The 1920s The Klu Klux Klan

Kara Hallam, Caleb Turner, Andrea, and Dorian M.


After the Civil War General Nathaniel Bedford Forrest formed the Klan. At the time its main targets were the newly emancipated slaves. In the 1920s the targets of the Klan became Roman Catholics, Jews, African Americans, bootleggers, divorcees and foreigners after a new wave of the Klan began in 1915. This revival was sparked by their movie A Birth Of A Nation. By 1924, the Klan was at its peak it controlled half of state legislators.


World War I caused anti-foreign tensions which sparked the revival of the Klan. They were often called the Invisible Group because there presence was felt all over the nation. This movement was very similar to the nativist movement in the 1850s. They thought of themselves as defenders of prohibition, traditional morality, and true Americanism. They were pro-Anglo Saxon, pro-nativists and pro-Protestant. They got 16 US senators elected and were heavily involved in local, state and national elections. For he most part the Klan supported the Democratic Party. In the mid 1920s they had 3-8 million members. The Klan held parades where they would wave huge flags. They also published a monthly Washington newspaper. Often in their floats and publications they would use symbols like Lady Liberty and Uncle Sam. By 1930 the Klan shrunk to 45,000 and lost 300,000 members just from one state. It went on a slow decline from then on and now there are only 5,000 members. The decline of the klan was caused by increased morality and the corruption of the Klan money. $4 of the $10 invitation fee went back to the person who recruited them. There was also embezzlement among the Klan leaders.

Leaders and members

Lead by the confederate general Nathaniel Bedford Forrest

William J Simmons founded the new wave in 1915 under Simmons were top recruiters Elizabeth Tyler and Edward Clarke.

In Indiana David Curtis Stevenson became the leader of that Klan and was in control of 20 states and he became a millionaire from selling robes and hoods. He was later sent to prison for kidnapping and sexual assault.

The members were small business owners, clerical workers and farmers.

The names of their leadership positions all began with a "kl":

Klavern- local organization

Kleagle- recruiter