The Ku Klux Klan or KKK is one of America's oldest and most feared groups. Driven by the dream of a world with only one master race, the KKK often uses violence and takes the law into their own hands in order to promote their cause. They did not start as a violent group, or to promote white supremacy.

At the end of the War between the States in April of 1865, some felt it marked the beginning of a terrible time of trouble for the white citizens who remained loyal to the southern states. This infamous chapter of American history is known as the Reconstruction period.

Although large portions of the South were untouched by military action during the war, the problems after the war touched all and were severe. Private homes and farms were burned and personal property seized. Some of the seized property was given to some of the newly freed slaves, who many feared would rise up in revolt at any moment. Many individual cases did occur, and the law turned a blind eye too often to be tolerated. It was a lawless time when street justice prevailed.

It was out of these dismal conditions that just and “decent men” of honor came together forming the Ku Klux Klan. Led by Nathan Bedford Forrest in Tennessee, by 1877 these “courageous” men had driven the federal troops back north. For a time they saved the white south from the tyranny of the federal government, the extortion of the carpetbaggers, the treason of the scalawags, and the hatred of the numerous renegade Negroes.

The "Ku Klux Klan, or KKK as known today, was started in the spring of 1866. Six Confederate veterans formed a social club in Pulaski, Tennessee. The group adopted the name Ku Klux Klan from the Greek word kuklos, meaning circle, and the English word clan. They chose the circle because they felt it was the best symbol of creativity and also because it’s the oldest symbol of unity. This KKK only lasted a short six years, but left tactics and rituals that later started in generations.

The Klan was a small group very much in secrecy at first. The exact date of the beginning is unknown. Despite all of the secrecy the six KKK members initiated new members to join their social club.

A year after the creation of the KKK, the one time social club joined the raising campaign against the Republican Reconstruction. The "new" direction of the Klan was well planned and organized. The Klan was now ready to expand to a bigger group. The Klan adopted a prescript. This was an organizational structure permitting the Klan to spread across the South. New members had to be over eighteen, pay one dollar, swear to secrecy, recruits also pledged to "protect the weak, the innocent, and the defenseless, from the indignities, wrongs, and outrages of the lawless, the violent, and the brutal." The highly centralized plan for expanding the KKK, spread so rapidly that most chapters operated alone. The founders of the KKK lost control, and it became impossible to talk about a single KKK. Yet Klan activities still followed a common pattern throughout the south.

The Klan now started to spread across Tennessee. At first the Klan used tricks to keep blacks "in their place". At first, the Klan would ride around on horses, and with their white robes, and white pointed masks, try to scare blacks. They would try to act like ghost with their white uniforms. In the beginning, the men wanted to do nothing more than play pranks on people. However, the people were more frightened than they were cheered up. They soon realized what they could do with these fear tactics. Unfortunately, the Klan quickly moved to more violent pranks.

The Klan would now suppress blacks. The Klan leaders proved unable to control their followers. Although the violence was often random, there was a method in the madness. The victims were almost always black or if white, associated with the hatred of the Republican party. The Klan had fear of black equality and sparked attacks on schools setup for freed slaves. The Klan would warn the blacks not to attend school, and would scare the teachers, most from out of state, to leave town. These new tactics