A Reconstituted Early 20th Century Kkk Attracts Members From Both Sides
After Reconstruction, and as the Jim Crow period set in during the 1870s, the Klan became obsolete. Through violence, intimidation and systematic oppression, the KKK had served its purpose to help whites retake Southern governments.
In 1915, Cornell William J. Simmons restarted the KKK. This second KKK was made up of Republicans and Democrats, although Democrats were more widely involved.
The idea that these things overlap in a Venn diagram, the way they did with the first Klan, just isnt as tight with the second Klan, Grinspan said.
A Summary Of The Solid South Switch
To summarize the above claims before we get to the details:
In 1860 the Democratic Party Platforms were about Small Government and States Rights, and the more aristocratic Republican Platform about Federal Power and Collective Rights, but by 2016, the opposite is true .
This is because the conservative south and old Republican Progressives can be said to have switched parties in reaction to events that occurred from the Gilded Age to the Bush and Clinton years. These changes that are well symbolized by the 1968 election, but not explained by that alone.
To understand what changed, we must become familiar with people like W. J. Bryan, Teddy, Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover, Henry A. Wallace, Strom Thurmond, FDR, MLK, and Hoover. We must look at the Red Scare, the Dixiecrat States Rights Parties, Civil Rights, Voting Rights, Nixons Southern Strategies, the New Deal Coalition and Conservative Coalition, etc. See Democrats and Republicans Switched Platforms.
The full story aside, in the early days:
- Populist social liberals used to ally with the populist socially conservative solid south .
- The social liberal elite like Gouverneur Morris and Alexander Hamilton were in the Federalist party with classical conservative Tory-like figures and factions.
That pairing of factions is either hopeful or a blight on history, depending on your perspective.
You May Like: When Did Political Parties Switch Platforms
Ku Klux Klan Members In United States Politics
This is a partial list of notable historical figures in U.S. national politics who were members of the Ku Klux Klan before taking office. Membership of the Klan is secret. Political opponents sometimes allege that a person was a member of the Klan, or was supported at the polls by Klan members.
Recommended Reading: How Many Republicans Are There In The House Of Representatives
Andrew Johnson And Presidential Reconstruction
At the end of May 1865, President Andrew Johnson announced his plans for Reconstruction, which reflected both his staunch Unionism and his firm belief in states rights. In Johnsons view, the southern states had never given up their right to govern themselves, and the federal government had no right to determine voting requirements or other questions at the state level. Under Johnsons Presidential Reconstruction, all land that had been confiscated by the Union Army and distributed to the formerly enslaved people by the army or the Freedmens Bureau reverted to its prewar owners. Apart from being required to uphold the abolition of slavery , swear loyalty to the Union and pay off war debt, southern state governments were given free rein to rebuild themselves.
As a result of Johnsons leniency, many southern states in 1865 and 1866 successfully enacted a series of laws known as the black codes, which were designed to restrict freed Black peoples activity and ensure their availability as a labor force. These repressive codes enraged many in the North, including numerous members of Congress, which refused to seat congressmen and senators elected from the southern states.
Republican Voters Turn Against Their Partys Elites
The Tea Party movement, which sprang into existence in the early years of the Obama administration, was many things. It was partly about opposing Obamas economic policies foreclosure relief, tax increases, and health reform. It was partly about opposing immigration when Theda Skocpol and Vanessa Williamson interviewed Tea Party activists across the nation, they found that immigration was always a central, and sometimes the central, concern those activists expressed.
But the Tea Party also was a challenge to the Republican Party establishment. Several times, these groups helped power little-known far-right primary contenders to shocking primary wins over establishment Republican politicians deemed to be sellouts. Those candidates didnt always win office, but their successful primary bids certainly struck fear into the hearts of many other GOP incumbents, and made many of them more deferential to the concerns of conservative voters.
Furthermore, many Republican voters also came to believe, sometimes fairly and sometimes unfairly, that their partys national leaders tended to sell them out at every turn.
Talk radio and other conservative media outlets helped stoke this perception, and by May 2015 Republican voters were far more likely to say that their partys politicians were doing a poor job representing their views than Democratic voters were.
What Did It Mean That The Kkk Were Confederates And Democrats
The idea that the Democratic Party is the party in which the KKK has its roots is confusing to a modern audience.
However, after the Revolution:
Factions had to choose sides in the early days, and the populist southern nativists teamed up with liberals like Jefferson.
