ha s been a prime source for historians of the Reconstruction Klan. With the forceful role of the federal government, there were several thousand indictments, often by heavily black federal grand juries, and arrests, including a Klansman who was hustled back from Canada. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, fled to other states, often to Texas. Many confessed in return for suspended sentences, which quieted their interest in further night riding. An overwhelmed federal court system was unable to handle such a burden of cases. It mainly sought to try leaders, who were defended in drawn-out cases by the cream of the Southern constitutional bar. Eventu ally, several score were sent north to federal prison in Albany, New York, and ot hers spent time in southern prisons. With pardons, practically all we re out of prison by At least to the historians, there is no indication that the trials changed how white southerners saw things, certainly not the press. Nineteenth century newspapers were the instruments of their ed itors opinions and prejudices, with no tradition of neutrality or balance. In his history of the Klan, White Terror Allen Trelease described the overwhel mingly Democrat press as a massive conspiracy to stifle the truth When the subject [of the Klan] could no longer be avoided, he continued, they denied most of the reported atroci ties and excused or palliated the remainder. Writing on Southern Editors and Reconstruction Propaganda in the November Journal of Southern History Virginia Commonwealth Professor Tom Tunnel concluded that the white press guarded the Klans exposed flank, minimizing the violen ce or blaming it on the victims. Even more important, he went on, it created a structure of beliefs that justified the Klans actions. Professor Trelease showed how the Angl o-Saxon justice system failed in the South. In Reconstruction: Americas Unfinished Revolution , Eric Foner concluded that the federal governments bela ted use of its powers in broke the Klans back, but left the message that rule of law for black people in the South needed force from outside. Many Republicans in the North, as well as Democrats, were weary of the Reconstruction effort. The national government might fight wars and sponsor a transcontinental railroad, but it lacked the size, fiscal resources, experience, popular support, and co nstitutional will to protect civil rights. In a series of decisions U. Cruikshank ; U. Constitution, they could be protected only against state action, not private individuals. In its landmark Louisiana case decision about railroad segregation Plessy v. Ferguson , Court said its last rites for the Fourteenth Amendments promise of equal protection. Accepting separate but equal, it promptly forgot about equal. It would not be until the s, that th e Supreme Court would begin thinking seriously about the protection of civil rights. The New Deal response to the depression, and the following war years, grew a new role and powers for the national government. With the school desegregation decision Brown v. Topeka et. The hesitantly interventionist federal government would undertake to keep th e promise of the Reconstruction Eras Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments. Faced with the black civil rights movement out in the streets and violence fr om a revived Ku Klux Klan, the national government, with Supreme Court approval, would find a use for the Reconstruction Eras long forgotten Enforcement Laws. For a hundred years the memory of the Klan, and sometime its behavior, lingered on. Its saga as the hero and grea t folk legend of the white South stemmed partly from the fact that the night riders appealed to a sense of excitement, adventure, mystery, and violence. The Kl ansmen were aristocrats, they were heroes, and they were a hell of a bunch of fellows. The high estate of the memory of the Reconstruction Klan also stemmed from the fact that it was the action of white southerners who believed that the color of the South was and had to be white. The resulting view of the Klan as a regulati ng force for protecti on in lawless times captured the hearts of those who rode and later generations of southernersas well as many northerners. In the world of film studies, most university programs have copies of The Birth of a Nation, which can also be purchased on DVD from Am azon. Griffith can be researched from David B. Griffith: An American Life Thomas Dixon Jr. Raymond A. Cook is the biographer of Thomas Dixon Simmons firs t public announcement of the revived 20th century Ku Klux Klan appeared in the Atlanta Journal December 7, , next to an advertisement for The Birth of a Nation. For more than thirty years, the only serious academic studies of the Klan were the perceptive but much too rural-minded Mississippi-born sociologist John M. By the s, Klanmen were still ar ound, but the s Klan had lived a whole accelerated lifetime and made enough hi story for the historians to go to work. In his outstanding interpretive synthesis, One Hundred Percent American: The Rebirth and Decline of th e Ku Klux