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Historians are used to the concept of formal and informal empires. They are used to empires expanding and empires declining. In reality this empire was anything but invisible. Born in the turmoil of the post-Civil War South, by the mids it had spread to all mainland states of the Union, claiming some ten million members.
Others see it as a part of the secrecy surrounding the original hooded fraternity. However invisible, connection to the most illustrious figure of the Confederate war effort gave the Klan prestige and legitimacy, not only during the Sekten-Wahn - Invisible Empire - Invisible Empire of post war reconstruction, but also when the Klan re-emerged in Early accounts of the Klan repeat the rumour, largely because the order was seen in a generally positive light.
In some measure this was the result of a negative view of the Reconstruction efforts carried out in the post-war South. These Radical Republican-led attempts at racial integration and universal education were almost universally seen as the misguided efforts of unrealistic idealists, or viewed as the actions of corrupt politicians.
Further, many of the historians writing histories of the Klan from Reconstruction through until at least the s were, or claimed they were related to, members of the order. The result was that accounts like that of Susan Lawrence Davis reiterated the myth offering no hint of its origins and making no attempt to show its authenticity. What is more she draws on equally unreliable sources, like the memoirs of one of the founders, John C Lester. Heavy Rotation - Ciara - Basic Instinct cannot be with you in person but Sekten-Wahn - Invisible Empire - Invisible Empire will follow you, but it must be invisible.
A Sekten-Wahn - Invisible Empire - Invisible Empire of sexual and financial scandals combined with revelations of its violent methods reduced both the numbers and reputation of the order. This securely ties the order back to the craze for secret brotherhoods which swept across the United States in the wake of the Civil War.
College Greek letter fraternities; fraternities associated with particular trades, ethnicities and interests; fraternities formed to achieve certain aims, as well as the more traditional varieties like the Freemasons, Oddfellows and Shriners all prospered and expanded. One estimate claimed that aroundone in five American adult males was a member of at least one fraternity, many belonged to several.
The Klan itself had started as a simple fraternity. Around Christmassix bored ex-Confederate veterans, recently de-mobbed, formed their own fraternity — simply for entertainment. Like many other contemporary orders secrecy was central to the new fraternity.
It had elaborate oaths of secrecy threatening dire punishment Lion - Hollywood Undead - Notes From The Underground (Unabridged) those who spread details of the order. It had weird names to disguise the identity of members, and elaborate costumes to hide their faces. Similarly when the Klan was reformed insecrecy remained essential, not so much for the protection of its members, but more for the frisson of excitement and exclusivity it gave its members as part of a society made even more famous with the blockbuster release of Birth of a Nation on the silver screen.
It enabled recruiters to gull fee-paying members into joining an order that never had anywhere near the ten million members it claimed at its peak in It allowed the organisation to exaggerate its power, by claiming it had members — sworn to secrecy, of Walk All Over You - AC/DC - Family Jewels (DVD) — at all levels of government from the White House down. Having said that the concept of the Invisible Empire has proved a constant headache for historians.
Secrecy and exaggeration, added to the lack of records and a reluctance of many to admit their own, or relatives, association with the Klan mean that our histories of the fraternity are necessarily to some extent speculative — especially when it comes to numbers. Nevertheless, this very secrecy makes new theories, new explanations and, of course, new histories of the Klan possible. Kristofer Allerfeldt will be working on a new history of the Klan in conjunction with his PhD student, Miguel Hernandez, in Skip to content Dr.
Kristofer Allerfeldt History Department, University of Exeter Historians are used to the concept of formal and informal empires. It was also known as the Ku Klux Klan. Membership card of A. Klan newspaper of the s. Like this: Like Loading Post to Cancel. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email.
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