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List Of Interesting American History Research Paper Questions


One of the features of a research paper that too many students overlook is that a research paper is not a report. A research paper is designed to deal with a specific thesis that should deal with an exact issue, generally answering a particular question about an historical figure or event.

If you’ve been assigned an American history research paper and are uncertain of how to frame your question for the paper, we’ve made a list of some suggested topics. These questions can provide possible ideas for the focus of a paper, but they are not to be taken as thesis statements.


  • What, if any, relationship is there between Native American religion and the environment?

  • What were some of the possible causes of the Salem Witch trials?

  • What are the theories to explain the disappearance of the lost colony of Roanoke?

  • What role did Thomas Paine’s Common Sense play in promoting the movement for American independence?

  • What was the role of the “republican mother” in colonial America, and how did it impact the movement toward revolution?

  • How did the United States Constitution remedy the weaknesses of the Article of Confederation?

  • Did the framers of the United States Constitution really represent the American people?

  • What were the causes and effects of the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794?

  • In what ways did the invention of the cotton gin impact the American economy and the use of slave labor on plantations in the South?

  • In what ways did the Marbury v. Madison case impact the American judicial system?

  • What were the reasons for the passage of the Indian Removal Act?

  • What was the impact of the Trail of Tears following the passage of the Indian Removal Act?

  • What was the provocation that resulted in the Mexican-American War?

  • In what ways did the doctrine of Manifest Destiny impact westward expansion of the United States?

  • What was the lure of the Oregon Trail? Why were people so motivated to move to the West that they were willing to risk life and limb?

  • What impact did the discovery of gold have on the development of California?

  • What impact did slavery have on the Southern economy? What impact did it have on the Northern economy?

  • Compare and contrast the views of Lincoln and Douglas regarding slavery and governmental power.

  • What impact did John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry have on pre-Civil War conflicts over slavery?

  • What was the impact of the Dred Scott decision on the slavery issue?

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