Essay Topics Colonial America

Picking Up Interesting Topics For An Early US History Research Paper

Since the Declaration of Independence in 1776, the United States has enjoyed a rich and interesting history. For students of history, the early years of the US present a goldmine of unique information which can allow them to get a better idea about the evolution of America. When writing their research paper, students can focus more on the early years of US history since that period is relatively less popular and inculcated into modern media. From 1776 to the end of the 1800s, the period of US history is ripe with interesting topics.

Fascinating Topics from Colonial America

  • Rise of Piracy in the New World – Dispelling the Myths Associated with John Hawkins, Ann Bonny, and Blackbeard
  • Pocahontas: True Accounts vs. Disney version
  • Background of the Salem Witch Trials and How They Affected the Rest of America
  • Exploring the events of the Bacon’s Rebellion
  • Culture Clash: How the Battles with the French and Indians Shaped the Modern United States?
  • Understanding the Events Behind the Pontiacs Rebellion
  • Period of the American Revolution

  • Who were the Sons of Liberty? What Was Their Mission?
  • Impact of the Boston Massacre
  • How did the Black Soldiers in the Revolution Fare?
  • Events Leading to the Declaration of Independence
  • Background of the Boston Tea Party
  • Significance of the Battles of Trenton and Saratoga
  • What is the Valley Forge? Why is it Significant to US History?
  • Why Was the Battle of Yorktown Fought?
  • Background History of Deborah Sampson
  • How George Washington Grabbed the Limelight in US History?
  • Formation of a New Nation

  • Who were the Federalists? How did they differ from the Anti-Federalists?
  • Exploring the Articles of Confederation
  • Impact of the War of 1812
  • Who was Alexander Hamilton and Why Was His Duel So Famous?
  • Deciphering the American Constitution and Its Relevance in the Modern World
  • What was the Shays Rebellion?
  • Formation of the Star Spangled Banner
  • What Led to the Burning of Washington DC?
  • Understanding the Problems Associated with Slavery in Early America
  • Louisiana Purchase
  • What Led to the California Gold Rush?
  • Background of the US War with Mexico
  • Period of Civil War

  • How did Abraham Lincoln Fight for Civil Rights?
  • Exploring the Significance of the Battle of Gettsburg
  • How was President Lincoln Assassinated?
  • Role of Women in the Civil War
  • Immigration and Research Practices

  • Why Were People Shifting to the United States in the Early Years?
  • What was the Chinese Exclusion Act in America?
  • Significance of Ellis Island and Angel Island

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Early American History Paper Topics

Looking for history class paper topics, particularly American history paper topics? You've come to the right place, though we will focus on early American history, especially the founding era.

**If you prefer American history research paper topics beyond the founding era, check out "American History Paper Topics" by Naomi Rockler-Gladen (Suite101.com)

Make sure you follow these steps in selecting the right topic...

1. Clarify Assignment Parameters

If your American history teacher has assigned you a paper to write, your first task is to familiarize yourself with the parameters of the assignment. Did your teacher specify a date range (i.e., 17th century, 18th century, etc.), a cultural/gender focus (Native American culture, women in early America), or a political angle (i.e, causes of the American Revolution, causes of the War of 1812, etc.)?

2. Brainstorm List of Topics

Once you've established the parameters of the assignment, it's time to brainstorm a list of about 10-15 topics that fit within those conditions.

Let's say, for example, that your teacher wants a paper on childhood in colonial America, you would then brainstorm all the possible angles to this core subject. A mind-mapping type exercise may be helpful.

Continuing with our example, your list might look something like...

*Infant mortality in the 1700s
*Childhood disease and medical treatment of the 1700s
*Children of Continental Army soldiers in the American Revolution
*Orphanages in Colonial America
*Early Textbooks in Colonial American Education

As you can see, there are a number of possibilities.

So.....to help get you started....here are a list of broad topics related to early American history that you can then brainstorm sub-topics from....

*The Great Awakening
*Jonathan Edwards
*George Whitefield
*Benjamin Franklin and Poor Richard's Almanack
*Scientific Discoveries and Inventions in the 1700s
*Commerce and Trade in Colonial America
*The French and Indian War
*Causes of the American Revolution
*The Siege at Yorktown
*The Franco-American Alliance of the American Revolution
*The Constitutional Convention
*The Federalist Papers
*The Anti-Federalist Papers
*The presidency of George Washington
*The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom
*The Alien & Sedition Acts
*The Kentucky & Virginia Resolutions

Again, we could go on for quite some time. There are so many topics in early American history from which to choose. But the above list should get you started.

3. Conduct Initial Research

Once you've brainstormed about 10-15 topics, do some initial research on the Internet. See which topics strike you as the most interesting and for which you can find adequate information. Don't spend too much time on research yet. Your objective is to narrow your choices down to one or two.

4. Double-check Your Choice(s) with your Teacher

If you can, take the 1 or 2 topics you ultimately select (from the above step) to your teacher and confirm that you're headed in the right direction.

5. Deeper Research


Once you get the go-ahead from your teacher, it's time for more intense research. Look for statistics, quotes, and other information on the topic. Study all angles.

And then you're ready to start your outline and write your paper.

Good luck!

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