Birth of a Nation: The Suppression of a People

of a Nation: The Suppression of a People

America is believed to be founded as the
first state founded on the notion that democracy is for all people, however
this is far from the truth. Not only did it take almost two hundred
years till the American government grants full opportunities to African

American, they even accepted the slavery of these peoples for almost half
of that time. A republic government, such as the American government,
is based on the idea that all people can have an equal represented fairly
and have an equal vote. This is very hard to accomplish when groups
of people living within that republic are discriminated against.

If society is not willing to see another group as equal they will not treat
their ideas as equals.

The 1920's are a time of great prosperity
in America. The Wall Street was hitting new highs and it seemed everyone
was getting rich. Also the 20's brings to mind radical social change.

The great experiment of probation was being tested, and flappers advocated
woman's civil rights. Like other times in history when a nation goes
through a period of great prosperity, or social changes there are conservative
resistance groups. During the early twentieth century this group
was known as the Ku Klux Klan or KKK. They originated after the Civil

War to resist the new rights given to ex-slaves. They came back during
the early part of the twentieth century to protest not only the new civil
rights but also to voice their decent about the increasing immigrant problem.

These new immigrants were coming from southeast Europe; they were often

Jewish or Catholic. They also did not always fit right into American
society. They often brought, and kept, their own traditions, languages,
and most importantly loyalties. The Ku Klux Klan offered a place
for the conservative minded to turn to, a reactionary organization for
the day. The people whom applied for membership were not of high
social status. Rather the Klan appealed to middle, and lower class


In a 1926 article Hiram Evans, Imperial

Wizard explains the purpose of the Ku Klux Klan. He first states
for whom the Klan is organized. The only people entitled to membership,
he states, are the "pioneers" that founded this country. It is his
belief that it was the WASP that brought the world into its modern age,
and now his people were being discriminated against. (Evans 318)

Then Evans goes on to explain how his people are being oppressed.

The last twenty years there was great social reform, during which schools
started teaching some Darwinism, the new immigrants were infesting cities
(Evans 318). Also "un-American" organizations are being formed to
support these new liberal groups (Evans 318). "We must Americanize
the Americans" an immigrant said, this is what Evens wanted to prevent
(Evans 319). The Nordic Americans were being forced out of their
jobs, not because they were not lazy, but because the new Americans worked
for a lower wage. This, the Klan said, lead to the "pioneer" reluctance
toward bringing more children into the world. This is, therefore,
the first step in the reduction of the true American.

Evans then goes on to explain why the Ku

Klux Klan is appealing to the average American. He says that the
people who are in control now are to liberal to run the government and
have betrayed the American people (Evans 318). They think that intellectual
leaders have the weakness of overanalyzing problems. They believe
what their leaders lacked and they had been emotion. Emotion, to
the Klan, was God inside them telling them what needs to be done (Evans

321). In the 1920's the Ku Klux Klan's membership soared to new highs.

This is because of their emotional appeal to the average American.

The country just fought a war where not all of its citizens were even pulling
for the same side (Evans 319). Jobs were becoming scarcer, and civil
rights, along with other liberal groups were gaining power. Many
people saw this all as a threat gains their decade or so of prosperity.

To lash out at their declining values they turned to the Klan. The Klan's
membership jumped in the 1920's. New propaganda, such as the motion picture

"Birth of a Nation" inspired people to join reactionary groups, and partake
in the growing fundamentalism, which could be found it the church of the

"The Birth of a Nation" is a monumental
piece of American work. Throughout history books and papers have
been written to sway public opinion, but now Mr. Griffith is able to successfully
put his