Education Technology

NCSS: Determining Monetary Policy

Published on 07/19/2006

Activity Overview

Students will work in groups of 3 to research the Democratic, Republican, and Populist political parties' responses to the demands of the people for monetary policy that benefit them. They will research political platforms and 1896 election results.

Before the Activity

See the attached Activity PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity.

Print the appropriate pages from the Activity for your class.

Install the StudyCards(tm) App on the students' graphing calculators following the attached instructions.

The students should review the gold standard, specifically its impact on inflation and deflation, and the impact the gold standard has on borrowers and lenders. Students should understand the desire to cause inflation and the monetary strategies that will do that

During the Activity

  • Distribute the appropriate pages from the Activity to your class
  • Follow the procedures outlined in the Activity


  • Students will:
  • Evaluate the effect of inflation and deflation on selected groups.
  • Use data from the graphs to explain how and why farmers and laborers differed on monetary policy.
  • Detail the divergent thinking on the issue of monetary policy.
  • Compare/contrast the goals of the three political parties related to monetary policy.
  • After the Activity

    Use the debriefing questions to discuss the students' work and their conclusions about monetary policy. As a final activity, have the students graph the inflation data for the period from 1890 to 1920 to hypothesize about the monetary policy of the United States during that period.