The historical development and the present situation of the Ku Klux Klan in America

Pre-University Paper, 2003

39 Pages


Table of contents

1. The Ku Klux Klan as a topic in US entertainment

2. The first Ku Klux Klan (1864-1869)
2.1. The background
2.2. The foundation of the first Ku Klux Klan
2.3. The reorganisation of the Klan
2.4. The ‘Invisible Empire’
2.5. Characteristics of the first Ku Klux Klan
2.6. The enemies
2.6.1. White enemies
2.6.2. Black enemies
2.7. The end of the first Klan
2.7.1. Klan violence during Reconstruction
2.7.2. Anti-Klan legislation

3. The second Klan (1915-1944)
3.1. The beginning of the second Klan
3.2. The influence of the motion picture ‘The Birth of a Nation’
3.3. The enlistment of new Klansmen
3.3.1. A campaign for the Klan
3.3.2. The average Klansman
3.4. The redefined enemies of the Klan
3.4.1. African Americans and Roman Catholics
3.4.2. Foreigners
3.5. The strategy of Simmons
3.6. Internal conflicts
3.7. The Klan in US politics
3.8. The decline of Klan power
3.8.1. Superpatriotism
3.8.2. The problem of incompetent leadership
3.8.3. A secret organisation’s publicity
3.8.4. The overwhelming Klan violence
3.8.5. The end of an era

4. The Ku Klux Klan after World War II
4.1. An Atlanta Klan revival: the Klan between 1946 and
4.2. The end of segregation
4.3. Klansmen’s cruelties
4.4. Growing anti-Semitism
4.5. Changes in US society
4.5.1. The Civil Rights Movement
4.5.2. The Civil Rights Law and the Voting Rights Act
4.6. The Klan in the 1970s and 1980s
4.6.1. The way of David Duke
4.6.2. The radical proceeding of Bill Wilkinson
4.7. The Ku Klux Klan from 1990 until today
4.7.1. Thom Robb, “a leader for the 90’s”
4.7.2. The church burning crisis

5. Survey of the Klan movements
5.1. Extension of the Klans
5.2. The influence of historical events

6. Future prospect

7. Bibliography

1. The Ku Klux Klan as a topic in US entertainment


Nigger, you're the real niggers, you're the real niggers /

there's always gonna be fanatical minorities /

the ku klux klan and fucked up authorities /

conservative cunts and religious preachers /


This quotation taken from the song ‘ Nigger ’ and performed by the Swedish band ‘ Clawfinger’ is an excellent example to demonstrate the general public point of view how to deal with the racist organisation Ku Klux Klan as a part of US society. Though the Klan no more seems to play a crucial part in the USA the media refers to it nevertheless. Comedians like Mike Myers in the movie ‘ Austin Power-The Spy who shagged me’ and caricaturists make use of the Klan, when its members are butt of derision (picture 10, p. 32).

It gives the impression that the US society has found a way to cope with this dubious minority within society, which claims to guarantee individual's freedom and liberty. But what is the Ku Klux Klan? Where did it come from, why was it able to re-establish its organisation for several times in the USA and where will it go?

2. The first Ku Klux Klan (1864-1869)

2.1. The background

Several special events in US history had been necessary to form a militant organisation like the Ku Klux Klan. In this case, the American Civil War initiated the impulse for it.

The general situation in the USA from 1861 to 1865 was characterised by the American Civil War between the Northern Unionists and the eleven Southern Confederates. A difficult political and economic conflict between the modern industrialised Northern States and the agricultural South, depending on Northern industry, preceded this war. For the South, slave holding was self-evident and the guarantee of cultivating land, a controversial opinion to the more progressive Northerners. After some time of hidden tensions within the US congress, the conflict reached its peak when the Confederacy declared their secession from the Union in March 1861 to form the Confederate States of America. A month later, the American Civil War began.

"[…] The industrialized Northern states, which were determined to preserve the Union, eventually won the war and subsequently subjected the South to rigorous federal control from Washington. The conquered South was treated as if it had been a foreign enemy and, during `Reconstruction`, the period of occupation and reform after the war, many changes were forced on it. As the North was opposed to slavery, the slaves on the plantations were emancipated in 1865"[2]

Radical changes in the Southern society followed.

2.2. The foundation of the first Ku Klux Klan

The first Ku Klux Klan was founded in Pulaski, a tranquil rural town in Tennessee. In the pre-war years slave holding was absolutely normal in this region. When the 13th amendment stated that all slaves had to be freed, it caused immense alterations. For the Southerners, this meant creating a new social order including about 50 per cent African Americans: the black part of the population now was emancipated from their former owners who were not delighted with this unaccustomed situation.

The end of the Civil War also brought other serious problems for Southerners: farmland was devastated, trade and economy were broken down and, as a consequence, there were no jobs for the people left. After wartime, the returning former soldiers of the Confederate Case often had no perspectives.

In Pulaski, six of them did not want to accept the life of sullen townspeople. These men, James Crowe, Richard Reed, Calvin Jones, James John Lester, Franc Mc Cord and John Kennedy, had also served the Confederate Case as soldiers or officers and were well educated; some even attended a university.

Pulaski represented boringness which drove them almost crazy. Therefore the men decided to create a club just for fun. This decision was made between Christmas 1865 and June 1866.

The name for the club they chose was ‘Ku Klux Klan’. ‘Klux’ is derived from the Greek word ‘kuklos’ meaning ‘circle’, ‘Klan’ represents the Irish Scottish descent. Finally they used the prefix ‘Ku’ to give the name a more mystifying sound. "There was something awesome, mysterious, even occult about the name Ku Klux Klan, suggesting to John Lester the sound of ‘bones rattling together.’"[3] They also created a number of rules for the new association and a hierarchical structure with several offices as they were used to during their military service.

Though this club owned a complex structure it was not its destiny to become a terrorist movement. The new members, joining very soon after its foundation, just wanted to escape the monotony of their rural city, too. The Klansmen were just messing around; soon they started masking themselves and their horses with white sheets and started riding through Pulaski during night-time. When they recognised that the illiterate African Americans could easily be intimidated by those nocturnal actions, the practice of the Klan changed. The number of serious practical jokes increased.

"One involved a Klansman’s drawing his gown up over his head and placing a false head on top. He would then remove the head and hand it to a freedman, requesting that he hold it for a while. As legend had it, the terrified black would then run screaming into the night. A similar trick employed a skeletal arm held in the sleeve of the Klansman's gown. An unsuspecting black would be asked to shake hands with the false arm which, to his horror, would be left in his grip as the Klansman rode away.[4]

The Klan came into fashion and soon after the foundation in Pulaski, daughter Klans spread in other Southern towns.

At first the mother Klan in Pulaski tried to have a watching eye over the new Klans but due to the speed of its spreading this could not be realised. Other ways needed to be found.

2.3. The reorganisation of the Klan

In April 1867, in Nashville, Tennessee, a secret meeting took place in which the steps for a necessary reorganisation of the Ku Klux Klan were on the agenda. This was to strengthen the loose alliance of the various local Klans; in most cases, the ‘Grand Wizard[i]’ was not able to control all of their actions. This fact played a crucial part for the end of the Klan later on.

