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Theodore Roosevelt, the Election of 1912, and the Founding of the Federal Reserve
This paper examines how the election of 1912 changed the makeup of Congress and led to the Federal Reserve Act. The decision of Theodore Roosevelt and other Progressives to run as third-party candidates split the Republican Party and enabled Democrats to capture the White House and Congress. We show that the election produced a less polarized Congress and that new members were more likely to support the Act. Absent the Republican split, Republicans would likely have held the White House and Congress, and enactment of legislation to establish a central bank would have been unlikely or ...
On the Origins of the Federal Reserve System and Its Structure
The creation of the Federal Reserve System ultimately stemmed from fundamental changes in the banking industry that heightened the risks associated with shifts in the public’s liquidity preferences and that created an atmosphere of distrust between the small, traditional, country banks and the large, transforming, Wall Street banks. The severity of the Panic of 1907 became the proximate factor in the Federal Reserve’s formation. The panic, which the New York Clearing House’s slow, discriminative, and insufficient response characterized, gave credence to concerns of growing financial ...