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White people are people with light skin. Most white people are of European origin. The term "Caucasian" is often used as a synonym for "white people", but its proper meaning is "people of the Caucasus Mountains".
Before the modern age, no Europeans thought of themselves as "white". Instead, they defined their race, ancestry, or ethnicity in terms of their nationality: Greek, Roman, etc. The concept of a unified white race came into use in the 17th century, or later. The strongest proponents of racism in 20th century Europe, Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, regarded some European peoples such as Slavs as racially different from themselves even though they are white.