What Is a Market Economy?


Civics The American Economy What Is a Market Economy?
Students identify the different economic systems and focus on characteristics of a market economy. Then they review colonial mercantilism and discover how the desire for a free market economy led to the development of a democratic nation. Finally, they write a letter as a colonist to the British king explaining how they feel about paying taxes to the crown and what changes they would make in the system.

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Here are the teacher pack items for What Is a Market Economy?:

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Overview

In this experience, students identify the different economic systems and focus on characteristics of a market economy. Then they review colonial mercantilism and discover how the desire for a free market economy led to the development of a democratic nation. Finally, they write a letter as a colonist to the British king explaining how they feel about paying taxes to the crown and what changes they would make in the system.

The teacher pack includes background information on a mixed economy.

Objectives

  • Describe the characteristics of a market economy.
  • Explain how the colonists’ desire for a free market economy led to the development of a democracy in the United States.


Engage


Every nation has an economic system, which includes a way to distribute goods and services. Goods are items that you can hold or use, such as cars, books, food, and cell phones. Services are work provided by other people, such as care by a doctor, a haircut, and tutoring.

The United States has a market economy. In a market economy, citizens have the choice how much goods and services are worth. In this experience, you will learn about the characteristics of a market economy. You will also learn how the desire for a market economy helped to develop the United States as a democratic nation.

 

Objectives

  • Describe the characteristics of a market economy.
  • Explain how the colonists’ desire for a free market economy led to the development of a democracy in the United States.


A crowd of people lined up in front of the glass-fronted cube of the Apple Store in Manhattan

People Waiting in Line at Apple Store in New York City


If you have a job or use your allowance to buy something that you want, you are participating in the economic system, the market economy.


Share some ways in which you have participated in the market economy.

Post your answer

Students may share examples of conducting services for money (lawn-mowing, babysitting) or making purchases (gaming consoles, clothes, food.) Discuss some of their economic activity to ensure that they understand their own participation in the market economy.


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The Complete List of Learning Experiences in The American Economy Unit.
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