I had always thought that there really wasn't a difference between evangelical
and fundamentalist Christians
, however I discovered recently that I was wrong.
In the late nineteenth century a group of Christians (that included several different denominations) with a more literal interpretation of the Bible split off theologically from the rest of Protestantism, which they called "high Protestantism". They considered mainstream denominations (i.e. Presbyterian, Methodist and Lutheran) to be too "cosmopolitan".
Based mainly in the south, they became known as "fundamentalists". However, in the 1930's a group of conservative fundamentalists became tired of the radical fringe that was dictating where fundamentalist theological thought was going (they felt that the radicals were too anti-modern). They split off, and began calling themselves, neo-evangelical Christians, which was later shortened to the current name.
It should be noted that evangelical and fundamentalist are simply very general labels and are not a specific group.
Source: "The Opening of the Evangelical Mind", by Alan Wolfe.
The Atlantic Monthly October 2000.