The Ku Klux Klan

The Invisible Empire

By Nathan Harsey

Eleventh Grade
English III 5 B
Mrs. Russell/Mrs. Garnett
November 20, 2013

The Ku Klux Klan, otherwise known as the KKK, was flourishing with its second era in the 1920’s. The KKK was reinvigorated by William J. Simmons, a man who was a frequent joiner of clubs, through the period of the 1920’s, The KKK launched a campaign of political correctness as well as a hidden, dark movement which included lynching, beatings, tarring and feathering, and at some points, even murder of what they believed was the inferiors. Although this status was short lived, it was a dark, mysterious portion of the United States’ history and should never be forgotten.
The KKK was once an African American hate group in the late 1800’s, created by Confederate generals who wanted to continue suppressing their former slaves with terror. It was shut down after their leaders were plagued with scandals, and their business dealings put out into the open, for all to see and read. People finally understood what the Klan was about and obviously did not want it. Although in 1915, William J. Simmons watched D.W. Griffith’s “Birth of a Nation” which depicted the story of what happened after the Civil War, through the eyes of a glorified Klansman. He was stargazed at how Griffith depicted the Klan, and as him being a long time joiner of clubs, he decided to bring back the Ku Klux Klan. A surprising fact is how a man like this could lead a group of hate, as he used to be a minister. (“Ku Klux Klan -- Extremism in America”) This second generation of the Klan created almost an “Invisible Empire” by their high point. Their members were scattered across state and federal government, and one could say that they “co...

... middle of paper ...

...hin the upper echelons of their organization. Many of their members that were still with them finally had enough and their membership plummeted into the thousands. The leaders were cracked down on by federal prosecutors, and by that time, the Klan was dissolved. (Lay)
Some could say that in the 1920’s, the Ku Klux Klan led by William J. Simmons, was the most influential and powerful group in that time period. With a huge membership base, reaching into the millions, their attempt at trying to create a “White America”, and the huge body count the Klan had, it shows to believe that the Klan was in fact at its most influential time period. With most of the people from the 1920’s dying off and the racist beliefs that still happen today, it’s safe to say that, while the Klan still lives on with some people, It will never reach the capacity that it was in the 1920’s.
Get Access