It doesn’t matter what type of essay you’re going to be creating. What matters is the topic. So, before you start jotting down a list of US history essay topics, we advise you to consider these tips:
- Brainstorm before writing. Study the topics and look through your prompt list. You can also go over sample history essays on the subjects you like most.
- Create a list of 10 topics interesting to you. Keep in mind that your yet-to-be-written historical essay should be based on credible sources. So, you should do some research to get enough factual evidence to support your arguments.
- Create an outline — a writing plan. It will help you stay focused during the writing and ensure you’ve covered all aspects.
- Follow the traditional structure. Unless explicitly told otherwise, use a simple five-paragraph organization pattern.
There’s one more important thing you should know before we give you a list of topics for your American History classes. Just like any other task, essay writing requires you to follow a specific format. While some instructors may give you requirements of their own (citations and structure), others may leave you without any explanation. In such a case, you should check what format of a US history essay you are supposed to stick to. If no recommendations are provided, you may use the guidelines below.
United States History Essay Format
- When writing your essay, use a 12-point Times New Roman font, double spacing, and one-inch margins on all sides.
- Use the MLA citation style unless your high school teacher or college professor requires you to do otherwise. MLA requirements might change, so read the latest version of the style manual.
Also, check your essay for plagiarism. Most professors have zero-tolerance toward unoriginal papers. You may be even expelled if your work is plagiarized. Since writing a history essay involves lots of research and reliable sources, you should be meticulous when formatting the citations. In case your quotation is too lengthy or poorly formatted, you risk being accused of unintentional plagiarism and having your grade reduced.
Now that you’ve learned some writing tips, you can choose a topic.
50 US History Essay Topics
Native American history
- How Native American culture has shaped modern US history.
- Describe Native American religious beliefs.
- What was the impact of European colonization on Native Americans?
- The Indian Removal Act and its impact on early US history.
- Three things modern Americans should learn from Native Americans.
- The Trail of Tears: the biggest genocide in US history.
The Colonial Period
- What was life like in colonial times?
- Colonial America: founding the dream.
- Religion and culture in North American colonies.
- Understanding the story of Thanksgiving day.
- What was it like to be a woman in colonial America?
- New England colonies: economics, society, and politics.
The American Revolution
- The Boston Tea Party: an act of patriotism or vandalism?
- The First Continental Congress and the role it played in the US revolution.
- The Treaty of Paris and how it contributed to the victory of the US.
- Revolution in the US: causes and consequences.
- US-Mexican history: the Mexican War and westward expansion.
- The Gold Rush and its impact on westward expansion.
- Explain three factors that contributed to westward expansion.
- Manifest Destiny and its conflicting interpretations.
The American Civil War
- The Civil War: was it inevitable?
- How did the Civil War change the country?
- Did Americans start to live a good life after the Civil War?
- The major battles of the Civil War in the US.
Slavery and Abolition
- Why didn’t the abolishment of slavery set African Americans free from their stigma?
- How slavery prohibition in the US impacted other countries?
- African Slavery: How did it start?
- Socioeconomic status of a slave in colonial America.
- Explain how the status of slaves changed after the 13th Amendment had been ratified.
African American history
- African Americans in the US.
- African Americans and their impact on the historical developments and culture of the US.
- The role African Americans played in the Civil War.
- Free African Americans and abolitionism.
American Jewish history
- American Jewish community and the civil rights movement.
- American Jewish historiography, according to Jacob Rader Marcus.
- American Jewish entrepreneurship in the Reconstructionist era.
World Wars and the USA
- How World War I shaped modern America.
- How the attack on Pearl Harbor impacted the US.
- Explain how public opinion about entering World War II changed in the USA between 1939 and 1941.
- How African Americans contributed to the victory in World War II.
- What made President Abraham Lincoln great.
- President Roosevelt: his impact and legacy.
- How Thomas Jefferson’s ideas and beliefs shaped the nation.
Other Topics for Consideration
- The Vietnam War: Why did the United States lose?
- US reform movements in the late 19th century.
- Three significant events in the lives of Americans since the colonial period.
- What major problems did the Industrial Revolution bring with it?
- How religion impacted US history.
- Discuss how the Market Revolution in the United States changed the world.
- The American dream: how did this concept emerge?
Now that you have a list of US history essay topics, you can pick one you would like to write on. However, having a list of topics doesn’t always work. That is why we suggest you take a look at US history essay examples on different subjects. Thanks to them, you’ll have a much easier time creating one on your own.