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.
Students learn about the money supply and that it can affect the value of money. Students investigate this in the 1896 presidential election (Bryan vs. McKinley, Free Silver vs. Gold Standard) and examine a political cartoon that depicts how some people felt about this issue. Students answer questions about what they would do with more money and what might happen if the money supply increases.
In April 2002, Argentina's economic situation seemed to be getting worse and worse. Banks closed for nine days before reopening on April 29, 2002. How did Argentinians function during that time? Amy Radil of NPR reported on the flourishing barter economy that sprung up through necessity. Her report provides background information for the students in this lesson as they examine inflation, barter systems, and the use of currency.
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Focus: Understanding Economics in U.S. History uses a unique mystery-solving approach to teach U.S. economic history to your high school students.
6 out of 40 lessons from this publication relate to this EconEdLink lesson.
This publication contains complete instructions for teaching the lessons in Capstone. When combined with a textbook, Capstone provides activities for a complete high school economics course. 45 exemplary lessons help students learn to apply economic reasoning to a wide range of real-world subjects.
5 out of 45 lessons from this publication relate to this EconEdLink lesson.
Use this DVD program to show students how to live healthy, wealthy and risk-free.
3 out of 12 lessons from this publication relate to this EconEdLink lesson.