April 20: The Ku Klux Klan Act Went Into Force On This Date In 1871

0 Posted by - April 20, 2022 - Injustices, LATEST POSTS, On This Date

By Victor Trammell

Photo credits: Hulton Archive/ Getty Images

Racist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and other White supremacist organizations such as the Knights of the White Camelia (which were formed in order to suppress Black economic and political rights in the South during Reconstruction) were established to impose the Black Codes and terrorize Black people and any White people who offered their support to Blacks.

The Ku Klux Klan was founded in 1865 in Pulaski, Tennessee, by a group of Confederate veterans. During Reconstruction, the Klan unleashed a reign of terror that compelled Congress to give President Ulysses S. Grant the authority to put an end to the group’s violence.

The Third Enforcement Act, also known as the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, gave federal troops the authority to arrest hundreds of Klan members in South Carolina, resulting in the expulsion of approximately 2,000 Klan members from the state. The Third Enforcement Act went into force via the U.S. Congress on April 20, 1871.

The Federal intervention had “broken the Klan’s back,” according to historian Eric Foner and resulted in a “dramatic decrease in violence throughout the Southern United States.”


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