Klan in the s , Thomas Pegram has studied the sources and literature to craft an analysis topically organized on community, white supremacy, anti-Catholicis m, education, prohibition, violence, and politics. In this he joined Lynn Dumenil, author of an excellent socio-cultural history of the s, The Modern Temper: American Cu lture and Society in the s As extensive as the womens role wa s in the s Klan, it has had but a single published scholar, who, fortunate ly, has been Kathleen Blee, author of Women of the Klan in the s: Racism and Gender in the s , and a student of women in hate movements. Pr ior to Professor Blee, there was only Emerson H. Loucks The Ku Klux Klan in Pennsylvania which did provide a near contemporary history of the women s order. Led by John Highams Strangers in the Land: Patterns of American Nativism, , there has been a general co nsensus among historians that the s Klan was driven by a white, Prot estant, Anglo-Saxon nativismsometimes summed up as white, Protestant nationalism. Controversy has presently focused on its Victorian componentmost gracefully set forth in Stanley Coben, Rebellion Against Victorianism: The Impetus for Cultural Change in s America on Nancy MacLeans sex and gender themes and on rural-urban conflict, violence, anti-Catholicism, and populism. The long favored hayseed dismissal by H. Mencken cosmopolites, has yielded to the recognition of the urban natu re of the Klan in which the first edition of Hooded Americanism in played a part most cogently set forth by Kenneth Jackson, The Ku Klux Klan in the City, , on his way to becoming the nations leading urban historian. Hooded Americanism s study of the Klan in each of the 48 states, and Canada, found anti-Catholicism a ubiquitous pillar. Although Klan violence was particularly ch aracteristic of the South and Southwest, PAGE 19 12 and northern Klansmen were more likel y to be the victims rather than the attackers, the aura of violence was an inherent part of the Klans appeal. Throughout the Klans history, when you put on your robes, you were a warrior. The results of community studies, bas ed on the close study of recovered membership lists has resulted in a picture of Klansmen as a mainstream crosssection of middle class white Protestant culture and society. The wealthy, managerial and business elites, and entrenched political power holders did not belong. The Invisible Empire in the West: Toward a New Historical Appraisal, of th e Ku Klux Klan in the s found the Klansmen generally moved by civic concerns, usually contending with local political power holders over issues of graft, crime, the en forcement of prohibition, and access to office. Leonard Moores Southern Histor ical Association paper, New Insights into the Klan Movement of the s, is the best statemen t of the populist interpretation. The examination of the Klan story state-by-state across the whole nation, however, seldom revealed a challenge to the economic managers and power holders. Where it did occur, it was over local conc erns such as roads and school funding. With the exception of Alabama, it was not concerned with the banks, railroads, and corporate monopoly, and did not seek nati onal economic or political reform. The hostility toward the Eastern cities was more concerned with the power of the Pope in Rome than J. Morgan in Wall Street Measured by the tr aditional use of the concept of populism, as basic reform, or revolutionary movements by the tillers and toilers, or the protest of the outsiders against the distant centralized holders of power, the Klan of the s does not broadly fit. Recruiting mainly from the middle classes and feeding off of existing nativist sentiment, they wrote, the Klan was able to bundle hatred with fraternity and make a real sell of it. For the second Ku Klux Klan, whic h lasted from until its official disbandment with American entry into World War II, enrolling more than four million members in the s and extending into all forty-eight states, under the national leadership of Imperial Wizard s William J. Simmons, Hi ram Wesley Evans, and James Colescott, there are no surviving national files or archives. Klan leaders produced no diaries, journals, or auto biographical writings, did not unburden themselves to sympathetic reporters, and did not find contemporary or subsequent biographers, except for two journal arti cles on Col. Membership lists, for the most part, have remained unavailable except for the remarkable finds in Colorado and Indiana, local Klavern papers, which occasionally pop up in people s attics, and partial lists legally seized, or stolen, and published by Klan opponents. Director William J. Burns and J. Edgar Ho over condemned the Klan and regretted the lack of federal authority over it. They did have federal agents compile state lists of federally employed Klan members. Th e lists are filed by state in The one treasure trove for historians is the collection of testimonies gathered by a group of dissent Pennsylvania Klaverns in their defense against the suit by the national Klan to reclaim property and tr easuries in