Before the Civil War
The strains giving rise to new political movements in America have typically been characterized by the emergence of new groups and the displacement of others, with some pattern of these cleavages: economic interest, regional or urban-rural residence, ethnic-racial origin, or ideological-religious commitment. These sets of politicizing differences have often been intrinsically related to one another.
The earliest years of the American nation saw the development of such patterns of ascendancy and displacement, with attendant political movements and monistic tendencies. Before the turn of the eighteenth century the mercantile interests, centered in New England and the seaboard cities, began to feel the displacing pressure of the farmers, expanding into the new frontier. Associated with the threatened lapse in power of the old New England elite was that of the Congregational church, disestablished by the Revolution and now being challenged by deviationists and worse.
"The revolution of 1800," as Jefferson called it, was the first thrust of the new, the agricultural populists and the religious irregulars. The Federalists found themselves in a position which was to recur again and again for conservative parties in American history. They could not win elections by appealing to narrow class interest, nor by too openly assailing the more egalitarian line of their opponents.
The camp of displacement and preservatism, threatened with distasteful social change and political impotence, responded with the basic model of monistic logic which was also to be repeated often in similar circumstances throughout American history: the cause of the distress was a group