Students watch a video about the Anaconda Copper Mining Company and its great impact on Montana’s economy and history. They then answer questions about the video and discuss the impact that this company and the mining industry had on the state.
This lesson is part of "Great States: Unit 9: Industry – Mining, Timber, and Agriculture" where students will consider the major resources and enterprises that form the basis of Montana’s economy.
4.5: Identify and illustrate how technologies have impacted the course of history (e.g., energy, transportation, communications).
5.6: Identify and describe examples in which science and technology have affected economic conditions (e.g., assembly line, robotics, Internet, media advertising).
Helena District 5.1: Identify examples of needs and wants throughout Montana history.
Helena District 5.6: Explore how science and technology affect the economy of Montana.
- Video: Montana Mosaic: The Company
- An interactive whiteboard, projector, or another type of screen to show videos to the class
- Class set of the Anaconda Copper Mining handout
- Tell students they will be watching a video about a Montana mining company that had a large impact on the state’s history and economy.
- Distribute the Anaconda Copper Mining handout to students, and instruct them to take notes as they watch the video.
- Explain to students that the Anaconda Copper Mining Company dominated Montana’s metals industry and influenced other business sectors. The company developed a “copper press” to manage journalism in the state. The company owned many local newspapers and wouldn’t allow their journalists to write anything that showed the company in a poor light. They played a major role in the Montana legislature and also worked with the Montana Power Company. Explain that this video tells the story of the downfall of this company.
- Play the video, Montana Mosaic: The Company. [5:23]
- Have students complete the questions on the handout.
- An international copper mining company [0:28]
- 1920–1950 [0:31–1:24]
- Press, newspapers [2:06]
- Anaconda controlled the state’s economy—if the company did well internationally, so did Montana, but if it did poorly, the state’s economy would suffer. Students may also mention the dissemination of information through the company’s control of newspaper publications. [2:38]