Common Core Basics


Looking back at your life, you may see patterns. For example, the cycle of seasons affects your life in many ways. In the long nights and cold days of winter, you choose different clothing and entertainment than in the long, hot days of summer. Another pattern relates to experience. You learn a new skill, and soon you find yourself moving on to more complicated skills. Children learn to walk, soon they run, and before long they can balance themselves on bicycles. Experience increases what we can do.

There are also patterns in economic history. Some are cyclical like the seasons. Others are cumulative, with one event building upon the last. New discoveries become the accepted basis for further research and innovation. This chapter examines some of these patterns.

In this chapter you will study these topics:

  • arrow_drop_downMajor Economic Events

    Economies experience ups and downs. This pattern of boom and bust is called the business cycle. At the low point in the cycle, the economy may enter a recession or even a depression. During the Great Depression of the 1930s, the US government drew on the ideas of economist John Maynard Keynes to develop policies that would help the country.

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  • arrow_drop_downIndustrialization and Imperialism

    After the Civil War, the United States became more industrialized. Cities grew rapidly, and the economy boomed. In addition, the country tried to expand its foreign trade and increase its influence by taking over territories outside the continental United States.

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  • arrow_drop_downScientific and Industrial Revolutions

    Economic cycles are often fueled by advances in science. For instance, in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, discoveries and ideas in astronomy, chemistry, physics, and other fields provided new knowledge about our world. People used this knowledge to invent new machines and processes. This progress drove the Industrial Revolution and the Transportation Revolution of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Scientific discoveries have continued to affect the economy. A good example is today's Digital Revolution.

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