Syllabus for History M25: The History of the United States
Moorpark College, Spring 2010, MW 5:00-6:50, Room HSS-101
Dr. Krister Swanson,
Class Website:

Course Schedule
PowerPoint Schedule

This course surveys the political, economic, and social development of the United States. It traces the constant and changing values that shaped American institutions, and analyzes the diversity of the American people.  Upon completion of this course you will have a much stronger sense of how the United States reached its present state, both domestically and as a part of the greater world community.

You are responsible for understanding the Moorpark College code of academic practice (available online at ).  Any student who plagiarizes in this class will receive an "F" grade and be referred to the Dean of Student Learning.

Your course grade will be determined by your performance on the following assignments:

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.  

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.

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.

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.

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.  Attendance is absolutely critical to your success in this class, please note that you will lose 7 points for each missed class session
  When you are present I expect you to be present. Your cellphone should be silenced and put away, and laptops will be used for class related purposes only. Do not underestimate the power of the negative image you create when you try send text messages or e-mails on class time.  This grade will be broken down into three 30-point assignments. These assignments will be recorded on 2/24, 3/29, and 5/3.

On each assignment you will receive a certain number of points out of the points possible.  At the end of the course I will divide the total points you have earned by the total points possible to determine your percentage.  From that point, the standard grading scale (90-100%=A, 80-89.9=B, 70-79.9=C, 60-69.9=D, 0-59.9=F) will be used to determine your final grade for the course.

Course Schedule:
Key Activities and Due Dates/Topics/Related Reading
Discussion of Research Paper Requirements
Colonial America
Colonial America
Chapter 5
PowerPoint Topics Due
Buildup to Revolution
Chapter 6
President's Weekend - No Class
The American Revolution and the Critical Period
Chapters 7 & 8
The New Constitution, Washington, Adams & Jefferson
Chapters 9 & 10
Paper Topics Due
Madison, & Monroe, Jacksonian America and the Market Revolution
Chapters 11 & 12
 First Attendance and Participation Grade
Westward Expansion, the Slavery Debate, and the Start of the Civil War
Chapters 13 & 14
Civil War & Reconstruction
Chapters 15 & 16
Gilded Age, Westward Settlement
Chapters 17 & 18
Midterm Exam
Immigration, Industrialization & Urbanization
Chapter 19
Populism & Progressivism &  Imperialism
Chapters 20 & 21
World War I
Chapter 22
Second Attendance and Participation Grade
The Twenties
Chapter 23
3/29 & 3/31
Spring Break - No Classes
The Great Depression
Chapters 23 & 24
World War II
Chapter 25
Rough Draft of the Paper Due
The Start of the Cold War, and America in the Fifties
Chapters 26 & 27

WWII Film Assignment:
Watch one of the films listed (you must choose one you have not already seen) and make a bulleted list of the specific ways the film deepened your understanding of WWII:
  • The Longest Day
  • The Best Years of Our Lives
  • Patton
  • The Big Red One
  • Saving Private Ryan
  • Fat Man and Little Boy
  • Memphis Belle
  • Band of Brothers (any three episodes, watched in order)
The Civil Rights Movement
Chapter 28
The 1960s and Vietnam
Chapter 29
The Seventies
Chapter 30
Final Draft of the Paper Due
The Reagan/Bush Era
Chapter 30
The Pulse: The Nineties & Now!
Chapter 31
Third Attendance and Participation Grade
Wrap Up
Final Review
Final Exam

PowerPoint Schedule:
Students' Names
Anna Aleksandryan
Dina Blatt
Claudia Lopez
Rey Fontanel
Corey McGinnis
The Constitution
Ryan Alderman
Kate Artale
Logan Cooley
Brandon Hay
Louisiana Purchase
Bryan Curry
Clay Iverson
Devin Torrey
Emma Dixie
Ashley Fountaine
The Great Depression
Amanda Harnes
James Angeles
Alexa Hoffman
Luis Gonzalez
Kyle Goshman
Brendan Miller
WWII in the Pacific
Jarmaine Santiago
Marcus Paquini
Brittany Goldfield
Kaley McNeal
Racial Tension in American Cities During the 1960s
Sarah Schaub
Shawn White
Lee Hanson
Hayley Ashley
Maureen Skinner
1960s Counterculture Movement
Ashley Winter
Souren Aleksandryan
Jeremy Gilbert
Hilary Kleiman
Alex Flores
U.S. Politics During the Vietnam War
Samantha Thellman
Scott Turner
Kevin Thrakulchavee
Jacob Abbott
Growth and Evolution of Fighter Planes through U.S. History