Attitudes of the Ku Klux Klan

The Ku Klux Klan (KKK) was established in the southern states after the American Civil War. It was a secret organisation that targeted many black Americans, but also other groups such as Catholics and Jewish people.

The popularity of the KKK faded towards the end of the 19th Century but in 1915 the Klan was reformed in Georgia.

This revival was due in part to the film The Birth of a Nation, which was set in the southern states in the aftermath of the Civil War.

The film showed the KKK protecting white families against groups of black Americans who threatened violence and rape.

The KKK had several core beliefs:

  • They believed that WASPs were the most important group within America and that black Americans were inferior.
  • They discriminated against Catholics, Jewish people, divorced women, Socialists and Communists. In fact the KKK opposed any groups who were not WASPs and threatened ‘the American way of life’.
  • They opposed any form of equality with, or civil rights for, black people.

The video below describes The Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s.