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Essay Topics about American History

If you want to choose good and interesting American history essay topics, you need to be aware that they should be specific and fairly narrow so that you are able to reflect on a specific problem or issue. The subject for discussion should be manageable, i.e. you should be able to discuss the topic in the most detailed way depending on the number of pages you have to write. Once you have chosen the topic, identified the focal point, and planned an outline for the paper, you can work on the organization and structure. 

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How to Formulate Good American History Essay Topics?

The following are examples of concise and manageable topics for your American history class. With the help of such a template, you can generate a successful paper on any political, religious or another leader.  

  1. The rise and fall of Hitler in Germany, 1933 – 1945. The essay would be divided into three parts: how Hitler came to power; what events happened during his ruling; and how his leadership came to an end. You can use this structure for any essay on a similar topic. Simply replace “Hitler” with the name of any other political leader. Particularly, this topic structure could be used to write about Mussolini, Napoleon, Fidel Castro, etc.
  2. Napoleon and the Battle of Borodino, 1812. It is recommended to divide this type of paper into sections. First, describe Napoleon as a ruler and political leader. You might also appeal to his/ her personal traits. Afterward, discuss and explain the Battle: what led to it and what the consequences were. Finally, discuss how this battle and other events fit into the historical context of that period.
  3. Colonies in America. Out of all essay topics about American history, this one is particularly fascinating, as the formation of colonies on the territory of the modern USA influenced both the historical and cultural development of the country.
  4. The Discovery of the North American Continent. The planet still has plenty of undiscovered and unknown land, where indigenous people are probably living. Your essay could take the readers to the times when the whole world was a mysterious and wicked labyrinth with many surprises. The discovery of the North American continent was one of such surprises, which changed the history of the world forever.
  5. Indians before the discovery of the New World. We can only imagine what the nation of Indians would be like if nobody intruded in their tribes. You could devote your paper to describing the culture, lifestyle, traditions and power of Indians before their land was discovered. The data about the actual personalities from their nation can be found, and it could really contribute to your paper in terms of credibility and research value.
  6. End of Slavery in America. This theme probably belongs to American history argumentative essay topics, as it raises a quite controversial issue. The end of slavery is not marked with one particular date, but with a long process and chain of events. When did this process start? Who were the famous figures who facilitated it? Has slavery really ended fully? What prominent figures contributed to the turnout of events? These are the questions to discuss.
  7. The Pilgrims. In an essay on this topic, you can discuss who the Pilgrims were, where they come from, what served as a reason for their voyage to America and how they settled there. In addition, their impact on the culture and history of America.
  8. American Revolution Figures. Behind any great historical event, there are always great historical figures. American Revolution is not an exception, and the strong personalities with powerful ideas and confident actions are worth your attention. Discuss them in your paper, giving personal details and telling about their impact on the course of American history.
  9. Great Depression and Its Consequences. This is one of the curious essay topics about American history, as the Great Depression is something that can happen any time at any country, so knowing its reasons and ways to overcome it is extremely important. Thus, you can discuss the Great Depression and how it predisposed the further development of American history in terms of economic, social and labor factors.
  10. September 11 Attacks: Existing Theories. Ever since the events of September 11, the researchers and political experts of the world have been developing theories about what were the real reasons for the attack and whether it could be prevented. Giving a general overview of these theories can form a ground for your essay on American history.
  11. Gold Rush: Social and Economic Factors. Even long after a historical period ended, its influence can be noticeable for the whole nation. Similarly, the Gold Rush did not pass unnoticed and definitely changed the economy and social environment of the country. Discussing the effects of this period in American history, both locally and nationwide, can be a perfect idea for your paper.
  12. The Role of Abraham Lincoln in the History of America. What did Lincoln do for the country in terms of reforms? How did his rule change the philosophy of the nation? Why is the figure of Abraham Lincoln so important today for the national symbol of the USA? These are some of the aspects to be addressed in your paper.
  13. Puritanism and Formation of American Philosophy. The mentality of each nation is formed by the historical events that took place. Obviously, the era of puritanism had a great impact on the way American philosophy of life, attitudes and values were shaped. In your essay, you can discuss this impact, as well as the elements of the modern culture that come from Puritanism.
  14. War of Independence. Indisputably, this is one of the essay topics about American history that never grow old, as the importance of this historical process is hard to overestimate. While composing a paper based on this topic, remember to include the figure of George Washington in it, as his personality played a key role in the development of events during the war.
  15. Aztec and Mayan Civilizations. The history of America started long before the land was even called American, and the Aztec and Mayan Civilizations were the key participants in forming this history. The outstanding culture of these civilizations, their intellectual achievements, inventions and other legacy are certainly worth being researched and presented in your paper.
  16. The War between the United States and Mexico. What were the reasons for this war? What were the interests of both countries? Who curated and sponsored the process of war? How did it affect the life of civil citizens on both sides of the border? Answering these questions with information from reliable literature will help you to build a strong essay about American history.
  17. The Gilded Age. In a paper on this topic, you are supposed to discuss the historical background of the Gilded Age and its time frames. The aspects to include are the industrialization of the country, the reforms in the legal system, exporting goods, the role of immigration, and others.
  18. The Great Recession. This theme belongs to the period of the recent history of the U.S., which makes it extremely topical. There are tons of materials available on this topic, including news reportages, articles, political and economic studies, etc. Besides using this data, you should also discuss the events that preceded the Great Recession and that followed it.
  19. Women’s Suffrage Movement: Impact on Culture. Can you spot the traces of suffragist philosophy in modern culture? Then it could be a great idea to compose your paper about how the first ideas of feminism were spread in America, what challenges they faced and how they influenced public attitudes. Remember that expressing your point of view on the matter is welcomed, as long as it is supported by well-presented arguments.
  20. Second Great Awakening. This topic implies discussing the role of the nation in the formation of a country’s history, and the role of the greater idea (in this case, religious) in forcing the nation to take a certain direction. You can research the documents with data about the participants of the movement and the principles they followed, in order to make your essay more involving and well-structured.
Read our American History Essay Example for free and improve your writing skills!

