1920s Project AMstud

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  • In 1915, white protestant nativists organized a revival of the Ku Klux Klan near Atlanta, Georgia, inspired by their of the Old South.
  • The organization took as its symbol a burning cross and held rallies, parades, and marches around the country. At its peak in the 1920s, the Klan membership exceeded 4 million people nationwide.
  • This second generation of Klan members were not only anti-black, but also took a stand against Roman Catholics, Jews, foreigners, and organized labor.
  • The leader of the 1920s Ku Klux Klan was William J. Simmons, a former methodist preacher, who founded the new KKK in 1915, in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • The rise in xenophobia (the irrational fear of of foreigners or strangers) led to racism, ethnic conflict, and the belief in the inherent superiority of one culture. This rise in xenophobia was used by the KKK to attract thousands of new members.
  • By the time The Great Depression had struck America, the Ku Klux Klan's organization and membership severely decreased, and it temporarily disbanded until the 1960s.
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