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Top 10 US History Research Paper Topics For Students


Outside of the natural sciences, nearly all college-level courses will require you to write at least one research paper. United States history is no exception. In fact, for many courses you will have to write multiple papers. Usually, you have some degree of choice as to your topic, though your professor may set some parameters for you. The first step to writing a great US history research paper is choosing a topic. There are a huge variety of topics to work with for a college history paper, even within a smaller subset of United States history. It can still be hard to choose, especially if you’re not particularly interested in historical patterns and events.

Some US History Research Paper Topics to Consider

These are ten topics that you can think about when you’re planning papers for your class. Keep in mind that these are broad topics, and you may need to narrow them down significantly. Each of these topics contains an array of potential subtopics, but they are all excellent starting points.

  • The Creation of the Bill of Rights and the US Constitution. The founding of our nation and its laws constitutes a fertile ground for essay topics. There was quite a bit of controversy and intrigue, as well as the development of key political philosophies, during this momentous time.

  • The American Civil War. The Civil War reshaped America in incredibly significant ways. This conflict between Northern and Southern states was decades in the making, erupting into a gruesome and violent war in which the Union eventually prevailed.

  • The Reconstruction. During this period in the United States, changes were made in the wake of the Civil War.

  • Prohibition. The United States enacted a constitutional amendment to prohibit alcohol, due to pressure from activists who were concerned about alcohol’s contribution to various social problems. The results of this so-called “noble experiment” led to the amendment’s eventual repeal.

  • The Great Depression. After the stock market crash of 1929, the United States experienced the greatest economic depression to date. Millions were unemployed, and poverty was rampant.

  • FDR and the New Deal. During the Great Depression, president Franklin Delano Roosevelt enacted a series of social programs to try to improve the economy.

  • The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. A tremendous event in history, and a major development in human technology, the atomic bombings during World War II changed the world forever.

  • The Civil Rights Movement. During the middle of the twentieth century, there was an increased social activism movement to extend full rights to disenfranchised groups of people, namely women and minorities.

  • Ronald Reagan and the “War On Drugs.” Reagan’s “War on Drugs” had significant social and political fallout. Many people argue that it created more problems than it solved.

  • The September 11th, 2001 attacks. Few events in US history changed the world as much as the September 11th attacks. From that day onward, the world would never be the same.

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