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History Research Paper Topics Made Simple

03 Feb 2020Research Paper Topics

Updated Aug 2021
History is a broad subject with virtually endless possibilities for writing research papers. Interesting, tragic, and inspiring events across various cultures have been happening since the dawn of time, offering many opportunities to analyze and interpret them from different perspectives.

However, since history is so diverse, picking a topic and conducting research comes with many challenges. How can you narrow down the subject to something relevant that captures the reader’s attention and makes room for in-depth analysis?

History research paper topics

One of the biggest challenges students face when writing history research papers is finding credible sources for research. The online world is full of misinformation, while there are many lengthy books to read through and verify all the facts.

That’s why we’ve compiled this list of dozens of history research paper topics, ranging from medieval times and early civilizations to art research paper topics and much more. Read on to find inspiration.

What Is a Good History Research Topic?

A good history research topic tackles a relevant and interesting issue, period, or event that can inform the reader, help them learn from past mistakes, and understand their current position better.

Clarity is one of the essential elements of a good history research topic. Regardless of the period, event, or historical issue you wish to write about, you must be clear about it from the get-go.

A good topic allows you to describe events accurately, grab the reader’s attention, and entice them to want to learn more about it.

It doesn’t matter what topic you choose, as long as it motivates you to write about it in-depth to inspire the reader. When you feel passionate about something, that will reflect on your writing, and the reader will feel that passion as well.

History research papers can be analytical, comparative, argumentative, or reflective, so be sure to pick a writing style that best suits your topic and main idea.

How to Choose Interesting History Research Topics?

Some of the most exciting history research topics might be those that you can connect to the world today. You know what they say about history repeating itself, so you might be able to relate a past event or issue to current economic or cultural patterns or potential situations.

Use these tips to pick an interesting history research topic:

  • Think about what interests you the most and come up with several different topics before conducting preliminary research to find reliable sources for each.
  • Write a clear thesis statement for each topic that focuses on one or more specific historical issues or events. Leave no room for vagueness, and use credible sources to find and support all the facts.
  • Once you have your outlines, take a step back to see which topic matters the most to you and why it might be relevant today.
  • If argumentative research paper topics are your cup of tea, make sure you can provide clear arguments and counterarguments to stay unbiased. That’s how you will showcase professionalism, knowledge, and an utmost understanding of the topic. Needless to say, that’s how you will get the highest grade.

So, dig deep into what you feel passionate about, narrow down your topic, clear your focus, pick your preferred writing style, prepare a clear outline, and your paper will practically start writing itself.

History research paper topics for college students

A lot of interesting history topics one can write about usually revolve around very controversial issues that can be logically explained by representatives of both sides of the argument. The thing is, for you, as a history student, it’s not a good idea to dive into the emotional or personal context of those ideas that caused a lot of turmoil back then. Your task here is to explain the conditions under which they are now perceived as controversial, what helped them to take place, and the causative-consecutive relations of this event to many others. Opinion papers, of course, are a different topic to be discussed but when we’re talking about pure scientific research, you better refrain from undocumented or unproven claims when dealing with history research paper topics.

  1. Why the Nazi’s Ideology Was So Popular Among Masses?
  2. Are White Supremacists New Nazis?
  3. Capitalism: What went Wrong with Arguably the Most Suitable Political Ideology
  4. The Politics of Closed Border: Is Integration Possible (Case of North Korea)
  5. How 1-Child Policy in China Takes Its Toll Today
  6. Cold War 2.0: Russian-American Political Discourse Under Trump and Putin
  7. How Consumerism Dictates the Politics
  8. The Drawbacks associated with Technological Progress
  9. Things We Use that Weren’t Changed Since the Roman Empire
  10. Religion and History: Events that Won’t Take Place if not for Religious Reasons

World History Research Paper Topics

It’s truly an interesting time to be alive as we witness so many important events and are their contemporaries. It also gives more work for historians as their job is to document them from every possible viewpoint, and your school assignment is pretty much a part of it. There’s an option to pay for a research paper, but if you are ready to write it yourself, we have some topics for you to consider.

  1. What Caused Christianity Split and How It Still Affects Us Now
  2. Japanese-American Relationship: Ups & Downs
  3. Rich Spain, Poor Spain: What Caused the Decay
  4. Why Monarchies Still Exist
  5. The Invention of Printing: How It Influenced the Cultural Live
  6. Political Marriages in 14th Century
  7. Who Discovered America First?
  8. What Did Europeans Bring Home from Mayan People?
  9. Is Australia a Silent Continent?
  10. 7 Things We Borrowed from African Culture

US History Research Paper Topics

The history of the United States is so rich that college students absolutely have to study it. Here we have some good ideas to help you.

