History Research Paper Topics

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History is one of the most important disciplines in a school, college and university curriculum. Studying the past, people start understanding processes taking place in the modern world and can decide how to build the future. It is believed that history repeats itself. By tracing some cultural and economic patterns, people learn from mistakes, make more reasonable decisions and live a better life.

Each intelligent person should know how our world has reached the current development stage, what could we get now if the circumstances were somewhat different, how could wars, tragedies and other misfortunes be avoided. Working on interesting history research paper topics could give you answers to all these questions.

History also allows students to get acquainted with culture and traditions of other nations with whom they can interact in the future, find out why certain laws are used, social movements and governmental bodies exist. For example, studying a slavery problem, you will understand why there are so many human rights organizations in the modern world.

In addition, you will be able to hone your critical analysis skills. Historians interpret events differently. That is why there are many controversial history research paper topics for college students. Your task is to find a truth in an intensive information flow, offer readers some idea and prove it with convincing arguments. Skills acquired will be useful in both professional and everyday life. If you managed to analyze events of World War II, it should not be difficult to understand why your company got bad results in business and to adjust a corporate strategy.

You may have noticed that historical books occupy a rather important place in the world literary heritage. If you learn to describe historical events beautifully, convincingly and accurately, people will read your works with interest. Many eminent writers started their triumphant progress with the consideration of history research paper topics for high school students. Diligence, talent, perseverance, desire to check and understand facts helped them to achieve outstanding success. Why don’t you try?

Of course, it may be rather challenging to choose a suitable research direction allowing to show your knowledge and analytical abilities to the full. Firstly, you should be interested in an issue. Readers feel writer’s emotions and share them. If it is boredom, do not expect that somebody will study your work with excitement. Secondly, a topic should be rather narrow. If a general direction is Ancient Rome, it is better to write about education, economy, class structure, religion of this civilization or a certain emperor’s reign.

Your topic may imply comparison of battles, political systems, social changes in different countries, actions of rulers.

Determine what you should know to answer the main question posed in an introduction, make sure reliable sources are available to you. If there is no such confidence, consult your teacher. One can compile a literature list or advice you on adjusting a research direction. Visit a library and surf the Internet to find more information. But be careful, not all data on the web is trustworthy. Plots of historical movies and books are also bad sources because most of them are romanticized and supplemented by fictional details. Better read and watch documental materials.

To simplify your choice, we have compiled several lists with good topics for a history research paper. Using them, you may be sure that your study will be relevant and interesting to a scientific community.

World history research paper topics

world history research paper topics

World history is quite a wide and diverse research area which covers a significant period of time: the origins of homo sapiens, the rise of civilizations, empires and more recent events, such as the 20th century wars, the social movements development. Therefore, there are many interesting world history research topics to choose from. You are not limited by frameworks, can study any event, trace trends, differences, similarities, broad changes in a field of interest.

Issues of this category usually touch upon significant phenomena and metamorphoses which affect the whole humanity, determined a course of its development in one way or another. A good reason for choosing world history topics for a research paper is that your project may attract attention of readers from different countries, be published in international journals, presented at foreign conferences.

First of all, you should decide on a general research direction. This may be:

  1. Interaction of a human and environment: agriculture, fighting diseases, demographic or climatic changes.
  2. Cultures development and interaction: spreading religions or ideas like humanism, national traditions.
  3. State building: armed clashes, conflicts, empires rise and fall, adopting laws.
  4. Economic systems: global trade, the Silk road, credit systems, banking, globalization, communism, capitalism.
  5. Social structures: labor specialization, social hierarchies based on gender, race, class.

