Is Bozeman, Montana a Conservative City?

The architecture and buildings of Bozeman at sunset

Montana is known for being home to Yellowstone National Park and beautiful green rolling hills. There are also cities that house many different types of people like Bozeman. People moving and leaving Bozeman, Montana can impact the political culture of the area, but is the city conservative?

Although Montana is typically a conservative state, the city of Bozeman is not conservative. It is considered somewhat liberal, as the people have voted for the democratic candidate for the last 20 years. This consistency in local politics leads to an interesting dynamic in the town.

With this general idea in mind, we need to delve into the details of political culture, such as the history of Bozeman, Montana, the political events that have happened in Bozeman, whether or not the political scene is changing, and how people interact with people that have differing views.

The History of Bozeman, Montana

Bozeman, MontanaOpens in a new tab. was first inhabited by indigenous people from several different tribes such as the Shoshone, the Nez Perce, Blackfeet, Flathead, Sioux, and the Crow Nation. These people utilized the land and lived there for a long time. In 1806, a man named William Clark came to the area and saw its potential to be a city in the future. About 57 years later, John Bozeman came and opened a trail that led to Virginia City from where Bozeman now is. In 1864, Bozeman, Daniel Rouse, and Willliam Beall came together to make a plan for the city being developed in the area.

From its development, there have been many different events that have impacted the area. One of those is Nelson Story bringing the first sizeable cattle herd to the area and donating the land to make Montana State University. Another was when John Bozeman was murdered, which caused an uproar in the community. Due to this and other political events, a fort was built in the area.

Some of the big industries and parts of Bozeman, Montana are a fishing hatchery and their sweet pea farms. This fishing hatchery is now a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Fish Hatchery and fish technology and health center. People still visit the area to see biologists’ work. The pea farms also made a huge impact because Bozeman was the main producer of peas in the nation.

Now, the area is known as a beautiful green area. This area is a place where people can go and fish, hike, kayak, and mountain climb. It is a community that people can pass through on the way to Yellowstone National Park. It is also near the university. It is now one of the biggest cities in Montana.

The Political History of Bozeman, Montana

The political history of the area is a crucial factor in understanding why the people believe the way they do. It also helps us understand what the political climate of the area was like prior to now.

In a general overview of Montana as a whole, it becomes easy to see why people would think and assume that Montana as a whole is strongly conservative. In the earliest times of the settlement, there were large groups of indigenous people throughout the state. At first, fur trappers and indigenous people got along well. They would trade goods back and forth. However, when one group or the other felt threatened, that is when conflicts would arise.

This was highlighted when a massive rush of people moved into the area to obtain gold. The native people of the area and their land were often encroached on as a result. The native people and the settlers tried to set up an agreement, but there were some miscommunications and mistranslations that caused that treaty to be broken by the settlers. Both sides became angry, and many wars occurred. There began to be hatred towards the native people which was shown in many ways. The main way was when they tried to kill all of the bison in the area, as they were a major source of food for the indigenous people.

Eventually, designated areas for the people to live in were created and labeled as reservations. As time continued, the United States got involved in the first World War. People in Montana were strongly patriotic and enlisted. About around 40,000 people enlisted, which was around 25% more than any other state per capita. There were also a proportionally large number of deaths and wounded Montana natives.

Soon after, the United States began an anti-sedition act that Montana followed and replicated on the state level. People had gained a hatred of people of German descent and of people who spoke against the nation and its values. This led to them arresting and putting on trial many people who disagreed with the United States’ involvement in the Great War. They made laws about speaking German in public and burned German-language books in public as well. There was also a divide among the people due to a difference of opinion when it came to mining and how that industry was managed. One person spoke out against it and was lynched the next day.

After this war, the people still carried a lot of patriotism and love for the nation. In World War Two, an extremely high proportion of people enlisted in the military again. After the war, the people continued to have many strong military connections. Montana now has many bases and different extensions of the military residing in the area.

Is Bozeman Becoming More Conservative or Liberal?

To analyze a little bit of this information, it seems that the area has some strong conservative beliefs. The people hold the military in high regard and would likely be supportive of keeping the military well-funded. Usually, people with liberal ideologies want to cut down military spending. They also have had strong beliefs over property ownership and being able to make their own choices without government interference. The way the people interacted with people of different backgrounds or differing beliefs could also be argued to be connected to a conservative mindset.

However, with these different things in mind, it seems that Bozeman is becoming more of a liberal area than it used to be. This change might be caused by several different factors, such as the cost of living, the types of people moving to Boseman, or even the college campus nearby.

In reading about some of the local’s experiences in the area, there were a few surprising things that were brought up. Many brought up that people moving into Bozeman were people from other parts of the country who wanted to be closer to the snow and outdoor activities. Many people come from all different walks of life and perspectives.

One person who recently moved there with his family said they went through a few shocking experiences. One of them was an older man using the n-word in a restaurant, and the other was having a Trump parade. The man further went on to clarify that there were also people who have more liberal views and were deemed hippies.

The price of living in BozemanOpens in a new tab. is also going up, due to the high demand for places to live near the mountains and near great outdoor sports locations. The town isn’t increasing in size fast enough to be able to house everyone who wants to live there, so the price goes up. The people in the area can also tend to afford higher prices, as many of them are moving from California or other expensive ski towns.

How Locals Interact with Others with Differing Views


Boseman locals seem to believe that they are open and tolerant of people with opposing views. People who have moved from elsewhere to Bozeman tend to say they have an average tolerance for differing views. A good thing to note is that most people are not antagonistic during political discussions. This is wonderful because this means that people are less likely to get angry with each other because of politics.

When people have an average amount of tolerance for people of differing views, this leads to a lot of good and unique opportunities. It allows both people to be able to better understand why the other beliefs are the way they do. It also allows them to have political conversations that do not devolve into arguments. It also lessens the chance of people losing friendships over disputes. All of these are remarkable experiences in our politically charged and polarized society.

The best tip for living and thriving in an area with a fairly balanced political atmosphere is to listen. If a person is willing to listen to understand the other party and truly understand their perspective, the conversation will likely be an enlightening experience. These experiences can be valuable in friendships and family relationships.

Now that we have gone into details of the political culture of Boseman, a person can truly have confidence in their understanding of politics in this region.

Boseman, Montana may have a history of being relatively conservative, but that may change in the near future because of the changes happening in the region and city.

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