  1. ObamaCare: Best Intention, Worst Execution
  2. What did France Lose Because of Louisiana Purchase?
  3. Charleston in the Time of Civil War
  4. The Oldest Universities: Who Founded Them?
  5. Why Racism Still Exist?
  6. #Me_Too Movement
  7. Black Lives Matter Trap
  8. Is Class War Over in the USA?
  9. American-Iranian Tough Relationship
  10. WIll America Trigger WW3?

Texas History Research Topics

The US South was always in the spotlight on many social transformations and challenges. This is why it’s worthy to study it more.

  1. French, Spanish, Mexican, American: Texas Transformation within 4 centuries
  2. Texas During the Civil War
  3. Life of Native American Tribes During the Colonization
  4. French Influences In Texas Architecture
  5. Notable People from Texas
  6. Mexican-American War
  7. Pre-European Period in Texas History
  8. The Constitution of the Republic of Texas
  9. “Texas Eleven” and its Consequences
  10. Ted Cruz Political Course for Texas

American History Research Paper Topics

The U.S. revolution history before 1877 and its state during the 20th century are of particular interest for many college students, and they have their reason for it.

  1. The Rise of Nazism Under Trump’s Administration
  2. Feminist Movement in American History
  3. Afghanistan War and the US
  4. Why Contributions of African-American Soldiers During the WW2 is Still Silenced
  5. Martin Luther King and/vs Malcolm X
  6. Rosa Parks
  7. How the Development of the Railway System Shaped the US Future
  8. Alcatraz: World’s Most Secure Prison
  9. Stonewall Inn and It’s Importance in the Gay Movement
  10. Who was Alexander Hamilton?

Colonial America Research Topics

Before we know the US as it’s now, it was a bunch of territories under various European countries.

  1. Origin of the City Names and the History Behind them: New Amsterdam, San Antonio, New Orleans
  2. French Cultural Influence on the Southern States
  3. First Colonists: Who Were They?
  4. What Does the Religion Have to Do With the Colonist Wars?
  5. The era of Good Feelings: Why It Didn’t Last Long
  6. Alaska and Russian Colonies
  7. Alaska Purchase: The Biggest Russian Trade Failure
  8. El Camino Real: The Historical Importance
  9. Former Dutch Colonies
  10. How Ney York Became New York

African American History Research Paper Topics

From slavery issues to music to protests - African-American history is full of events that are rarely interpreted objectively and are given the importance they should have been.

  1. How Slavery Shaped the Social Discourse of the 17th century America
  2. Notable Events that Led to the Civil Rights Movement
  3. Harlem Rennaissance
  4. Stereotypical Representations of African Americans in Hollywood
  5. Slavery and Literature: How History is Viewed by African-American Writers
  6. Incarceration Problem
  7. Segregation Policies: Why Some Politicians Still Want Them Today
  8. Black Lives Matter
  9. History of Jazz
  10. USA Under First Black President

20th-century Research Paper Topics

From World Wars, mayhem and peace of the 1960s, recovery of the 1920s, and globalization - the last century is a well of topics to explore with research paper writing service or without one.

  1. Causes of WW1
  2. Bylshovyks and Nazis: What’s Similar
  3. Rise of Mafia
  4. Dictatorship Regimes in the 20th century
  5. How China Became a Powerful State
  6. Independence of African Countries
  7. Apartheid Break
  8. JFK Assassination
  9. The implication of Atomic Weapon
  10. The Rise of Globalization

Civil Rights Research Topics

The civil Rights movement was amongst the most important social movements the USA had, as it’s changed the nation’s discourse.

  1. Notable Cultural Activists during the Civil Right Movement
  2. The Role of AME Church
  3. Malcolm X Ideology
  4. MLK Assassination
  5. Black Panther Party
  6. Montgomery Bus Boycott
  7. Separate but Equal: the Education Case of Segregationism
  8. Loving v. Virginia: Interracial Marriages
  9. The tragedy of Emmett Till
  10. Jim Crow Policies

European History Research Paper Topics

The recent events in European history make quite a field for history students to explore and work on.

  1. England Before the United Kingdom
  2. Dictatorship in Europe
  3. Cosa Nostra: Italian Mafia Then and Today
  4. Decay of USSR
  5. New Hybrid Warfare; The Case of Russia, Georgia, Ukraine and Syria
  6. Germany After Hitler: Geopolitical Context
  7. Berlin Wall
  8. English-Irish Tension
  9. Formation of the European Union
  10. Brexit and Its Consequences

Ancient History Research Paper Topics

The early civilizations of ancient Egypt, Rome, Greece, Persia, Babylon, China are the sources of culture we have today. That’s why it’s important to learn about them or from them.

