Organization and Principles of the Ku Klux Klan (1868)

“Second: To protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, and all laws passed in conformity thereto, and to protect the States and the people thereof from all invasion from any source whatever.” 

After the Civil war, the south was in complete chaos. After losing the war, many white people were not used to the idea of blacks being free. Due to the fact that blacks were considered property and not even seen as human beings, slave owners were not accustomed to the idea of slaves being free or even equal to them. In reaction to this, the Ku Klux Klan was formed to try and preserve the idea of white supremacy. The Ku Klux Klan vowed to “protect and defend the constitution of the United States,” conflating patriotism with their racist ideology. They still considered blacks as property and believed that by freeing the slaves, the federal government was violating their constitutional rights. They believed that in order to protect the rights of the people of the United States, they needed to rebel against this new concept of treating black people as equals.