Social Studies

Social Studies (X) - Middle (X) - Economics (X)

Commerce | Steamboats on the Red

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Learn how the steamboats that navigated the Red River were designed to transport goods, not people in this video from the Steamboats on the Red series. Cargo transported included food, farm implements, wagons, livestock, imported goods, and immigrants; but with all that weight in a very shallow river, running aground was a frequent problem.

Looking at the shallow twists and turns of the Red River, it’s hard to imagine that steam-powered paddlewheel boats were once the most important transportation link between St. Paul, Minnesota, and Winnipeg, Manitoba. From the first in 1859 to the last that sank in 1909, Red River steamboats hauled thousands of settlers and millions of tons of freight across the border between the United States and Canada. Although it lasted barely 50 years, the age of the steamboat forged a commercial network between the two countries that exists to this day in the Interstate-29 corridor.

Faces of the Oil Patch | Roger Cymbaluk

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Regarding the last the oil boom, Roger Cymbaluk of Williston said, "Many of us went broke in the mid-80s, and I'm included. Flat broke." Cymbaluk explains that, after the last bust, many people didn't have enough money to leave the Williston area, and those who did might now be wishing that they hadn't.

From Rags to Riches: The Story of Alonzo Herndon | Georgia Stories

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Alonzo Herndon, a former slave born in 1858 in Social Circle, was ambitious. He sought to better himself and ultimately became a millionaire in Atlanta. After emancipation, he tried sharecropping but realized his path to success meant learning a trade. He learned barbering and eventually opened his own shop in Atlanta called the Crystal Palace. The barbershop served Atlanta's white elite. Through constant hard work and investments in Atlanta property, Herndon became the richest black man in America.

The Civil War: Savannah's Loss, Atlanta's Gain | Georgia Stories

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Northern commanders knew an effective way to cripple the Confederate Army was to cut off necessary supplies. At the beginning of the war, life in Georgia remained the same with most Georgians not directly affected. All that changed after the Union ships enforced a blockade of Southern ports and harbors.

The Bank of North Dakota | The NPL and the Bank

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Learn how A. C. Townley’s Non-Partisan League’s membership rose quickly and soon endorsed candidates for their state ownership platform. The NPL-controlled legislature passed several bills providing support to farmers, including creation of the only state-owned bank in the country.

The NPL-controlled legislature passed several bills providing support to farmers, including creation of the only state-owned bank in the country.

The Bank of North Dakota | The Bank Today

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The Bank of North Dakota is fulfilling the vision of the farmers who created it, serving as the development bank for the state. The bank makes loans to farmers, new businesses, and college students, while profits return to the state’s treasury.

Colorado Coined | Colorado Experience

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The Denver Mint was modeled off the Medici supported architecture in Florence, Italy. It opened in 1904 as an essay office and began minting coins in 1906. Due to the earthquake in San Francisco in 1906, Denver’s coins began to proliferate across the entire west. In 1934, the Federal Government shifted the gold supply from San Francisco to Denver’s Mint, shipping $26.4 billion in gold from San Francisco to Denver. In the 1930’s, Denver had stored collectively more gold then had ever been before on Earth. Coinage in the United States represents the thing which we admire, the values which we hold as a nation. The Denver Mint is representative of the West, the pioneering and venturing ideals of Americans, past and future.

Digging Ginseng

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Learn about the uses for ginseng, regulations for harvesting the crop, and the economics related to its sale.

A Peep for All Seasons

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Support your Economics or History curriculum with this video that introduces students to Just Born, a candy manufacturer in Pennsylvania that is adapting its seasonal business model to changing times. Then, use the accompanying lesson plan, "‘Tis the Season: Examining the Challenges of Seasonal Manufacturing in the American Economy," to have students interview local merchants, employers, workers, or community members to examine the role of and challenges to local seasonal industries in the American economy.

This video is available in both English and Spanish audio, along with corresponding closed captions.

Deep Dive Into the Foreclosure Crisis

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In this video, NewsHour Economics Correspondent Paul Solman talks to Alyssa Katz, who wrote a book on the history of the housing market in America called Our Lot: How Real Estate Came to Own Us.

Economist Studies Why People Cheat

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Is cheating wrong? Are some types of cheating worse than others? NewsHour economics correspondent Paul Solman talks to a behavioral economist about what influences cheating.

How Transparent Should the Fed Be?

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In this video on Making Sen$e of financial matters, NewsHour Economics Correspondent Paul Solman examines the Federal Reserve's attempts to balance the need for public disclosure and secrecy.

Is America on the Wane?

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NewsHour correspondent Paul Solman talks to Yale historian Paul Kennedy about the rise and fall of great economic powers like the United States.

Labor Unions Weakened by Recession

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The current recession has severely undercut the bargaining power of labor unions and workers' abilities to strike and gain concessions from company leadership. In this video, Economics Correspondent Paul Solman visits Rochester, New York, where 300 workers at the Mott's juice and apple sauce factory called a strike on May 23.

New Deal vs. the Stimulus Package

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Now that government money has begun to trickle down to specific projects in St. Louis, developers hope that the stimulus package will revitalize the city the way that the New Deal did in the 1930s.

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