Ku Klux Klan - Facts & Summary
In 1915, white Protestant nativists organized a revival of the Ku Klux Klan near Atlanta, Georgia, inspired by their romantic view of the Old South as well as Thomas Dixon’s 1905 book “The Clansman” and D.W. Griffith’s 1915 film “Birth of a Nation.” This second generation of the Klan was not only anti-black but also took a stand against Roman Catholics, Jews, foreigners and organized labor. It was fueled by growing hostility to the surge in immigration that America experienced in the early 20th century along with fears of communist revolution akin to the Bolshevik triumph in Russia in 1917. The organization took as its symbol a burning cross and held rallies, parades and marches around the country. At its peak in the 1920s, Klan membership exceeded 4 million people nationwide. The Great Depression in the 1930s depleted the Klan’s membership ranks, and the organization temporarily disbanded in 1944.
Related: Social context for To Kill a Mockingbird
• Civil rights/Racism
• To Kill a Mockingbird
• US Civil Rights
Related: USA - Civil Rights & Freedoms