The Great Depression and its aftermath—a fundamental change in America
"The crash of 1929 and the Great Depression . . . clearly demonstrate how radical government intervention can generate a severe depression."--Hans F. Sennholz SYNOPSIS In the 1930s America commenced a fundamental change–from a country of largely free, independent, and self-responsible individuals to one where nearly half the people are dependent on the state for sustenance either wholly or to a significant extent. The accumulation of state power that changed America was gradual, with periods of immense increase during the Civil War, in the "progressive" era of the 1890s to 1920s, during World War I and during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Nevertheless, by the 1920s the state was still relatively small in comparison to what it would become starting with the Great Depression of the 1930s. World War II and more political actions following World War II further increased the power of the state as more and more Americans became dependent on the state for employment and sustenance.