Tea Party rallies were held across the country beginning in early 2009. They have since featured a number of prominent speakers, among them Sarah Palin , perhaps the most popular Republican aligned with the Tea Party; she also gave the keynote address at the first National Tea Party Convention (Feb., 2010). Despite the convention, the Tea Party is not a monolithic or centralized organization but an amalgamation of a number of national and local groups. In 2012 it was estimated that there were some 1,000 different Tea Party groups spread over the 50 states. Although not an organized party, it has become an important and influential faction of the Republican party, and most Americans who have identified themselves in polls as adherents of the Tea Party have also identified themselves as Republicans. In several primary elections, the Tea Party was credited with toppling a number of prominent traditional Republican candidates in favor of Republicans that it supported; those candidates' successes were more mixed in the 2010 general election, but a third of the Republican House members elected in 2010 were aligned with the movement.
See D. Armey and M. Kibbe, Give Us Liberty: A Tea Party Manifesto (2010); J. Lepore, The Whites of Their Eyes (2010); J. M. O'Hara, A New American Tea Party (2010); K. Zernike, Boiling Mad (2010); E. P. Foley, The Tea Party: Three Principles (2012); R. P. Formisano, The Tea Party (2012); M. Meckler and J. B. Martin, Tea Party Patriots (2012); T. Skoepol and V. Williamson, The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism (2012); C. S. Parker and M. A. Barreto, Change They Can't Believe In: The Tea Party and Reactionary Politics in America (2013).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: U.S. History