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 the advancements in automobiles, roads, airlines and airports.
This lesson focuses on a group of nineteenth century industrial entrepreneurs described in many history books as Robber Barons. It calls upon students to analyze the activities of these entrepreneurs in order to draw conclusions about the innovations and business practices for which they are known. To carry out this analysis, the students examine techniques of mass production, division of labor and vertical and horizontal integration, noting their effects on industrial output and other outcomes. They also read a case study on John D. Rockefeller and discuss the characterization of him as a Robber Baron.
When Henry Ford announced he was going to produce an automobile that would be affordable to the masses, he probably did not realize what a great impact his achievement would have on life in the United States and, eventually, the world. Ford’s use of mass production strategies to manufacture the Model T revolutionized industrial manufacturing and initiated a new era in personal transportation. This three-part learning unit provides students with the story of Henry Ford and the Model T from an economics perspective. Parts 1 and 2 explore how the Ford Motor Company successfully introduced mass production strategies to the auto industry. Students learn how specialization and investments in capital (machines, people, etc.) increased productivity and allowed Ford to slash the price of his popular vehicle. Students chart a plan for the assembly-line production of bookmarks, test their plan, and make recommendations for improvements. Students also explore how Henry Ford used economic incentives to address a problem created by mass production techniques—worker turnover. An optional Part 3 explains how increased productivity resulted in shifts in the supply and demand for the Model T. Students analyze how a variety of non-price determinants continue to influence the automobile market today. The unit also presents a wealth of extension activities.
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 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.
2 out of 23 lessons from this publication relate to this EconEdLink lesson.
This publication helps students analyze energy and environment issues from an economics perspective.
2 out of 10 lessons from this publication relate to this EconEdLink lesson.
Created as a supplement to existing middle school world geography and world history courses, the 5 units in this guide introduce students to the basics of global trade.
1 out of 7 lessons from this publication relate to this EconEdLink lesson.