Browsing 21st Annual PKP Student Research and Fine Arts Conference: Posters by Authors
The Perception of "The Invisible Empire of The Ku Klux Klan" as a Benevolent Secret Society from 1915 to 1965Typhair, Dillon; McClelland-Nugent, Ruth; History, Anthropology, & Philosophy; McClelland-Nugent, Ruth; Augusta University (1/31/2020)This paper looks at the history of Americans' changing attitudes toward the Ku Klux Klan. It contributes to the scholarships on Civil War history and domestic terrorism through the case of the KKK. The journalist Edward Pollard's book, The Lost Cause: a new Southern history of the War of the Confederates (1867), influenced generations of Americans both South and North by writing a revisionist history of the Civil War painting confederates as rebels who should still fight to maintain white supremacy. This belief in this "lost cause" led many Americans, in the South especially, to support and have positive attitudes toward the KKK. However even as the Klan claimed to support the ideals of the lost cause, their actions often undermined their claims of benevolence and of the upholding of Southern value. The Klan especially after its revival post-WWI terrorized through violent acts anyone they deemed not "pure American." Today, it is unlikely the Klan will ever be regarded as positively as it once was even if similar hate groups still plague our society.