White Anglo-Saxon Protestants (WASP's)


Christopher Columbus Discovers the New World

November 3rd, 1492

Italian explorer Christopher Columbus travels to the Western Hemisphere, and after landing in the present day Bahamas, confirms the presence of land in the New World.

First New World English Settlement

May 4th, 1607 - 1698

The first settlement made by English immigrants is set up in Jamestown, a Virginian colony. It remains present up until 1698, when it is accidentally burnt to the ground for a second time, causing a relocation.

Formation of the Plymouth Colony

1620 - 1691

Founded in 1620 by English immigrants who would later become known as "The Pilgrims". These individuals fled England in order to avoid religious persecution, first going to Holland and then relocating to the New World. The story of their travel is a cultural theme in the United States cultural identity.

English Immigration Begins

1776 - 1893

An estimated 3.5 million new English immigrants travel into the United States over a span of a century, many drawn by the opportunity to create a "model Utopian state". Some others were drawn to the new lands, economic opportunities, railroads, and expansions in mining. Immigration continued to rise up until 1893.

Panic of 1893

1893 - 1897

Marked a period of time where English immigration was at a minimum, due to an economic depression in the United States. The lack of immigration from England lasted up until World War II

Daughters of the American Revolution

1936 - 1939

Denied African American singer Marian Anderson permission to sing at Constitution Hall. Eleanor Roosevelt, then first lady, abandoned the group and invited Anderson to sing at the Lincoln Memorial in front of a massive, cheering crowd. Marked one of the first large scale denials of power to WASP's.

Immigration Starts Back Up

1945 - 1960

After WWII, English immigration begins to spike yet again, especially for women (Coming in at a rate of 4 women to 1 man). These English immigrants easily assimilated into U.S. life due to their roots.

WASP's Post World War II and the Ending of Dominance

1946 - 1990

Power and prestige of WASP's begins to decline, in large part due to new bills and economic expansion which aided newcomers. Many still retained influence in the countries cultural, political, and economic elite.

The WASP's Fall from Elitism

1990 - 1999

By this time, there was a similar proportion of Catholics and Jews at elite levels of social service as there were WASP's. Meanwhile, there was a greater proportion of Jewish and Catholic elites among corporate lawyers. Marked the first time where WASP's were not the leading group in the countries elite.

WASP's in the 21st Century

2001 - 2017

Up to the present day, the term "WASP" is generally regarded as derogatory, usually being used to explain someone who expresses snobbishness and privileged, even if they don't fit the typical WASP stereotypes. The WASP's are no longer the primary group of the American elite as they used to be, but some individuals still remain prominent is the power structure of today.