Constructing the Past

Publication Date

Spring 2008


Few scholars come across original documents or declarations of the Women’s Ku Klux Klan. In fact, most Americans are unaware that during the revival of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920’s, women were not only active participants but also created their own branch of the Invisible Empire. The evidence we do have of the Women’s Klan reveals that the organization and the Klan itself had similar aims, but the women’s branch grew to encompass a wider variety of values and beliefs. For a more thorough understanding of the Women’s Klan one needs to examine the historical backdrop of the 1920’s and, in particular, the Progressive movement. Both the efforts to create the WKKK and the beliefs espoused by its members reflect the Progressive movement’s pattern of intervention into society to ameliorate its problems and uphold Victorian moral values.