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as a fraternal social club inspired at least in part by the then largely defunct Sons of Malta, from which parts of the initiation ceremony were borrowed, 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 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.This second organization adopted a standard white costume and used similar code words as the first Klan, while adding cross burnings and mass parades.The third and current manifestation of the KKK emerged after 1950, in the form of small, local, unconnected groups that use the KKK name.They had played with an engine of power and mystery, though organized on entirely innocent lines, and found themselves overcome by a belief that something must lie behind it all—that there was, after all, a serious purpose, a work for the Klan to do." Klan groups spread throughout the South as an insurgent movement during the Reconstruction era in the United States. In 18, the federal government passed the Enforcement Acts, which were successfully enforced in prosecuting and suppressing Klan crimes.The first Klan had mixed results in terms of achieving its objectives.The Ku Klux Klan (KKK), or simply "the Klan", is the name of three distinct past and present movements in the United States that have advocated extremist reactionary currents 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 is classified as a hate group by the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center.It seriously weakened the black political establishment through its use of assassinations and threats of violence; it drove some people out of politics.