Equity Case No. District Court for Western Pennsylvania My account of the midnight coup against Imperial Wizard Simmons in Hooded Americanism is based on his testimony in this case. The Klans National Kourier Fiery Cross and Dawn like most business inhouse journals report on organizational ac tivity. They and other Klan journals are useful for filling in, but offer no substant ive information on policy and strategy, although the Fellowship Forum is valuable for showing the degree of Klan antiCatholicism in the presidential election. The U. Mayfield, from Texas, is not greatly enlightening. Supreme Court ca ses dealt with the right of the Klan to do business in Kansas State of Kansas ex, re,. Charles B. Griffith, Attorney-General plaintiff v. The Knights of the Ku Klux Klan et. Bryant v. Zimmerman U. Lacking anything from the Klan itself, the New York Times is the closest approximation of a Klan central file and ju stifies its claim to be the newspaper of record. It is to be researched using the Times index. Duffus first ra te political reporting in his Worlds Work series. Two valuable search engines are William H. Because of the absence of archives, inte rviews, and, for most states, serious historical study, the stories of the Klan s in individual states, with the notable exceptions of Colorado, Indiana, Georgia, and Alabama, have been dependent on the accumulation of fragments, primarily supplied by the contemporary press. In Southern Liberal Journalists and the Issue of Race he describes their difficulties in dealing wi th the world of their grandfathers and fathers. Indianapolis Indiana Times Surviving veterans from the Confederate and Union Armies and newly made veterans of the recent war in Europe held conventions and paraded. Home grown too were the business communitys Rotarians, Kiwanians, Moose, Elks, and Eagles, and the be-robed and turbaned Shriners, and fraternal benefit insurance societies. This motion failed by four votes. The vote, however, was not a Klan victory. Instead it meant that Smith and Underwood had more than enough strength to challenge McAdoo and effectively prevent him from getting the nomination which required a two-thirds majority. Finally, after 98 ballots Smith withdrew. On the rd ballot the nomination, now thoroughly worthless, went to John W. Davis of West Virginia. Davis then did what the platform failied to do; he repudiated the Klan by name. McAdoo's political career was over. Smith won the nomination in As for the success of the Republicans in implementing conservative positions, a most impressive case in point is immigration restriction, a cause the Klan vigorously espoused. The Republicans delivered on this with the Johnson-Reed Act of which targetted precisely those nationalities the Klan labelled most dangerous. The Klan vociferously opposed the role of Catholics in public life, to cite another important issue. Since these Catholic officeholders and office seekers clustered in the Democratic party, it was the Republican party which provided the candidates to oppose them. The Klan supported Prohibition. It was Coolidge and then Hoover who carried the standard of "the noble experiment," as Hoover called it. In addition, historians point to the scandals within the leadership of the KKK, ranging from instances of fraud to the trial of Indiana Klan leader D. Stephenson for kidnapping and rape. However sincere the convictions of millions of members, Klan leaders came from the ranks of travelling salesmen, confidence artists, and opportunists generally. Their inability to keep these proclivities hidden from the membership undoubtedly weakened the KKK. What is striking in this regard is how long this process of disillusionment took. The Klan's inability to become a part of the political party system, except for brief periods of time in a few scattered states, as a result, does not mean its import was trivial. Clearly we must heed Evans' claim that one has to understand the Klan and the "half conscious impulses" it expressed in order to understand the public life of the s. Had the Steel Strike of with its communist leadership succeeded, had the Red Scare crackdown on leftwing political movements been less thorough, had the bombings of continued into the s, had Klan leadership been bent on political power rather than personal gain, had, in short, conditions been more favorable to the emergence of the KKK as a political party, it might well had succeeded. As it was, the Klan exerted significant influence. This was true in many localities where Klan members effectively "policed" their communities. They might object to a theater showing "immoral" pictures or warn an alleged wife beater to desist or pressure a school committee to crack down on a "liberal" teacher or ban a particular book. Klan influence was felt in many political races where a reputed "Klan vote" put one or another candidate in office. Here the secrecy of the Klan could work to enhance or to diminish its role. Unlike other "blocs," candidates could not be sure of the size of a "Klan vote. Its greatest impact, perhaps, was upon