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The Ku Klux Klan

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American History

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(KKK) is one of America's oldest and most feared groups.
Driven by the dream of a world with only one master race, the KKK often
uses violence and moves above the law to promote their cause. They didn't
start of violent, or to promote white supremacy. They have been in the
shadows for over 130 years and continue to thrive in America's society
The Ku Klux Klan began almost accidentally during the reconstruction period
after the civil war in the Southern United States. The southern people had
suffered greatly from the effects of the great war. Many of them lost their
homes and plantations. Many also lost friends and loved ones to the war.
The people needed a release from the sorrow of everyday life.

In 1865, six men from a small town in Tennessee accidentally began what has
grown to be the largest and most feared "hate group" in the country. The
men decided to make a club to help release the stress of the times. The men
were all poor and could not afford to make gowns or great costumes for the
group, so they decided to use linens. They wore the linens over their backs
and put pillowcases on their heads. They also draped the linens over their
horses. The Ku Klux Klan was going to ride for the first time. In the
beginning, the men wanted to do nothing more than play pranks on people.
However, the people were more frightened than they were cheered up. They
soon realized what they could do with these fear tactics. The South had
turned into a place that was no longer theirs. The slaves were now free
(many of these men were slave owners) and carpetbaggers were coming from
the North to take advantage of the southern people. They saw the
opportunity to set back the South to what it had been. The KKK soon began
to ride through political rallies of the carpetbaggers. People often fled
the rallies out of fear. Word quickly spread across the South about these
masked men. Many people loved the idea and wanted to be involved. The Klan
quickly grew. A leader was soon needed to control the large group. Their
first choice was Southern General Robert E. Lee. Although he supported the
group and its cause, he was very ill and could not handle the task. Their
next choice was a man named Nathan Bedford Forrest.

Forrest, although he wasn't as well known as General Lee, he was a great
leader. He was born in Mississippi and owned a plantation. He fought for
the confederate army for a long time before they recognized his abilities.
Although he didn't arrive early enough to greatly impact the war, he gained
the respect of the top confederate leaders. After the war he was infuriated
by the carpetbaggers and needed a way to fight back. He saw the Ku Klux
Klan as a way to do it.

He was quickly ...

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