The First Era of the Ku Klux Klan (1866-1877)
"The Klan had used, fear, intimidation, and murder to brutally oppress over African-Americans who sought justice and equality."
- Charles Rangel
The first era of the Klan began in December of 1865. It started as a Christian organization, but as the Klan became much larger, they were motivated by more political and theological ideologies. This was a short and violent era that was eventually disbanded when strict Jim Crow Laws were set.
Nathan Bedford Forrest
The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments
"Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."
- 13th Amendment
"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
- 14th Amendment
"The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude."
- 15th Amendment
Ku Klux Klan Act
The Ku Klux Klan Act was passed in 1871, allowing Ulysses S. Grant to place penalties on terrorist organizations. This Act also allowed military forces to hold back the Klan. Nine South Carolina counties were placed under martial law once the Act was passed. However, in 1882 the Act was found unconstitutional, but the Klan already disappeared from the forefront.