135 US History Essay Topics

One of the most time-consuming essay writing assignments can be a US history essay. Assigned for a variety of reasons, including testing students’ knowledge, encouraging research skills, and determining how well students can comprehend different types of texts, a US history essay assignment provides many challenges to the student.

Another hardship of writing a US history essay is that there isn’t always an abundant or easily accessible source of new information on something that has already happened. This means that students need to work extra hard to craft a US History essay that is original, unique, and doesn’t sound like the many other essays that have already been written on the topic.

However, all of the hardships students face when attempting to write a US history essay can be eased with the help of this guide. We’ll cover the essential aspects of writing a US History essay and provide 135 US History essay topics that are ideal for any level of education.

How To Write a US History Essay?

When it comes to writing a US History essay, the first thing students will need to do is pick a topic. The topic should be relevant to the course and allow for enough credible research to back up any arguments or examples made in the essay’s body.

For example, a topic on the creation of the Declaration of Independence would offer much more opportunity for analysis and research than a topic on something less significant such as the color of George Washington’s horse.

Once students have selected their topic, they will need to start thinking about the essay’s thesis. The thesis is often referred to as the “point” of an essay and should be reflected in the introduction and conclusion. This means that students will need to think critically about their topic choice and determine what points they want to make.

Students can choose a thesis by listing the most important aspects of their topic and choosing one aspect as the main point of their essay. For example, if a student were assigned a paper on the Civil Rights movement, they might want to argue that violence was necessary or that nonviolence was more effective in the movement for equality.

Students will also need to consider what information they are expected to include in their essay. Common types of US History essays include:

  • analysis
  • argumentative
  • comparison/contrast
  • cause and effect
  • introspective
  • problem /solution

Each of these essay types requires a unique set of points, arguments, and examples to ensure they meet the criteria for the writing. For example, if you are writing a compare and contrast essay on US History, you’ll need to research several different aspects of your topic and compare them to each other.

If you are writing an argumentative US History essay, you’ll need to provide sufficient evidence to prove your point before explaining why the opposing side’s argument is incorrect.

Once the topic has been selected and enough information has been researched to create a thesis and provide supporting evidence, the next step of writing a US History essay is to outline your argument. An outline can help students organize their thoughts and ensure they include everything necessary to write a well-rounded paper.

Make sure your outline includes a thesis statement followed by a clear description of each point you plan to make in the body of your essay.

How To Structure a US History Essay?

Once you have completed the necessary steps to develop a thesis and outline your argument, you can move on to structuring your essay with the intro, body, and conclusion.

The introduction should start with a hook that captures the reader’s attention and provides enough information to encourage them to continue reading. After the hook, you can include your thesis statement, followed by explaining why it is important for readers to know about this topic.

For example, if you are writing an argumentative essay about the role of violence in the Civil Rights movement, you might start your introduction with a hook that asks readers to consider what they would do if they were faced with violence every day of their lives.

You then might include your thesis statement and explain that learning about civil rights activists who confronted police with violence is important to understand because it can help guide future generations about what they might need to do to achieve equality.

The body of your essay should include multiple points, each made with clear evidence and relevant examples. For example, if you were writing a thesis that argued that nonviolence was more effective than violence in the US Civil Rights movement, you might include a paragraph about how nonviolence was proven to be more effective when Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott were compared.

This may lead into a paragraph describing how Martin Luther King Jr. tried to reduce violence in the movement by promoting peaceful methods of protest such as sit-ins, boycotts, marches, etc.

The conclusion should contain a rephrase of the thesis statement and explain why it is vital for readers to understand. For example, if you wrote an argumentative essay about violence in the US Civil Rights movement, your conclusion might include your thesis statement along with the reasons why understanding whether violence is effective or not helps us understand how future generations should respond to injustice.

135 US History Essay Topics

If you are struggling to begin writing your US History-themed essay, why not choose from any of these 135 US History essay topics to help start your writing process.

