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History Theses and Dissertations

Theses/dissertations from 2023 2023.

Cashing the Check of Democracy The American Revolution and Citizenship in the Black Freedom Struggle 1960-1970 , Zachary Earle Clary

“All the Rights of Native Cherokees”: The Appearance of Black People in Cherokee Society , Ayanna Goines

“We Are Created Inferior to Men”: Leveraging Horsemanship to Reinforce Gender Expectations, 1830-1861 , Gabrielle Marie McCoy

The Widened Hearthstone Urban Playgrounds as the Infrastructure of Public Mothering, 1900-1930 , Alexandra Miller

Piratical Transportation: Highlighting Silences in Carolina’s Enslavement and Exportation of Native Americans , Jordan Stenger

Lunatics, Liberals and Bloodthirsty Haters: The South in the 1972 Presidential Election , Thomas Clayton Strebeck

In Her Possession and Keeping Revolutionary War Widows and the Politics of Family Archives, 1820–1850 , Riley Kathryn Sutherland

Colored Lawyer, Topeka: The Legend and Legacy of Elisa Scott , Jeffery Scott Williams

Meditations On Modern America: The Ambiguous Worldview of Transcendental Meditation, 1967-1979 , Grant William Wong

Theses/Dissertations from 2022 2022

The Presbyterian Exception? The Illegal Education of Enslaved Blacks by South Carolina Presbyterian Churches, 1834-1865 , Margaret Bates

Roy Acuff, Democratic Candidate , Henry Luther Capps III

Before the Storm: Youth Hockey in North Carolina Ahead of the NHL’s Arrival , Sarai ShareI Dai

Flying Saucer of the Smokies: The Debate Over National Park Architecture and Wilderness Values in Clingmans Dome Observation Tower , Michelle Fieser

“I Like a Fight”: Margaret Sanger and the First Birth Control Clinic in the United States , Rebecca Linnea Hall

Who Has the Right to Reproduce? Forced Sterilization in South Carolina in the Early Twentieth Century , Kathryn Pownall

Sex (Work) And the City: Sex Work in Columbia, South Carolina, 1860-1880 , Presley McKalyn Ramey

Resurrecting a Nation Through Silk and Diplomacy: American Material Culture and Foreign Relations During the Reconstruction Era , Paige Weaver

Theses/Dissertations from 2021 2021

Building a New (Deal) Identity The Evolution of Italian-American Political Culture and Ideology, 1910–1940 , Ryan J. Antonucci

“It Seemed Like Reaching for the Moon:” Southside Virginia’s Civil Rights Struggle Against The Virginia Way, 1951-1964 , Emily A. Martin Cochran

“We are Going to be Reckoned With”: The South Carolina UDC and the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Museum, 1986-2000 , Caitlin Cutrona

Enslaved Rebellion and Abolitionist Imperialism in Britain’s Atlantic World, 1807-1884 , Lewis Eliot

Religion, Senses, and Remembrance: Brooklyn’s Sumter Club in Postbellum Charleston, S.C. , Michael Edward Scott Emett

Praying Soldiers: Experiencing Religion as a Revolutionary War Soldier Fighting for Independence , Roberto Oscar Flores de Apodaca

Engraved in Prejudice: How Currency Displayed the Mindset of the South , Holly Johnson Floyd

The Governor’s Guards: Militia, Politics, Social Networking, and Manhood in Columbia, South Carolina, 1843-1874 , Justin Harwell

Patients’ Rights, Patients’ Politics: Jewish Activists of the U.S. Women’s Health Movement, 1969-1990 , Jillian Michele Hinderliter

Joshua Gordon’s Witchcraft Book and The Transformation of the Upcountry of South Carolina , E. Zoie Horecny

“The Once and Future Audubon:” The History of the Audubon Ballroom and the Movement to Save It , William Maclane Hull

A Culture of Control: Progressive Era Eugenics in South Carolina as a Continuation of Created White Supremacy , Hannah Nicole Patton

Shaping a Queer South: The Evolution of Activism From 1960-2000 , A. Kamau Pope

The Robber Barons of Show Business: Traveling Amusements And The Development of the American Entertainment Industry, 1870- 1920 , Madeline Steiner

Charlotte's Glory Road: The History of NASCAR in the Queen City , Hannah Thompson

