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20 Interesting Historical Essay Topics You Should Cover

History is an exciting subject to study. Whether you choose to write about ancient history with the Greeks and Romans, the Conquistadors invading the Americas or something more recent like the wars of the Twentieth Century, there is always a new approach to take in your discussion.

In fact, there is so much history that unless your teacher has given you a set topic it is often difficult to narrow down your choices. The best way is by jotting down five or ten ideas and spending some time researching each idea so you get a feel of how much evidence is available. Too much evidence and you will struggle to keep within the word limit, too little information and you will find it difficult to make a decent argument.

Some idea to set you thinking

  1. What triggered the “Arab Spring”?
  2. Was the Vietnam War justifiable?
  3. What facts encouraged the end of American neutrality and their entry into WW1?
  4. Why does America play “World Policeman”? Is it worthwhile for America?
  5. The historical basis for the Opium Wars in China?
  6. Australia was discovered by mistake. What was James Cook looking for?
  7. What factors, other than slavery, were involved in the Civil War?
  8. How were the Crusades sold to the people of Europe?
  9. Write a profile on an historical person, such as Babe Ruth or Amelia Earhart.
  10. Consider the trials of colonial America. Pick a colony as an example i.e. Plymouth Colony or the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
  11. Discuss the lead up to dropping the Atomic Bomb. In the circumstances, was it the right thing to do?
  12. Have any lessons been learned from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina?
  13. The 18th Amendment prohibited manufacture, sale or distribution of Alcohol. What prevented its successful implementation?
  14. Which Chinese Emperor was buried with a terracotta army, and why?
  15. Has the “War on Drugs” been any more successful than Prohibition?
  16. If the US Constitution is so flexible, why were the first 10 amendments required so quickly?
  17. Did you know that Hitler was voted Time Magazine’s Man of the Year in 1938? What does this say about social values of the period?
  18. The history of Arabic numeration would astound you – it was invented by the Hindus.
  19. Top reasons for the failure of Communist ideology in Russia.
  20. What is the effect of the Puritan Founding Fathers on modern America?