"To reorganize the Klan on a plan corresponding to its size and present purposes; to bind the isolated Dens[ii] together; to secure unity of purpose and concert of action; to hedge the members up by such limitations and regulations as are best adapted to restrain them within proper limits; to distribute the authority among prudent men at local centers and exact from them a close supervision of those under their charge."[5]

The supreme motive for members of the Klan was saving the US constitution and the institutions connected to it, like the constitutional laws; "the weak, innocent, defenseless, and oppressed, the Constitution of the United States, and all constitutional laws were to be upheld."[6]

During this congress, Nathan Bedford Forrest, a former general of the Confederacy (picture 1, p.10), was elected ‘Grand Wizard’ of the Ku Klux Klan. He now had an almost aristocratic power over the newly named ‘Invisible Empire’. His important counsellors were usually former officers who had served in high positions during the war. On the whole, the Klan's organisational structure reflected the social one of that time.

2.4 The ‘Invisible Empire’

Soon after its foundation, the Klan operated in nearly each Southern state (compare map, p.32).The intensity of Klan activities was individual in each one. In North and South Carolina for example, the organisation was particularly busy in persecuting the black population.

Generally the Ku Klux Klan acted in rural regions and upland areas where African American minorities lived and slavery had played an important part in society. In big cities, the Klan's influence on daily life was extremely limited. This phenomenon was based on the fact that urban citizens were not as much concerned by the changes in society through freedmen as rural people.

2.5. Characteristics of the first Ku Klux Klan

The first Klan was an organisation full of contradictions. On the one hand it possessed an extremely tough and inflexible structure with strict rules and offices; on the other hand each small Klan was only formally connected to its mother Klan. There was simply no possibility of rapid communication.

Besides this characteristic the Reconstruction Klan acted in the underground. To protect the secret brotherhood it was very popular to let new Klansmen swear an oath of secrecy like this one which was used in both Carolinas:

"I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Invisible Circle[iii]; that I will defend our families, our wives, our children, and brothers; that I will assist a brother in distress; that I will never reveal the secrets of this order or anything in regard to it that may come to my knowledge, and, if I do, may I meet a traitor's doom, which is death, death, death. So help me God, and so punish me my brethren."[7]

The removal of the old pre-war governments helped the Klan to get to power in Southern states. Because Klan adherents were politically orientated to Democrats, they defeated the Republicans, the Reconstruction and its governments.

With Tennessee being the exception, the Democratic Party soon was lifted up to the executive. The political instability after the Civil War increased the fascination of the Klan within Southern population. With its Klan program it seemed to solve the Southern problems.

Very influential people like newspaper editors, political leaders and members of the US congress joined the Klan and increased its influence on Southern politics and daily life.

Klan radicals who were not in the minority did not even hesitate about killing their political opponents to reach their main aim, the extension of whites’ rights and thrusting the African Americans aside in an own, social lower class. In Klansman's eyes, African Americans were a human race of minor quality. That is why those saw themselves not as an illegal movement but the enforcer of law. “The Klan was, in Southern eyes, primarily a law-and-order organization .8

2.6. The enemies

In its function as a conservative organisation the Ku Klux Klan worked with the violent weapons of slavery like lynching and hanging to torture their opponents. Klan's enemies were people who did not fit into its philosophy like freed African Americans and people who were engaged on these people.

2.6.1. White enemies

Klansmen fought all people who worked for the integration of black people into Southern society. The Klan used violence against Northern teachers who were sent by the Freedmen's Bureau which cared for African Americans' education. The Freedmen's Bureau was founded in 1865 by Congress after the end of Civil War. It felt responsible for the schooling of black illiterate freedmen to offer them a chance of integrating them into the Southern society and to lead them into independence from their former masters. The endeavour of black education did not fit with the estimation of most Southerners. Consequently the teachers became targets of Klan activities.

2.6.2. Black enemies

After the end of slavery, some African Americans showed tendencies to found militant organisations like the ‘Union League’, a counterpart to white establishments. This development within black society made whites nervous who were already shaken by their loss of supremacy. But also the major unorganised part of black society was under permanent suspicion of Klansmen. After the end of Civil War and after having received equal rights, African Americans were able to gain land which had been in white ownership before.

As mentioned earlier, one main reason for the Klan's attacks on black people was the aim to restore white supremacy. The Klan wanted to frighten African Americans, so that the major part of black electorates did not go to the polls. Hence it follows that the old conservative whites were able to regain leadership in Southern state governments being successful in the elections of 1870. After 1870, the white Southern politicians could create a system of white supremacy by setting up a lawful scheme of segregation which was legal until 17th May 1954.

The motives of such a radical proceeding are relatively easy to explain. After the Civil War a short period of weak governments and no defined political line followed. This political instability created fright in Southerners' minds of black outrages that could have been a reaction of wrath after the long period of slavery. Such fears served as the starting point for the foundation of watchful Klan organisations in almost every Southern slave holding community.

2.7. The end of the first Klan

As said before, the new founded daughter Klans which had spread all over the Southern part of the USA formed in most cases only in a loose alliance to the ‘Imperial Wizard’. This entailed in an increasing number of radical members and the disappearance of the original moderate leitmotiv of the Pulaski Klan. The whole organisation headed slowly out of control. No supreme Klan official had the possibility to tame the outbreaks of brutality. Carnages perpetrated by Klan members reached a former unknown climax.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Picture 1: Nathan Bedford Forrest, "Grand Wizard" of the Ku Klux Klan after 1867Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Diagram 1: The development of the membership of the first Klan

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Picture 2: William Joseph Simmons, the founder of the second Ku Klux Klan

2.7.1 Klan violence during Reconstruction

After Civil War, the Democratic influence on Southern politics augmented whose highest aim was to put the rights for black people into effect. Southerners, passionately slave holding, could not understand this.

This is why many Klansmen answered with a new wave of violence against African Americans, Northerners and all people who were engaged for African Americans.

The lynching created permanent fright among the potential targets of Klan brutality. In January 1869, even Grand Wizard Forrest could not tolerate these acts of violence and the looseness of the internal organisation any longer: Forrest disbanded the Ku Klux Klan with its almost 500,000 members and hoped to stop the violence.

“WHEREAS, The Order of the K.K.K. is in some localities being perverted from its original honorable and patriotic purposes;

AND WHEREAS, Such a perversion of the Order is in some instances defeating the very objects of its origin, and is becoming injurious instead of subservient to the public peace and public safety for which it was intended, and in some cases is being used to achieve personal benefit and private purposes, and to satiate private revenge by means of its masked features... It is therefore ordered and decreed, that the masks and costumes of this Order be entirely abolished and destroyed. And every Grand Cyclops[iv] shall assemble the men of his Den and require them to destroy in his presence every article of his mask and costume and at the same time shall destroy his own. And every man who shall refuse to do so shall be deemed an enemy of this Order, and shall be treated accordingly. And every man who shall hereafter be seen in mask or costume, shall not be known or recognized as a member of this Order, but shall be deemed an enemy of the same Every Cyclops will destroy this Order as soon as read to every member of their Den and Staff.