Foxy Ladies and Badass Super Agents: Legacies of 1970s Blaxploitation Spy and Detective Heroines , Carlie Nicole Todd

Media Combat: The Great War and the Transformation of American Culture , Andrew Steed Walgren

“Hungering and Thirsting” for Education: Education, Presbyterians, and African Americans in the South, 1880-1920 , Rachel Marie Young

Theses/Dissertations from 2020 2020

Gendering Secession: Women and Politics in South Carolina, 1859- 1861 , Melissa DeVelvis

The Chasquis of Liberty: Revolutionary Messengers in the Bolivian Independence Era, 1808-1825 , Caleb Garret Wittum

Theses/Dissertations from 2019 2019

Learning Church: Catechisms and Lay Participation in Early New England Congregationalism , Roberto O. Flores de Apodaca

Useful Beauty: Tiffany Favrile, Carnival Glass, and Consumerism at the Turn of the Twentieth Century , Chelsea Grayburn

Restoring America: Historic Preservation and the New Deal , Stephanie E. Gray

For the Common Man: An Analysis of the United States Space and Rocket Center , Patrice R. Green

Made to Be Forgotten: The Chevalier DE Saint-Sauveur & the Franco-American Alliance , Katelynn Hatton

Leaders in the Making: Higher Education, Student Activism, and the Black Freedom Struggle in South Carolina, 1925-1975 , Ramon M. Jackson

Exclusive Dining: Immigration and Restaurants in Chicago during the Era of Chinese Exclusion, 1893-1933 , Samuel C. King

Complicating the Narrative: Using Jim's Story to Interpret Enslavement, Leasing, and Resistance at Duke Homestead , Jennifer Melton

“Unknown and Unlamented”: Loyalist Women in Nova Scotia from Exile to Repatriation, 1775-1800 , G. Patrick O’Brien

Raising America Racist: How 1920’s Klanswomen Used Education to Implement Systemic Racism , Kathleen Borchard Schoen

Learning the Land: Indians, Settlers, and Slaves in the Southern Borderlands, 1500-1850 , William Cane West

Theses/Dissertations from 2018 2018

Beyond Preservation: Reconstructing Sites Of Slavery, Reconstruction, And Segregation , Charlotte Adams

Reading Material: Personal Libraries And The Cultivation Of Identity In Revolutionary South Carolina , Gabriella Angeloni

Politics and the Built Environment: Civic Structures of Eighteenth Century Williamsburg, Virginia and Charles Town, South Carolina , Paul Bartow

The Lost Ones: The Cold War State, Child Welfare Systems, And The Battles Over The Rosenberg Children , Megan Bennett

“Catering To The Local Trade”: Jewish-Owned Grocery Stores In Columbia, South Carolina , Olivia Brown

If This Be Sin: Gladys Bentley And The Performance Of Identity , Moira Mahoney Church

“I Hope They Fire Me:” Black Teachers In The Fight For Equal Education, 1910-1970 , Candace Cunningham

Constructing Scientific Knowledge: The Understanding of the Slow Virus, 1898-1976 , Burke Hood Dial

Ayatollahs And Embryos: Science, Politics, And Religion In Post-Revolutionary Iran , M Sadegh Foghani

Of Cannonades and Battle Cries: Aurality, The Battle of The Alamo, and Memory , Michelle E. Herbelin

Anti-Sabbatarianism in Antebellum America: The Christian Quarrel over the Sanctity of Sunday , Kathryn Kaslow

A Divisive Community: Race, Nation, And Loyalty In Santo Domingo, 1822 – 1844 , Antony Wayne Keane-Dawes

“Remember Them Not for How They Died”: American Memory and the Challenger Accident , Elizabeth F. Koele

Garagecraft: Tinkering In The American Garage , Katherine Erica McFadden

Black Power And Neighborhood Organizing In Minneapolis, Minnesota: The Way Community Center, 1966-1971 , Sarah Jayne Paulsen

The Popular Education Question in Antebellum South Carolina, 1800-1860 , Brian A. Robinson

Perks Of Perkins: Understanding Where Magic And Religion Meet For An Early Modern English Theologian , Kyle Sanders

Black Men, Red Coats: The Carolina Corps, Race, and Society in the Revolutionary British Atlantic , Gary Sellick

Theses/Dissertations from 2017 2017

Skin Deep: African American Women and the Building of Beauty Culture in South Carolina , Catherine Davenport

