Institutions and Government Growth: A Comparison of the 1890s and the 1930s

Statistics on the size and growth of the U.S. federal government, in addition to public statements by President Franklin Roosevelt, seem to indicate that the Great Depression was the primary event that caused the dramatic growth in government spending and intervention in the private sector that continues to the present day.
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Additional Fed Publications

Fed in Print: An index of the economic research conducted by the Fed.