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The South's Decision to Secede: A Violation of Self Interest?

Your students will consider the following questions: In deciding to secede from the Union in 1861, did the South violate its own self-interest and thus disprove the basic economic principle that people seek to further their self-interest in the decisions they make? To get at the question, each student will assume the role of an ardent secessionist. Acting in this role, the students will apply principles of economic reasoning and use a decision grid to weigh the benefits and costs of the South's effort to create a new nation in which slavery and state's rights would forever be guaranteed by law.

Grades: 9-12
Published: 04/08/2005

Why do we need money? Think about Ebay!

The students investigate money--its purpose and functions. They complete an exercise, using the online acution site Ebay, to learn why money is critical to an economy.

Grades: 9-12
Published: 01/12/2006

Transportation: They Say We Had a Revolution (Part 3)

Advancements in transportation have played a key role in the growth of our nation. U.S. government policies have also had a considerable impact on the development of transport as we know it today. In this series of three lessons, the students examine transportation and its impact on our nation (and vice versa) since the United States declared its independence in 1776. Lesson 1 focuses on improvements in transportation during the 19th century, particularly the development of a national rail system, to show how invention, innovation and infrastructure encouraged western expansion and economic growth. Lesson 2 moves on to the 20th century focusing on the development of auto transport and aviation. The impact on communities and world trade, for both good and bad,is examined. Lesson 3 calls upon the students to create a class timeline of transportation milestones; the timeline will help the students more clearly understand the factors, especially the economic incentives, that have played a key role in what has been called the "Transportation Revolution."  While these three lessons will ideally be used together as a set, teachers may choose to use one or two of them, selectively, to focus, for example, on the 19th or the 20th century. If you would like your students to study the economics of transportation in more depth, consider following up with the EconEdLink lesson,An Economic Mystery: What Happened to Railroads?

Grades: 9-12
Published: 02/05/2008

Related Publications

The following lessons come from the Council for Economic Education's library of publications. Clicking the publication title or image will take you to the Council for Economic Education Store for more detailed information.


Playful Economics

Designed primarily for elementary and middle school students, each of the 15 lessons in this guide introduces an economics concept through activities with modeling clay.

Grades: K-8
Published: 2011

17 out of 17 lessons from this publication relate to this EconEdLink lesson.

Learning, Earning and Investing: High School

This publication contains 23 lessons that introduce high school students to the world of investing--its benefits and risks and the critical role it plays in fostering capital formation and job creation in our free market system.

Grades: 9-12
Published: 2004

23 out of 23 lessons from this publication relate to this EconEdLink lesson.

The Great Economic Mysteries Book: A Guide to Teaching Economic Reasoning, Grades 4-8

This publication introduces students in grades 4-8 to an economic way of thinking through exploring the mysteries of everyday life. Students solve each mystery by responding to hints provided by simple true/false questions and by reference to a logical system of reasoning that applies basic economic principles.

Grades: 4-8
Published: 2000

17 out of 17 lessons from this publication relate to this EconEdLink lesson.