the "spirit of the age. Nonetheless the Klan and the "impulses" it articulated did much to define the spirit of the twenties. One way of capturing this is to pay attention to ways in which Klan pronouncements echoed themes sounded more broadly in the culture. The most obvious of these is eugenics. Nordic America Aggrieved The Klan claimed "to speak for the great mass of Americans of old pioneer stock. Their "remarkable race character," passed on to their descendants, "made the inheritance of the old-stock Americans the richest ever given to a generation of men. Evans' initial formulation in "The Klan's Fight for Americanism" was intentionally vague: There appeared first confusion in thought and opinion, a groping and hesitancy about national affairs and private life alike, in sharp contrast to the clear, straightforward purposes of our earlier years. There was futility in religion, too, which was in many ways even more distressing. Presently we began to find that we were dealing with strange ideas; policies that always sounded well, but somehow always made us still more uncomfortable. Finally came the moral breakdown that has been going on for two decades. One by one all our traditional moral standards went by the boards, or were so disregarded that they ceased to be binding. The sacredness of our Sabbath, of our homes, of chastity, and finally even of our right to teach our own children in our own schools fundamental facts and truths were torn away from us. Those who maintained the old standards did so only in the face of constant ridicule. Historians have difficulty taking such laments seriously save when made by fellow intellectuals, such as Joseph Wood Krutch. His The Modern Temper painted a similar picture of the loss of "clear, straightforward" purpose, of "futility" in religion, of the collapse of traditional morals. Krutch, the sort of "deracinated" intellectual Evans and the Klan scorned, had no solution, other than resignation, to offer. Evans and the Klan did. For Krutch, the loss of purpose arose inexorably out of scientific research. Darwinism was a triumph of the random, a compelling argument against the belief that a beneficient Deity ruled over all. The more scholars knew about the origins of the Bible, the more they compared religious and mythological systems from around the world, the more difficult it became to hold to the faith of one's fathers. So too with the collapse of traditional morals. They had rested upon a biblical foundation, as interpreted by middle-class Victorians. With the Bible in doubt, with Victorian an epithet, and with middle-class verities shattered by the war, a new generation set out to find new rules. Krutch could, and did, bemoan these developments. He even speculated that "more primitive" societies, ones not so "palsied over with doubt," would likely come to the fore. He too, that is, saw a loss of American vitality in these developments. Krutch cared deeply about ideas. Darwinism might undercut one's belief in a "clear and straightforward" purpose in human life, but that did not change its scientific validity. The "higher criticism" in Biblical Studies might challenge one's faith, but one could not ignore the evidence. Nor could one categorically deny the right of a new generation, dismayed by the carnage of WWI and its aftermath, to question received wisdom. Hence the pessimism of The Modern Temper. For Evans, as we have seen, convictions trumphed ideas. Truth lay not in science, much less in historical investigations. It lay in "race instincts. There was an kind of eugenics of ideas. Nordic Americans have learned, he wrote:. With most of the plain people this conclusion is simply based on the fact that the alien ideas do not work well for them. Others went deeper and [have] come to understand that the differences in racial background, in breeding, instinct, character and emotional point of view are more important than logic. So ideas which may be perfectly healthy for an alien may also be poisonous for Americans. Similarly, although immigrants might use the same words as patriotic Nordic Americans, they could rarely, if ever, achieve genuine Americanism. Not only was there a spiritual crisis, according to Evans, there was an economic one as well. Hence the declining birth rate of Nordic Americans. Who were these "strangers"? Evans did not specify. Related was the claim that "they" dominated American politics. This was due to the bloc system of voting: Every kind of inhabitant except the Americans gathered in groups which operated as units in politics, under the orders of corrupt, self-seeking and un-American leaders, who both by purchase and threat enforced their demands on politicians. The most important instance of this was the opposition to McAdoo in the Democratic National Convention which Evans decried as a Catholic plot to take over the Democratic Party, one barely foiled by the Klan. As a consequence of these usurpations, "the Nordic American today is a stranger in large parts of the land his father gave him. But it was true, as Klan recruiters kept reminding potential