William Woods Holden is an important actor in the history of North Carolina and the history of Reconstruction. During his term as governor, he was put into a difficult situation where he could have sat back and done nothing, or he could have taken action against what was ultimately a hate group. In this decade, if a state governor did not take action against a known hate group then the American public would shun them. This part of history is important to study because the end of Reconstruction led the people into another era of violence, racial inequality, and regression. Holden acted to the best of his abilities to govern North Carolina. His actions against the Ku Klux Klan were justified because he had a responsibility to protect the citizens of North Carolina from violence. The impeachment charges brought against Holden were based on there not being insurrection in Alamance and Caswell counties. As discussed, the Democratic Party used smear tactics to deny that Klan violence took place in the Piedmont area, which is how prosecutors were able to claim that Governor Holden acted outside of his power by declaring Alamance and Caswell counties in a state of insurrection. As seen through evidence of extreme violence toward freedmen and Republican Party supporters, these counties were in a state of insurrection and the citizens needed protection. As the governor of North Carolina, Holden acted in the best interest of the entire state of North Carolina and the country as a whole.