The Klan Rises, Again

The Ku Klux Klan (KKK) was revived in 1915 but didn't gain much strength until the early 1920s. The KKK was a violent Nativist group that prided themselves on having only white, American born Christians in its ranks. By 1924, fueled by the Red Scare, the KKK grew to nearly 4.5 million members, including members of Congress and city and state police.

What They Did

The KKK worked hard to try to chase all of the blacks, Roman-Catholics, Jews, and foreign born people out of the United States. They also destroyed saloons, helping to enforce prohibition, and opposed union organizations. To recruit members to the KKK some members would go around as "salesmen" of the Southern Publicity Association and talk people into joining. Joining the KKK would only have cost $10 in the economic state of the 1920s.

Why They Did What They Did

The members of the Klan felt that their moral values were being threatened by urban intellectuals. Also they feared job competition by foreigners that were going to "overthrow" the American way of life.

Were They Were the Most Active

The Klan didn't have power spread evenly over the United States. A great deal of their power was in the south-eastern states.

A Hand in Politics

The Klan tried to influence national, state, and local politics. At times the Klan dominated politics in at least seven states. These states included Arkansas, Indiana, California, and Texas.

The Fall of the KKK

Even though they had so much power, the Klan did eventually fall. Toward the end of the decade government officials arrested a lot of the major Klan leaders.


The Americans textbook p.433