By command of


In most areas, he was successful and the Klan vanished from the surface of society. But some small cells remained active. Especially in North and South Carolina, different Klan groups continued to fight for their aims.

2.7.2. Anti-Klan legislation

The remaining local Klans were decisive for the anti-Klan legislation consisting of the Force Act of 1870 and the Ku Klux Act of 1871.

“[…] During the Reconstruction period, three important Force Bills were passed. Two of them, on passed on May 31, 1870 and the other on February 28, 1871, were designed to enforce the 15th Amendment as it relates to black suffrage. On April 20th, 1871, the Ku Klux Klan Act was passed to enforce the guarantee of civil rights by the 14th Amendment. This gave the president authority to use the United States military against the Klan.”10

The president in office of that time, President Grand, consequently sent troops to nine South Carolina counties and appointed commissioners to command the arrest of hundreds of conspirators. As Wyn C. Wade says in his book ‘ The Fiery Cross ’ "only two months after Grant's suspension of habeas corpus, nearly eight hundred South Carolina Klansmen had fled the state, were arrested and paroled, or were jailed."11 At the end of 1871, the Klan was almost gone in this and other states. About a decade later, the Supreme Court declared the Ku Klux Acts unconstitutional. But at that time the Klan did not exist any more. It had achieved its aims of restoration of white supremacy during the 1870s. There was no need for an organisation intent on white supremacy any longer.

3. The second Klan (1915-1944)

3.1. The beginning of the second Klan

After the end of the first Klan, several decades had been passing by until the organisation was reorganised. On Thanksgiving Day 1915, a new Klan era began. At that day, William Joseph Simmons, a former preacher, founded the successor of the first Klan near Atlanta, Georgia. His father had been a Klansman in the first movement, so Simmons was well acquainted with the idea of the organisation.

3.2 The influence of the motion picture ‘The Birth of a Nation’

The movie ‘ The Birth of a Nation’ by David Wark Griffith, produced in 1915 and filmed after his two books ‘ The Klansman ’(1905) and its sequel ‘ The Leopard's spot ’ (1906), is extremely racist (picture 3, p.13). Wark’s point of view was very popular in Southern society, the books were well sold and the success of the movie on theatres was not unforeseen.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Picture 3: The poster of the motion picture presents the Klansmen as heroic people

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Picture 4: Burning crosses, symbol of the Ku Klux Klan

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Picture 5: A poster of a Klan meeting during the second Klan era

The movie plot paints African Americans as men without moral and sense of right and wrong. The film’s climax is that the white female protagonist is saved from rape by members of the Ku Klux Klan by killing her black attacker.

This showed the Klan in a most favourable light in the opinion of a great part of the white spectators. In contrast to these, the black part of the population felt that this film was able to influence the whites' minds strongly and they sensed "[…] that the second Klan was different, even from other racist organizations."12 While the African Americans were conscious about the hidden danger of the Klan, the movie was welcomed advertisement for it.

The film also created the idea of the burning cross which was to become a symbol for the Ku Klux Klan later on (picture 4, p.13).

3.3. The enlistment of new Klansmen

When America entered World War I in 1914, Simmons and his organisation found a task. In Simmons's eyes the United States needed "[…] to be defended against alien enemies, slackers, idlers, strike leaders, and immoral women, lest victory be endangered."13

Though the Klan was very busy in its activities, it did not win a lot of members in the first five years after the foundation (diagram 2, p. 22).

In 1920, Simmons wanted to change this situation and hired a publicity agency. The owners of the ‘Southern Publicity Association’, Edward Young Clarke and Elizabeth Tyler, rendered the rise of the second Ku Klux Klan possible.

3.3.1. A campaign for the Klan

Tyler and Clarke worked out a campaign for the Klan to attract new members. They used of all methods of modern advertisement to gain as much attention as possible for Simmons’s organisation.

The agents advertised in newspapers, they managed interviews for the ‘Imperial Wizard’ Simmons and made initiation ceremonies a public event (picture 5, p.13). This strategy was very effective and membership soon passed the mark of 100, 000.

After 1922, the second Klan developed into a statewide organisation.

The peak of membership was reached in 1924, when about 4-6 million Americans believed in ‘100 % Americanism’ (diagram 3, p. 22).

According to Stanley K. Schulz, Professor of History, ‘100% Americanism’ is composed of: "Protestantism, charity, motherhood, morality, temperance, education."14

3.3.2. The average Klansman

The typical adherent of the second Klan was a family man with wife and children, a member of the Protestant Church, mainly Baptist or Methodist, and, as the majority, a very peaceful element of society.

Klansmen of the 1920s lived in the industrialised cities, their roots being in the typical American town. These cities lay in those areas where the Klan’s image of foes would find many adherents. In general those people had not a high standard of education; they were often within insecure financial circumstances and discontent with themselves. As in most cases they feared to lose their employments, European immigrants and African Americans citizens streaming into the cities were seen as rivals.

For these white Protestant Americans of the mainstream, the Klan offered a perfect diversion from their daily life’s sorrows with Klan meetings, parades and solemn ceremonies.

This program hit the nerves of many whites. Being in the Klan came into fashion and membership grew.

3.4. The redefined enemies of the Klan

In the first years of the second Klan, "[…] the Klan was not a nigh-riding organization but merely a fraternal one which stressed 100 per cent Americanism and the supremacy of the Caucasian race."15

This was to change at the latest, when the publicity agency began its work.

To the traditional enemies of the Reconstruction Klan, the African Americans, ‘Imperial Wizard’ Simmons and his councillor Clarke added several new ones of which the most important are presented in the following paragraphs.

3.4.1 African Americans and Roman Catholics

The hatred against black people had not changed since the first Klan, though the intensity was diminished. The greatest fear of conservative whites was that organised African Americans might possibly take their revenge for slavery by force. In the second era, a new aspect of Klan’s hatred was created, the antipathy against the Catholic Church.

"Members of the Klan called the Pope a 'political autocrat' intent on taking over the world. They insisted that it was impossible for anyone to be a good American citizen and a good Roman Catholic at the same time"16

Klan adherents probably feared that the Pope could indirectly take control over the US society through Catholic US citizens.

3.4.2. Foreigners

Between 1891 and 1914, many immigrants arrived from Europe, especially from Southern countries and caused changes in US society. As the European emigrants were not always interested in rapid assimilation to the American Way of Life, they forced the society to change. Again the white US citizens feared to lose their American identity.

But also the economic situation was involved in great transformation. The mass of people able to work influenced the situation on the labour market: the job competition between the unemployed got harder. The native US citizens feared for their financial existence.

3.5. The strategy of Simmons

Klan leader Simmons knew how to cope with white Protestants’ anxieties. Therefore he could gain more and more members; this was what he wanted to.

To become affiliated with the organisation one had to be a male native-born Protestant US citizen, older than 16 years. If these conditions were fulfilled, the potential Klansman had to pass several tests and after paying an initiation fee of 10 US-Dollar, he finally was a member of the Ku Klux Klan.

