To what extent were black opposition groups, such as the Ku Klux Klan, responsible for the suppression of the black civil rights movement between 1865-1980?
After the 13th Amendment in 1865 the black civil rights movement began. As they were no longer slaves they fought for the rights that should be given to any citizen of the United States of America. The constitution states that "all men are created equal" but this was not the case as a combination of factors lead to the suppression of the civil rights movement. As soon as they started fighting for rights, groups emerged to oppose them, as Einstein's theory of relativity says, "For every action, there is an equal but opposite reaction". These groups used different methods to achieve their goals. The Ku Klux Klan, or KKK, used intimidatory tactics to make blacks do what they wanted, whereas political movements such as the Know Nothing Party tried to turn the rest of the population against them. They were originally effective, but in the end just seemed to give more resolution to the civil rights movement. More importantly was the socio-political climate of the US at this time as discrimination against blacks was very deep seated and political parties did nothing to help blacks. Also the state legislatures were given too much power by the federal government so they could enforce their own racist laws, the'Jim Crowe' laws, at their own discretion. Finally, the lack of unity in the blacks civil rights movement, which is probably the most important factor, meant that they were pulling in different directions, rather than all pushing in the same one. The conflicts within the movement were always there and meant that there were never huge amounts of sustained pressure, which was what was needed to enforce changes.
The Ku Klux Klan had three main periods of influence and had varying degrees of success in each. Theyfirst came into being in 1865 an…