TIP: To fully understand the story we need to start long before the KKK formed during Reconstruction. That is because the KKK was a militant group with a radical Confederate ideology that grew out of the States Rights faction of the founding Anti-Federalists. They are connected, so we have to start the story 100 years before the KKK formed to give us a foundation.
Th United States Congress
As of September 13, 2017, 16 Senate Democrats cosponsored the Medicare for All Act of 2017. As of September 26, 2017, 120 House Democrats cosponsored the Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act. This was all for naught, as the Republican majority made sure that the Democratic minority remained impotent.
National Democratic Redistricting Committee
On January 12, 2017, the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, a 527 organization that focuses on redistricting reform and is affiliated with the Democratic Party, was created. The chair, president and vice president of the umbrella organization is the 82nd Attorney GeneralEric Holder, Elizabeth Pearson and Alixandria Ali Lapp respectively. President Obama has said he would be involved with the committee.
Protests against Donald Trump
At the inauguration of Donald Trump, 67 Democratic members of the United States House of Representatives boycotted the inauguration. This was the largest boycott by members of the United States Congress since the second inauguration of Richard Nixon, where it was estimated that between 80 and 200 Democratic members of United States Congress boycotted.
Democratic Party PACs
In November 2018, the Democrats gained 40 seats in the House of Representatives, retaking the majority in the chamber. Nancy Pelosi was nominated to retake the speakership in January 2019.
You May Like: How Many Republicans Are Currently In The Senate
This Is Not A New Argument
Princeton University Edwards Professor of American History Tera Hunter told USA TODAY that this trope is a fallback argument used to discredit current Democratic Party policies.
At the core of the effort to discredit the current Democratic Party is the refusal to accept the realignment of the party structure in the mid-20th century, Hunt said.
In September, NPR host Shereen Marisol Maraji called the claim, one of the most well-worn clapbacks in modern American politics.
Comedian Trevor Noah tackled the misleading trope on an episode of “The Daily Show” in March 2016, after two CNN contributors debated the topic.
Every time I go onto Facebook I see these things: Did you know the Democrats are the real racist party and did you know the Republicans freed the slaves? Noah joked. A lot of people like to skip over the fact that when it comes to race relations, historically, Republicans and Democrats switched positions.
Who started the KKK? That was Democrats. Who was the party of slavery? Who was the part of Jim Crow and segregation? Who opposed the Civil Rights Movement? Who opposed voting rights? It was all the Democrats, the meme reads.
The Evidence For The Klan’s Causal Role
Notre Dame’s Rory McVeigh, Brandeis’s David Cunningham, and Yale’s Justin Farrell looked at county-level presidential voting data from 1960 to 2000 in ten southern states, and coded each county based on whether a Klan chapter was established there between 1964 and 1966, when the organization was growing in response to the Johnson administration and Warren Court’s increased vigilance on civil rights. Here are the counties identified:
The researchers wanted to capture the role that the Klan organizations themselves played, which is a tricky methodological problem to solve. There are a lot of other reasons why some counties might have seen more growth in support for Republicans, some of which could also explain the presence of a Klan chapter. For example, maybe a county that’s just particularly racist both was fertile ground for the Klan and was less likely to vote for Democrats when they started backing civil rights both had the same cause, but the Klan chapter didn’t cause the increase in Republican support.
They conclude that having a Klan chapter present was associated with a 2 percent bigger increase in Republican support from 1960 to 1972, a 3.7 percent bigger increase from 1960 to 1980, a 4.9 percent bigger increase from 1960 to 1992, and a 3.4 percent bigger increase from 1960 to 2000.How could this have worked?
Read Also: New England Patriots Preseason Tickets
Revival Of The Ku Klux Klan
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 Dixons 1905 book The Clansman and D.W. Griffiths 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.
Ku Klux Klan Activism In The 1960s Is Linked To The Souths Swing To The Republican Party
After the midterm elections, the Democratic Party is now very nearly unrepresented in the Southern states of the U.S., the culmination of a political realignment that began in the 1960s. In new research, Rory McVeigh finds that those counties that experienced greater levels of activism by the racist Ku Klux Klan experienced a five percent greater swing to the Republican Party. He argues that these results show that social movement activism can be effective in bringing about change, as peoples votes changed because of racial interests as opposed to party loyalties.