Regarding this financial aspect, the Klan seemed to be an easy method to earn money for responsible persons of the Klan. By adding new enemies defined after the general fears of the white population, Simmons could attract additional members paying fees. Besides these ones, Klan accessories guaranteed receipts, for example robes for the Klansmen.

It gives the impression, that Simmons was not only interested in his Klan program of ‘Pure Americanism’ but also in earning as much profit as possible in shortest time.

3.6. Internal conflicts

In 1922, ‘Imperial Wizard’ Simmons took six months time off from Klan leadership for some reasons. During this time, Clarke became his deputy. This decision was not welcomed by all Klansmen and under the leadership of Hiram W. Evans, an internal treason was created.

After some difficulties, Evans was named ‘Imperial Wizard’ in the end (picture 6, p. 22). This process was going on for over two years "[…] of conflict, conspiracy, law suits, and publicity […]."17

Though the two former main Klan responsible persons tried to restore their power, they failed. The power now lay in the hands of Evans who had his own conception of the Klan’s further proceeding.

3.7. The Klan in US politics

In the first years after the foundation, Simmons and his organisation were not very successful in influencing the political stage. The end of World War I cared for growing membership. The Ku Klux Klan "furnished an outlet for the militant patriotism aroused by World War I, and it stressed fundamentalism in religion."18 Klan violence increased, but only few Klansmen were sentenced in trials as a reaction to their whippings and abductions, for example.

The great alteration of Klan's intentions can be connected with a newspaper campaign initiated by ‘ The World ’ in New York and the changes in Klan's leadership in 1922. After several articles in press, dealing with a corrupt Klan, US congress began researches, but in the end "the Klan had come off better than many of its leaders had expected."19 The campaign also aroused whites’ interests in the Klan.

Simmons later said:

"It wasn't until the newspapers began to attack the Klan that it really grew. […] Certain newspapers also aided us by inducing Congress to investigate us. The result was that Congress gave us the best advertising we ever got. Congress made us."20

The new leader Evans changed the Klan’s tactics. Among the numerous new Klansmen were also many influential politicians, so the access into state wide contests in 1929 was easy.

In places where the Klan had gained many adherents, it became a permanent part of US politics. Nevertheless the responsible Klansmen did not show great effort to create an independent political program. In the first place, the Klansmen knew exactly what they disliked and as for creating a solution which enabled them put their aims into practice, they did not show great commitment.

The Klan’s political grounds covered the Democratic as well as the Republican Party. The political sentiment of the Klans in the Northern and Western part of the USA, supporting the Republicans, differentiated from the one of the Southern Klansmen who voted Democratic. This inconsistency towards the first Klan and second Klan itself also caused the Klan’s decline later.

"For the most part, however, the organization had enough trouble trying to unite its cohorts behind a fellow wearer of the robe, and it could not be counted on to deliver its vote, when it meant crossing political party lines."21

The Klan preferred working undercover for its political aims. Whenever it was possible the political engaged Klansmen did not appear officially, but sent representatives believing in the Klan's favourite program. On the whole, the Klan’s political interference was obvious.

1924 was the most successful year for the Klan, regarding political and organisational issues. Klan membership was as high as never before or after. The organisation was active in almost every state and had reached respectable political influence, in state governments as well as in national questions.

"The Klan's national objectives in 1924 were threefold: To block either major political party from condemning the Klan by name in its party platform; to help win the Democratic presidential nomination for William Gibbs McAdoo of California; failing to nominate McAdoo, to prevent the nomination of Alfred E. Smith, the Catholic, antiprohibitionist governor of New York, or Oscar W. Underwood, the anti- Klan United States Senator from Alabama."22

Within the Democratic Party, the views about the Klan’s supports were opposing. Although the Republican nominate was elected in a landslide victory for presidency, the Klan was able to show his influence: "in Senate and governorship races, Klansmen or Klan favorites won handsomely […]"23 in several states.

In its legislative function, the Klan was engaged in a conception of a National Department of Education and the prevention of America's joining in the World Court. It feared that "[…] America’s interests would be placed in the hands of foreigners."24

3.8. The decline of Klan power

In the mid twenties, the Klan seemed almost unbeatable. It had achieved the longings for political influence, membership was as high as never before and the progresses were satisfactory. An organisation founded in secrecy had become a striving part of American society. This contradiction was later to become one reason for the Klan's disappearance.

In general, the essential fears of the typical Klansman slowly waned. African Americans had not started revolts, neither on Southern farms nor in the ghettos of the big cities.

In 1923, the immigration-restriction law was passed which meant that the uncontrolled immigration from all parts of the world was limited.

A characteristic of the Klan was its negative attitude; it always was against, but never for something. This position seemed attractive to the insecure-minded Americans of the 1920s, but when the social situation became more positive, pessimism was not necessary any more.

Considering all facts the Klan’s base for existence began to disappear.

3.8.1. Superpatriotism

"The second Klan was born in that environment in 1915, which encouraged the superpatriotism of World War I."25 The US army as well as the home country held this attitude up high. Both parties presented a picture of a German enemy to fight against. After armistice in 1945, the US soldiers as well as the ‘home front’ were still in a certain motivation of fighting for the American position. This situation nourished the Klan.

"The feelings stirred up by World War I had not yet abated. Peace does not come because men suddenly declare it. The war was an emotional binge fed on whipped-up passions. It was sustained on the home front by enforced conformity and an increased awareness of one's neighbors. Rumor and apprehension became the food of everyday life.”26

Yet such radical emotions cannot exist forever. As years went by, this superpatriotism was replaced by calmness and made the Americans lose their interest in the Klan.

3.8.2. The problem of incompetent leadership

As mentioned earlier, the Klan leaders’ interests on financial enrichment were characteristically. To a large extend these Klan officials did not try to combine the different aspects and differences within the single state Klans; in the first case, they tried to get more and more money.

Focusing on finances, the leaders recognised too late that "the individual Klans, everywhere, were almost always in revolt against the higher leadership."27 Until 1925, the movement had experienced a stream of members. Such growth could not be completely organised and the whole Klan, only connected by its name, was unofficially split into state Klans and the nation wide Klan. When a more optimistic attitude in US society could be recognized many Klansmen simply lost their interest in the movement, while others were not satisfied with it any more and decided "[…] to form short-lived local organizations copied after the Klan."28

But also within leadership internal conflicts arose about the way the Klan was to go. ‘Imperial Wizard’ Evans was removed from his office in 1939 and James A. Colescott bore the title of the supreme leader, but he was not charismatic enough to reunite the Klan.

3.8.3. A secret organisation's publicity

The Reconstruction Klan was based on the idea of a fraternal institution working in the underground. When Simmons first took over this concept, he was still adhering to it. In the course of years, the Klan's intentions changed and it developed into a politically engaged movement with the sought of national attention. This contradiction brought negative effects with it.

When New York newspapers began publishing articles about Klan atrocities, the Klan moved into the spotlight of publicity. The following cases in front of the courts and the Klan's rush into national politics offered non-Klansmen a small glance behind the robes of the organisation. The brotherhood, once based on secrecy, lost its identity and many Klansmen could not tolerate this. Under these circumstances the Ku Klux Klan, in its original definition, could not produce respect or fear any more.

