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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.
According to The Cyclopædia of Fraternities (1907), "Beginning in April, 1867, there was a gradual transformation ...
The members had conjured up a veritable Frankenstein. As a secret vigilante group, the Klan targeted freedmen and their allies; it sought to restore white supremacy by threats and violence, including murder, against black and white Republicans.
the 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.
More fundamentally, it declined because it failed to achieve its central objective – the overthrow of Republican state governments in the South.
as a fraternal social club inspired at least in part by the then largely defunct Sons of Malta.
It borrowed parts of the initiation ceremony from that group, with the same purpose: "ludicrous initiations, the baffling of public curiosity, and the amusement for members were the only objects of the Klan", according to Albert Stevens in 1907.
Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Independent Monitor, September 1, 1868.
The second group was founded in the South in 1915 and it flourished nationwide in the early and mid-1920s, including urban areas of the Midwest and West.
Taking inspiration from the film Birth of a Nation, which mythologized the founding of the first Klan, it employed marketing techniques and a popular fraternal organization structure.
Starting in 1921, it adopted a modern business system of using full-time paid recruiters and appealed to new members as a fraternal organization, of which many examples were flourishing at the time.
The national headquarters made its profit through a monopoly of costume sales, while the organizers were paid through initiation fees.
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.