It seriously weakened the black political establishment through its use of assassinations and threats of violence; it drove some people out of politics.On the other hand, it caused a sharp backlash, with passage of federal laws that historian Eric Foner says were a success in terms of "restoring order, reinvigorating the morale of Southern Republicans, and enabling blacks to exercise their rights as citizens"Klan declined in strength in part because of internal weaknesses; its lack of central organization and the failure of its leaders to control criminal elements and sadists.With numerous chapters across the South, it was suppressed around 1871, through federal law enforcement.
Its official rhetoric focused on the threat of the Catholic Church, using anti-Catholicism and nativism.
The second Klan was a formal fraternal organization, with a national and state structure.
commonly called the KKK or simply the Klan, is three distinct movements in the United States that have advocated extremist reactionary positions such as white supremacy, white nationalism, anti-immigration and—especially in later iterations—Nordicism, The first Klan flourished in the Southern United States in the late 1860s, then died out by the early 1870s.
It sought to overthrow the Republican state governments in the South during the Reconstruction Era, especially by using violence against African American leaders.
More fundamentally, it declined because it failed to achieve its central objective – the overthrow of Republican state governments in the South.
After the Klan was suppressed, similar insurgent paramilitary groups arose that were explicitly directed at suppressing Republican voting and turning Republicans out of office: the White League, which started in Louisiana in 1874; and the Red Shirts, which started in Mississippi and developed chapters in the Carolinas.
For instance, the Red Shirts are credited with helping elect Wade Hampton as governor in South Carolina.
They were described as acting as the military arm of the Democratic Party and are attributed with helping white Democrats regain control of state legislatures throughout the South.
Several members of KKK groups were convicted of murder in the deaths of civil rights workers in Mississippi in 1964 and children in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham in 1963.