3.8.4. The overwhelming Klan violence

The national Klan was not able to control all activities of the different state Klans which gradually became more violent. The numerous victims of such Klan atrocities result from the fact that a lot of Klansmen "[…] could not even discuss most ordinary subjects without resorting to violence of utterance."29

The moderate Klansmen, representing the majority of Klan adherents, eventually recognised that their former fraternal organisation went too far and that the leaders were incapable of getting the radical members under control. Consequently, the moderates turned their backs to the Klan and the movement’s decline of power started.

3.8.5. The end of an era

In 1944, the US Bureau of Internal Revenue caused the disbandment of the once strong organisation. The Klan was accused of tax evasion during the 1920s and it was to pay about $685,000, the financial breakdown of the second Ku Klux Klan.

"To avoid liability for what remained of the bill, Colescott called a special Klonvocation[v] on April 23, 1944, and members voted to revoke the charters of all established Klaverns[vi], disband all provisional Klaverns, and suspend the constitutional laws of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, Inc. ."30

The second Klan, once known for his power, had found an inglorious end.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Picture 6: Imperial Wizard Hiram W. Evans (middle position)

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Diagram 2: The Development of the 2nd Klan until 1921

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Diagram 3: General survey of the membership of the 2nd Ku Klux Klan

4. The Ku Klux Klan after World War II

4.1. The Atlanta Klan revival: the Klan between 1946 and 1954

Although some sources have other theories, the third Klan was probably reinvented in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1946 in the very same place the second had been restored. The founder, Dr. Samuel Green, marked the beginning of a new Klan era with his Association of Atlanta Klans (AGK).

He had been a Klansman within the second Klan and had climbed up the career ladder; he therefore knew how to treat with possible Klansmen. Green possessed a nose for post-war fears of white citizens in Georgia about African American activities and he did not hesitate to utilise his knowledge.

As said earlier, the main end of Green's movement was to stop all institutions improving the African Americans’ status. The Klan was aware of the Fair Employment Practices Committee which was, for example, busy in rising African Americans into higher job positions.

The AGK soon spread through whole Georgia and made efforts to establish itself in Alabama, Florida, North and South Carolina, but government functionaries as well as the state populations blocked the Klan's integration in society. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had a watching eye over the organisation whether Klan members had broken federal laws. Soon the Klan was set onto the subversive list.

"According to the charter, the Klan was to be a nonprofit, charitable, benevolent, eleemosynary society for the promotion of pure Americanism. According to the state of Georgia, it was a profit-seeking, politically motivated organization which notoriously violated both the criminal laws of the state and the civil rights of Georgia's citizens."31

In accordance with this, the Georgian Klan fled into home politics and continued its way. The remaining unofficial Klansmen in all states showed the willing for violent behaviour, especially in those areas where local police sympathised with Klan's concerns. The elections of 1948, for example, were overshadowed by the intimidation of African Americans through Klansmen.

On the whole, Green's organisation did not succeed in its intentions. The hooded brotherhood did not scare the black part of society any longer, after its transformation from the sublime to the ridiculous: a journalist, Stetson Kennedy, smuggled himself in the Klan and told the public in newspaper articles everything about Klansmen’s behaviours. Again, the secret movement, like the second one, had lost some part of its secrecy. Another setback was Green's death in 1949. Green had been a charismatic personality with the ability to hold his brotherhood together. After his passing away, the organisation splintered into many different branches which brought a wave of violence within many now independent Klans.

As a consequence, the following explanations refer to the general developments of the Ku Klux Klan after 1946.

A characteristic for some of these now autonomous Klans was their tendency to get more and more violent, which they were to retain during the 1950s and 1960s.

The states concerned of those crimes showed no acceptance and soon several Southern states, like Georgia in 1949, passed anti-mask laws to stop Klan adherents.

Though this had impeditive effects on the organisation, a decision of the US Supreme Court was to fuel the movement of the Ku Klux Klan.

4.2. The end of segregation

An important date for the US history was the 17th May 1954. On that day, the US Supreme Court stated segregation to be unlawful.

Due to this event, the Klans in the USA could now operate against an actual subject; they had found a new end: to stop the anti-segregation movement.

The different descendants of Green's organisations did not have a synchronised procedure, which was also a reason for their inability to become a present organisation as the second Klan had been. The single branches competed with other white racist organisations, like the White Citizens Council, which were more successful in attracting members at that time. As a consequence, Klan adherents were not numerous in US Southern society. Because the image of a typical Klansman had not changed since the second era the Klan was only an important prestige object for middle-class people, not a political movement. The upper-class of society formed the opposition towards the Klan, but their statements had no effect within potential Klan members. While some Klan leaders trusted in their verbal persuasive powers, others, "[…] marginal fanatics and mercenary opportunists"32 did not hesitate to get into conflict with the law.

Klan’s membership grew steadily for years. With the development of a new self-confidence of the black part of population which was prepared for getting into serious troubles for its rights during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s many whites could not cope it.

4.3. Klansmen’s cruelties

The dimensions of Klan brutality had to be new defined when it grew into a habit to use very destructive dynamite. According to Barbara Patterson's studies ‘ Defiance and Dynamite33, there were about 100 cases of bombings between 1956 and 1963. Consistent with the common philosophy of the different Klans, buildings of black communities like churches, dwelling-houses and white supporters of integration were not secure against Klan assaults. "We don't want no violence, but we ain’t gonna let the niggers spit in our face either."34 This quotation of a Klan leader shows the attitude of most Klansmen. They saw themselves as victims of African American activities which were to chance the whites’ social standards.

The reason for dynamite becoming so popular was that this explosive offered most possible destruction in shortest time. The Klan bombers thought, the combination would guarantee relatively safety towards police investigation. Though police could not solve most of the cases of Klan bombings, "careful police work and a growing co-operation among the states and with the FBI, […], promised some measure of control if only by promoting caution among the bombers."35

In 1963, Klan actions changed again. The Klan copied African American civil rights fighters in their non-violent struggle, like doing protest marches. But they followed this line for only about one year. After the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Klan violence increased once more.

Meanwhile the FBI was not inactive to sabotage the Ku Klux Klan. As Wyn C. Wade describes in his book ‘ The Fiery Cross36 the FBI worked on two stages against Klan organisations.

On the lower one, their activities did not seem to be very effective: unidentified postcards were sent to Klansmen (picture 7, p.26), for example, to intimidate these or to activate their mistrust in Klan leaders. On the advanced level, the FBI sapped Klan

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Picture 7: Postcards sent anonymously to Klan members by the FBI

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Diagram 4: The Klan membership after 1946

organisations by promoting Klan members financially who were willing to form new organisations so that the Klans would fall into pieces.

4.4. Growing anti-Semitism

"Jews are the children of the Devil;"37 this slogan gradually became significant for Klan programs. Many adherents, especially Klan leaders, found interest in Hitler's anti-Semitism of the Third Reich. The Klan members disliked the Jewish business in commerce. Due to their activity, Jewish citizens had richer living conditions and better chances in finding a job in most cases. This created jealousy among many working-class members who, in their eyes, competed yet with African Americans for jobs. The racial intolerance was well developed due to these social circumstances.