Funding South Carolina’s Monuments: The Growth of the Corporate Person in Monument Financing , Justin Curry Davis

Sex and the State: Sexual Politics in South Carolina in the 1970s , Jennifer Holman Gunter

Within the House of Bondage: Constructing and Negotiating the Plantation Landscape in the British Atlantic World, 1670-1820 , Erin M. Holmes

Odor and Power in the Americas: Olfactory Consciousness from Columbus to Emancipation , Andrew Kettler

From Rice Fields to Duck Marshes: Sport Hunters and Environmental Change on the South Carolina Coast, 1890–1950 , Matthew Allen Lockhart

Potential Republicans: Reconstruction Printers of Columbia, South Carolina , John Lustrea

Lamps, Maps, Mud-Machines, and Signal Flags: Science, Technology, and Commerce in the Early United States , James Russell Risk

Rebirth of the House Museum: Commemorating Reconstruction at the Woodrow Wilson Family Home , Jennifer Whitmer Taylor

Buy for the Sake of your Baby: Guardian Consumerism in Twentieth Century America , Mark VanDriel

Environmental Negotiations Cherokee Power in the Arkansas Valley, 1812-1828 , Cane West

Theses/Dissertations from 2016 2016

A Call To Every Citizen: The South Carolina State Council Of Defense And World War I , Allison Baker

National Register Nomination for the Waikiki Village Motel , Jane W. Campbell

“Antagonistic Describes the Scene:” Local News Portrayals of the New Left and the Escalation of Protest at the University of South Carolina, 1970 , Alyssa Jordan Constad

Ahead of Their Time: Black Teachers and Their Community in the Immediate Post- Brown Years , Candace Cunningham

Deserts Will Bloom: Atomic Agriculture And The Promise Of Radioactive Redemption , Chris Fite

Restoring the Dock Street Theatre: Cultural Production in New-Deal Era Charleston, South Carolina , Stephanie E. Gray

In Search Of Granby: A Colonial Village Of South Carolina , Kathryn F. Keenan

Preserving The Architectural Legacy Of Lyles, Bissett, Carlisle & Wolff, 1948-1976 , Casey Lee

Looking for Remnants of Rice Cultivation at Manchester State Forest Through the Use of LIDAR , Sarah Anne Moore

Uncle Sam’s Jungle: Recreation, Imagination, And The Caribbean National Forest , Will Garrett Mundhenke

G.I. Joe v. Jim Crow: Legal Battles Over Off-Base School Segregation Of Military Children In The American South, 1962-1964 , Randall George Owens

Radioactive Dixie: A History of Nuclear Power and Nuclear Waste in the American South, 1950-1990 , Caroline Rose Peyton

A Culture Of Commodification: Hemispheric And Intercolonial Migrations In The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, 1660-1807 , Neal D. Polhemus

Rediscovering Camden: The Preservation of a Revolutionary War Battlefield , Gary Sellick

The “Forgotten Man” of Washington: the Pershing Memorial and the Battle over Military Memorialization , Andrew S. Walgren

Proslavery Thinking In Antebellum South Carolina: Higher Education, Transatlantic Encounters, And The Life Of The Mind , Jamie Diane Wilson

Colonialism Unraveling: Race, Religion, And National Belonging In Santo Domingo During The Age Of Revolutions , Charlton W. Yingling

Theses/Dissertations from 2015 2015

"Very Many More Men than Women": A Study of the Social Implications of Diagnostics at the South Carolina State Hospital , Clara Elizabeth Bertagnolli

Forgotten Science of Bird Eggs: The Life Cycle of Oology at the Smithsonian Institution , Katherine Nicole Crosby

Shifting Authority at the Confederate Relic Room, 1960-1986 , Kristie L. DaFoe

Boundary Stones: Morbid Concretions and the Chemistry of Early Nineteenth Century Medicine , Edward Allen Driggers Jr.

Main Street, America: Histories of I-95 , Mark T. Evans

National Register Nomination for St. James the Greater Catholic Mission , Diana Garnett

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Module 9: The New Deal (1932-1941)

Historical arguments and thesis statements, learning objectives.

