shake something to the foundations

shake (something) to the foundations

To impact something in a way that affects its very essence, especially concerning its values or beliefs. The election of the outsider candidate shook the party to the foundations, and led to a lot of soul-searching among its members.
See also: foundation, shake

shake something to the foundations

or

shake something to its foundations

If someone or something shakes something to the foundations or shakes it to its foundations, they damage it, change it or shock it very much. Her faith, which had been so strong, was shaken to the foundations. When an American president is forced to resign, the country is shaken to its foundations. Note: The verb rock is sometimes used instead of shake. The music industry was rocked to its foundations last night when it was revealed that the Midlands' top live music venue was to close.