Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Political Science

First Advisor

Bradley Hays




political movements, ideology, virtue, history


There have been numerous political movements based on conservative ideology throughout the course of American history. However, the question still remains as to why these conservative movements occur and what plays a role their uprising. My thesis hypothesized that there are three factors that contribute to the surfacing of conservative political movement in American history‐ a deviation from republican principles such as constitutionalism and virtue, a perceived threat to individual liberties by infringement through policies involving taxation and economic regulation and the aggrandizement of power by the federal government beyond inherent constitutional limits. These three factors were examined through the analysis of three case studies where which a CPM was understood to have developed‐ the Jefferson Presidency in the early 1800’s, the New Deal Era during Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidency in the 1930’s and the Tea party movement in contemporary politics. Based on the examination of these case studies, observed through the lens of the three theorized factors, I have found a strain of continuity. The implications of this research provide a characterization of CPMs in the United States and allow for the future prediction of the development of a CPM when these three factors are present American politics.