Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: June 02, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971928 | Print ISBN: 9781412950855 | Online ISBN: 9781412971928 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Although the number of gangs in general greatly expanded during the 20th century, such gangs have earlier roots in U.S. history. The spread of the industrial revolution during the 1800s contributed to their growth, as did increased immigration. This entry examines the historical background of White gangs, explores their roots in the values underlying slavery, describes the Christian Identity movement, and briefly reviews the state of White gangs in America. America's first White gangs began in urban centers in the Northeast along Euroethnic divisions. They bonded together based on common language, culture, and their connection to their region or country of origin. Each major wave of first-generation Euroethnic gangs acted as a resistance movement to thwart the loss of their ethnic identity through assimilation and as protection against violent discrimination from native-born Americans. Native-born Americans have traditionally felt threatened economically and culturally by each new Euroethnic group, whom they felt ...