In my view, another factor for the increasing antipathy against Jewish citizens might be the fact that, after the immigration-restriction laws of 1925 had been passed, this objective was no longer relevant for the Klans after WW II. The unused motivation was transferred to the second pretended reason of social grievance.

4.5. Changes in US society

In the beginnings of the 1960s, a new more self-confident generation of African American had grown up, who no longer accepted the racial discrimination. The fears of their African American predecessors for the Ku Klux Klan were forgotten and the Klan was seen as little more as club for isolated bored Americans, which secrets had been made public during the 1940s through journalist Kennedy.

4.5.1. The Civil Rights Movement

When the heyday of the black Civil Rights Movement began, the Klan became gradually attractive for some white native US citizens. According to Microsoft’s ‘ Encarta Enzyklopädia 2001 PLUS ’, the common resistance against the African American integration was in decline, while the Ku Klux Klan was still strong disagreeing with the civil rights program.

While African American activists were busy in peaceful civil rights protest marches, the Klans were not indolent in operating against it, especially by intimidating acts of violence. One of the most renowned cases of the Klan bombing was the one of Birmingham, Alabama, in which 4 young black schoolgirls were killed after arson on the 16th Street Baptist Church on September 15, 1963.

4.5.2. The Civil Rights Law and the Voting Rights Act

Another motive for the sudden increase of Klan adherents was the Civil Rights Act of July 1964. In the same year, several states abolished laws against cohabitation and most states' politicians formed a line against Klan activities but the stream of new Klansmen did not dry up.

The third Klan era (diagram 4, p.26) had reached its peak in 1964. African American self-confidence intimidated many reactionary white Southerners and after the new law of 1964, improving African Americans’ status, the racist brotherhood used all its physical powers to stop those pro-African American events.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 assured African American citizens the right to vote and to apply for public offices in many areas in the Southern part of the USA, for the first time after Reconstruction.

The case of Viola Liuzzo, murdered in 1965, was to become a stumbling block for the Klan violence. President Johnson, being upset about this assassinate, commanded an FBI examination of the case. Due to the numerous FBI spies within the Klan organisations, it did not take for long to find the killers of Ms Liuzzo. To sentence the responsible Klansmen one utilised an old Conspiracy Act of 1870. In this case, the President took personally opposition against the Ku Klux Klan.

4.6. The Klan in the 1970s and 1980s

After a short period of a relatively powerful Klan in the middle of the 1960s, it lost, as often before, as many influence as it ever had gained. The Klan's power was "[…] directly proportionate to the helplessness of the victim."38 After the black part of America’s population had managed its social liberation successfully, the former weak African Americans no longer offered an easy target for the hooded organisation.

As a consequence, numerous variations of the Ku Klux Klan changed their proceedings. The following two Klan leaders represent the two main tendencies of the Klans.

4.6.1. The way of David Duke

“We’ve got to get out of the cow pasture and into the hotel meeting rooms, […]."39 This quotation has been made by David Duke (picture 8, p.32), a Klan leader who had changed the direction of his own Klan, the Louisiana’s independent Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, as well as the other ones.

In his official appearance, Duke was not a stereotypical Klansman. Once talk master Tom Snyder portrayed him: “You are intelligent, articulate, charming, […]40, referring to David Duke’s graduation at university. David Duke gave his Klan an absolutely new orientation as he wanted to raise the attention of the more intellectual citizens of the United States.

Duke did not change the aims of his Klan, he was still holding on the old assertions of former moderate Klansmen, which claimed that the decline of rights of whites was directly proportionate with the improvement of African American status. Duke used new ways to spread the prejudices into the minds of US citizens. His ticket to the wide range of the US media was his abilities in speech and his good-looking physical appearance. He gave newspaper and radio interviews and especially used TV to present his point of view. Talk shows promised good advertisement for his organisation.

Despite his intelligence and self confidence, Duke’s non-consolidated political message, however, was broadcasted always the same: well sounding words with no tenor. “He had no animosity toward any other race. He was only for the rights of white people.41 Duke limited his actions to the verbal fight for equal rights to white Americans; in using violence, he saw no solution because it would have been too ordinary for his orientation.

Due to his prominent position Duke sat between two chairs: on the one hand he had to present Klan requests in politically correct form, on the other old Klan values had to be kept. Being very flexible, the Klan leader managed almost all of these difficulties.

In one position, Duke left the way of the Klan. As an opposite of the former eras, adherents to the Roman Catholic Church suffered no longer under Klan attacks, the organisation welcomed them now. The reason for this change was probably the lack of potential members in a time since the Ku Klux Klan had been damned by the US society. The conditions had to be lowered to keep the movement alive. The hallow promises of the Klan’s program was not mesmerizing enough to attract the interest of university graduates. About a decade after Duke’s crusade for a more intellectual Klan the fascination had gone and Duke wanted to leave Klan affaires. He wanted to sweep the Klan away from his life and to found a new white racist organisation, but this one was created to fail.

As a consequence, David Duke began to build up political influence and “today, Duke publicly distances himself from the Klan […], calling it ‘a youthful mistake.’42

In general one can say, David Duke initiated the moderate section of the Ku Klux Klan.

4.6.2. The radical proceeding of Bill Wilkinson

Originally, Bill Wilkinson had been a Klan official in Duke’s organisation, but quit in 1975 after several dissidences.

While Duke held up high non-violence, Wilkinson entered the path of military actions. “We tried the moderate approach [...], but it failed.”43 Being a Vietnam army veteran, Bill Wilkinson was specialised in weapons and military training, so he founded camps to prepare his Klan members for the fight for Klan ends. This strategy attracted especially army veterans who could work up their failures in the Vietnam War and other US weapon fanatics who were numerous in America. Between 1979 and 1984, the most potent Klan on the North American continent was Wilkinson’s one. Wilkinson knew to make the most of the hidden tensions within America’s society and enlisted members in every place, where racial tensions simmered.

The victims of those organised and trained Klan violence, which reached its peak in the early 1980s, were African Americans in the first place.

Wilkinson not merely addressed his Klan program to adults, he also started recruiting younger people. Tough he snatched up an idea of the second Klan, Wilkinson took a radical direction. He captured the children in summer camps for his ‘ Ku Klux Kids ’, where they were taught Klan program and trained in handling with weaponry.

The Klan was to be engraved in the children’s minds, so they would become loyal Klansmen. With this step, Wilkinson wanted to guarantee the supply of Klan adherents.

With his willing to use violence, Wilkinson is a paradigm for those Klans for which “[…] a general drift to the political right was given [...].44

A great alteration took place in both directions. The Klans of the 1950s and 1960s embodied clandestine brotherhoods, committing cruelties in the underground, not obvious to the media. David Duke changed the relationship between the media and Klan organisations. Duke preferred being in the spotlight of the public’s interest and others, like Wilkinson, were pleased with every press, too, no matter if it was negative or positive.

