Why were the 1920s the high point of the Ku Klux Klan’s popularity? Learning objective – to be able to explain why the Ku Klux Klan was so popular during the 1920s I can describe some for the reasons why the Ku Klux Klan was so popular during the 1920s. Grade D I can explain the impact of the Ku Klux Klan and why did their popularity rise as well as dramatically fall. Grade B I can explain and assess the impact of the Ku Klux Klan on US society in the 1920s. Grade A Starter – How many members were there in the KKK in 1924 and how many in 1929? Starter – How many members were there in the KKK in 1924 and how many in 1929? 1924 – 4.5 million members 1929 – just under 200,000 members Why was America a divided society in the 1920s? New America Old America • New immigrants from all over Europe. • Many followed different religions such as Judaism and Catholicism. • Many spoke limited English. • British descendants from the 17th and 18th centuries. • WASPs. • Controlled many areas of politics and society. What were the origins of the Ku Klux Klan? The Ku Klux Klan was formed after the American Civil War in 1866 in Tennessee. It was a secret society determined to protect the Whites who lived in the Old South from the threat of AfricanAmericans who had been freed from slavery. They went into decline after 1877. What did the Ku Klux Klan do? The Ku Klux Klan protected their secrecy by wearing white robes and met in Klaverns. They were structured like an army. Their meetings emphasised Protestantism and were governed by a rule book called the ‘Kloran’. Why did the Ku Klux Klan gain popularity from the 1910s onwards? Immense popularity of the hit film The Birth of the Nation in 1915, which portrayed the KKK as heroes defending the WASP way of life. Growing fears from poor white southerners afraid of African-Americans and immigrants willing to work for low wages and taking jobs normally reserved for them. KKK was reformed in 1915 with cheap membership of $10 – which included KKK robes. KKK also capitalised upon the growing fears towards immigration, seeing them as a threat to American society. How much influence did the Ku Klux Klan have on US society during the 1920s? There were examples that the KKK were able to influence elections. For example, in Maine, the Attorney-General spoke out against the KKK and was promptly removed from office. The 1920s saw KKK lead a growing campaign of terror across the South, with lynchings and burnings. This intimidation created an atmosphere of fear and terror. It could be argued that the KKK greatest influence came in their campaign for immigration controls which favoured those from northern Europe. Why did support for the Ku Klux Klan collapse between 1924 and 1929? Membership of the KKK fell from 4.5 million in 1924 to just under 200, 000 in 1929. A key reason for this was the conviction of David Stephenson, the Grand Dragon of the KKK, of rape. Other members were also implicated in rapes and corruption. This undermined the KKK’s standing for moral WASP behaviour. Also, the KKK was a victim of its own success. Having helped secure immigration controls many members were no longer actively interested. Plenary This word cloud summarises the content of today’s lesson. Pick out the three most important words and explain why they summarise your learning in the lesson. NOTE – you cannot choose Ku Klux AND Klan – you are just allowed one from those three!