Morality in Markets: The Two Faces of Adam Smith

This Morality in Markets: The Two Faces of Adam Smith activity & project also includes:

Economist Adam Smith supported free enterprise, he but critiqued mercantilism. These two ideas—seemingly contradictory—may be difficult for some young historians to grasp. A reading that explores these ideas guides scholars in unraveling these difficult concepts. 

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • Use the background reading to help students critique Smith's economic theories
  • Discuss the morality of free choice in economics using the reading
Classroom Considerations
  • Resource is a two-page reading but does not contain any supporting materials
  • Lesson is the last in a 23-part Middle School World History series from the Council for Economic Education
  • Clearly explains key vocabulary in a way that is adaptable to a variety of learners
  • Text prompts thought-provoking questions that help teachers develop discussion prompts
  • Reading does not mention key content associated with Smith, such as the invisible hand
  • Resources presume free trade is good for everyone without critically examining issues such as poverty
Common Core