Then you should choose a more specific issue. Here are some good world history research paper topics:

  • The main battles in the Korean War
  • The Catholic Church in medieval Europe
  • How did peasants live in medieval Europe?
  • Mutual influence of Greek, Egyptian, and Roman cultures
  • How did pandemic diseases influence the world development?
  • The First Crusade soldiers’ life conditions
  • Role of the Shogun in Japanese history
  • The French Revolution: advantages and disadvantages
  • The Silk road creation and operation
  • What factors led to Nazi Germany defeat?
  • Why do huge empires fall?
  • Lessons world wars teach us
  • Religious influence on the global map
  • Why did the British Empire collapse?
  • The Ottoman Empire most important events
  • How did the Jaffa Riots begin in the British Mandate of Palestine, 1921?
  • The Battle of Hochst and its influence on the Thirty Years' War
  • How could World War II be prevented?
  • The Mongol Empire power and distinctive features
  • How the Cold War was held?
  • How did Gandhi bring more peace to the world?
  • Ancient conquests and their influence on the modern world map formation
  • How did Buddhism change the Chinese Empire?
  • The most prominent state leaders
  • Humanity progress in the Bronze Age
  • China and Japan development in recent historical stages
  • Western world social stratification
  • Life of people in the Bronze Age
  • Women’s rights movement: the main last century achievements
  • Jamaican history violent events
  • The Byzantine Empire development
  • Links between World War I and World War II
  • Why were ancient Romans great?
  • South Africa apartheid
  • What is the Hindu gods’ organization?
  • The Battle of the Seas, its influence on Spain and Britain
  • Nuclear weapons and their influence on the world military clashes

These are good world history research paper topics for high school, college and university students. They may be elaborated with different profundity depending on your age, specialization, and teacher requirements. Sometimes it is enough to prepare a 20-page report and make brief conclusions, and sometimes an aspiring researcher should make one’s own discovery, contribution to a scientific heritage. Therefore, be sure to clarify what result your professor wants to get.

United States history research paper topics

the USA history research paper topics

There is no doubt that US is one of the greatest economies in the world. It reached a high development level for its rather short but unique and vivid life. That is why American history research paper topics for college students are so popular. They are considered in most European and Eastern educational institutions which means that, in such a case, your project also will be relevant and interesting to many people around the globe.

You can write about the Pre-Columbian era, colonial period, the American Revolution, the Federal period, industrialization, the Gilded Age, imperialism, the US participation in the 20-th century world wars, the Cold War and recent decades. Here are good examples of US history topics for a research paper:

  • Impact of European colonization on Native Americans
  • Causes for Salem Witch Trials
  • Why did US involve in World War I?
  • Why did America win in the American Revolution?
  • Urban political machines in the late 1800s
  • Debate between Federalists and Anti-federalists
  • Labor unions, conflicts, strikes in the 1800s
  • Hyman Rickover
  • John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry
  • Indian Removal Act
  • Electric power and related inventors
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt
  • Was imperialism in the late 19th and early 20th century justified?
  • Causes and results of the Mexican War
  • McCarthyism
  • Legend vs. reality in the West: Buffalo Bill, Wyatt Earp, George Custer, etc.
  • African American families and slavery
  • Automobile’s impact on America’s economy
  • Effect of cotton gin on economy and slaves labor
  • JFK’s assassination
  • Hurricane Katrina
  • The most prominent people in American history
  • Brown v. Board of Education case
  • Women’s suffrage movement
  • Pearl Harbor
  • Transcontinental railroad and westward expansion
  • Discriminating African American soldiers in the Union army
  • Colonial America women, their role in revolution. Who a “republican mother” is?
  • Abolitionist movement
  • Sacco-Vanzetti case
  • American Indian Movement
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination
  • The San Francisco earthquake and fire
  • Child labor reforms
  • Oklahoma City bombing
  • Kent State shootings
  • Was bombing of Hiroshima/Nagasaki necessary?
  • Settlement house movement
  • Baby boom (1950s-present)
  • Chester Nimitz
  • 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago
  • Truman’s containment policy
  • Women in military
  • New York draft riots during the Civil War
  • Contributions of African Americans to World War II
  • Mormons and their impact on American society development
  • William Halsey
  • Native American religion: how did it relate to environment?
  • Gold Rush in California
  • JFK and the Bay of Pigs invasion
  • D-Day invasion
  • George S. Patton
  • Were Ethel and Julius Rosenberg spies?
  • Thomas Paine’s Common Sense and struggle for independence
  • The Whiskey Rebellion in 1794
  • Civil rights movement in 1960s
  • Impact of the Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation
  • The Underground Railroad
  • U-2 incident
  • Sept. 11, 2001 attacks
  • March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom of 1963
  • Muckrakers
  • J. Robert Oppenheimer
  • Japanese internment
  • US in the Vietnam War
  • Yellow journalism and the Spanish-American War
  • Galveston hurricane
  • Black Sox Scandal
  • JFK and the Cuban missile crisis
  • The Dawes Act impact on the United States and Native American policy
  • Compare and contrast analysis of Lincoln-Douglas debates
  • Immigration in the late 1800s
  • My Lai Massacre
  • Douglas MacArthur
  • Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society
  • Battle of Midway
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • Oregon Trail: why did people want to move to the West despite great risks?
  • Abraham Lincoln’s assassination
  • Manhattan Project
  • How did Constitution eliminate drawbacks of the Articles of Confederation?
  • Nat Turner’s Rebellion
  • Why did Utopian colonies (Amana colony, Oneida colony, Bishop Hill, Brook Farm) fail?
  • The colony of Roanoke disappearance theories
  • The Great Chicago Fire of 1871
  • How did Marbury v. Madison case influence judicial system?
  • Causes for North-South confrontation during the Civil War