  • Evaluate historical claims and thesis statements

The Research Writing Process

In an earlier historical hack, we talked about the research writing process, as shown below:

  • Understand the assignment
  • Select a research topic/develop a research question
  • Conduct research: find and evaluate sources
  • Create your claim (make an argument)
  • Synthesize evidence
  • Put it together

These are guidelines to help you get started, but the process is iterative, so you may cycle through these steps several times while working towards your finished product. In this hack, we want to focus on the final three steps—once you’ve done your research and have a few ideas about what to say, how do you put it together to create your finished product?

Crafting Historical Arguments

In open-ended historical research assignments, you are almost always expected to create an argument (revisit the assignment prompt or ask your instructor if you’re unsure about this). Historical arguments are not like the arguments that you and your roommate might have about the best show on T.V. or an argument you’d have with the referee at a sporting event; historical arguments require you to pick a stance on an issue and defend it with supporting evidence.

Your objective is not to create an informal persuasive essay convincing others of your viewpoint based on your personal opinions, but an argumentative one, where you defend your stance on an issue by backing it with historical evidence. Argumentative writing is done for a formal, academic purpose— you have a compelling viewpoint on a topic, and you’ve conducted research. Now you are communicating that research and using evidence to back your claim. When you write an argumentative piece, you write as if you are the authority on the topic, a subject-matter expert.

The Differences Between Persuasive and Argumentative Writing

Check out the table below for a quick breakdown of the differences between persuasive and argumentative writing.

Sometimes it can be hard to tell a topic from an argument. If someone sees you reading an article and asks, “What’s that article about?” You might say, “It’s about photography during the Great Depression.” That’s a topic, not an argument. How do we know? You can’t disagree with “photography during the Great Depression.” An argument is something you could disagree with, like “Photography during the Great Depression was essential in bringing the realities of poverty into the public eye.”

Argumentative Statements

Understand the assignment.

Don’t forget the first step in approaching a research paper or assignment—to carefully understand what you are asked to do. Some assignments are more obviously arguments than others. They may ask you to pick an obvious side, like “Was the New Deal effective or ineffective?” Or “How do you think the government should address reparations for slavery? Or “Was the American Revolution really a revolution?”

Understanding Argumentative Statements

Other times the “argument” part is less obvious. The prompt may be more generic or broad. Let’s take a look at this option for a capstone assignment in this class:

Pick a reformer or activist involved with a social movement between 1877 and 1900. Evaluate and analyze the ideas, agenda, strategies, and effectiveness of the work done by your chosen reformer or activist. You can pick one aspect of the person’s involvement or significance to the movement to focus on in your research. You should make a claim in your final report that answers one of the questions below:

  • What was the influence of your person on American life during their time period?
  • What is their influence and legacy today?
  • What changes came about as a direct result of their activism? 
  • What obstacles stood in the way of this person from having a more significant impact on society?
  • What activism methods used by your reformer were most effective, and why?
  • How did their activism compare or contrast with other reform movements from the same time period?
  • How are things different today because of their activism? In what ways are things the same?
  • Why should people be aware of the work done by your chosen reformer?
  • Can you draw any connections to a modern-day reform movement— what reform movement might they support today, and why?

With this prompt, you are tasked with creating an argument about the reformer or activist you chose. It is not simply a narrative or biography where you report about their lives, but you want to pick one of the listed questions to create an argument—something that shows your ability to take a stance (that could be debated by others) and support your view with evidence.

Activity #1

Give it a try—without even doing some research- what argumentative statement could you make about a 19th-century activist?

Let’s take a look at a more detailed example. For example, say that your chosen activist was  Bayard Rustin , a Black activist who was instrumental in organizing the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. What’s an argument you could make about Rustin?

Here is one option. “While you’ve heard of Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream Speech” during the 1963 March on Washington, you may not have heard of Bayard Rustin, whose involvement in planning the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was essential in propelling Congress to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964. As the deputy director of the March, Rustin’s background in nonviolence and vision for the March led leaders to prioritize the civil rights movement and gave public backing to the federal law prohibiting racial discrimination.”

As you’ll learn in just a moment, this argument is what becomes the thesis statement.

Begin With a Thesis

The central claim you make in your argument is called the thesis statement . A thesis consists of a specific topic and an angle on the topic. All of the other ideas in the text support and develop the thesis.

Where in the Essay Should the Thesis Be Placed?

The thesis statement is often found in the introduction, sometimes after an initial “hook” or interesting story; sometimes, however, the thesis is not explicitly stated until the end of an essay, and sometimes it is not stated at all. In those instances, there is an implied thesis statement. You can generally extract the thesis statement by looking for a few key sentences and ideas.

