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shake the foundations of something

to cause a person or organization to question the truth of something it strongly believed For a time his grief over his son's death shook the foundations of his religious faith.
See also: foundation, of, shake

rock/shake something to its foundations

  also rock/shake the foundations of something
to damage or change an organization or a person's beliefs very much Allegations of scandal and abuse have rocked the party to its foundations. The ideas seemed to make sense, but shook the foundations of her own Christian beliefs.
See also: foundation, rock
References in classic literature ?
Nor would it have been singular had they ceased to remember that the House of the Seven Gables was resting its heavy framework on a foundation that was rightfully their own.
These, in the accomplishment of your undertaking, you were summoned to encounter in their most hideous forms; these you met with that fortitude, and combated with that perseverance, which you had promised in their anticipation; these you completely vanquished in establishing the foundations of New England, and the day which we now commemorate is the perpetual memorial of your triumph.
Because, as is stated above, he who has not first laid his foundations may be able with great ability to lay them afterwards, but they will be laid with trouble to the architect and danger to the building.
There are in every part of the valley a great many of these massive stone foundations which have no houses upon them.
But when truth conquered, theology established itself just as firmly on the new foundation.
But the glorious allies of loud-crashing Zeus have their dwelling upon Ocean's foundations, even Cottus and Gyes; but Briareos, being goodly, the deep-roaring Earth-Shaker made his son-in-law, giving him Cymopolea his daughter to wed.
If then the foundations, whence the atoll- building corals sprang, were not formed of sediment, and if they were not lifted up to the required level, they must of necessity have subsided into it; and this at once solves the difficulty.
Yet after all, many of these prejudices rested on important principles which were among the most solid foundations of Johnson's nature and largely explain his real greatness, namely on sound commonsense, moral and intellectual independence, and hatred of insincerity.
And, I trust, America will be the broad and solid foundation of other edifices, not less magnificent, which will be equally permanent monuments of their errors.
In order to ascertain the real character of the government, it may be considered in relation to the foundation on which it is to be established; to the sources from which its ordinary powers are to be drawn; to the operation of those powers; to the extent of them; and to the authority by which future changes in the government are to be introduced.
We see then: the means of production and of exchange, on whose foundation the bourgeoisie built itself up, were generated in feudal society.
I will tell you: in consequence of their limitation they take immediate and secondary causes for primary ones, and in that way persuade themselves more quickly and easily than other people do that they have found an infallible foundation for their activity, and their minds are at ease and you know that is the chief thing.
The old charter of Massachusetts, which the people regarded as a holy thing and as the foundation of all their liberties, was declared void.
We obtained a sufficient foundation for it by throwing into the slough some editions of books of morality, volumes of French philosophy and German rationalism; tracts, sermons, and essays of modern clergymen; extracts from Plato, Confucius, and various Hindoo sages together with a few ingenious commentaries upon texts of Scripture,--all of which by some scientific process, have been converted into a mass like granite.
You know on what I ground my hope, and it is certainly a good foundation, for school must be very humiliating to a girl of Frederica's age.
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