What purpose did the KKK serve in the South?

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mkoren | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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The Ku Klux Klan served many purposes in the South.  One purpose it served was to allow whites to devise ways to intimidate and frighten African Americans. White southerners were furious that African Americans got freedom and rights after the Civil War. The whites resented Reconstruction in a big way. They didn’t like the Radical Republicans cramming Reconstruction down their throats with very limited input from southerners. White southerners were looking for ways to reduce or take those rights back. If that wasn’t possible, they wanted to intimidate African Americans into not exercising those rights.

Another purpose it served was to help white candidates get elected to office in the South.  The Democratic Party was closely tied to the Ku Klux Klan at this time.  White southerners were angry with the Republican Party, so they wanted to get Democrats elected who would reduce the impact of the new laws that ensured rights for African Americans. By developing these policies, the Ku Klux Klan could reestablish white power throughout the South. The Ku Klux Klan served a definite purpose in the South.

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