Reflecting the social tensions pitting urban versus rural America, it spread to every state and was prominent in many cities.
They had played with an engine of power and mystery, though organized on entirely innocent lines, and found themselves overcome by a belief that something must lie behind it all—that there was, after all, a serious purpose, a work for the Klan to do." Klan groups spread throughout the South as an insurgent movement promoting resistance and white supremacy during the Reconstruction Era. In 18, the federal government passed the Enforcement Acts, which were intended to prosecute and suppress Klan crimes.
The first Klan had mixed results in terms of achieving its objectives.
Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Independent Monitor, September 1, 1868.
A full-scale scholarly history analyzes the cartoonː Guy W.
For instance, the Red Shirts are credited with helping elect Wade Hampton as governor in South Carolina.
They were described as acting as the military arm of the Democratic Party and are attributed with helping white Democrats regain control of state legislatures throughout the South.
The second group was founded in the South in 1915 and it flourished nationwide in the early and mid-1920s, including urban areas of the Midwest and West.
Taking inspiration from the film Birth of a Nation, which mythologized the founding of the first Klan, it employed marketing techniques and a popular fraternal organization structure.
More fundamentally, it declined because it failed to achieve its central objective – the overthrow of Republican state governments in the South.