The Failure of Reconstruction and the Rise of the Klan

The white men were roused by a mere instinct of self-preservation until at last there had sprung into existence a great Ku Klux Klan, a veritable empire of the South, to protect the Southern country.

-President Woodrow Wilson, who screened the Klan recruiting film Birth of a Nation in the White House

Armed police forces and their predecessors throughout history have been the major institutions that define hierarchies in a given area. A prime example of this is how Irish immigrants in America began to be accepted as “white” in the early 20th century as urban police forces became staffed with Irish immigrants, while Italian immigrants (who mostly came to the US in large numbers a ...

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