10 Great U.S. History Research Paper Ideas You Might Not Have Thought About

Your U.S. History research paper can be a daunting prospect. Once the Revolutionary War was over the Founding Fathers, set out to make the best government they could imagine, with a constitution that would last through whatever came in the future. With such a wide range of subjects, how do you narrow your choice down and use just one topic? Perhaps you are interested in recent events or maybe how the past brought us to the present is more in your line.

The key word here is ‘interest’. A good idea for your work should be one you are enthusiastic about. Check out the newspapers for current affairs that relate to the past. Niche periodicals can offer you insight into a particular era. All around you history has left its mark on how modern life progresses.

Here are a few suggestions as a starting point for your search.

  1. Atomic bomb – what were the events that ended in the U.S. creating the only nuclear weapon dropped in warfare? Why was it used on Japan?
  2. Hurricane Katrina – why did it take so long for emergency crew to arrive on the ground? Did the scandal of the slow response over Katrina cause an over-reaction for Hurricane Rita?
  3. War on Drugs – was the “war on drugs” announced by President Reagan effective? Did it have the hoped for effect of reducing drug abuse? What did it replace? Would other methods have been more effective?
  4. September 11, 2001 – how has it changed American society? Was there anything that could have been done to prevent the attacks?
  5. Creation of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights (Amendments 1-10) – did enlightenment thinking help shape the ideas of the Founding Fathers? Explore the historical reasons for the separation of powers between the various branches of government i.e. only the Executive Branch may treat with foreign powers. Why?
  6. Slavery – were the people’s attitudes to slavery changed by the notions of Freedom and Independence of the Revolutionary War?
  7. The Great Compromise or the Connecticut Comprise. Did it satisfy all 13 states?
  8. Idea of Manifest Destiny – how did it affect the Western Expansion?
  9. Women’s Suffrage – how did it alter America? What make the achievement of suffrage so difficult?
  10. African Americans – what significance did the Harlem Renaissance have on the Civil Rights movement?