European history research paper topics

It is also a rather popular direction. Many young people are looking for easy research paper topics on AP European history to prepare a good project for Advanced Placement program, college or university. They can focus on different time periods since prehistory to recent decades, describe various countries. Each of them has a unique culture, political and economic background, so it may be rather challenging to choose some narrow issue. This will be much easier to do after getting acquainted with the examples below.

Medieval & Renaissance Europe topics:

  • Dark Ages
  • Reformation
  • Byzantine Empire
  • Medieval economic history
  • Knights and knighthood
  • Courtly love
  • Medieval church
  • Women in the Middle Ages
  • Women in the Renaissance
  • Inquisition
  • Minnesingers
  • Serfdom
  • Black Death (Black Plague)
  • Medieval philosophy
  • Medieval universities
  • Papal monarchy
  • Vikings
  • Visigoths
  • Carolingian Empire
  • Chivalry
  • Medieval law
  • Justinian I (Byzantine emperor)
  • Crusades
  • Medieval warfare
  • Medieval manuscripts
  • Hundred Years War
  • Islamic Empire

Here are good European history research paper topics on 1400-1900 years:

good european history research paper topics

  • Age of Reason
  • Clemens von Metternich
  • Enlightenment
  • Crimean War
  • Rothschilds
  • Carl von Clausewitz
  • Francisco Pizarro
  • Seven Years' War
  • Ferdinand Magellan
  • Early Modern Europe
  • Francis Drake
  • Revolutions of 1848
  • Christopher Columbus
  • Habsburgs
  • Thirty Years' War (1618-1648)
  • Medicis
  • Congress of Vienna
  • Charles V
  • Reformation
  • Industrial Revolution
  • Eighteenth-Century Europe
  • Napoleonic Wars

Interesting European history research paper topics on World War I:

  • Chester Nimitz
  • Lawrence, T. E. (Lawrence of Arabia)
  • Gallipoli Campaign
  • World War I diplomatic history
  • Causes of World War I
  • Woodrow Wilson
  • Treaty of Versailles
  • War propaganda
  • The main battles of World War I

Good topics for a European history research paper on World War II:

  • Allied occupation of Germany
  • Katyn Forest Massacre
  • Blitzkrieg
  • Joseph Goebbels
  • Yalta Conference
  • Adolf Hitler
  • Jewish resistance during the Holocaust
  • D-Day
  • World War II causes
  • Erwin Rommel
  • Concentration camps
  • Vannevar Bush
  • World War II naval history
  • Nazi Germany
  • Children in the Holocaust
  • World War II War correspondents
  • Nuremberg trials
  • World War II Eastern front
  • World War II home front
  • Hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors)
  • Raoul Wallenberg
  • Allied occupation of Japan
  • Holocaust survivors
  • World War II air warfare
  • Babi Yar
  • German resistance to Hitler
  • Atlantic Wall
  • Dachau
  • World War II letters and diaries
  • Gestapo
  • Battle of Britain
  • Church and the Holocaust
  • African Americans and World War II
  • Battle of Stalingrad
  • Auschwitz
  • World War II diplomatic history
  • Winston Churchill
  • Battle of the Bulge
  • Appeasement of Hitler

Art history research paper topics

Human life would be incomplete without art. All the greatest civilizations had well-developed painting, music, and literature. Art reflects social, economic, political processes and affects them directly. That is why art history topics for a research paper constitute a separate important category.

