Blacks were freed of slavery but didn't have equality and were treated like 2nd class citizens. The KKK was founded and rapidly gained members; they were not initially created for violence but ended up performing violent acts such as the lynching of many blacks.
Their aims were to maintain white supremecy and their methods of doing so were to use strong violence.
Hundreds of people were killed by them. They were portrayed by the whites as heroic - "the birth of a nation"
"The Kloran" - a handbook of rights/rituals. Jews/Catholics/immigrans were targeted, they were fuelled by Christianity. Problems grew as the Klan did - 5 Klan members were elected into Senate.
They wanted to maintain white supremecy and enroll new members - there were 500,000 women who were members. They used similar methods such as beatings, hanging, murder etc. as they always had done.
There were thousands of new members but the newspapers and media attacked the Klan and they gained negative attention.
The depression lowered the support for the Klan. 1946 ceremony - "the Klan has never been dead and the klan is never going to die". They negotiated with the police so that they would't get involved. There were lots of new independent Klans forming, the rise of protests for desegregation further provoked the KKK.
Their tactic of terror was to burn crosses. They used economic boycotts, beatings, murders and other intimidating tactics. White mobs performed exruciatingly violent beating. They were trying to get rid of groups like the NAACP and MLK.
One of the leaders of the KKK was fined $600,000.
Birmingham was said to be the bloodiest battlefield - it was the most violent and most segregated city in America. 16th street Baptist church bombings killing an 11 year old and 3 14 year old girls who were attending church; the suspects were not arrested or charged for the murder.
Black homes were bombed, there was lots of violence against civil rights activists and their leaders. They torched churches and used the police in their favour.
This resulted in federal intervention and investigation.
Police were involved with the Klan and began to actually take part in the murders. Political leaders publically disliked blacks however, Johnson publically took a stand against the KKK. There was a lot of murders of war veterans.
The later actions of the KKK such as the Mississippi murders resulted in lots of media attention and eventually contributed to the passage of the civil rights act.