In this lesson, the students read a brief passage that poses the mystery, "How did the Great Depression happen?" As detectives, they gather clues using the Internet to investigate the mystery through a series of clue sheets. In the first step they complete a retrieval chart to summarize information about the consumer price index, unemployment rate, federal spending, and US and world events that have economic and political implications. Next, working in groups, they then do additional research on the Internet focusing on information on the economic conditions of the country looking at labor, income, unemployment, government spending, and the public debt. Then you will read three articles on some of the top economic events of the century, including Henry Ford 's impact, the Federal Reserve System's role in the economy, and the stock market crash of 1929. Finally, they complete an interactive web model that demonstrates the interdependence of a market system.
The stock-market crash of 1929 is generally seen as the start of The Great Depression, the worst economic downturn in the history of the United States. The Depression had devastating effects on the country. But it also served as a wake-up call for economic reform. Until the Great Depression, the U.S. government had made very few modifications to the nation's economic policies. It left the dealings of the economy and businesses to their own devices. But once the Great Depression began the nation needed help, FAST! The stock market was in shambles. Many banks closed. Farmers fell into bankruptcy and were forced off their land. Twenty-five percent of the work force, or 13 million people, were unemployed in 1932. In 1933, the Roosevelt Administration addressed the problem by making the government a key player in the nation’s economy. Using his New Deal as a force for reform, President Roosevelt created policies, agencies and standards to help alleviate serious problems. The reforms provided America with an economy that has been relatively stable for almost 80 years. Students will be prompted to think about the different programs and policies the New Deal created and how they are relevant to the role of government, and fiscal, and monetary policy, both then and now.
ESSENTIAL DILEMMA Could the conflict over the Second National Bank have been resolved in a way that supported the values advocated by both President Jackson and Congress?
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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.
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