Intertwined with the pernicious, adaptive concepts of race and racism in the United States is that of Whiteness. Similar to the popular conception of racism, to be White is widely considered to be a static variable. That is, all White people in the United States must have always enjoyed the same social privileges of being White. However, just as race and racism adapt along power structures, so too do the operations of Whiteness in our country’s history. Many European immigrants in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, because of their country of origin and Catholic religion, were not considered White until social systems and laws evolved to give these immigrants full status as White. A grasp on this evolution of White status and Whiteness is essential for understanding the history of race and racism in the United States.