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Economic Demise of the Soviet Union Online


The lessons in The Economic Demise of the Soviet Union (EDSUO) teach upper middle school and high school students how to use economic reasoning to identify and explain the factors that led to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Additionally, and in keeping with the FTE’s focus on teaching economic reasoning, the lessons were designed to provide models for incorporating economics into history-focused curricula.

The history of the Soviet Union from 1917 until the fall is the chronological backdrop for development of an economic reasoning toolkit. Each lesson teaches a single economic concept, offering examples and illustrations from the seemingly mindless chaos of everyday economic life in the USSR. From the powerful planning ministries to the hapless householders standing hours in line to get their weekly necessities, every level of Soviet society faced increasing frustration in the waning years of the 20th century. The Economic Demise of the Soviet Union Online course details the perverse incentive system at the heart of the empire’s economic failure.

Course Specifics:

  • Registration Fee: $175
  • Course Length: 8 weeks
  • Curriculum: lectures, powerpoints, videos, and lessons that include background information, chronologies of events, economic data, simulations, and testing instruments
  • Registration: 20 students per section, first-come, first-served, based on receipt of registration fee
  • Optional graduate credit: 2 sem. hrs. graduate credit – University of Colorado, Colorado Springs – $244


The FTE thanks the Calvin K. Kazanjian Economics Foundation for funding support in the creation of The Economic Demise of the Soviet Union and The Economic Demise of the Soviet Union Online.

Student Program Deadline Extended to April 15. Given the challenges families face because of COVID-19, FTE has extended the deadline and streamlined the application.