The African American Freedom Struggle from 1940 to the Mid 1960s

The new movement of civil rights was backed by three main factors after World War II (1939-1945). The first factor was the active participation of the African Americans in the war. The proof of their participation was presented by African American leaders who reported events of racial inequity against the blacks. The second factor was the growing economic stability of the African Americans in the urban northern areas, who made efforts to get more education and worked hard to register their vote. The third factor that encouraged the civil rights movement was the NAACP which succeeded to attract many new members and became financially sound with the help of African Americans and whites. A group of lawyers also sought membership in NAACP...

Get More Writing Ideas with Our Topics Lists

European History Topics

  • Investigate the main reasons for the Boer War.  
  • Discuss the history of how cathedrals were built and spread across Europe.
  • The role and aim of morality play in England of Medieval times.
  • How did the slave trade affect the European economy?
  • The impact of the guillotine on the French Revolution.
  • The most influential and famous Polish composer.
  • Discuss the main concepts of the feudal system.

American History Essay Topics

  • How did car racing originate in America?
  • The reasons for creating national parks in the USA.
  • Which state in the USA has the most disputed border?
  • The impact of Mormons on the American outlook.
  • The history of the foundation of Central Park in New York. How is it maintained at present?
  • What role do lighthouses play in maritime history?

Check out some great Questions for a History essay topics

World History

  • Discuss and analyze in brief the most significant battles in the Korean War.
  • How did the Thirty Years’ War happen?
  • Discuss in detail the success of the Byzantine Empire.
  • The evolution of Buddhism.
  • Investigate the role and significance of the Silk Road.
  • Discuss which conditions had soldiers in the First Crusade.
  • The role of the Shogun in the history of Japan.

Ancient History

  • The epoch of Roman gladiators: what living conditions and lifestyle they had?
  • Do you agree that it was a normal practice in Rome to have child emperors?
  • Discuss the most influential pharaoh in Egypt. Provide argumentation for your claims.
  • How was the Sphinx built?
  • Discuss the history and the living conditions of the Ancient Maya.
  • How did the African tribal culture originate?
  • Discuss the principles of the Code of Hammurabi. 

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