Setting the Scene~ - 1866, Kuklos was formed, they then voted to have the name changed to the Ku Klux Klan - given the nickname "KKK" - they wore robes to pretend to be the ghosts of confederate soldiers - spread rapidly, fueled by rage and fear over the Confederates defeat - attracted merchants, lawyers, plantation owners, and other professionals - 1867, Nathan Bedford Forrest was chosen as the overall leader or "grand wizard"
Ku Klux Klan Activity~ - as Reconstruction proceeded, Klan violence intensified - Arkansas Klan members killed more than 300 Republicans and a United States congressman in 1868 alone - in 1868 Klansmen killed 1,000 people in Louisiana - half the adult white male population of New Orleans belonged to the KKK
Spreading Terror~ - Klan sought to eliminate the republican party in the south - long term goal was to keep african americans as submissive laborers - terror tactics varied from place to place - horsemen in long robes with whips and guns would encircle homes of their victims and planted burnig crosses in their yards - people were dragged from their homes and harrased, tortured, kidnapped and even murdered - anyone who didn’t share their hatred could be seen as a victim - carpetbaggers, scalawags, and freedmen who had become prosperous were victims
Federal Response~ - the Klan violence kindled northern outrage - in 1870 and 1871 Congress passed a series of anti-Klan laws - the Enforcement Act of 1870 banned the use of terror, bribery, or force to prevent people from voting - other laws banned the KKK entirely - some strengthened military protection of voters and voting places - thousands of Klansmen were tried and arrested -within a year the KKK was entirely wiped out - as federal troops withdrew from the South, black suffrage all but ended
Supreme Court Limits Scope of Amendments~ - the Supreme Court also played a part in the end of Reconstruction - Slaughterhouse Cases in 1873, United States v. Reese in 1876, and United States v. Cruiksbank in 1876 -the Court’s decisions in these cases limited the federal government’s to protect the civil and voting rights of African Americans
A Dying Issue~ - there were four main factors that led to the end of Reconstruction Corruption - Grants administration became the symbol of greed, poor government, and corruption. The Economy - Reconstruction legislature taxed and spent heavily, sending the south into even more debt Violence - as federal troops withdrew from the South, white Democrats were freer to use violence to prevent freedmed from voting The Democrats Return to Power - Republican control of the South was coming to an end, Democrats from the solid South blocked many federal Reconstruction policies