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Fact of the Day
The name Ku Klux Klan stems from the Greek word kuklos which means something between being banded together and meeting full circle. The original intent of the group was to scare the people of the South into voting in clansmen. This was being done in order to keep the South ruled by southerners in a time when the Union's forces occupied most of the former Confederacy.
While the KKK was still in its infancy, some members were black. This was because many fought as Confederate soldiers and therefore were part of the movement to keep their names and purpose alive. This is all taking place in the mid-to-late 1860s. This is referred to as the period of Reconstruction in American history. The Union's army was currently occupying the South on a whim because there was nothing in the Constitution that dealt with Civil War and controlling a half of the country that severely dislikes the other. Mainly, the Union tried to institute government officials because many of the cities of the Confederacy were un-run and unmanned. This clash led the KKK and the Union forces to station themselves around voting establishments. The clan to tried and scare the voters into voting in their favor and the North to make it safe to vote. Unfortunately, it seemed as though the North was trying to fill southern offices with allies.
The raiding and burning motifs that are historically associated with the KKK unfolded from this original situation. Inhumanely, black people of the time were thought of as symbols of the Union's power because they were free. For this reason many were killed along with other northern influences like carpetbaggers. Many white and black soldiers were captured and made into slaves during the war.
Added tidbit: The Emancipation Proclamation only freed slaves in states that seceded from the Union and prevented further expansion of slavery into new territories. Slavery still stood in border states that remained part of the country.
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