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ECONOMICS

Syllabus


WELCOME TO ECONOMICS CLASS.  WE START A NEW SEMESTER FILLED WITH PROMISE.  HOPEFULLY THIS CLASS WILL BE CHALLENGING AND REWARDING FOR YOU!  BELOW IS THE ENTIRE SEMESTER’S WORK.  DO NOT BE AFRAID.  TOGETHER WE WILL GET THROUGH IT IF YOU ARE COMMITTED TO YOUR WORK.  REMEMBER YOU COME TO SCHOOL TO LEARN AND I PROMISE YOU THAT IF YOU COME TO CLASS PREPARED TO WORK, YOU WILL SUCCEED!  GOOD LUCK!!

 

Week One

Rules, Regulations, and Acquaintances

Discussion on relationship of government, economics, and history

Beginnings of America’s economic system

 

Readings: Jamestown, Richard Hofstader from America at 1750

Activity:   Property Rights - Jamestown Simulation

 

Week Two

Indentured Servitude

What is laissez-faire economics?

Historical facts about America’s economic progression

                Proclamation Act of 1763

                Various Acts against the colonists

                The Revolutionary War

 

Readings:   The Role of Government in the Economy, Part 1, Antonio Gramsci, These United States

Activity:   A Colonial Market for Labor

 

Week Three

How and why has the Constitution of the United States entrenched a capitalistic economy?

 

Monday:  Essay to be completed in class.  ESSAY TOPIC:  In what ways does the United States’ economic system reflect both the Antonio Gramsci writing and Adam Smith’s vision of laissez-faire economics?

 

The Articles of Confederation and why it failed.

What were the solutions for the Articles of Confederation’s failures?

In what ways was the battle between the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists an economic one?

How does the Constitution of the United States reflect the economic conditions of 1789?

 

Readings: The Constitution of the United States, The Irony of Democracy

 

Week Four

How did Alexander Hamilton shape our economic system?

Hamilton’s plan to repay the national debt

Washington’s Farewell Address and its impact on the early American economy

 

Readings: The Role of Government in the Economy, Part 2

 

Week Five

To what extent should the government promote the economy?

 

Monday:  Essay to be completed in class.  ESSAY TOPIC:  In what ways was Alexander Hamilton’s influence on the American economy good and/or bad?

 

What were some of the long term effects of the Louisiana Purchase on the economy?

How important was the Erie Canal to the expansion of manufacturing and, hence the American economy?

How necessary was it for the government to aid in canal building and subsidize railroad building in order to accelerate manufacturing?

How does President Obama’s reflect past government spending on infrastructure?

How is government spending on infrastructure good or bad for the nation?

 

Readings: Louisiana Purchase, Erie Canal, Railroads, Roads, The Wall Street Journal “Toll Roads Are Paved With Bad Intentions”

 

Week Six

How did the First Industrial Revolution create an atmosphere of Sectionalism in the United States?

What were some of the causes of Sectionalism in the United States?

What problems did Sectionalism create for this nation?

 

Readings: The Role of Government in the Economy, Part 3

Week Seven
Sectionalism - North vs. South ( Manufacturing vs. Agriculture)
What role did slavery play in the economic situation of the times?
What role did manufacturing play in the Civil War?
What role did agriculture play in the Civil War?
How did the Civil War encourage the rise of big business?

 Readings: Abraham Lincoln on the dangers of big business, Welcome to the Machine

 

Week Eight

Should the United States consider returning to the Gold Standard to prop up the falling dollar?

 

Monday:  Essay to be completed in class.  ESSAY TOPIC:  How and why did the first Industrial Revolution and subsequently, Sectionalism, lead to the rise of big business?

 

The Gold Standard Vs. The Silver Standard vs. No Standard at all

 

Movie :   The Wizard of Oz

 

Readings: The Wizard of Oz worksheets, movement to place the United States on the Gold Standard

 

 

Week Nine

 Second Industrial Revolution and the government’s role in its promotion.

Karl Marx

Rise of the Robber Barons

Rise of Labor Unions

Rise of the Middle Class

 

Readings: Fortune’s Children: The Fall of the House of Vanderbilt, an attack on the middle class today - Question: Is it the first time in American economic history that the Middle Class has been under siege

 

Week Ten

Is the United States headed for another depression?

Theodore Roosevelt and reigning in big business

The Roaring Twenties, the banks, Wall Street, and overproduction - or were there other reasons for the Great Depression?

 

Monday:  Essay to be completed in class.  ESSAY TOPIC:  How is this period not the first time in American economic history that the Middle Class has been under siege?

 

Readings: The Role of Government in the Economy, the current banking crisis

 

Week Eleven

How did the New Deal change government’s participation in the economy?

The Great Depression

Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal

New role of government in shaping the economic landscape

 

Short film clip on:                the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression, and the New Deal; Cinderella Man

 

Activity:  A Family’s Choices

 

Week Twelve

How did the Great Society extend FDR’s New Deal?


Monday:  Essay to be competed in class.  ESSAY TOPIC:  How did the New Deal change America economically, politically, and socially?

 

LBJ and his extension of the New Deal (The Great Society)

How did the Civil Rights Movement change the economics of the South?

How did the Great Society benefit and/or hurt American economics?

Was LBJ’s dream of America realistic?

 

Readings: These United States

 

Week Thirteen

What are the dangers of government interference in the economy?

Inflation, Recession, Depression

The emergence of globalization

 

Readings: If America is Richer….”

Week Fourteen

Are we living in a second Gilded Age?

How have present day situations effected our economy?

The housing crisis and government’s response

What has President Obama promised to accomplish for the economy?

 

Readings: The Rise of the Super Rich

 

Week Fifteen


Monday:  Essay to be competed in class.  ESSAY TOPIC:  How has the government’s response to economic crises been successful or not?

 

The cost of Universal Health Care

The Social Security crisis

The cost of the War in Iraq and its effect on the economy

How will corporations continue to invade our legislature?

 

Readings:  The Role of Government in the Economy

 

Sixteenth Week

Begin final paper.

 

Your final paper will be 5 - 7 pages long, typed (no exceptions), double-spaced, 10 or 12 size font using Courier or Times New Roman fonts with one inch margins all around.  The paper will be due on June 12.  NO LATE PAPERS WILL BE ACCEPTED.  IF YOU WILL NOT BE IN SCHOOL ON THAT DAY, YOU MUST HAND IN THE PAPER EARLIER.

 

The paper will include footnotes and a bibliography (models will be distributed in class).  Some research is necessary for the paper; but DO NOT PLAGIARIZE!!!!!! 

 

Your paper should include the following topics:

                1.             Historical background on government involvement in the economy, that is trace the progression of  various  aspects of government intervention.  I would suggest using examples that apply to your paper only.  I would   suggest also that you address the relevance of both Adam Smith and Antonio Gramsci to the historical facts.

                2.             Give examples of how the government reacted to crises in the economy.

                3.             Answer:  Has the government gone too far in its involvement in the economy?  Why?

                4.             Give your opinion on what role government should play in the economy based on facts and explain thoroughly why you hold your position.

 

You should base your opinion on what has worked for the economy and what has not worked.  Do not base your opinion on emotions.  Every opinion can be backed by fact if you dig into the records deep enough.

 

PAPER IS DUE ON June 12!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

REMEMBER:  NO LATE PAPERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

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