Most readers expect to see the point of your argument (the thesis statement) within the first few paragraphs. This does not mean that it has to be placed there every time. Some writers place it at the very end, slowly building up to it throughout their work, to explain a point after the fact. For history essays, most professors will expect to see a clearly discernible thesis sentence in the introduction.

Characteristics of a Thesis Statement

Thesis statements vary based on the rhetorical strategy of the essay, but thesis statements typically share the following characteristics:

  • Presents the main idea
  • Most often is one sentence
  • It tells the reader what to expect
  • Is a summary of the essay topic
  • Usually worded to have an argumentative edge
  • Written in the third person

Crafting strong argumentative writing is a skill that teaches you how to engage in research, communicate the findings of that research, and express a point of view using supporting evidence.

Link to learning

For a few more examples of how to create arguments and thesis statements, visit this helpful writing guide .

What Makes a Good Claim?

Let’s take a closer look at this process by reviewing a worked example. For this example, we will use a topic you’ve studied recently—the FDR presidency and New Deal. Let’s imagine you’ve been assigned the following prompt:

  • Did New Deal spending and programs succeed in restoring American capitalism during the Great Depression, and should the government have spent more money to help the New Deal succeed, or did the New Deal spend unprecedented amounts of money on relief and recovery efforts but ultimately fail to stimulate a full economic recovery?

You’ve already examined the prompt, selected a research topic, and conducted research, and now you are ready to make your claim. First, what claim do you want to make?

Identify the Claim

Let’s look at a sample introductory paragraph that responds to this prompt. Look for the central claim made in the argument.

Example ESSAY #1

Since the stock market crash and the onset of the depression, British economists John Maynard Keynes, Roy Harrod, and others had urged western governments to stop tinkering with monetary solutions and adopt an aggressive program of government spending, especially in the areas of public works and housing, to stimulate the economy during the depression. Keynes stressed these ideas when he met with President Roosevelt, who soon complained to labor secretary Frances Perkins: “He [Keynes] left a whole rigamarole of figures. He must be a mathematician rather than a political economist.” Roosevelt’s comments about Keynes opened a window on one fundamental reason why the president’s New Deal, despite unprecedented federal spending, never achieved full economic recovery between 1933 and 1940. Although surrounded by critical advisers such as Federal Reserve chairman Marriner Eccles, who understood Keynes and his central message about the importance of government spending, Roosevelt did not grasp these ideas intellectually. He remained at heart a fiscal conservative, little different from Herbert Hoover. Roosevelt condoned government spending when necessary to “prime the pump” for recovery and combat hunger and poverty, but not as a deliberate economic recovery tool.

Let’s look at yet another example. This also responds to this same prompt which you can find again below for reference:

Example ESSAY #2

When President Franklin Delano Roosevelt gave his inaugural address on March 4, 1933, America was in the midst of financial collapse. Banking holidays closed banks in 28 states, and investors traded their dollars for gold to have tangible wealth. The president reassured Americans” “This great Nation will endure as it has endured and will revive and will prosper.” He listed three goals to shore up capitalism through his New Deal: banking regulation, laws to curb speculation, and the establishment of a sound currency basis. Roosevelt shored up the financial sector through regulation to restore the public trust that mismanaged banks, and financial speculators had destroyed. His New Deal gave the federal government regulatory responsibility to smooth economic downturns. Over the next eight years, the New Deal’s economic practices and spending helped create recovery and restore capitalism.

Finding the Thesis Statement

You’ve found the central claims from each of these two sample essays. Quite often, the claim is the thesis statement. But sometimes, the thesis statement elaborates on the claim more by including the angle you’ll take about your claim. In the sample essay above, the thesis statement is written in reverse order, with the primary claim coming at the end, but if you read the sentences before that, you can see what the essay’s focus will be as well.”

  • “Roosevelt shored up the financial sector through regulation to restore the public trust that mismanaged banks, and financial speculators had destroyed. His New Deal gave the federal government regulatory responsibility to smooth economic downturns. Over the next eight years, the New Deal’s economic practices and spending helped create recovery and restore capitalism”.”

Now we know that the rest of the essay will focus on how the New Deal’s economic practices and spending habits helped the recovery and also show 1) ways that Roosevelt shored up the financial sector and 2) gave the federal government regulatory responsibility.

