Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
The Invisible Empires: The Second Ku Klux Klan and American Society, 1915-1944
Academic Year
Semester 2
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay  2500 Words  50%
Semester Assessment Open Exam  2500 Words  50%
Supplementary Assessment Essay  2500 Words  50%
Supplementary Assessment Open Exam  2500 Words  50%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Demonstrate a detailed understanding of the history of the Ku Klux Klan and the wider developments in American society from 1915 to 1944.

Evaluate the different developments in the history of the Ku Klux Klan and its influence on broader American society from 1915 to 1944.

Understand and engage with the historiographical debates and historical interpretations concerning the growth of the Ku Klux Klan and its impact on early 20th century American society

Assess primary sources related to the Ku Klux Klan and broader American society during the period between 1915 and 1944 and apply these to their interpretation of this topic

Understand and apply the necessary frameworks and methodology needed to examine the Ku Klux Klan and the history of American race relations.

Brief description

This Special Subject will examine the growth of the Second Ku Klux Klan in the period between 1915 and 1944, as well as its impact on American society. Emerging at a critical period in the aftermath of the First World War when Americans were questioning vital issues regarding race, religion, immigration, morality and gender, the Second Klan shaped public discourse and alarmed its detractors and enemies with its extraordinary mass appeal. This module will explore why so many white Protestant Americans chose to join this organization, how it shaped American society, and how its opponents struggled against the Klan. In this module, students will have the opportunity to analyse primary sources and engage with the historical literature to gain a better understanding of American history in the interwar period.


This Special Subject aims to provide students with an in-depth understanding of the history of the Second Ku Klux Klan and the broader history of the United States between 1915 and 1944 as it relates to key issues such as race, politics, immigration, morality, religion and gender. It aims to develop key skills in historical analysis and research through primary sources and engagement with the historiographical debates on this topic. This module will follow on directly from its co-requisite.


1. The Birth of a Second Klan
2. Expanding the Second Invisible Empire
3. Exposing the Invisible Empire
4. White Brotherhood: Fraternalism and Militancy in America
5. A Political Giant? The Klan and Politics in the 1920s.
6. SisterHood - The Invisible Empire and Women
7. Violence and Vigilantism in the 1920s
8. Opposing the Klan
9. The Ku Klux Klan(s)
10. The Collapse of the 1920s Klan

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Co-ordinating with others Students will be expected to play an active part in group activities (e.g. short group presentations in seminars) and to learn to evaluate their own contribution to such activities.
Creative Problem Solving Students are expected to note and respond to historical problems which arise as part of the study of this subject area and to undertake suitable research for seminars and assignments.
Critical and analytical thinking Students will develop their critical and analytical thinking by reading a range of texts and evaluating their usefulness in preparation for the coursework and the seminars.
Digital capability Students will be encouraged to locate suitable material on the web and to apply it appropriately to their own work. Students will also be expected to word-process their work and make use of Blackboard. These skills will not be formally assessed.
Professional communication Written communication skills will be developed through the coursework; skills in oral presentation will be developed in seminars but are not formally assessed.
Real world sense Students will develop a range of transferable skills, including time management and communication skills, which may help them identify their personal strengths as they consider potential career paths.
Subject Specific Skills Students will develop an in-depth understanding of the history of the Ku Klux Klan and of broader American history between 1915 to 1944


This module is at CQFW Level 6