It is the late 1800’s and the United States is changing into an industrial nation. Factories are being built to make products by machine rather than by hand. A combination of factors contributes to the growth of big business in America. The great amount of natural resources such as coal, iron ore, and oil provide the materials needed by factories. An unlimited supply of labor is available from the immigrants pouring into the country. The growth of transportation systems from canals to railroads is helping to move raw materials and finished products throughout the country. New machines and products are being invented to meet the demands of business and American consumers. The government’s attitude of “laissez faire” or leave it alone has encouraged business to grow without fear of government interference through regulations or laws.
In this simulation you will have the opportunity to discover how business operated during this time period. You will play the part of either a banker, railroad owner, coal mine owner, iron ore owner, or oil company owner. It will be your goal to make as much profit as possible by dealing with other students who will be your competitors. You should seek to expand your business and sell products such as oil and steel to the public (represented by teachers) or sell railroad transportation services or lend money to other companies.
In this Simulation, you will receive a step-by-step process of the simulation, suggested lesson plans to introduce the era, flow chart of activity, reproducible forms, and pacing of the activity.