How did the United States government expand from its humble beginnings in the 1700s (when the government struggled for funds under the Articles of Confederation) to the monstrosity it is today? Step by step. That is how change generally occurs. On occasion, there are grand, dramatic movements, but more often it is the incremental steps, at times almost imperceptible, that result in big changes later on. It is due to their largely imperceptible nature that these changes can be so dangerous.