SPRING 2005-2



OFFICE:   1342

INSTRUCTOR:  Jose Aragon

PHONE:    305-237-6355



Monday        12:00PM-5:30PM

Tuesday           9:50AM-11:05AM

Thursday         9:50AM-11:05AM; 12:40PM-2:40PM

Friday              12:00PM-2:00PM





The purpose of this course is to provide each student with the opportunity to acquire a basic understanding of the historical foundations of the United States through the examination of political & social historical events.

The students will learn to analyze historical documents (Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Bill of Rights, etc…) which are the basis for the U.S. political structure, as well as each student’s rights as a citizen. In addition, there will be an emphasis on geographical skills.

Finally, each student will find their place in American history while learning to interpret their rights as citizens and their civic responsibilities to participate in the democratic processes.


TEXTBOOK: Unfinished Nation, Volume I, by Alan Brinkley, 4TH Edition, 2003.


REQUIRED MATERIALS: textbook, at least 6 scantron cards FORM 882-E


ATTENDANCE: Attendance is essential to satisfactorily completing the course. Points will be deducted for absences & tardiness. More than three absences may result in failure and/or withdrawal from the course. It is the student’s responsibility to notify the instructor of any planned absences and also to request make up work and/or exams. Make-up work and exams are not automatic and they are up to the professor’s discretion.


GRADING: All work must be completed & turned in by the due date. There will be several exams, quizzes, reports, and class presentations. The number of points received will be added to be reflected in the final grade.


                                                Points                          grade                          

90-100% of all points=           225-250                       A

80-89% of all points=             200-224                       B

70-79% of all points=             175-199                       C

60-69% of all points=             150-174                       D

0-59% of all points=               0-149                           F



MAKE UP POLICY:  Students are allowed to take one make up exam. In proven conditions of extreme duress, arrangements can be done to make up a second test. The final exam cannot be made up.


COMPETENCE I    By the end of the term, the student will demonstrate his/her knowledge of the location of the world’s continents, oceans, seas, major rivers and mountain ranges. Also, he/she will demonstrate geographical knowledge of  North America.

COMPETENCE II   By the end of the term, the student will demonstrate an ability to categorize and relate historical developments sequentially. He/she will show proficiency by earning satisfactory grades on a series of objective and essay tests whose answers elicit such knowledge.

COMPETENCE III Cause and effect: By the end of the term, the student will demonstrate an ability to recognize and to analyze how it is that certain factors coalesced and rendered change in the course of human events; how that change causes or came to be influenced by other factors. He/she will prove this ability by earning satisfactory grades on a series of objective/essay tests whose answers require such recognition and analysis.

COMPETENCE IV Recognition of Legacy: By the end of the term, the student will demonstrate an awareness and an understanding of the principal historical inheritances provided by those who have gone before. This includes study in the fields of philosophy, ethics, religion, politics, economics, science, diplomacy, architecture, literature, sculpture and warfare. He/she will demonstrate understanding and awareness by earning satisfactory grades on a series of objective/essay tests the answers to which will require such.

COMPETENCE V   Terminology: By the end of the term, the student will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the terminology related to ideological, political, economic, artistic and sociological trends, as well as those of organizations, movements, and/or individuals which are identified with such process.




Week 1            introduction; chapter 1; map assignments

Week 2            chapter 2; map assignments; presentations; chapter quiz

Week 3            chapters 3-4; map assignments; presentations

Week 4            chapters 5; map assignments; presentations; chapter quiz

Week 5            chapter 6; presentations; ESSAY

Week 6            chapter 7; presentations

Week 7            chapter 8; presentations

Week 8            EXAM (chapters 1-8); presentations

Week 9            chapter 9; presentations

Week 10          MAP EXAM; chapter 10chapter

Week 11          11; presentations; chapter quiz

Week 12          chapter 12; presentations

Week 13          chapter 13; presentations; chapter quiz

Week 14          chapter 14; presentations

Week 15          chapter 15; presentations

Week 16          EXAM (chapters 9-16)




Description of the assignments:

Exam 1: covers chapters 1-8 & the material discussed during the classes (lecture notes & presentation discussions)

Exam 2: covers chapters 9-16 & the material discussed during the classes (lecture notes & presentation discussions)

Map test: covers the maps covered in class. The student will identify & locate several continents, states, nations & bodies of water.

Chapter presentations: The student will be assigned a chapter to summarize & present in class. The grade is based on the use of visuals (5 points), organization of the material (5 points), the knowledge of the students of the chapter information (5 points), & the use of time (the student has 10 minutes to present the chapter; 5 points). The instructor & classmates will pose some questions to the presenter.

Quizzes: These are quizzes on the chapters assigned for the class. The student must use a scantron card to turn these in class & then be ready to answer the questions as posed by the instructor.

Report presentation: The student will choose an Amerindian tribe/nation to report on. The report must deal with the origins of the group, their location, & a brief general history of the group prior to the U.S. becoming a nation & its history after the U.S. became independent. The student must use at least three sources. Remember plagiarism can result in complete dismissal from the class.

The student will provide for the class an in-class presentation on the material they researched for the Amerindian group. The presentation should be between 10-15 minutes. Grade is based on organization, knowledge of the subject, use of time, visuals.

Essay: An essay explaining the circumstances that lead to the European discovery of what has become the Americas. What lead to it, what were the economic, political, military, religious circumstances. What nations where involved? Etc…It must be typed, 12 font, double-spaced, 4-5 paragraphs.















Assignments   #of assignments         points per assignments          total points



Exams                         2                                  50                                100

Map test                      1                                  50                                  50


Presentation                1                                  20                                  20

Quizzes                       4                                  10                                  40


Presentation                1                                  30                                  30

Essay                           1                                  10                                  10


Total Points                                                                                        250




Disruptive behavior is not allowed (this includes, but it is not limited to, the use of beepers, cell phones, etc…). Recording the class is not permitted without prior permission from the instructor. The instructor reserves the right to make changes as he may deem necessary to topic presentations. This syllabus is tentative & may be subject to change.