Chapter 57: the Ku-Klux Klan
After Congress had overthrown President Johnson
's plan and had completed the formal reconstruction of the insurrectionary States according to its own views, the political disabilities of the late Confederates deprived them of suffrage and placed the political control of these States in a new party, composed of Southern Union men, Northern men who at the end of the war settled in the South
, and the negroes.
Politicians of the Republican Party hoped through this combination to keep the Southern States Republican
on national issues and secure the rights of complete citizenship to the new voters.
The negroes were generally very ignorant and not wisely led, and even if they had been the wisest of rulers the opposition of the whites to being ruled by their late slaves would have been naturally very fierce.
The opposition, as yet powerless at the polls, was greatly strengthened by the course, hostile to Congress, which President Johnson
had pursued, and early in 1868 began to show itself in the operations here and there of certain secret organizations.
The primary object of these associations was undoubtedly political, in some places avowed to be in opposition to the Union Leagues
, that favored strong national control in the South
, leagues which not only took form in Northern