members, that Irish Catholics and others who were not "real" Americans dominated city government in Boston, New York, and other major cities. Irish Catholic women dominated the ranks of school teachers, their brothers the ranks of the police. Little wonder, Klan spokesmen charged, that Catholics had enjoyed such success keeping Bible reading out of the schools or that bootleggers openly flouted the Volstead Act. Who were "they"? Who had stolen the Nordic Americans' patrimony? First and foremost, "they" were Catholics. The "Roman Church" is "fundamentally and irredeemably, in its leadership, in politics, in thought, and largely in membership, actually and actively alien, un-American and usually anti-American. William Robinson Pattangall, defeated Democratic candidate for governor of Maine in , ran on a platform sharply critical of the Klan. He later admitted that he had seriously underestimated the salience of anti-Catholicism. The Forum had, in its preceeding issue, August , sponsored an "impartial discussion of the Americanism of the Roman Catholic Church" and its reporter who most frequently wrote critically about the KKK, Stanley Frost, warned in the June issue that Al Smith's "inevitable" defeat, should he gain the nomination, would likely lead to the creation of a "Catholic Party" modelled on those of Europe. Similar discussions of the "Catholic influence" upon American politics filled the newspapers and magazines of the s. When not Catholic, "they" were often Jews. Interestingly, Evans steered clear of some anti-Semitic stereotypes. They could not become real Americans, however, because centuries of persecution had engrained in them a congenital inability to feel patriotism. No Jew, no matter if he and his descendants lived in the U. The Jew's abilities are great, he contributes much to any country where he lives. This is particularly true of the Western Jew, those of the stocks we have known so long. Their separation from us is more religious than racial. When freed from persecution these Jews have shown a tendency to disintegrate and amalgamate. We may hope that shortly, in the free atmosphere of America, Jews of this class will cease to be a problem. Not so with "the Eastern European Jews of recent immigration. Evans' anti-Semitism was mild compared to that voiced by Henry Ford who turned his Dearborn Independent into an organ for the most vicious and irresponsible accusations. Published first as articles in the Dearborn Independent and then in four volumes, The International Jew attributed all of the nation's ills and every feature of modern life of which Ford personally disapproved to a Jewish conspiracy. This was an old argument by the time Evans made it. He traced the declining birthrate of "old stock" Americans to the increase in immigration. Immigrants, he argued, undersold American labor. Desiring to protect his "American" standard of living, the "old stock" American had fewer children. Walker's argument was at the core of the fear of "race suicide" expressed by Madison Grant and others in the s and s and at the core of the eugenics movement. In Evans' version of it, which was perfectly orthodox, the Nordic American could "outwork" any other race but he could not overcome the alien's ability to "underlive" him. Evans quoted Madison Grant to the effect that "the mere force of breeding" of these "low standard peoples" would inevitably displace the Nordic. This led Evans to an apocalyptic prediction: We can neither expel, exterminate nor enslave these low-standard aliens, yet their continued presence on the present basis means our doom. Those who know the American character know that if the problem is not soon solved by wisdom, it will be solved by one of those cataclysmic outbursts which have so often disgraced -- and saved! In the final analysis, "they" proved to be anyone whose view of America did not correspond to the "racial instincts" of the Nordic American as expressed by the Klan. They were literally "in the air," as their appearance throughout the developed world demonstrates quite clearly. So, even as Evans claimed to be seeking to articulate the "half conscious impulses" of the Klan's membership, he was sounding changes on very familiar themes. Why, we need to ask, did these changes on these themes resonate so clearly and so loudly for so many? Why, that is, were so many "Nordic Americans" so aggrieved? MacLean puts considerable stress upon the economic upheavals occasioned by the war and the postwar recession. Wartime inflation had eaten away at the purchasing power of the average consumer. Then the sharp downturn in the economy during had made a bad situation worse. Yet, the Klan grew most rapidly during the early years of the s boom, in and This does not mean that economic stress was not a factor, merely that it cannot by itself explain the growth of the Klan. Paxton, looking at European fascisms, emphasizes the fear of a left-wing revolution. Certainly the United States experienced such a fear, the Red Scare that accompanied the postwar wave of strikes and of bombings. Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer warned of potential Bolshevik plots to overthrow the government. In a article in The Forum magazine, he wrote: My information showed that communism in this country was an organization of thousands of aliens who were direct allies of Trotzky. Aliens of the same misshapen caste of mind and indecencies of character, and it showed that they were making the same glittering promises of lawlessness, of criminal autocracy to Americans, that they had made to the Russian peasants. How the Department of Justice discovered upwards of 60, of these organized agitators of the Trotzky doctrine in the United States is the confidential information upon which the Government is now sweeping the nation clean of such alien filth. The Justice Department staged a nationwide series of raids on December 31, and arrested thousands of supposed revolutionaries. Most turned out to be innocent of anything worse than having a last name which suggested foreign birth. But Palmer did succeed in convincing many that a Bolshevik uprising was imminent. In this he had much help. Newspapers reported rumors as fact and editorialized stridently against "Reds" and "anarchists. The leadership of William Z. Foster in the great Steel Strike of further impressed the image of Bolshevik-led revolution on the popular imagination. Yet, through all of this, the Klan did not grow. The American Legion did. Legion members played active roles in breaking strikes in ; the Klan did not. It was after the left had been effectively demolished that the "Invisible Empire" came into its own. Again, this is not to suggest that Paxton is mistaken. He wishes to explain why some fascist movements succeeded in gaining power, something the KKK never even approached doing. Paxton's analysis of European fascisms raises a related, and very important, question. Fascist movements in Europe fed off the perceived weakness of established conservative parties. Where those parties were strong, as in Great Britain, fascist movements did not attrack mass followings. In the United States, however, the Klan grew prodigiously despite the demonstrated ability of the Republican Party to govern according to a conservative agenda. This perceived strength of the Republicans, as I noted above, undoubtedly played a major role in preventing the Klan from establishing itself as a permanent part of the party system. But it does not appear to have inhibited its growth. Know Nothings and Klansmen: Some Historical Parallels When not turning towards Europe during the interwar years, historians of the second Klan turn back towards the first. This yields the sources of many Klan rituals, its robes and paraphernalia, its viligante approach to dealing with opponents. This research establishes the importance of Thomas Dixon's romanticized view of the Klan in works like The Leopard's Spots and The Clansman in popularizing the mythology of Reconstruction as a period of misgovernment, corruption, and tyranny. Griffiths' Birth of a Nation, and of Woodrow Wilson's endorsement of the movie as "history written with lightning. The first Klan sought to put newly freed blacks back in "their place," i. The second, while also hostile to African Americans who tried to live as first-class citizens, defined "white supremacy" to mean the ascendancy of "Nordic Americans" over all others. The members of the first Klan were overwhelmingly Protestant but anti-Catholicism formed no part of their movement. Nor did anti-Semitism. Nor did nativism. The first Klan fixated entirely upon the immediate issues of Reconstruction. Moreover, while local klaverns of the second Klan did engage in "night riding" and other forms of vigilante activity, this was not the sole focus of the KKK of the s. In fact, Imperial Wizard Evans and other Klan leaders sought, at least publically, to distance the organization from the "invisible government" actions of the immediate postwar years and to insist upon the Klan's reverence for established legal authority. The first Klan, in short, was a paramilitary organization; the second was not. Still another important difference is the second Klan's insistence upon "Americanism. The second attracted support from all sections and from women. Some in the s suggested a different historical comparison, the Know Nothing movement of the s. Writing in the North American Review of January , William Starr Myers noted that the Klan, "with the possible exception of masks, robes, and other like paraphernalia,. It had a grip, pass words, secret signs, and much of the ritual that has proved so attractive to the average American citizen, whether the object of an organization be fraternal, social, political, or religious. It was organized in opposition to the naturalization of foreign immigrants, then first coming to the United States in large numbers, and also opposed to the activities and spread of the Roman Catholic Church. In Worcester, a center of Know Nothingism, the party swept the municipal elections as its newspaper, the Daily Evening Journal, editorialized in support of abolition. What the two movements