Who started the Ku Klux Klan?

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rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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The Ku Klux Klan was founded in Pulaski, Tennessee, in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War. Its founders were six Confederate veterans named John Lester, John Kennedy, James Crowe, Frank McCord, Richard Reed, and J. Calvin Jones, and their intent was to try to reimpose order amid the social upheaval that followed the end of the war. A major, in fact the dominant aspect of the order they hoped to restore was white supremacy. While these men were responsible for the initial creation of the Klan, it was popularized by the early membership of such former Confederate leaders as General Nathan Bedford Forrest, who explicitly saw the organization as a means for using terror to restore white supremacy. Forrest became the national leader of the Klan, and the man most associated with its earliest incarnation. The Ku Klux Klan was outlawed by federal law in 1871, and faded over time, only to reemerge in the twentieth century.