chapter
Introduction
ByMiguel Hernandez
Pages 22

This chapter traces the development of the Ku Klux Klan, analysing its origins in the aftermath of the American Civil War and its mythologization in the Lost Cause narrative of the late nineteenth century. The focus then shifts to the growth of the reformed Klan of the 1920s, examining how this new iteration of the movement evolved in the decade after the First World War and promoted an ideology that included anti-Catholicism, anti-Semitism and nativism, as well as white supremacy. This chapter also explores this order’s history between 1915 and 1925, introducing the different features that attracted millions of white Protestant Americans to its ranks such as its distinct imagery and sales strategy. In addition, this section will review the different schools of thought that have sought to explain why this racist mass-movement succeeded and will outline how historians have overlooked the importance of fraternalism and its relationship to Freemasonry in the growth of the 1920s Ku Klux Klan.