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Good Research Essay Topics for American History Before 1945

by Billie Wager

Writing a research essay requires much thought and consideration. Choosing a topic of interest to you as a writer will make the research process go more smoothly, providing the spark needed to do your best writing. United States History is marked with events, both positive and negative, that have helped shape the country. Prior to 1945, the U.S. faced many challenges that provide engaging topics for research and discussion today.

American Revolution

The American Revolution lasted from 1775 to 1783 and began when the colonists rejected the right of the Parliament of Great Britain to govern them without representation. An American victory put an end to colonial possession by Great Britain, and the colonies developed into an independent nation. This important piece of U.S. history provides many options for research, including factors leading to the revolution, battles fought during the war and the aftermath of the war on colonists.

The Civil War

This fight between the Northern states and the Southern slave states lasted from 1861 to 1865. When the slave states seceded from the Union, calling themselves the Confederate States of America, war quickly ensued. After four years, the confederacy collapsed and slavery was abolished. This crucial time in American history can be researched in many different ways. Listing the cause of the war is just a start. Writing about the many battles fought, the leaders during the war and the point of view of both the North and the South are other possible options.

The Great Depression

This world-wide economic depression began with the U.S. stock market crash on October 29, 1929, and continued into the early 1940s. This crisis affected the country both politically and socially as well. Research on this topic might include a focus on the causes of economic downfall, effects on families during the time period, or cultural roles of women and minorities throughout the depression. The New Deal, a series of domestic economic programs started by President Franklin Roosevelt, provided relief for people hit hard during the Great Depression and would also provide ample research material.

World War II

The United States was thrust into World War II after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and stayed until the war ended in 1945. This is known as one of the bloodiest wars in history. World War II research might include the reasons behind the U.S. involvement in the war, the fight against the Nazis, the way this time period changed the view of women in the workforce, and the aftermath for the United States.

About the Author

Billie Wager has been a public school teacher since 1998. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and Master of Arts in curriculum and instruction, both from Ottawa University. Wager is licensed to teach kindergarten through ninth grade in Kansas.

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