The Relationship Between The Ku Klux Klan

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The Relationship Between The Ku Klux Klan And The World Of “All The King’s Men” By Robert Penn Warren Essay, Research Paper The times in which the novel ?All The King?s Men,? by Robert Penn Warren, took place and the atmosphere of racism that was prevalent in the 1920?s, as shown by the dominance of the Ku Klux Klan, have both much in common and much in difference. The setting of the novel is Louisiana in the 1920?s and early 1930?s. These times were full of turbulence and change. There was rapid social change happening along with many changes in they way the economy operated. These changes, while they were good eventually, frightened many people. They began to take refuge in what they considered was old and noble(?), and through this the Ku Klux Klan was revived. While

this is not shown through every action that takes place in the novel, much of it does reflect what it was really like in Louisiana in the 1920?s and 1930?s. The Ku Klux Klan was an active part of the American system in the 1920?s. During this time, due to all the social change and upheaval taking place, many people became scared. It was into this atmosphere that some people decided that they would attempt to prevent change (McVeigh p. 82). To this end, they re-instated the Ku Klux Klan as a new entity full of life and vigor. This was a group that had a lot of power and influence in many states. This meant that if the Ku Klux Klan wanted something, it, more often then not, got what it wanted. One thing that the Klan wanted was to keep down that black race. It thought that the

white race was superior to the black race in every way. It believed that blacks did have a role in this country, but role mainly consisted of picking cotton and doing menial labor that no white person wanted to do (Jenkins p. 241). It also meant the ideas of old such as preventing the mingling of the two races and to keep blacks in poverty. This was a new Klan, however, it used some different methods then before. The original Klan had only one weapon at its disposal- violence. That proved to be counter-productive, as Congress passed laws that virtually wiped out the Klan due to the immense cases of violence against blacks. That was in the 1880?s. This new Klan had two weapons in its hands (MacLean p. 148). It still had the time-honored tradition of terror and violence, but it now

had a new, even more potent weapon up its sleeves- and that was politics. Due to that vast numbers of the Klan, estimated at around six million active members at its peak, the Klan was able to hold vast marches and parades to use as a show of political force. A politician could ignore a small group of backwater hicks demanding racism, but when a ?…march of 60,000 members took place down Pennsylvania Avenue…? (Schwartz p. 173), the politicians were forced to take notice. They were forced to do as the Klan wanted, because these members were people who would remember whether-or-not the politician helped the and would not vote for whomever the Grand Dragon (Clary p. 324) said not to vote for. The reverse of this was true also. If the Klan gave the support and backing to a

politician he had a much better chance of getting elected. This turned out to be a remarkably effect force. The Klan forced many people in politics to do as the Klan wanted. The Klan was instrumental in getting many pieces of legislation passed. One the most famous of these was an anti-immigration bill that set a harsh limit on all immigrants that allowed a limited number to enter based on that country?s population in America in 1880 (Jenkins p. 249). This was considered the Klan?s most powerful victory, because this bill was on its way to dying in congress when the Klan stepped in. The lobbied, heavily, the most influential senators to help pass the bill. If not for the support from the Klan the bill could never have passed (Weller p. 193). Another victory for the Klan came as