4.7. The Ku Klux Klans from 1990 until today

In the 1970s, the trend of the Klan’s development was set and it has not changed until today. In the Klans of our present time, one can find two main directions. A moderate one, fighting a verbal struggle for whites’ rights and condemning acts of violence and the other radical organisation.

4.7.1. Thom Robb,” a leader for the 90’s”

45 In his article in ‘ Time Magazine ’ from 6th of July 1992, Michael Riley deals with Thom Robb, leader of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, whose role model is David Duke; “[...] he shares his flair for attracting attention […].46 Influenced by his right-winged mother, he first became a Baptist preacher, author of right publications and then a member of David Duke’s organisation in 1979. After Duke’s break from Klan affairs, Robb had climbed the ladder of hierarchy until he reached the position as Klan leader. Robb differentiates his organisation from atrocities, favouring verbal influence and persuasion. This does not represent his only advance. Robb is a very clever businessman, too. ” ’We’re selling white pride, white power, whatever,’ Robb says. ‘It doesn’t make any difference if you’re selling the Klan or used cars or toothbrushes.’47

This statement gives the impression that Robb, whatever he might claim, is not entirely convinced of what his organisation represents. Making profit seemed to be too tempting.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Picture 8: David Duke in one of his rallies

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Picture 9: A building set in fire in 1995 by two 22 & 24 years old Klansmen

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Picture 10: The Ku Klux Klan is a popular subject of caricatures

Aims of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan are: “to post soldiers at the Mexican border to stop immigrants, quarantine all AIDS patients, kill drug dealers and put an end to affirmative action.48

On the whole, these aims represent those of most moderate Klan groups of today. Whites’ rights equal to African American privileges are mostly the main topic for all, just details change. Some also want to “declare all laws attempting to enforce gun control as unconstitutional.49 From time to time these claims have ludicrous character like this one on the web site of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan50: they state that rap music takes an anti-white position and is part of a Jewish conspiracy, due to the fact that record labels are often in Jewish ownership.

4.7.2. The church burning crisis

Since 1995, the number of encroachments on Southern African American perishes and institutions increased (picture 9, p.32).

Though these fires were not all arsons carried out by members of the Ku Klux Klan, the general tendency of a more radical proceeding can be considered. The places of those arsons lay in most cases in rural regions where municipalities do not have the possibility to create a multi-racial feeling. Those centres of population frequently still experience the tedium like the six founders of the first Klan. “Rural communities suffer from geographic isolation as well as lack of economic and community opportunities that are available to the urban poor.” 51 As a consequence, racist prejudices can gain a foot-hold more easily. The cases of church burnings are commonly the work of young male Americans who are discontent with their situation and those arsons give vent to their frustration. “We do not now have evidence of a national conspiracy, but it is clear that racial hostility is the driving force […].”52

As a response to the 1996 church burning crisis, the National Coalition for Burned Churches (NCFBC) was founded. The incendiaries are still active; between 1999 and 2001, the NCFBC 53 recorded 125 cases in Texas and 52 in Florida. In general, these occurrences are limited to the Southern part of the USA where xenophobia exists for the longest time.

The judicature tries to sentence as many incendiaries as possible. The last great process was in May 2002, when the last living responsible of the 1963’s Birmingham Church attempt was sentenced for lifetime. But the radical Ku Klux Klans are still operating in the Southern states and there is no sign for the cessation of these acts of damage to property.

5. Survey of the Klan movements

Since almost 150 years, the Ku Klux Klan has been part of the American society. It was created in a time of great insecurity after the American Civil War, reorganised after World War I and II and is still alive.

Like no other US organisation, the responsible persons of the different Klan eras knew to make the most of the fears of the white US society. The first Klan rode on the wave of oppression of former slaves; the second Klan orientated itself on economic, religious and racial fears, while the third era began with an anti-African American program and widened its spectrum of enemies.

Some historians say that the whole Klan era can be divided into at least 5 parts. In my opinion the classification in 3 periods of Klan activity makes more sense, however. The first like second Klan possessed a clear defined inception and end, the third one started in 1946 and lasts until today without any temporal interruption. It split up into many different Klan cells, which are very difficult to differentiate in their attitude. In my eyes, a fourth or a fifth era cannot easily be defined.

5.1. Extension of the Klans

Looking at the map (p.35), one can see that the first Klan was a movement limited to the Southern states of America. The industrialised states of New England did not share the problems linked with the end of slavery. An organisation fighting for white supremacy was unnecessary.

The second Klan snatched up fears concerning white Protestant US citizens from all over the Northern American continent: especially the fear of economic failure and the loss of US American identity. As a consequence, this Ku Klux Klan was active from North to South within the United States.

The present Klan, like the first one, had its origins in Southern states like Georgia and Tennessee. In the time of the Civil Rights Movement, Klan affaires stayed typically Southern, but when the Klan’s different branches redefined their programs and enemies, Klan’s territory extended. The animosity against Jews and Homosexuals, for example, is also shared by some people in Northern states. In the USA there are about 109 groups of the Ku Klux Klan54 active today.

Survey of the expansion of the different Klan eras

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Data: 1st and 2nd Klan: different sources;

3rd Klan:, 14/09/02

Map made after: Altemüller, Frithjof and others, ALEXANDER Schulatlas, Stuttgart, Ernst Klett Schulbuchverlag, 1993

5.2. The influence of historical events

Following the timeline, it is conspicuous, that Klan eras always began when an incisive event in history had taken place. The original Klan was founded by former Confederate Soldiers after the Southern defeat in the Civil War. After the end of World War I, the second Klan was reorganised in the USA, the third one after World War II. It seems, the brotherhood of the Ku Klux Klan had always been a melting pot for US citizens who were frustrated with the common situation or did, surplus motivated, not know how to deal with their inner pressures. The Klan offered the possibility of being an outlet for their stress.

Like the first one, the third Klan had been and still is an association of an US minority. As a contrary to both, the second Klan has been a mass organisation with sympathisers within the whole society, as the highest number of adherents of about 5 million people shows. Consequently, this movement could not be organised as a clandestine organisation. Being member of the brotherhood was something to be proud of and not to be silent. That is the reason why the second Klan is well examined by historians.

In its inceptions, the first and the third Klan totally differed. Both worked in the underground, either due to their violence or simply to be left alone. While the original Klan was consequent in its behaviour, the moderate branch of the Klan changed when David Duke entered the stage.

