Best Topic Ideas For Your American History Research Paper

America is a relatively young country with a surprisingly rich history. This story does not begin in 1776 and it does not end with the Cold War, despite the prominence these years occupy in the collective conscience of the nation.

Human settlement of the continent began over 15,000 years ago. From the earliest inhabitants to contemporary citizens, our ancestors have left traces of their existence in the historical record of the United States.

In addition to the many unexplored topics throughout this vast time period, historians are increasingly revisiting familiar eras in order to apply a new method of inquiry or shed light on a previously obscure character. This has spawned many sub-genreā€™s or specialized fields in American History.

The vast number of years as well as different angles to approach any topic present limitless possibilities for anyone tasked with writing an engaging research paper on American History. Here are some interesting time periods and a few potential subjects to explore.

  1. The First Inhabitants
  2. These early arrivals did not leave much in the way of formal records but many clues remain that can be used to help us understand who they were and how they lived.

    • Did the first inhabitants bring tools from wherever they came from or develop ones that were suited to and derived from the new environment?
    • When did permanent settlements first appear on the continent?
    • What were the earliest religious customs and ceremonies?
  3. Native American History
  4. Although descended from the earliest inhabitants, Native Americans developed a vibrant culture over time that was more advanced and complicated than anything left behind by hunter gatherer tribes.

    • Was there conflict between native societies?
    • Did different tribes develop unique systems of government?
    • What was the role of women in these societies?
  5. Colonial America
  6. Europeans were pushed or pulled to the New World for a number of reasons. They came from different countries and cultures but forged the origins of a common culture we all share today.

    • What were the medical practices among early European settlers and did they adopt any new ones from native peoples?
    • Were there distinctions between English in the colonies and the traditional language spoken back home?
    • How did the criminal justice system function in the early colonies?
  7. America in the 18th and 19th Century
  8. The United States was a tumultuous and often violent place for much of the first hundred years. Despite the turbulent start, these early years laid the foundation for the explosive growth that was to follow.

    • How did canals influence the develop of the early American economy?
    • Antebellum fashion in the American South
    • Culinary and dietary practices among enslaved peoples?
  9. Modern History
  10. In the twentieth century, American history is increasingly influenced by outside events as the country came to occupy a more prominent role in the world. This presents new avenues for inquiry without excluding any opportunities for domestic subject matter.

    • How did the justice system respond to threats from violent anarchists attacks common in the early 20th century?
    • Why did American cities to remove streetcar systems in the mid-20th century?
    • Third party candidates and parties in modern American politics