|The national movements of sub-state national societies are divided into two or three competing currents. Thus, national movements tend to bifurcate into independentists and autonomists, or at times, trifurcate into independentists, autonomists, and federalists. These internal currents within national movements tend to vary over time, experiencing moments of foundation, growth, development, and decay. Both the Catalan and Quebecois national movements experienced the foundation and growth of new political orientations within the institutional component of these national movements. I compare the process that led to the founding of the ADQ (autonomism) in Quebec in 1994, with the process that culminated in the transformation and de facto refounding of ERC (independentism) in Catalonia during 1986-89. Using the cases of two nationalist parties in two different national movements that have successfully established new political orientations, we will explore the political origins of this form of temporal variation within national movements. My outcome variable is the “tipping point” at which these nationalist political parties get established. This “tipping point” was reached through a temporal sequence that evolved in four phases, which can be conceptualized as: the pre-embryonic period phase, the embryonic period phase (in Catalonia from 1975 to 1981 and in Quebec from 1982 to 1992), the impulse phase, and the formation and founding phase. In each of these phases, a key variable was involved: the existence of a preexistent ideology, the occurrence of a central state constitutional moment, an impulse from the sphere of sociological nationalism, and the consolidation of a new leadership nucleus.