Skip to content

Us History Civil War Essay Topics

The United States is so rich in history and culture making it very interesting to study and consequently one of the top research paper topics for college students. Research papers on recent events though, especially in the 20th century, can be quite hard to write with the lack of perspective and the differing opinions of experts with regard to the events.

  • On the abandonment of restrictive fashion of previous eras in favor of more comfortable clothing in the modern era;

  • On the Hiroshima bombing in 1945 which was considered to be a year of beginnings and endings;

  • On the Anthracite Coal Strike in 1902 and the effects of the coal mines on coal miners;

  • On the Black Power Movement and the fight for civil rights;

  • On the Chicano Movement in the 1960s for the Spanish-Californians and their fight for civil rights;

  • On the factors that led to the Great Depression in the late 1920s;

  • On establishing Veteran’s day to commemorate the end of World War 1 which was declared to be the war that ended all wars;

  • On the rise of organized crimes in the 1920s after the 18th amendment made it illegal to manufacture, transport, or sell alcohol;

  • On the War Power Act which limited presidential military authority; and

  • On the Women’s Christian Temperance Union regulating the consumption of alcohol at the time when women had limited legal rights.

  • Writing research paper topics about United States history or even writing a research paper, in general can get really tedious. This is why students often hire professional writers to do the dirty work for them – from doing the research to writing it down accordingly into a cohesive and comprehensive piece of research work.

  • Thesis. Pick a topic that is relevant to the general public and actually calls for an answer to real world questions. Avoid writing down summaries and narratives. Instead, argue your point and substantiate them accordingly with credible references in research papers.

  • Bibliography. A research paper requires a lot of research which means you will have to go through relevant primary and secondary sources.

  • Outline. It can either be a broad general guide or a very detailed plan, whichever works better for you. This allows you to check easily your progress and re-order parts as needed. This will also help you manage your time and ensure you submit on or before the deadline, with enough time to finalize and perfect the research paper.

  • Title. The title obviously has to give the readers an idea of what the paper would be about. Choose a title that suggests a question or a debate that you will be addressing in the paper.

  • Introduction. Start strong to convince your readers to read on. The introduction should introduce the argument and present some historical context of the issue.

  • Argument. Arguments without evidence to prove them are hearsays and will not hold water. Make sure that each argument you make is substantiated with appropriate and credible references that are properly cited. Again, do not just summarize and narrate the data and information you have gathered. Make sure to analyze the facts.

  • Conclusion. Summarize the entire argument at the end and add the value or reason of your research paper. It should reinforce the relevance of your research paper and convince your readers to actually act on the matter.

  • Style. Write in clear, concise English and avoid colloquial English or slang. In writing about history, make sure to use the past tense all throughout the paper.

  • Paragraphs. Each paragraph should contain one major point that will advance your argument.

  • Quotations. Keep all quotes short because what is important is your analyses and your thoughts on the subject matter. Remember to acknowledge the source of all direct quotations in the footnotes. Check with your instructor on which citation style guide to use. Otherwise, there are several style guides you can choose from.

  • Annotation. You can use either footnotes or endnotes, but never both. As already mentioned, you would have to check with your instructor on which citation style guide to use. In any case, the standard guides are M.L.A. or the Chicago style.

  • Revisions. Make sure to edit and proofread your first draft more than once. You can also ask other people to edit your work for fresh eyes. Make sure to look into your spelling, grammar, and writing style. These are the little details with big effects.

  • Technical desiderata. Research paper assignments usually go with instructions but absent these instructions, do provide a cover sheet and number pages.

  • June 17, 2012.Category: Civil War Term Papers

    In my previous blog post How NOT to write a term paper on the Civil WarI suggested that you narrow the focus of your Civil War term paper in order to have a topic that is more manageable.  In the next several blog posts I will suggest manageable Civil War term paper topics that you can explore and write about.  The topic “Causes of the American Civil War” is an interesting one that is highly debated and has a lot of readily available material available on the web.

    Generally the causes of the Civil War can be broken down into economic, political, and social/cultural.  Since the issue of slavery spans all three of these categories, it is widely seen as the primary cause of the war.  However, it is certainly not the ONLY cause.

    The economies of the northern and southern states were quite different because the North was much more of a manufacturing-based economy and the South was an agriculturally-based economy.  In the South, cotton was “king,” and its production and export was the South’s primary cash crop.  Cheap cotton required cheap labor, and slaves were essential in its production.  The North’s economy was more diverse, based on heavy industry such as steel production, light industry such as textile production, and agricultural products such as corn.  These different economies resulted in conflict over tariffs and trade agreements in congress.

    Politically there had been a relative “balance of influence” in congress between the North and South ever since the American Revolution.  This was true, in spite of the fact that approximately 70 percent of the population was from northern states.  The South’s political influence was disproportionately high because of several factors.  Among them is the fact that the Constitution had awarded the South additional representation in congress because of the slaves—a slave counted as 3/5 of a person (even though the slaves had no right to vote).  Also, the South had produced a large number of influential statesmen, such as Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and Clay.  But if the western territories had limits placed on them regarding the introduction of slavery (as had been done by the Missouri Compromise of 1820), the South would eventually lose its influence and the slavery’s legal status could be ended.  So when the question of allowing the extension of slavery into the new territories came up with the Kansas-Nebraska act of 1854, both southern and northern politicians took an intense interest in it.

    Culturally, the North and South differed tremendously.  The South, with its agrarian economy based on slavery and its absence of significant industry and rail transportation, had more of a homogeneous, slower paced society whose political leaders were frequently from the wealthy planter class.  Life in the North was more cosmopolitan and faster-paced, due to its more diverse economy, more robust transportation system, and more modern communication infrastructure.  Political leaders in the North had broader interests, having come from more diverse economic backgrounds and social classes than their counterparts in the South.

    In the mid-1850’s the Republican Party formed, coalescing primarily around the anti-slavery cause.  Nationally known northern leaders such as William H. Seward and regionally-known leaders such as Abraham Lincoln became united around the cause of halting the expansion of slavery into the new territories.  They were joined by vocal abolitionists such as the famous preacher William Lloyd Garrison who called not only for the halt of the expansion of slavery, but for its immediate abolishment everywhere.

    This is but a brief review of the many social, cultural, economic and political issues that resulted in the American Civil War.  To continue research on the subject of the causes of the American Civil War, go to Great American History’sCauses of the Civil War: A Balanced Answer, The Fire Eaters, and Outline of the Civil Warweb pages.


    Tags: American, causes, Civil War, essays, research paper topics, Term paper topics