What Lies Beneath: The Alliance of Indians and Socialists in Early 20th-Century Oklahoma

Saturday, January 6, 2018: 3:30 PM
Virginia Suite C (Marriott Wardman Park)
Jace Weaver, University of Georgia
After its admission to the Union in 1907, there were three things true of Oklahoma that made it stand out. It had the highest Indian population of any state in the country. It was the nation’s most socialist state. And, after 1917, it had the highest membership in the Ku Klux Klan. With United States entry into the Great War, socialists, tenant farmers, and Indians formed common cause in what comes to be known as the Green Corn Rebellion, an event overlooked or misunderstood in history. Following the rebellion, the alliance remained, and after the Ku Klux Klan comes to Oklahoma in 1917, it was directed at breaking the power of the Klan in the state. This paper will examine this alliance and these events.
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