US History Essay Topics About the Civil War

  1. Why were slaves treated poorly during the Civil War era?
  2. Should Confederate generals have been tried for treason after the US Civil War?
  3. What was daily life like for formerly enslaved Black people following the US Civil War?
  4. How has Lincoln’s influence on Presidential power impacted American society today?
  5. Did Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation have a negative impact on Reconstruction?
  6. Why is it important to understand the social, political, and economic impacts of slavery during America’s history?
  7. Describe how trade was impacted with foreign nations during the Civil War?
  8. What forms of civil disobedience became commonplace during the Civil War?
  9. Compare and contrast the roles of women during the Civil War and WW2.
  10. What were the causes of the US Civil War?
  11. Why did people support both sides of the US Civil War?
  12. Why was it hard for formerly enslaved people to find employment following the Civil War?
  13. Explain how racial violence increased following Reconstruction.
  14. Discuss what you believe caused Confederate Generals to order their men to wear gray uniforms at the Battle of Bull Run.
  15. How did the Emancipation Proclamation impact foreign relations in the 1860s?
  16. What were some causes for fighting during the Reconstruction Era?
  17. How was President Lincoln able to pass legislation that helped win the US Civil War?
  18. Discuss the most significant battle during the Civil War.
  19. Compare and contrast modern-day war strategies to those used during the Civil War.
  20. Explain how technological advancements were made during the Civil War.
  21. What was the role of Native Americans during the Civil War?
  22. How has history made a lot of the same mistakes as it did during the Civil War?

US History Essay Topics About the Native Americans

  1. What was life like for Native Americans following their defeat in the US-Indian War?
  2. What factors led to violence between whites and indigenous peoples after the Indian Removal Act of 1830?
  3. What were some effects of Manifest Destiny on Native Americans?
  4. How has the Dawes Act impacted modern-day Native American communities?
  5. Why is it important to learn about the Trail of Tears during US history?
  6. What were some causes for violence between Indians and settlers in the 1800s?
  7. How does modern-day Native American culture resemble indigenous communities during the 1800s?
  8. How were treaties formed and broken between whites and Native Americans in North America?
  9. What was life like for Natives after they were forced onto reservations?
  10. How did President Jackson impact relations between Indigenous peoples and white settlers in the 1800s?
  11. Discuss what occurred when European immigrants settled on Native American land.
  12. What were some causes for Native American uprisings during the 1800s?
  13. Why are there not more Native Americans today compared to during the early years of North America?
  14. Discuss the ideologies of Native Americans and how they may have impacted Indian-European relationships.
  15. Why was the Battle of Wounded Knee significant?
  16. What factors led to corruption within tribal governments following US-Indian wars?
  17. What historical stereotypes are still represented in modern day depictions of Native Americans?
  18. How can Native Americans use history to correct the ideologies of those who harbor America First sentiments?

US History Essay Topics About the Great Depression

  1. Explain how life changed for African Americans during the Great Depression.
  2. What factors led to the Great Depression?
  3. How was President Roosevelt able to influence Congress to act in favor of his New Deal programs?
  4. How did WWII impact Americans following the Great Depression?
  5. What were significant turning points that allowed the US to improve its economy during the Great Depression?
  6. What were some effects of the Great Depression on race relations in the US?
  7. What attitudes about free trade capitalism led to the Great Depression?
  8. How did the Great Depression influence art, music, and culture?
  9. What other economic solutions could have been implemented to end the Great Depression sooner?
  10. How did the Great Depression influence the size and scope of the federal government in the US?
  11. How did African Americans help lessen America’s dependency on foreign goods during the Great Depression?
  12. What were some causes for poverty during the Great Depression?
  13. Discuss things that became illegal during the Great Depression.
  14. Explain how the Great Depression led to increased or reduced population growth.
  15. Why do historians consider the Great Depression a critical moment in US history?

US History Essay Topics About WW1 & WW2

  1. What caused the eruption of violence during WW1?
  2. How did President Wilson’s Fourteen Points impact WW2?
  3. What was life like for African Americans and Native Americans during WWII?
  4. How have civil liberties changed since WWII?
  5. What are some parallels between WWII propaganda posters and modern-day media advertisements?
  6. What were some positive and negative factors during US involvement in WWII?
  7. How did the US economy change as a result of WWII?
  8. What events led to the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
  9. In what ways has European history been heavily impacted by WW1 and WW2?
  10. What were some causes for the US entering WW2?
  11. How has US foreign policy changed as a result of WWII?
  12. In what ways has WWII impacted modern-day conflicts?
  13. Who was President Truman, and why is he important to remember during US history?
  14. Why is it important to study both World Wars in detail?
  15. Who was Joseph Stalin, and what was his role during WW2?
  16. How have wars led to the formation of the UN and NATO?
  17. How did military alliances impact WWII?
  18. What was President Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms, and how did it influence US soldiers’ morale overseas?
  19. What economic impacts of WW2 still be seen in today’s modern economy?
  20. How did technological advancements made during WW1 assist with battle strategies during WW2?
  21. What is the significance of D-Day?
  22. How did the US become involved in WW1 after the sinking of the Lusitania?
  23. Why were women viewed as socially disadvantaged during WW1?
  24. What are some positive outcomes of WW1 and WWII on American society today?

