ERIC Number: EJ1225074
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
From the Cross of Gold to Central Banking: Three Key Episodes in American Financial History
Schug, Mark C.; Suiter, Mary C.; Wood, William C.
Social Education, v79 n2 p82-85, 88 Mar-Apr 2015
In 1890, the United States government had no agency empowered to control the overall supply of money. Fifty years later, it had a full set of monetary institutions, including a central bank whose structure is much the same today. Further, it had enough experience to know both the promise and the pitfalls of monetary control. How did the nation's monetary institutions change so much? History books make the progression from the 1890s debates and early twentieth century crises look inevitable. Yet because there is little economic content, the textbooks do not explain monetary history within a contextual framework that includes choices, costs, and incentives. As in other areas, textbooks underplay the economic way of thinking. This article outlines the macroeconomic understandings required to help students navigate the complexities of a key period in American monetary history. We show how economic reasoning illuminates three episodes from that period--the hard currency debate of the 1890s, the panic of 1907, and the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Descriptors: Banking, Economic Factors, United States History, Social Studies, Textbook Content, Costs, Decision Making, Incentives, Macroeconomics, Economic Climate, Economic Impact, Teaching Methods, Educational Resources
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A