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The Cost of the Civil War Webquest: What did Slavery and the Civil War Really Cost? (Consumer Price Index Activity)
Students will gain knowledge about the costs and expense of the Civil War by completing an internet-based worksheet. This webquest uses a consumer price index website to help students understand the “real cost” of slavery and the Civil War in modern money. Your students will be shocked that soldiers got paid about $300 a month in modern money during the Civil War, or that Harriet Tubman in modern money had a million dollar bounty for her capture! My students love this webquest because it takes those low prices from the Civil War and makes them into real numbers they can understand. This webquest will help your students understand inflation and real cost. Your students will finally understand the real expense of slavery and the Civil War.
The CPI index used is:
The webquest contains 30 questions and is a great way to introduce or reinforce information about the Civil War. An answer sheet is included for the teacher. The webquest takes at least 50 minutes, but could be shorter or longer depending on the age level of your students. Feel free to modify this activity if needed to fit the needs of your students.