  1. Religious of the Ancient Civilizations
  2. How Christianity Ruined the Culture
  3. Remains of the Roman cities in Italy
  4. The life and achievements of Alexander of Macedonia
  5. The life and achievements of Julius Caesar
  6. Nile River Valley: The History of the Monuments
  7. From Persia to Iran: The Cultural Heritage
  8. Origin and History of the Assyrian Empire
  9. The Kingdom of Urartu
  10. The Reign of Hammurabi

Western Civ Research Paper Topics

Any Western civilization is the beginning of the cultural heritage we cherish now on the European continent and beyond. Here are a few history research topics examples you might be willing to research.

  1. Medieval Christendom
  2. The Roman Empire and Its Biggest Achievements
  3. Inventions of Ancient Greece We still Use Now
  4. Reasons for the Fall of Rome
  5. Kyiv Rus in the Context of Western Monarchies
  6. Byzantium Empire and Its Influence on Christianity
  7. The Rise & Fall of Feudalism
  8. The Rise & Fall of The Second Temple
  9. Cultural Heritage of Hellenistic Judaism
  10. Age of Discovery: Why People Sought Better Life

Middle Ages Research Topics

Medieval times are often strongly associated with the church’s influence on every sphere of life and it makes sense to study where it all led us.

  1. Division of the Roman Empire
  2. Western Schism and Its Influence on Catholicism
  3. Importance of the Merovingian Dynasty in France
  4. War of Roses
  5. Missionaries to Scandinavia
  6. The History of first Crusades
  7. Reconquista: Causes & Effects
  8. Heroic Epos and Its Historical Context
  9. The Invention of Gunpowder and Warfare Change
  10. Value of Marco Polo Diaries

Native American History Research Topics

These ideas are your chance to explore the rich history of Native Americans from their origin to the present day and get custom research paper writing help you need now.

  1. The History of Thanksgiving Day
  2. What is the Purpose of Reservations
  3. The Rise and Fall of the Navajo Nation
  4. Native American Tribes in the USA Today
  5. Pre-discovery North America
  6. Diseases the Europeans Gifted the Native Americans
  7. America Settlement: There the People Came From
  8. Native Americans and Spiritualism
  9. Repressions of Native Americans
  10. Native Americans and Civil War

Salem Witch Trials Research Paper Topics 

The history of Puritans is marked with the cruelest court trials one can imagine. See how many issues still remain uncovered.

  1. The Reasons for Salem Witch Trials
  2. The Execution Methods during SWT
  3. American Heresy: Salem Witch Trials and Failures
  4. Political Context of Witch Accusations
  5. Puritans and Calvinism
  6. Gender Context of Witch Trials
  7. Archeological Sites of Salem
  8. Witch Trials Former Prosecutions
  9. The History of Witch Cake
  10. Salem Witch Trials in Modern Culture

Slavery Research Paper Topics 

A truly disgraceful period of the American nation and around the world that needs more public talking than ever before.

  1. Slavery and Music in the USA
  2. Slavery in Europe
  3. Slavery in the Russian Empire
  4. Early History of Slavery
  5. Slavery in Films
  6. Slave Market and Human Trafficking Today
  7. Adam Smith and Slavery
  8. Slave, Not Slave: The things People Did to Differentiate the Class
  9. Slavery in the 21st Century
  10. Sex Slavery

Black History Research Topics

The Black people in America suffered a lot of repressions until the 70s, and those policies are claimed as the tragic social norms that people implemented back then. However, we should not underestimate the cultural influence they’ve brought to the continent.

  1. Black Music and the Civil Rights Movement
  2. Emancipation Proclamation
  3. Jazz Era and Black Culture
  4. Ghettos in NYC
  5. Black History Month
  6. Claudette Colvin, Rosa Parks, and Other Women
  7. Transatlantic Slave Trade
  8. Minstrel Shows and Blackfacing: Trudeau’s Case
  9. The Rise of Hip Hop Culture
  10. Black Athletes that Changed Sports Forever

Civil War Research Topics

If the only help with research paper on the Civil War you need is to choose the topic, here comes your wish.

  1. Union vs Confederacy: Top Differences
  2. “Slave States” Politics
  3. Notable Commanders and Leaders of the Civil War
  4. Compromise Act of 1850
  5. Fort Sumter Battle
  6. Charleston Port Battle
  7. Baltimore Riots
  8. Military Mobilization During the Civil War
  9. Civil War Ecranization
  10. Conquest of Virginia and Its Historic Relevance

Cold War Research Topics

  1. What was the Cold War
  2. Modern Cold Wars in the World
  3. Caribbean Crisis and Cold War
  4. Espionage and Cold War
  5. Brezhnev Doctrine
  6. American Economy Under Cold War
  7. USSR Motivs for Cold War
  8. Raegan vs Thatcher
  9. NKVD and other Special Units of USSR Military during the Cold War
  10. The Marshall Plan

Vietnam War Research Topics

The event that still echoes with the disastrous consequences should be studied to avoid the same political mistakes in the future.

