The Ku Klux Klan Analysis

1447 Words6 Pages

Within his work, The Ku Klux Klan, W.D. Wood’s argument for the Ku Klux Klan depicts the Klan as a sort of superhero, acting as a vigilante, its primary function being to free the Confederate states from the humiliation of African American influence and the Reconstructive legislation placed upon them. The Klan, composed in playfulness and made up of schoolboys, spent their evenings terrorizing African Americans. The Klan, once again, capitalized on the superstitious beliefs of African Americans, using their ghostly costumes and extreme pageantry to evoke panic. However, the author states that the Klan never acted in blood or violence, but rather used silent and obscure maneuvers to instill fear in the African Americans. The Klan sometimes stopping …show more content…

The evidence provided is an outlier, meaning it is the only one of its kind. However, the perspective offers a differing view which allows for the reader to establish an understanding of the evolving perspectives of the Ku Klux Klan as an organization. Michael W. Fitzgerald, a historian in Reconstruction and agricultural history, makes an argument in his article, “The Ku Klux Klan: Property Crime and the Plantation System in Reconstruction Alabama”, that the Klan originally emerged as a result of labor turmoil following the Emancipation Proclamation. Fitzgerald describes the Klan as an organization focused on working towards the goals and desires of the planter class and the individuals that resided within it. Fitzgerald uses an argument from Foner which states “the struggle over the plantation class and the restoration of labor discipline was equally as important as the other motives of the Klan.” The planter class controlled many of the objectives and motives of the Klan. Because the Klan was being controlled by the planter class and its societal systems, the Klan’s primary focus began to point towards the restoration of labor discipline and regulation of theft within the plantation system. Because the Klan was being used as a means of controlling the freedmen labor force, the author argues that the violence of the Klan was never racially-motivated, but rather only a means of stopping petty theft on plantations. Much like the first perspective, Fitzgerald believes that the Klan was not racially motivated. It was also acting as a law-enforcer, but for a different group of individuals. That group being the planter

Open Document