5 thoughts on “Interesting History of the Klan

  1. They were the poorest of whites in the South; the ones whose ancestors never owned slaves; they were encouraged to scapegoat those even less fortunate than themselves, and alas, they did… It makes complete sense, unfortunately.

    Also, here’s another factor: Scots-Irish have long had a penchant for secret societies; back in Ireland, many of their ancestors had been Freemasons or Orangemen; it’s not surprising that when a new, New World secret society would arise, that it would appeal to them. Secret societies have always been a way for some folks to advance in power, a means of making business contacts, etc.

    (And about the Orangemen: in Ireland, it was indeed the Presbyterian and Methodist Scotch-Irish, not the Anglican English who were the Protestant Establishment, who joined Orange Lodges; again, those with less power joined the organization that most scapegoated those with the least power, the Catholic Irish. History repeated itself in the New World, with their descendents joining the KKK… And while I haven’t read as much about the Freemasons, I have some among my ancestors, who were Scotch-Irish Presbyterians; I suspect the same general tendencies applied. Freemasonry was definitely a way for people to advance in business, etc.; my grandmother tried to encourage my dad to join for that reason. He wasn’t interested, and made his own way without needing any help from them. But there’s no question that lodges provide connections, etc.)

  2. Yeah, we Scots-Irish are clannish, which led to the Klan. But it also flourished in Anglo-German areas in the 20th Century – the governor of Indiana was a Klansman in the 1920s. The Klan was stronger there when I went to college there in the 1980s than anyplace I’d ever been in the South – and I grew up one town over from a former Grand Dragon, so it’s not like I was oblivious to the clan in Western VA.

    • The Klan certainly wasn’t a purely Scot Irish affair. But even Indiana like Missouri, Kentucky and Ohio have pretty large populations of Scot Irish people.

  3. there were two iterations of the klan -so far and frankly if i was a white living in a south dominated by freed slaves and ride too judging by the black statistics of the era they helped you guys keep from chimping out much like stop and frisk

    • The parts dominated by blacks actually had less klan membership. I get your trying to be offensive or some such, but your post had nothing really to do with the comments here nor the books exerpt.

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