Lesson 14: Investing In American Growth

This is a lesson about economic growth in the United States before the Civil War. It was a time in which many Americans became prosperous through the investments they made. This point is introduced through an example. The students read a passage about Peter Snyder, a young man of the early 1800s (fictional, but based on real cases) who invested his labor to develop a successful farm. They analyze the decisions Snyder made, taking note of what he had to give up as he worked to become successful. The students then turn to a wider range of examples, analyzing investments in other industries that contributed to the doubling of American standards of living in the pre-Civil War period.


Investment, Opportunity cost, Productive resources
National Content Standards in Economics:
  • Standard #15: Economic Growth