In 1871, the Republican-controlled 42nd Congress passed a Civil Rights Act aimed at the Ku Klux Klan. Guilty of murdering hundreds of African-Americans, this terrorist organization had also eradicated the Republican Party throughout most of the South. The law empowered the Republican administration of Ulysses Grant to protect the civil rights of the former slaves in federal court, bypassing the Democrat-controlled state courts.
The 1871 Civil Rights Act, along with the GOP’s 1870 Civil Rights Act, effectively banned the Klan and enabled Republican officials to arrest hundreds of Klansmen. Though the U.S. Supreme Court would eventually strike down most of the 1871 Civil Rights Act, the Ku Klux Klan was crushed. The KKK did not rise again until the Democratic administration of President Woodrow Wilson.
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