To What Extent Did D.C. Stephenson Affect the Fall of the Ku Klux Klan during the 1920s?

To What Extent Did D.C. Stephenson Affect the Fall of the Ku Klux Klan during the 1920s?

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A. Plan of Investigation

The focus of this investigation was to understand and determine to what extent D.C. Stephenson affected the fall of the Ku Klux Klan during the 1920s. During the 1920s the Klan had an all time high of membership across the United States and was a large part of American society. The Klan was prevalent in everyday society and in politics, and was a positive presence for many Americans. However, the Klan was pushed into a negative light due to Stephenson kidnapping and raping Madge Oberholtzer. Membership in the Klan dropped shortly after, and many blame Stephenson. In order to decide whether or not Stephenson was responsible, the Klan was examined during Stephenson’s involvement, and the aftermath of his involvement. D.C. Stephenson was also examined to better understand how he could have changed the course of the KKK. Sources that discussed the Klan and Stephenson were looked at, like They Called Themselves the KKK, and. Citizen Klansmen: The Ku Klux Klan in Indiana. Those sources, among others, helped give a better understanding of D.C. Stephenson and how he affected the KKK.

B. Summary of Evidence

The Ku Klux Klan began in Pulaski, Tennessee in 1865 (Martin). It started out as a group of men creating a social club, mainly for confederate soldiers who had fought in the war. Its name is derived from kuklos, meaning circle of friends (Martin). It was a secret society with rules and codes, and men were given special titles (Bartoletti,25). The nature of the Klan was not originally to be destructive, but as it began to grow and more white men and confederate soldiers joined, the purpose changed. Tension grew across the country as Reconstruction went under way and white southerners were unhappy. The Kl...


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...." Dying Declaration of Madge Oberholtzer. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Apr. 2014.

"Ku Klux Klan." Civil Rights in the United States. Ed. Waldo E. Martin, Jr. and Patricia Sullivan. New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2000. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 13 Apr. 2014.

"Ku Klux Klan." History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 21 Apr. 2014.

Lutholtz, M. William. Grand Dragon: D.C. Stephenson and the Ku Klux Klan in Indiana. West Lafayette, IN: Purdue UP, 1991. Print.

MacLean, Nancy. Behind the Mask of Chivalry: The Making of the Second Ku Klux Klan. New York: Oxford UP, 1994. Print.

McDonnell, Janet, Ann Angel, and Carolyn Kott. Washburne. America in the 20th Century. North Bellmore, NY: Marshall Cavendish, 1995. Print.

Moore, Leonard Joseph. Citizen Klansmen: The Ku Klux Klan in Indiana, 1921-1928. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina, 1991. Print.

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