  1. Johnson’s Reasoning for Vietnam War
  2. American Interference into Asia
  3. Vietnam War and Public Outcry
  4. Cambodia Genocide
  5. Vietnam War Belligerents and their Supporters
  6. American Soldiers in Vietnam
  7. Social Issues of the Vietnam War inside the States
  8. Cost of the Vietnam War for Today’s Economy and Politics in the States
  9. Sino-Soviet Split
  10. Vietnam Syndrome

World War I Research Topics

WWI had a lot of events that need to de addressed, as many of them seem to repeat themselves throughout the 20th century.

  1. WW1 Background
  2. Sarajevo Assassination: the Reason or Cover-Up for the War
  3. Mlada Bosna and Other Terrorist Groups in Europe
  4. July Crisis and Political maneuvers
  5. The Meaning of Schlieffen Plan
  6. German Offensive: France and Belgium Attacks
  7. The USA during the WW1
  8. Military Recruitment for Armies from non-involved Countries
  9. Hague Convention
  10. First World War Naval Warfare

World War II Research Topics

  1. WW2 Ideological Background
  2. Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
  3. Allies and Axis
  4. Atomic Bomb Explosion in Hiroshima and Nagasaki
  5. WWII Concentration camps, Genocides, and Slavery
  6. Culture during the Second World War
  7. Aftermath of WW2
  8. D-Day
  9. Results of Yalta Conference
  10. Nuremberg Trials

Revolutionary War Research Topics

  1. Boston Tea Party
  2. Continental Congress During the War for Independence
  3. First President of the USA
  4. Formation of the USA
  5. Revolutionary War and Foreign Interventions
  6. Taxation Disputes and the Beginning of War
  7. Alexander Hamilton and the American Economy
  8. Logistics and Warfare during the Revolutionary war
  9. What Would Happen If Hamilton Wasn’t Killed
  10. Native Americans in the War for Independence

Art History Research Paper Topics 

Art is an important part of human existence as it preserves the history and helps historians to learn more about the life and culture of the given period.

  1. Renaissance and Painting
  2. WW2 and Art
  3. Fin de Siecle: Literature, Painting, Music
  4. Leonardo da Vinci’s Inventions
  5. The earliest Art Objects of Ancient Civilizations
  6. Hippie Art
  7. How Photography changed the Art
  8. Invention of Camera Obscure
  9. The Lumiere Brothers and the beginning of Cinema
  10. 7 World Wonders

Music History Research Paper Topics

Since music and lyrics group together, it stopped being an option for recreation and has obtained more social and political context to it. Explore the following themes, and you’ll learn how the social struggles were reflected in the music of the last century.

  1. How Jazz Got to Europe
  2. History of Rock’n’Roll
  3. Hip-Hop and Black Culture
  4. Music Instruments of Ancient Greece
  5. Rise of R’n’B
  6. Gospels in the Civil Right Movements Context
  7. Indigenous American Music and Spiritual Events
  8. 80s Culture: How Music Became Pop
  9. The British Invasion
  10. New York Jazz Scene in the 60s

Theatre History Research Topics

Being one of the oldest entertainments, the theater still remains an important historical object for research and it’s undergone many transformations since that time.

  1. Roman theater vs Greek Theater
  2. Japanese and Chinese Theaters: Then and Now
  3. Remains of Ancient Theaters in Rome
  4. Pre-Shakespearian Theater
  5. Contemporary Theaters
  6. The Rise of Broadway Shows
  7. Spanish Classical Theater and Plays
  8. Most Influential Playwrights of the 20th Century
  9. American Theater vs Classical Theater
  10. Ibsen’s Plays and His Role in Establishing the New Theater

Modern History Research Topics

If you want to write about events that happened from the 17th century onward, here are some of the most interesting modern history research topics you can choose.

  1. The USA PATRIOT Act
  2. The Great Recession
  3. The Chernobyl disaster, response, and fallout
  4. NATO interventions across the globe
  5. Social and economic inequality
  6. The Great Depression
  7. Industrialization of the US economy
  8. The Great American West
  9. Religious and social movements in the US
  10. Immigration in the 21st century

Controversial History Topics

There’s no shortage of controversial topics when it comes to history. When tackling one, it’s crucial to stay impersonal and weigh arguments on both sides. Here are some ideas you could use.

  1. The Spanish Inquisition
  2. The life of Queen Elizabeth II
  3. The fall of Constantinople
  4. Cultural assimilation of Native Americans
  5. The rise and fall of the Roman Empire
  6. Watergate scandal
  7. Syrian refugee crisis
  8. The Holocaust
  9. Boston Tea Party
  10. Israeli-Palestinian conflict


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