- June 2, 2020
The Klan Fight for Americanism
TheKlan Fight for Americanism
The1920s in the United States endured a period after the war that wasdominated by a social instability and immigration. The Blacks wererecruited in the war, and they occupied various ranks. Their spreadacross the country and the mass immigration of the foreigners led tothe rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan. The group consisted of hardcoreWhites who believed that foreigners from other regions did not have aplace in the United States.
TheCongress supported their effort to create a non-proliferated societythrough the enactment of the per centum limits. The major concerns ofthe KKK are captured in an article authored by Hiram Evans dubbed TheKlan’s Fight for Americanism (1926).Putting the aspects into the wider historical context helps inunderstanding. The 1920’s were marked by nativism and fear ofculture erosion because the influence of the immigrants was felt indifferent states and this led to the rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan thataimed at restoring Nordicism.
TheKlan’s Fight for Americanism as portrayed by Hiram Evans depictsthe role played by the group in protecting the indigenous cultureagainst the infiltration by other foreign investors. The Klan wasformed to as a protest against modernity that was experienced afterthe Second World War. According to the author, most of the immigrantsin the United States came from the European countries that werewar-stricken (Shi and Tindall 184).
Puttingthe issue into the wider context, it is noteworthy that the UnitedStates did not participate in the First World War from the beginning.It only engaged Japan after the attack on the Pearl Harbor.Therefore, unlike the other participants in the war includingGermany, France, and Japan, the country did not suffer a massiveeconomic loss (Shi and Tindall 184). Individuals from other nationstarget the United States to take advantage of the flourishingeconomic growth.
Additionally,the Klan began its activities in the South in the states of Delaware,Florida, Georgia and Maryland. It is noteworthy that the Sound had abigger back population than the Northern states due to the slaverythat had been prevalent. In 1900, the South was dominated byProtestantism and non-Catholics were not embraced. The Klan’s Fightagainst the Jews, Catholics, and trade unionist was an illustrationof their efforts to maintain an original American culture (Shi andTindall 184).
Inhis article, Evans is categorical that the Klan was against thevoting rights that were given to the native born rights to vote bythe constitution. In the wider context, the 15th Amendment enacted in1869 indicated that all the native-born American men had the right tovote. In 1869, about 44% of the African-American men had beenregistered as voters (Shi and Tindall 184).
Thereemerged some form of voter suppression as more Black held offices inthe South. One of the fervent groups was the Klan. The secondgeneration of the Klan that assumed the reigns by 1915 had to counterthe voting rights by instilling fear among the Blacks. They usedmasks to hide their identity and used hats to demonstrate the Whitedominance.
Thearticle also indicates that the First World War changed the agenda ofthe Ku Klux Klan. Initially, the group was based in the rural Southto intimidate the Blacks and prevent them from holding office. Sinceelections were not held regularly and the Black movement was not verystrong, the Klan had become inactive in 1900. The new world war camewith the challenges of immigration that brought individuals fromdifferent backgrounds into the United States.
Theirintention also changed as Blacks began moving to other parts of thecountry in a few years before 1920. The depiction of the Klan’schange of agendas in the article is related to this historicalemigration. During the First World War, thousands of blacks enlistedin the army and some of them gained ranks. When they returned in1917, they were ambitious, and they moved northwards to enjoy theflourishing economy (Shi and Tindall 184).
Themovement increased the number of blacks in other states like Chicago,New York, St. Louis and Los Angeles. For instance, in Chicago, thepercentage of the Blacks in the population rose by 600% (Shi andTindall 186). Those who were opposed to the free movement of theBlacks and the establishment of their churches scaled up theirefforts to intimidate them in their new locations.
Fromthe wider historical context, the government saw the need to curb themassive movement of people into the country through the ImmigrationAct of 1917. The Klan’s idea was to retain the original Americanculture of civilization and literacy. According to the articleauthored by Evans, the Congress seemed to share the Klan’ssentiments and instituted the literacy test to bar those who couldnot write and read into the United States. The intention was to avoidimporting unskilled labor and individuals who would swell thedependency rates. However, it is evident that the 1917 Amendmentcould not work effectively to the advantage of the United States.
Theaspect of feared erosion of culture is also captured by Evans in hisarticle. Both the citizens and the Congress believed that theincreased number of immigrants was a threat to the national values.In the historical context, 1920 was dominated by nativism. Thetraditional values of the American society were changing fast toadjust to the modern age. The indigenous race reacted to the changewith fear, and this led to the reborn of KKK (Shi and Tindall 185).
Therationale for this was that most of the Americans felt that thepromise they had been given of reforming the country and making theera transformative had not shown any significant success. The worldwar had resulted in an unstable society due to the massiverecruitments. Additionally, flu had erupted in the major cities, andthe citizens protested against the government. The big cities werealso teeming with immigrants and the local perceived their ideas asforeign and dangerous. This gave rise to the use Anglo-Saxontechniques and militant Protestantism. In his article, Evans observedthat their cases of terrorism against the Catholics and Jews.
TheAmerica Society in 1920 was dominated by immigration that instilledfear among the indigenous locals who wanted the originality of theAmericans to remain robust. The Ku Klux Klan revised its agenda tomove from the rural areas to the urban areas where the Blacks weremoving. The ideology also charged from targeting blacks to otherimmigrants who practiced Catholicism and the Jewish religion. Thecongress passed the 15 Amendment in 1917 to contribute to the KKK’sidea of restricting immigrants into the country. However, the effortsof the groups to curtail the progression of the Blacks andterrorizing foreigners were criminalized by law later.
Shi,David E., and George Brown Tindall. America:A Narrative History.New York: WW Norton & Company, 2016. Print.