They have focused on opposition to the Civil Rights Movement, often using violence and murder to suppress activists.It is classified as a hate group by the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center.commonly called the KKK or simply the Klan, is three distinct movements in the United States that have advocated extremist reactionary positions 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.

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Starting in 1921, it adopted a modern business system of using full-time paid recruiters and appealed to new members as a fraternal organization, of which many examples were flourishing at the time.

The national headquarters made its profit through a monopoly of costume sales, while the organizers were paid through initiation fees.

As of 2016, researchers estimate that there are just over 30 active Klan groups exist in the United States, A cartoon threatening that the KKK will lynch scalawags (left) and carpetbaggers (right) on March 4, 1869, the day President Grant takes office.

Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Independent Monitor, September 1, 1868.

After the Klan was suppressed, similar insurgent paramilitary groups arose that were explicitly directed at suppressing Republican voting and turning Republicans out of office: the White League, which started in Louisiana in 1874; and the Red Shirts, which started in Mississippi and developed chapters in the Carolinas.

For instance, the Red Shirts are credited with helping elect Wade Hampton as governor in South Carolina.Rooted in local Protestant communities, it sought to maintain white supremacy, often took a pro-prohibition stance, and it opposed Catholics and Jews, while also stressing its opposition to the Catholic Church at a time of high immigration from the mostly Catholic nations of Central Europe and Southern Europe.This second organization adopted a standard white costume and used code words which were similar to those used by the first Klan, while adding cross burnings and mass parades to intimidate others.The second KKK preached "One Hundred Percent Americanism" and demanded the purification of politics, calling for strict morality and better enforcement of prohibition.Its official rhetoric focused on the threat of the Catholic Church, using anti-Catholicism and nativism.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 promoting resistance and white supremacy during the Reconstruction Era. In 18, the federal government passed the Enforcement Acts, which were intended to prosecute and suppress Klan crimes.