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After SlaveryRace, Labor, and Citizenship in the Reconstruction South$
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Bruce E. Baker and Brian Kelly

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780813044774

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813044774.001.0001

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Ex-Slaveholders and the Ku Klux Klan

Ex-Slaveholders and the Ku Klux Klan

Exploring the Motivations of Terrorist Violence

(p.143) 7 Ex-Slaveholders and the Ku Klux Klan
After Slavery

Michael W. Fitzgerald

University Press of Florida

Despite the vast scholarship on the Ku Klux Klan during Reconstruction, the movement's pattern of participation has received sparse attention. This study uses modern, digitized historical records along with older sources to re-evaluate the author's earlier study of Klan membership in Alabama. The most common profile for a Klan member in Alabama was the son of a middling slaveholder, for whom Emancipation had led to a catastrophic loss of wealth and standing. The emergence of widespread terrorism came about when a broad social constituency, the restive sons of middling slaveholders, linked up with the displaced political establishment.

Keywords:   Ku Klux Klan, Alabama, social class, economy, planters, violence, slaveholders

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