US History Essay Topics About Women’s Rights

  1. What significant roles have women played in US history and not received credit for?
  2. What were some causes of the first and second waves for women’s rights?
  3. How did each wave of feminism impact US history differently?
  4. How have women influenced US history through their actions in non-traditional fields?
  5. What are some positive impacts of women becoming involved with social reform efforts such as abolition, temperance, and labor movements?
  6. What were some negative impacts of women gaining more legal rights?
  7. Who was Susan B. Anthony, and why is she important to remember during US history?
  8. How has popular culture influenced how society views feminism today compared to the past?
  9. How did government restrictions such as coverture laws impact women’s daily lives in America?
  10. What were some positive and negative impacts of the Lowell Mill Girls?
  11. Who was Sojourner Truth, and what did she accomplish for women’s rights?
  12. How did Susan B. Anthony influence how society treats women today?
  13. How has Western Expansion impacted the lives of American women?
  14. Who was Victoria Woodhull, and what were some of her goals in the early feminist movement?
  15. What historical issues still affect women’s rights in society today?
  16. Why does it matter to study US history and women’s rights?
  17. Would the USA have been as successful during WW2 without contributions made by women?
  18. Is life for women easier or harder now than it was at other points in US history?
  19. How can women obtain better equality by examining the past?

US History Essay Topics About Immigration

  1. What is the history of immigration in America?
  2. Who were some influential immigrants who have changed society through their actions and contributions?
  3. How have immigrants influenced art, architecture, government policy, and popular culture in America?
  4. How did nativism influence how Americans viewed immigration during different time periods throughout US history?
  5. How have immigrants been treated by US law and society during different time periods throughout American history?
  6. Why was the Chinese Exclusion Act significant for immigration policy in America?
  7. In what ways have recent immigration movements changed the nation’s identity, economy, and workforce today compared to the past?
  8. What causes of the Great Depression led to more immigrants moving to America?
  9. What are some positive impacts of immigration on American society today?
  10. Who was Giovanni da Verrazano and why is he important to remember during US history?
  11. What role did African Americans play in immigration during slavery?
  12. What were some differences in the immigrant experiences of different races?
  13. How has immigration changed American society today compared to the past?
  14. What are some adverse effects of immigration on American society today?
  15. What are some positive impacts of immigration on US history and national identity today?
  16. How is the process for immigration in modern times different from previous periods in US history?
  17. How can the USA learn from their past immigration reform mistakes to correct current issues surrounding immigration reform?

US History Essay Topics About Labor and Strikes

  1. What were some causes of the early labor movement in America?
  2. In what ways have unions been influential for Americans today?
  3. Who was Eugene V. Debs, and how has he influenced the labor movement?
  4. What impact did strikes have during different time periods throughout US history?
  5. What were some negative consequences of child labor in America, and how did reform movements attempt to change it?
  6. How has technology impacted the American workforce today compared to the past?
  7. Who was Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and what impact did she have on the labor movement?
  8. What were some differences between strikes in the past and today?
  9. What were some positive effects of the labor movement on American society today?
  10. Why is it essential to study US history about labor unions and strikes?
  11. Who was Mother Jones, and how has she influenced the labor movement in America?
  12. How did the Great Depression and New Deal change labor in America?
  13. What were some causes of the Haymarket Affair, and how did it influence labor policy?
  14. How has technology shaped labor unions today compared to when they first began?
  15. Why is it essential to understand labor unions in America?
  16. What are some differences between strikes today compared to the past?
  17. Who was John L. Lewis, and what is his legacy on unionization in America?
  18. How did Franklin D. Roosevelt’s policies impact labor unions in America during the Great Depression?
  19. What were some causes of the 1934 West Coast waterfront strike?
  20. What are some causes of the Grand Bargain, and how has it influenced unions today?

With these 135 US History essay topics, students of all grade levels can find an interesting topic to write about that will have plenty of research to back it up.

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