94 American History Research Topics

  • Feb 25, 2019

From Mount Rushmore to little-known operations overseas, US history has some amazing topics for research. However, the majority of papers on historical themes resemble all the research paper topics people find online, the ones that were explored by thousands before them. Those are not the things your teacher will find interesting. The odds are - they already know them by heart and want a little change of pace.

Few essays elaborate on their topic. This is because students do not like the theme they chose for their research, and you can't delve into the problem deep enough if you don't feel strongly about it.

We give you a brief research papers overview of the issues you can choose to explore in your study. It's rare for a research paper not to be boring and cliche. Yet, you can find the ones that are different here. You can make your history papers discuss the never-ending clashes, the eras, the Native people and their fate within the new state, etc.

Let your research papers explore the topics that you really care about!

You probably won't find a lot of works discussing the problems from our list. Follow it to delve deeper into an interesting pond of knowledge that is history!

General American History

  1. The American dream: when it was formed and who is seeking it?
  2. The American Dream vs. the California Dream - are they the same?
  3. Why should the federal government let the states make their own decisions?
  4. "Manifest Destiny:" what stands behind the idea, and how has it shaped the country?
  5. Salem witch trials - the precedent for the presumption of innocence.
  6. US Constitution vs. supreme law of other countries.
  7. Why was the Second Amendment ratified? Is it still relevant?
  8. American slavery: the trade route and its impact on the US economy.
  9. How much of the Roman culture is reflected in the Founding Fathers' writing?
  10. How did the frontier myth (or the myth of the West) create a layer of mythology?
  11. How did the frontier change from 17th to 19th century?
  12. The archetypes of the frontier: from settlers to adventurers.
  13. Who was more American - the federal government, or the people seeking refuge from it?
  14. Wars and business deals: how did America come to be?
  15. The American Revolution in the global context.
  16. The Age of Enlightenment philosophy and John Locke ideas in the US.
  17. Why are the States of Enlightenment ideal?
  18. The Boston Tea Party: the whole hidden tax debacle and its implications.
  19. The reasons behind those specific four people on Mount Rushmore.
  20. The politics of the Panama Canal: why was it worth forming a new country to construct it?
  21. Cowboys: the farmers or mercenaries?
  22. How did the cinema change our perception of cowboys?
  23. The Mexican origins of the cowboy culture.

19th Century American History

  1. The Credit Mobilier scandal as a look at a history of corruption in America.
  2. "The Gilded Age." How a book by Mark Twain gave a name to a time period, and how other eras come about their names.
  3. The Kansas-Nebraska Act and its role in the events of the Civil War.
  4. What caused the Great Chicago Fire: the pitfalls of balloon framing.
  5. Cornelius Vanderbilt: a greedy capitalist or a national hero?
  6. Chinese Exclusion Act: the loopholes and separations the immigrants faced.
  7. J.P. Morgan: how did his life shape America.
  8. Should there be a monument to John D. Rockefeller?
  9. Pullman Porters: a story of former slaves creating a heritage.
  10. Labor movements of the 19th century, how do they compare and contrast with the modern-day worker unions.
  11. St. Patrick's Day: how it became a big deal in the US.
  12. Why Irish wouldn't marry Italians: the hidden xenophobia in the melting pot.
  13. Former slaves fighting in the Civil War: the obstacles to helping the right cause.
  14. Political pressure against the abolitionism.
  15. The Civil War in world news: how the media portrayed the US.
  16. Mass media and the war.
  17. How did the 19th-century press influence Americans?
  18. The causes and effects of the Civil War on the fabric of society.
  19. National parks movement as one of the most altruistic political causes in the US.
  20. Women's suffrage: prerequisite for modern feminism.
  21. The birth of photography and the first silent movie in the US.


Native American History

  1. The first Natives on the continent: the theories of the passage.
  2. Native population and European diseases, a story of wiped-out tribes.
  3. How horses and iron shaped the cultural image of a Native American.
  4. A ragtag society: the differences between the Northern tribes.
  5. The linguistic side of history: why did we call people who spoke a dozen of different languages "Indians"?
  6. Native religion and why the Christians hated it.
  7. Christian missions in the wilderness.
  8. The Trail of Tears and the losses suffered by the native people at the hand of the invaders.
  9. The hidden reasons for the Wounded Knee Massacre.

America in Wars and Revolution Essay

  1. American Revolutionary War: how were the rebels able to fight off the empire?
  2. Shays' Rebellion: the first rebellion against the new state.
  3. The Quasi-War: how did France bring its Revolution overseas.
  4. Why did the US help Sweden fight a war in Africa?
  5. American Indian Wars: a series of wars that lasted over 300 years.
  6. Arrows and bullets: does fairness apply on the battleground?
  7. What does the Native American depiction of wars with the US show us?
  8. US naval presence in the Mediterranean: fighting the pirates.
  9. Atlantic slave trade suppression: former slave owners fighting slavery.
  10. How the US fought Mexico together with California.
  11. Second Opium War: how was the US involved?
  12. American Civil War: what a person can tell in memoirs.
  13. The context and the aftermath of the Civil War.
  14. The Shimonoseki Campaign: a war in Japan 80 years before Nagasaki.
  15. Teddy Roosevelt leading the Rough Riders: from a war hero to the President.
  16. The role of the US in the Boxer Rebellion.
  17. Why did the US fight to occupy Latin America in Banana Wars?
  18. How did WWI change American society?
  19. The reasons for joining the wars across the sea.
  20. The African-American regiment that was not allowed to the parade after World War I.
  21. Omaha Beach: the heroism, the tragedy, the victory.
  22. US presence in the Pacific Theater: the life of a common soldier.
  23. How the US contributed to Japan's Longest Day: an attempted coup d'etat and Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
  24. Korean War: fighting the WWII allies overseas.
  25. How did the media stop the Vietnam War?
  26. Modern-day American military presence in the world.

American History Essay Topics: Civil Rights Issues

  1. Frederick Douglass' role in the ratification of three Amendments.
  2. Right wing abolitionist movement: a political move a moral cause?
  3. The civil rights movement of the 19th century.
  4. Hiram Rhodes Revels as the first African American to serve in Congress.
  5. Suffragettes and the methods of being heard.
  6. Civil rights movement in the context of Martin Luter King Jr.: the why's and the how's.
  7. The motivation of people behind the Civil rights movement.
  8. Did the principle of non-violence work? How did it coincide with ochlocracy?
  9. Clyde Kennard: how a veteran fought for education.
  10. Black Panther Party: supremacist movement or response to injustice?
  11. How did Malcolm X influence the Civil rights movement?
  12. The federal government ruling over the states with the Civil Rights Act: why didn't it stop the protests?
  13. Fair Housing Act and the racial makeup of American neighborhoods.
  14. The Jewish community in the strikes of 1960s.
  15. Sexual harassment within the movement.

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