The years 1913-1918, under president Woodrow Wilson and a democrat Congress, were a disastrous time for America.
In 1913, Congress passed the 16th amendment to create the income tax. It was promised that this tax would only apply to the very rich and would be at most a few percent. Instead, it has grown to consume a significant minority of all income produced in America. The tax code is thousands of pages long and full of loopholes created by special interest lobbying.
Also in 1913, Congress passed the 17th amendment to eliminate the representation of state governments in the US Senate. This amendment served to eliminate a significant check on the growth of the federal government. Government taxes, spending, and regulation skyrocketed in the years that followed.
Still in 1913, Congress created the Federal Reserve System at the behest of a coalition of powerful banking interests. The Fed created a banking cartel for the supposed purposes of preventing recessions and fighting inflation. Since then, there have been numerous recessions and the Great Depression, which even current Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke admits was largely caused by Fed policy. As for inflation, the dollar has lost over 95% of its value since 1913. This amounts to a huge tax on the wealth of all Americans.
After being reelected on the platform "he kept us out of war", President Woodrow Wilson immediately entered World War I. The prolonged war led to the collapse of the government in Russia and the rise of communists who slaughtered 70 million people in Russia and exported communism elsewhere in the world. Communists would slaughter about 250 million people in the twentieth century.
The punitive terms of the Versailles Treaty led to inflation and economic collapse in Germany, creating the political conditions that led to the rise of Hitler. Similar reasons led to the rise of Mussolini in Italy shortly after the end of the war.
During the war, Wilson imposed his 'war socialism', regimenting the economy under government control. Wilson also cracked down on civil liberties, imprisoning thousands of Americans critical of his policies on both the left and right. Wilson tried to get Congress to ratify the League of Nations treaty, which would have given that organization a veto over American military action. The treaty was defeated by the Senate.
See also: Liberal Fascism