White Blacklash

White Backlash after the Civil War

After the Civil War ended, there was a considerable white backlash towards the newly freed black slaves. Some white southerners did not believe that slaves were equal to white people. They also thought the new 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution gave too many protections to newly freed slaves. After the amendments were ratified, southern state governments passed black code laws to limit the freedoms for freed slaves and free black people in the South. There was also the rise of white supremacist groups like the Klu Klux Klan that terrorized freed slaves and freed black people in the South.

Klu Klux Klan

White Backlash after the Civil War Facts for KIds

  • Defeated Confederate Army’s soldiers returned to a changed world in the South.
  • The 13th, 14th, and 15thAmendments gave many rights to freed slaves and free black people.
  • Some white southerners did not believe in equality for freed black people.
  • Southern states passed Black Codes to eliminate the federal government’s plan for equality, voting, and educating the freed slaves.
  • Nathan Bedford Forrest, a former Confederate Army General, formed the Klu Klux Klan in 1865.
  • The KKK was a powerful white supremacist group that used fear and violence to keep freed blacks from advancing in society.
  • KKK members wore white hooded robes and burned crosses at their rallies. They would even commit murder at times of black people during their rallies.
  • Other white supremacist groups like the Pale Faces and Sons of Midnight also used fear and violence to prohibit freed blacks from advancing.

 Black Codes

In direct response to the newly passed amendments giving freed slaves and free black people specific rights, southern state governments passed laws to eliminate these rights. These new laws passed by southern state governments were called Black Codes. The laws were intended to limit the freedoms of black people. The laws included preventing black people from going to school, voting, getting jobs, and owning land. Many of the laws included segregation laws that prohibited black people in areas classified for white people only.

Klu Klux Klan

When the southern soldiers returned home, they found a changed world. Many white southerners did not want equality and change. The white southerners that did not want change formed white supremacist groups like the Klu Klux Klan, known as the KKK.

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The KKK was formed by a former slave trader and Confederate Army General Nathan Bedford Forrest. The group relied on terrorist actions towards the freed slaves, federal troops, and scalawags. The KKK used the fear of beatings, rape, lynchings, and arson to prohibit freed slaves and the federal government in advancing equality.

Members of the KKK held large rallies and burned crosses. Each person dressed in a white hooded robe. This helped them conceal their identities to the public and federal troops that were charged in protecting the freed slaves.

There were other white hate groups that existed too. Other groups like the Pale Faces and Sons of Midnight were as violent as the KKK. They relied on the same terrorist tactics. In response to these white hate groups, the federal government passed new laws like the Force Act of 1870 and outlawed white hate groups.

Questions

  1. Who founded the Klu Klux Klan?
    Nathan Bedford Forrest
  1. What was the name given to the anti-equality laws passed in southern states?
    Black Codes
  1. What did the members of the KKK wear during their rallies?
    White hooded robes
  1. What did the KKK burn at their rallies?
    Crosses
  1. What are the names of other white supremacist hate groups that formed after the Civil War?
    Pale Faces and Sons of Midnight