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On the other hand, it caused a sharp backlash, with passage of federal laws that historian Eric Foner says were a success in terms of "restoring order, reinvigorating the morale of Southern Republicans, and enabling blacks to exercise their rights as citizens"Klan declined in strength in part because of internal weaknesses; its lack of central organization and the failure of its leaders to control criminal elements and sadists.
More fundamentally, it declined because it failed to achieve its central objective – the overthrow of Republican state governments in the South.
The second Klan was a formal fraternal organization, with a national and state structure.
During the resurgence of the second Klan during the 1920s, its publicity was handled by the Southern Publicity Association—within the first six months of the Associations national recruitment campaign, Klan membership had increased by 85,000.
It is classified as a hate group by the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
as a fraternal social club inspired at least in part by the then largely defunct Sons of Malta.
The first Klan had mixed results in terms of achieving its objectives.
It rapidly declined in the later half of the 1920s.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.During this period, they often forged alliances with Southern police departments, as in Birmingham, Alabama; or with governor's offices, as with George Wallace of Alabama.Several members of KKK groups were convicted of murder in the deaths of civil rights workers in Mississippi in 1964 and children in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham in 1963.