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The students will learn to analyze historical documents (Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Bill of Rights, etc…) which are the basis for the U.S. political structure, as well as each student’s rights as a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 II, by Alan Brinkley, 4TH Edition, 2003.



                                                            Pens & #2 pencils

                                                            English language dictionary

                                                            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 for the course & the instructor may withdraw any student with three or more absences. It is the student’s responsibility to notify the instructor of any planned absences and also to request make up work or exams. Only one assignment may be made up with the instructor’s approval.













GRADING: All work must be completed & turned in by the due date. NO WORK WILL BE ACCEPTED PASS 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.


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


Assignment    number of      points for        total points

                        Assignments   each

Exams             2                      50                    100

Map test          1                      50                      50

Presentation    1                      20                      20

Chapter quiz    5                      10                      50


presentation     1                      10                      10

Essay               1                      10                      10

Current event  2                      5                      10

TOTAL                                                          250     


MAKE UP POLICY:  Students are allowed, with the instructor’s approval, to take one make up exam. In proven conditions of extreme duress, arrangements can be done to make up a second assignment.


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 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; chapters 15-16; current event assignment

Week 2            chapter 17; current event assignment; presentation; chapter 17 quiz

Week 3            chapter 20; current event assignment; presentation; chapter 20 quiz

Week 4            chapter 23; current event assignment; presentation

Week 5            chapter 25; current event assignment; presentation

Week 6            chapter 27; current event assignment; presentation

Week 7            chapter 28; current event assignment; presentation

Week 8            Exam

Week 9            chapter 29; current event assignment; presentation

Week 10          Essay; chapter 30; presentation

Week 11          chapter 31; current event assignment; presentation; chapter 31 quiz

Week 12          mock presidential election campaign; MAP Exam

Week 13          chapter 32; presentation

Week 14          chapter 33; current event assignment; presentation; chapter 33 quiz

Week 15          chapter 34; presentation; chapter 34 quiz

Week 16          Exam


Description of assignments;


Exam 1: World War I & World War II

Exam 2: Cold War & post-Cold War period, contemporary times

Map Test: It is based on several maps that the student will study throughout the semester. The student will need to identify different continents, oceans, states and nations.

Chapter presentation: Students will be placed in groups and each group will be assigned a chapter & a topic to report on & present to the class. The presentation will focus as to how this topic pertains to a specific chapter that will be covered in class. The students will provide the professor with an outline of the chapter prior to the presentation for approval. The grade will be based on the use of visuals (5 points), must be at least 10 minutes long and no more than 20 minutes (5 points){the students must time themselves prior to the presentation; it is highly recommended that they practice timing  before they do their presentation}, organization of the presentation (5 points), & the knowledge of the material (5 points); for a total of 20 points. The student must be knowledgeable of the material so as to answer questions posed by the instructor during the presentation.

Chapter quizzes: These are quizzes on the chapters assigned on the schedule for that week. 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 be assigned a historical event dealing with the time period covered in this class (from 1877 to the present). One subject per student & it must be approved by the instructor. The student must use at least 3 sources & one of these must be a book. No plagiarism. Plagiarism can result in complete dismissal from the class. The student will present to the class the information they researched for their report.

Essay: An essay explaining the Cold War; what led to it, what occurred during it, & how did it end. What have been some of the results & effects of the Cold War. It must be 4 to 5 paragraphs, typed, 12-font, double-spaced.

Current Event Assignment: Students will be assigned a topic for the week & must find an article in the internet, newspapers, or journals dealing with this topic to discuss in class. The article must be brought to class, along with a summary. The students must be ready to discuss it for at least 5 minutes.



Disruptive behavior is not allowed (this includes, but it is not limited to, the use of beepers, cell phones, etc…). Please turn cell phones off or put them on mute when you are in class. 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.