Students serve as an Economic Advisor to the President, who must increase military spending out of political necessity, but needs to reduce spending in other programs to limit the deficit. Conflicting goals create a need for compromise and tradeoffs to create a national budget, while trying to remain under deficit limits.
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.
Between the Civil War and World War II, railroads were one of the nation's most important businesses and an integral part of people’s lives. In this lesson, students assume the role of detectives investigating why the rail companies experienced a crisis in the 1960s and what helped the freight transport portion of the business return to profitability later in the same century. Students analyze a set of clues that help them explore the impact of government policies and changes in consumer demand on rail service. They discover that government policies (e.g., regulations, subsidies, and taxes) can have both positive and negative consequences in the marketplace. An interactive activity helps students understand that rail service competes in two different markets—passenger service and hauling freight. Students also learn that railroads and government policies have had to adjust as the transportation industry changed in the second half of the twentieth century.
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.
This publication contains 20 lessons designed to provide an economic insight into topics typically covered in may civics and government classes.
9 out of 21 lessons from this publication relate to this EconEdLink lesson.
Focus: Understanding Economics in U.S. History uses a unique mystery-solving approach to teach U.S. economic history to your high school students.
3 out of 40 lessons from this publication relate to this EconEdLink lesson.