Syllabus for History M07A:

Social and Political History of the United States: Prehistory through 1877

Spring 2007, W 7:00-9:50, Moorpark College, Room HSS-203

Instructor: Krister Swanson, e-mail



Course Description and Objectives:

This course focuses on the creation and development of American society to 1865, analyzing the impact of both individuals and groups. It will explore the colonial foundation of American cultural heritage; the growth of US political party system; women and social reform; the institution of and movement to abolish slavery; and the Civil War, including its causes and repercussions. This course partially satisfies the Title V United States History, Constitution, and American Ideals requirement.



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:

1) Your Choice of:

Primary Source Discussion Leadership (30 points, or 10%): We will discuss one set of primary source documents in each class session, and each of you will be responsible for leading a 15-20 minute discussion of one set of documents during the course of the semester.


PowerPoint Presentation (30 points, or 10%): This is intended to be a fun and informative activity for you and the whole class.  Pick a topic of interest related to one of the lecture topics and develop a PowerPoint presentation, complete with well-organized text and helpful images, for presentation to the class.  The goal is an interesting and informative 10-15 minute presentation that strengthens our understanding of your topic.

You need to sign up for your discussion or PowerPoint topic with me no later than January 24th.


2) Midterm Exam  (60 points, or 20%): A traditional in class exam scheduled for March 7th.  Please make sure you bring a 50 question scantron form and a bluebook (both available in the Moorpark College bookstore) with you.


3) Final Exam (60 points, or 20%): A traditional in class exam scheduled for May 16th.  Please make sure you bring a 50 question scantron form and a bluebook (both available in the Moorpark College bookstore) with you.


4) 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 January 31st, 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 February 14th.  The final paper is due on May 2nd.


5) Attendance and Class Participation (90 points, or 30%):  This category is fairly self-explanatory, you need to be here and your active participation is vital to a successful academic experience. You will lose 10 points for each missed class session.  I will break this grade down into three 30-point assignments. These grades will be recorded on 2/7, 3/21, and 5/9.


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 300 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:


Assigned Reading/Assignments Due




Chapter 4


Chapter 5

Sign Ups for Discussion/PowerPoint Topics


Chapter 6

Discussion of Research paper Requirements


Chapter 7

First Attendance and Participation Grade


Chapter 8

Paper Topics Due


Chapter 9


No Reading - Midterm Review


Midterm Exam


Chapter 10


Chapter 11

Second Attendance and Participation Grade


Chapter 12


No Class – Spring Break


Chapter 13


Chapter 14


Chapter 15


Chapter 16

Research Paper Due


No Reading – Final Exam Review

Third Attendance and Participation Grade


Final Exam


The course schedule is subject to change; in the event of a schedule change notice will be given via e-mail.