The 2014 mid-term elections snuffed out what was left of the Democratic Partys frail existence in the southern U.S. While some southern Democrats remain in the House of Representatives, Republicans now occupy every Southern position in the U.S. Senate, every Governors seat, and they control every state legislature. This represents the culmination of a significant political realignment, as the states of the former Confederacy, until the 1960s, were solidly in the Democratic camp. Southern voters enthusiastically supported Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt as he enacted progressive legislation in response to the great depression of the 1930s. Indeed, in the election of 1932, Roosevelt easily carried all southern states while securing more than 90 percent of the popular vote in Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina.
Figure 1 Percentage change in vote for Republican candidate, 1960-2000
Grant Reconstruction And The Kkk
- https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/grant-kkk/ Copy Link
At the time of Ulysses S. Grant’s election to the presidency, white supremacists were conducting a reign of terror throughout the South. In outright defiance of the Republican-led federal government, Southern Democrats formed organizations that violently intimidated blacks and Republicans who tried to win political power.
The most prominent of these, the Ku Klux Klan, was formed in Pulaski, Tennessee, in 1865. Originally founded as a social club for former Confederate soldiers, the Klan evolved into a terrorist organization. It would be responsible for thousands of deaths, and would help to weaken the political power of Southern blacks and Republicans.
Racist activity in the South often took the form of riots that targeted blacks and Republicans. In 1866, a quarrel between whites and black ex-soldiers erupted into a full-fledged riot in Memphis, Tennessee. White policemen assisted the mobs in their violent rampage through the black sections of town. By the time the violence ended, 46 people were dead, 70 more were wounded, and numerous churches and schools had been burned. Just two months later, on July 30, a similar outbreak of violence erupted in New Orleans. This time, a white mob attacked the attendees of a black suffrage convention, killing 37 blacks and three whites who allied with them.
The South And The House Go Republican
I think we just delivered the South to the Republican Party for a long time to come, President Johnson said shortly after signing the Civil Rights Act, according to his aide Bill Moyers. And indeed, Sen. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina switched his party affiliation from Democratic to Republican specifically for this reason.
Yet party loyalties take a long time to shake off, and the shift of white Southerners from being solid Democrats to solid Republicans was in reality more gradual.
And while race played an important role in this shift, other issues played roles too. White evangelical Christians became newly mobilized to oppose abortion and take stands on other culture war issues, and felt more at home with the conservative party. There was that suspicion of big government and lack of union organization that permeated the region. And talented politicians like Ronald Reagan promised to defend traditional values.
Still, Democrats continued to maintain control of the House of Representatives for some time, in large part because of continued support from Southerners, as shown in this map by Jonathan Davis at Arizona State University. But in 1994, the revolution finally arrived, as Republicans took the House for the first time since 1955. And many of the crucial pickups that made that possible came in the South.
Don’t Miss: Cheap New England Patriots Tickets
A Century Of Jim Crow But Otherwise Lots Of Progress
From 1877 to at least the 1960s, the Solid South KKK-like Progressively Socially Conservative Democrats remained a formidable faction of the Democratic Party.
This is true even though the party was increasingly dominated by Progressives like William Jennings Bryan. We can see in Wilson that both factions held sway in the party, Wilson was both a progressive liberal and a son of the Confederates.
TIP: During the late 1800s and early 1900s Eugenics was a popular theory. In this era, we might find Margaret Sanger, liberal economists and social scientists, Teddy Roosevelt, Henry Ford, a young Hitler, and the KKK all agreeing on aspects of eugenics. There are many sides of the eugenics argument, and one must study its history in earnest before making a judgment call. Very radical right-wing propaganda equated birth control with genocide, but there was a wide range of beliefs. An espousal of negative eugenics is part of the dark history of the Democratic party.
You May Like: What Is Republicanism And What Does It Value
Leaders Of The Democratic Party : The Rioter Seymour The Butcher Forrest The Pirate Semmes The Hangman Hampton
View the for this item.
The Library of Congress generally does not own rights to material in its collections and, therefore, cannot grant or deny permission topublish or otherwise distribute the material. For further rights information, see Rights Information below and the Rights and Restrictions Information page .
- Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication.
- Reproduction Number: LC-USZ62-43958
- : Broadside portfolio 236 no. 27 c-Rare Bk Coll Broadside portfolio 236 no. 27 Printed Ephemera copy. 61 x 96 cm.
- Medium:1 print : wood-engraving with letterpress on wove paper 89.7 x 54 cm
If an image is displaying, you can download it yourself.
Alternatively, you can purchase copies of various types through Library of Congress Duplication Services.
Don’t Miss: Gillette Stadium Seating Chart Patriots