- In what ways did post-Civil War economic policies represent a change in the role of the federal government in inter and intrastate commerce?
- In what ways did these economic policies demonstrate continuity?
- Describe President Cleveland’s view on the role of the federal government in intrastate economic matters.
- Explain the purpose of the Interstate Commerce Act and the Sherman Antitrust Act.
- Assess the degree to which the interpretation of and policy regarding the interstate commerce clause changed in the late 19th century.
- The Civil War and Industrial Revolution Essay
- Handout A: Grover Cleveland and the Texas Seed Bill
- Handout B: Cleveland’s Veto Message
- Handout C: Document Guide
- Handout D: Excerpts from the Interstate Commerce Act (1887)
- Handout E: The Sherman Antitrust Act (1890)
- Handout C: Document Guide Answer Key
This lesson is designed for students in grades 9-12. Students should have a basic understanding of interstate and intrastate commerce coming into the lesson.
Read the The Civil War and Industrial Revolution Essay. Annotate with the guiding questions in mind.
Activity 1: Grover Cleveland and the Texas Seed Bill Veto [40 minutes]
Have students read Handout A: Grover Cleveland and the Texas Seed Bill Veto and Handout B: Cleveland’s Veto Message. They should then complete Handout C: Document Guide in pairs or small groups.
Activity 2: Economic Policies in the Later 19th Century [60 minutes]
Have students review Handout D: Excerpts from the Interstate Commerce Act (1887) and Handout E: The Sherman Antitrust Act (1890). Students should conduct research on both Acts and report in an essay or a presentation how the regulation of interstate commerce changed with these (and other) laws passed in the late nineteenth century.
Small group discussion: What role should the federal and state governments play in protecting individuals economically (provision of economic relief, worker protections/pay, consumer protections, and other business regulation)? Consider the power the Constitution grants the federal government through the interstate commerce clause. Students should make and defend arguments using evidence from the lesson.
As an extension to The Civil War and the Industrial Revolution Activity: Economic Policies in the later 19th Century, students will write an essay or create a presentation to report their findings on the guiding question. How did the regulation of interstate commerce change with the passage of laws in the late 19th century?