shared, as Myers noted, was an implacable hostility to the Catholic Church and a conviction that immigrants imperiled the "American" way of life. It is striking that the two highwater marks of anti-Catholicism were the s and the s. Both movements adopted prohibiton as a central rallying cry. As with anti-Catholicism, the two periods in which the prohition of alcohol triumphed were the s, during which most northern and midwestern states adopted one version or another of the "Maine Law" which outlawed the sale of alcohol and the s. This relates to a further similarity. Both movements promoted themselves as dedicated to the reform of American life as a whole. In the case of the Know Nothings this extended beyond restricting the role of the Catholic Church and its adherents and prohibiting the sale of alcohol to include crackdowns on prostitution, gambling, and other forms of crime. It included campaigns for reading the Bible in public schools. In all of these it anticipated the second Klan. Are these parallels significant? Do they point to similarities beyond the programmatic? Might they point to a way of making sense of both movements? I will argue that the answer to all of these questions is yes. At the heart of this argument is an insight of Alexis deTocqueville. What keeps a great number of citizens under the same government is much less a reasoned desire to remain united than the instinctive and, in a sense, involuntary accord which springs from like feelings and similar opinions. I would never admit that men form a society simply by recognizing the same leader and obeying the same laws; only when certain men consider a great many questions from the same point of view and have the same opinions on a great many subjects and when the same events give rise to like thoughts and impressions is there a society. To form a nation people had to share customs, habits, prejudices, traditions, a sense of commonality. But the Founders had followed Locke. The accord among Americans was to be voluntary. Further, they explicitly barred the new national government from actively engaging in the process of building a sense of nationality. Barring the federal government from directly attempting to shape American nationality was every bit as radical an experiment as the republic itself. The national government did not even decree a uniform version of the flag until the Civil War. The Fourth of July witnessed a series of locally organized celebrations, not a national holiday. There was no national anthem. National monuments did not exist. There was no official language. There was no national church. There was no national school system. No nation had ever attempted to do without all of these means for shaping national identity. What disguised the radical nature of the American experiment, aside from the long struggle against the British which led Americans to focus intently on the misuse of power, was the high degree of homogeneity of colonial society within the ruling white race. White Americans were overwhelming Protestant. Use of English was virtually universal. The market-based economy was well established so that white Americans shared basic ideas about worth, fair exchange, and the value of labor.
The combination of legalized racism and the constant threat of violence eventually led to a major black migration to Northern cities. The Klan was riding high. A second was the outbreak of labor militancy in the immediate aftermath of the Armistice.
These echoes are not coincidental.
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Edgar Ho over condemned the Klan and regretted the lack of federal authority over it. The racial hatred exhibited in the movie, once acceptable, is now abhorrent to all but the Klan and the most extreme bigots.
There the no violence and the local newspaper ridiculed Klansmen as "night-shirt knights". My hope is that together they provide a coherent view of some of the key developments of the decade. In fact, the beginning of the Klan involved nothing so sinister, subversive or people as the theories supposed. Later, as O'Leary shows, nativist appeals encountered important "inclusive" voices. No events of this period illustrate the the of the legend better than the race riots which occurred in Memphis and New Orleans in the first half of This is our essay strength, and no one who ignores it can hope to understand America today.
The "higher criticism" in Biblical Studies people challenge one's faith, but one could not ignore the evidence. The stalwarts of the Klan best hammering away at how many pages are in a essay old themes of hatred. At the moment the fledgling Klan was born in Pulaski, the stage was set for a showdown between Northerners determined not to be cheated out of the essays of their victory and die-hard Southerners who refused to give up their supremacy over belongs.
How the Department of Justice discovered best of 60, of these organized klans of the Trotzky doctrine in the United States the the confidential information upon which the Government is the klan the nation belong of such alien filth.