6. Future prospect

Though the present Klan is not an influential fraction of US society, it will not vanish. The different Klan eras have always known how to treat the prevailing situations America was involved. And they will continue to assimilate their hatred to the changing circumstances. The original Klan’s most detested object was the freed black slave, while the second Klan had widened its spectrum of most hated people to Roman-Catholics, immigrants and others. The Ku Klux Klans of our time are against African Americans, Jews and Homosexuals, for example. With its changeableness, the hooded movement will always find minorities to fight against or aims to fight for. The fact that there will always be frustrated and, in their eyes, disadvantaged people will care for the secure successors of today’s Klansmen. As a Klansman said:

“Yesterday, Today, Forever,

Since Eighteen Hundred and Sixty-Six,


has been riding and will

continue to do so as long as


7. Bibliography:

- Alexander, Charles C., The Ku Klux Klan in the Southwest, Norman, University of Oklahoma Press, 1995
- Altemüller, Frithjof [ conception] and others, ALEXANDER Schulatlas, Stuttgart, Ernst Klett Schulbuchverlag, 1993
- Chalmers, David M., Hooded Americanism-The history of the Ku Klux Klan, Durham, Duke University Press, 20007
- Knop, Bernhard & Naumann - Breeze, Corienne, Words in context -Thematischer Oberstufenwortschatz , Stuttgart u.a., Ernst Klett Verlag, 1994
- MacLean, Nancy, Behind the Mask of Chivalry. The Making of the Second Ku Klux Klan., Oxford and others, Oxford University Press, 1994, pp. 3-22; pp. 177-188
- Hiltl, Michael [ed.], Microsoft Encarta Enzyklopädie 2001 PLUS, CD-ROM, Unterschleißheim, Microsoft Corporation, 1993-2000
- Pendergast, Tom & Sarah [ed.], Encyclopedia of popular culture, Detroit and others, St James Press, 2000
- Randel, William Peirce, Ku Klux Klan, Gütersloh, Bertelsmann Verlag, without year
- Trelease, Allen W., Encyclopedia Americana, Denbury, Grolier Inc., 1989
- Wade, Wyn Craig, The Fiery Cross-The Ku Klux Klan in America, Oxford and others, Oxford University Press, 1998
- Anonymous, The New Encyclopaedia Britannica, Vo. 17, 15th Edition, Chicago and others, Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc.,1998


- Riley, Michael, White and Wrong -New Klan, old Hatred, in: Time, July 6, 1992, pp. 24-27
- Tarshis, Lauren, Brotherhood of Bigots, in: Scholastic Update, April 3, 1992, pp.10-12


- [29/11/02]
- [27/01/03]
- [16/09/02]
- [24/12/02
- [27/01/03]
- [18/09/02]
- [16/09/02]
- [27/01/03]
- [24/12/02]
- [23/05/02]
- [14/09/02]
- www.history.ohio- [27/01/03]
- www.history.ohio- [27/01/03]
- www.history.ohio- [27/01/03]
- [07/07/02]
- [07/07/02]
- [16/09/02]
- [16/09/02]
- [24/12/02]
- [27/01/03]
- [28/01/02]
- [04/01/03]
- [23/07/02]
- [24/12/02]
- [14/09/02]
- [04/10/02]
- [29/01/02]
- [30/12/02]

List of pictures:

Picture 1, p. 10:

Picture 2, p. 10: KKK-page1htm,

Picture 3, p. 13: KKK-page1htm

Picture 4, p. 13:

Picture 5, p. 13:

Picture 6, p. 21:

Picture 7, p. 25: Chalmers, David M., Hooded Americanism-The history of the Ku Klux Klan, Durham, Duke University Press, 20007, p. 433

Picture 8, p. 32:

Picture 9, p. 32:

Picture 10, p. 32:


Diagrams 1- 4: data taken from different sources of bibliography

[i] ‘Grand Wizard’: the supreme leader of the Ku Klux Klan; is equivalent to ‘Imperial Wizard’

[ii] a den: local centre of the Ku Klux Klan

[iii] invisible circle is equivalent to the “Invisible Empire“

[iv]Grand Cyclops: the chairman of a den

[v] Klonvocation: a meeting of the second Ku Klux Klan, often held in public

[vi] Klavern: a meeting point of the second Klan for Klonvocations

Hiermit erkläre ich, dass ich die Facharbeit ohne fremde Hilfe angefertigt und nur die im Literaturverzeichnis angeführten Quellen und Hilfsmittel benützt habe.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten


[1] Clawfinger, Nigger, [ 27/01/03]

[2] Knop, Bernhard & Naumann-Breeze, Corienne, Words in context-Thematischer Oberstufenwortschatz, Stuttgart, Ernst Klett Verlag, 1994, p. 20

[3] Wade, Wyn Craig, The Fiery Cross-The Ku Klux Klan in America, Oxford and others, Oxford University,1998, p. 33

[4] Wade, op. cit., p. 35

[5] Wade, op. cit., p. 38

[6] Chalmers, David M., Hooded Americanism-The history of the Ku Klux Klan, Durham, Duke University Press, 20007 , p. 9

[7] Wade, op. cit., pp. 60-61

8 Chalmers, op. cit., p. 20

[9] Wade, op. cit., p. 59

10 [27/01/03]

[11] Wade, op. cit., p. 102

12 MacLean, Nancy, Behind the Mask of Chivalry. The Making of the Second Ku Klux Klan, Oxford and others., Oxford University Press, 1994, p. 13

13 Chalmers, op. cit., p. 31

14 [29/11/02]

15 Chalmers, op. cit. p. 30

[16] [29/11/02]

17 Chalmers, op. cit., p. 107

18 [16/09/02]

19 Chalmers, op. cit., p. 38

20 Chalmers, op. cit., p. 38

[21] Chalmers, op. cit., p. 282

22 Alexander, Charles C., The Ku Klux Klan in the Southwest, Norman, University of Oklahoma Press, 1995, p. 161

23 Chalmers, op. cit., p. 215

24 Chalmers, op. cit., p. 285

25 [07/07/02]

26 Chalmers, op. cit., p. 109

27 Chalmers, op. cit., p. 296

28 Chalmers, op. cit. p. 296

29 Chalmers, op. cit., p. 297

[30] Wade, op. cit., p. 275

31 Chalmers, op. cit., p. 327

32 Chalmers, op. cit., p. 349

33 Chalmers, op. cit., pp. 356-365

34 Chalmers, op. cit., p. 372

35 Chalmers, op. cit., p. 351

[36] Wade, op. cit., p. 361

37 Wade, op. cit., p. 283

38 Chalmers, op. cit., p. 396

39 Wade, op. cit., p. 368

40 Wade, op. cit., p. 368

41 Chalmers, op. cit., p. 413

42 Tarshis, Lauren, Brotherhood of Bigots, in: Scholastic Update, April 3, 1992, p. 12

43 Wade, op. cit., p. 375

[44] Wade, op. cit., p. 383

45 Riley, Michael, White and Wrong -New Klan, old Hatred , in: Time, July 6, 1992, p. 25

[46] Riley, op. cit., p. 25

[47] Riley, op. cit., p. 26

48 Riley, op. cit., p. 26

[49] [18/09/02]

[50] [ 27/01/03]

[51] [24/12/02]

[52] [24/12/02]

[53] [04/01/03]

54 [14/09/02]

55 Chalmers, op. cit., p. 438

Excerpt out of 39 pages


The historical development and the present situation of the Ku Klux Klan in America
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
File size
1314 KB
Klux, Klan, America
Quote paper
Carolin Suttner (Author), 2003, The historical development and the present situation of the Ku Klux Klan in America, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


  • No comments yet.
Look inside the ebook
Title: The historical development and the present situation of the Ku Klux Klan in America

Upload papers

Your term paper / thesis:

- Publication as eBook and book
- High royalties for the sales
- Completely free - with ISBN
- It only takes five minutes
- Every paper finds readers

Publish now - it's free