History M25

The History of the United States
Instructor: Dr. Krister Swanson - kswanson@vcccd.edu
Spring 2010
MW: 5:00-6:50, Room HSS - 101

Helpful Links

e-mail Dr. Swanson

Course Syllabus

Textbook Website

Paper Guidelines

Essay Comment Key

Check Your Class Grade

Lecture Outlines:
The Colonies: 1650-1775
The Revolutionary War
Building the Republic
Washington through Jefferson
Madison through Manifest Destiny
Dissension Over Slavery Leads to War
Civil War Overview
Reconstruction Overview
Settling the American West
Business and Politics in the Gilded Age
New Cities and American Workers
Political Dissent, Economic Depression, and the Birth of the Empire
The Progressive Era
World War I
The 1920's
The Great Depression
World War II
Hottest Times in the Cold War
Nifty Fifties
Civil Rights Though Nixon
Carter Through Bush II

Class Text:
The Course Textbook is The American Promise Value Edition, by Roark, Cohen, et al
A History of the United States, Value Edition (Combined Version, Vols. I & II)
ISBN: 0-312-48734-7
  Click here for the official book website
The book is available in the Moorpark College Bookstore.

Key Course Assignments:

Midterm Exam  (60 points, or 20%): A traditional in class exam scheduled for March 10th.  Please make sure you bring a 50 question scantron form and a bluebook (both available in the Moorpark College bookstore) with you.
Midterm Reviews: PPT or Text Version
Midterm Essay: Discuss the convergence of 2 or more of the following themes during 3-4 moments in U.S.History.  The themes are:
  • Slavery
  • Role of War
  • Liberties & Civil Rights
  • Colonial/National Economic Development
  • Colonial/National Political Development
  • Regional Differences
Final Exam (60 points, or 20%):
A traditional in class exam scheduled for May 5th, which is the week prior to finals week for classes being held on the traditional schedule.  Please make sure you bring a 50 question scantron form and a bluebook (both available in the Moorpark College bookstore) with you.
Final Exam Reviews: PPT or Text

Final Essay Topics
(you will choose one and write on its development between 1885-2010):
  • Role of War and the Rise of the U.S. as a Superpower
  • Economic Development (1920s, Depression, WWII, Post-War Boom, Energy Crises, etc.)
  • Race Relations & Civil Rights (Segregation, Harlem Renaissance, WWII, CRM, through to today)
  • Political Movements (Populists, Progressives, & the various versions of Democrats & Republicans)
Short Research Paper  (60 points, or 20%): This 5-7 page paper based entirely on primary source documents related to a particular topic.  We will discuss the specific requirements of this paper in class on February 5th, in the meantime you need to begin developing a paper proposal that outlines your proposed topic and the documents you plan to use, this proposal is due Febraury 22nd.
  Here are some important guidelines for writing the research paper.

PowerPoint Presentation (30 points, or 10%):
This is intended to be a fun and informative activity for you and the whole class.  Your small group (3-4 students) will pick a topic of interest and historical value that took place between 1700-1877.  Then develop a PowerPoint presentation, complete with well-organized text and helpful images, for presentation to the class.  The goal is an interesting and informative 10-12 minute presentation that strengthens our understanding of your topic.  Your topic is due on February 10th; please feel free to start discussing possible topics with me as soon as possible.  Here are some important guidelines for your presentation. Please note that your PPT must be on a different topic than your paper. 

Attendance and Class Participation (90 points, or 30%):  This category is fairly self-explanatory.  It includes class attendance, regular participation in class discussions and debates, and select in-class assignments.  I will break this grade down into three 30-point assignments.  Attendance is absolutely critical to your success in this class, please note that you will lose 6 points for each missed class session.

Class Schedule can be found on the syllabus