Some students choose them because they do not like to write about an art itself. It is rather difficult to understand what a writer, musician, sculptor or painter wanted to say via a certain masterpiece. A research project operates with facts, arguments and not guesses, personal interpretations, speculative conclusions. You do not have to understand feelings of a person whom you never met. It is just enough to tell what one did.

We invite you to get acquainted with ideas for brilliant academic projects. Let’s start with ancient art history research paper topics. You can deepen into the world of mysteries, secrets and feel as Lara Croft or Indiana Jones.

  • Why did Roman artistic style shift take place in the 4th century?
  • Scythian gold adornments
  • Mesoamerican and Egyptian pyramids: differences and similarities
  • Greek theater development
  • Mesopotamian art
  • Ancient Greece sculptures. How did they influence modern art?
  • Egyptian and Greek proportions canons

Easy research paper topics for Eastern art history:

  • Buddhist art 
  • Art of Tibet
  • Hinduism in early Indian art
  • Japanese and Chinese traditional costumes
  • Religious motifs in Cambodian art
  • Visual arts of Cambodia
  • Mughal paintings in India
  • The Great Wall of China construction
  • Islamic ascendancy in Indian art
  • Korean pottery

Middle Ages and the Renaissance history research paper topics for college students:

history research paper topics

  • Medieval churches
  • Renaissance women’s clothing
  • Medieval drama
  • Albrecht Dürer
  • Art and love in the Italian Renaissance
  • Medieval literature
  • Caravaggio and his followers
  • Architecture in Renaissance Italy
  • Medieval music
  • Domestic art in Renaissance Italy
  • Botanical imagery in European painting
  • Gothic architecture
  • Commedia dell'arte
  • Early Netherlandish painting
  • Arms and armor in Renaissance Europe
  • Raphael’s paintings
  • The birth and infancy of Christ in Italian painting
  • Cameo appearances
  • Medieval romance literature
  • Annibale Carracci
  • Commercial exchange, diplomacy, and religious difference between Venice and the Islamic world
  • Medieval theater history
  • Donatello
  • Anatomy in the Renaissance
  • The crucifixion and passion of Christ in Italian painting
  • Bronze sculpture in the Renaissance
  • Christian symbols in Renaissance art
  • Dutch and Flemish artists in Rome, 1500–1600
  • Renaissance literature
  • Ceramics in the French Renaissance
  • Birth and family in the Italian Renaissance
  • Troubadours

18-19th century art topics:

  • Baroque architecture
  • Classical art and modern dress
  • Couples in art
  • Marquis de Sade’s novels
  • Legacy of Jacques-Louis David
  • Lithography in the nineteenth century
  • Neoclassicism sculpture
  • Paul Gauguin savage art
  • Industrialization of French photography after 1860
  • The daguerreian age in France: 1839–1855
  •  “Dancing” paintings by Edgar Degas
  • Georges Seurat and neo-impressionism
  • Exoticism in the decorative arts
  • Rococo and Baroque: compare and contrast analysis
  • Edgar Degas: bronze sculpture

Modern art history research paper topics:

  • Kinetic art
  • Frida Kahlo’s painting symbols
  • Thomas Nast’s political cartoons
  • Dau-al-Set movement
  • Figurative expressionism
  • Harlem Renaissance
  • Evolution of Pablo Picasso’s paintings
  • Postminimalism
  • Jackson Pollock’s art

These are far not all good research paper topics on history. World heritage is so great that you can find many other fascinating issues. But we hope that this list has simplified your choice. If you face obstacles when writing an academic research paper, feel free to contact us. We will provide a valuable advice gladly or perform a tricky assignment for you.




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