Pick a reformer or activist involved with a social movement between 1877 and 1900. Pick two questions below and write a thesis statement explaining the main claim and angle you would take in an essay about the topic.

  • What changes came about as a direct result of their activism?

Thesis statement #1:

Thesis statement #2:

thesis statement : a statement of the topic of the piece of writing and the angle the writer has on that topic

  • Historical Hack: Crafting Historical Arguments. Authored by : Kaitlyn Connell for Lumen Learning. Provided by : Lumen Learning. License : CC BY: Attribution
  • Analyzing Documents Using the HAPPY Analysis. Provided by : Lumen Learning. Located at : . License : CC BY: Attribution
  • Secondary source. Provided by : Wikipedia. Located at : . License : CC BY-SA: Attribution-ShareAlike
  • What is an argument?. Provided by : Lumen Learning. Located at : . Project : English Composition I Corequisite. License : CC BY-SA: Attribution-ShareAlike
  • Did the New Deal End the Great Depression?. Provided by : OpenStax. Located at :[email protected]:WWZKMA1o@2/12-16-%F0%9F%92%AC-Did-the-New-Deal-End-the-Great-Depression . Project : Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. License : CC BY: Attribution . License Terms : Download for free at[email protected]

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Home > HFA > HISTORY > History Department Masters Theses Collection


History Department Masters Theses Collection

Theses from 2024 2024.

'Our Sacred Rights': The Southern Baptist Convention and the Rhetoric of Oppression, 1845 and Present Day , Katlyn Durand, History

Theses from 2023 2023

Memories of Hope and Loss: “kerhi maa ne bhagat singh jameya” , Sheher Bano, History

Quṭb al‐Dīn al‐Shīrāzī and His Political, Religious, and Intellectual Networks , Carina Dreyer, History

Imagining the “Day of Reckoning”: American Jewish Performance Activism during the Holocaust , Maya C. Gonzalez, History

Cut Out of Place: The Geography and Legacy of Otto Ege's Broken Books , Melanie R. Meadors, History

Theses from 2022 2022

Heavy Metal in Medieval Europe , Sean M. Klimmek, History

Historic Houses and the Food Movement: Casey Farm and Coastal Growers' Market , Allison L. Smith, History

Theses from 2021 2021

“A Constant Surveillance”: The New York State Police and the Student Peace Movement, 1965-1973 , Seth Kershner, History

Theses from 2020 2020

Our Souls are Already Cared For: Indigenous Reactions to Religious Colonialism in Seventeenth-Century New England, New France, and New Mexico , Gail Coughlin, History

The Art of Not Seeing: The Immigration and Naturalization Service’s Failed Search for Nazi Collaborators in the United States, 1945-1979 , Jeffrey Davis, History

Treating the Revolution: Health Care and Solidarity in El Salvador and Nicaragua in the 1980s , Brittany McWilliams, History

Theses from 2019 2019

Interpreting Access: A History of Accessibility and Disability Representations in the National Park Service , Perri Meldon, History

“Nothing Material Occurred”: The Maritime Captures That Caused Then Outlasted the United States’ Quasi War with France , Emma Zeig, History

Unsettling East Jersey: Borders of Violence in the Proprietary Era, 1666-1719 , Amelia Zurcher, History

Theses from 2018 2018

Wanderers of Empire: The Tropical Tramp in Latin America, 1870-1930 , Jack Werner, History

Theses from 2017 2017

The Economy of Evangelism in the Colonial American South , Julia Carroll, History

Springing Forth Anew: Progress, Preservation, and Park-Building at Roger Williams National Memorial , Sara E. Patton, History

Conformity and Digression: Change of Narrative in a Chinese Peasant's Personal Writing , Danping Wang, History

Theses from 2016 2016

"The Fate Which Takes Us:" Benjamin F. Beall and Jefferson County, (West) Virginia in the Civil War Era , Matthew Coletti, History

Theses from 2015 2015

Araguaia: Maoist Uprising and Military Counterinsurgency in the Brazilian Amazon, 1967-1975 , Thamyris F. T. Almeida, History

"Who's Hiring the Indochinese Worker? Your Competition, Probably": Work, Welfare Dependency, and Southeast Asian Refugee Resettlement in Lowell, Massachusetts, 1975-1985 , Janelle Bourgeois, History


Combating Slavery and Colonization: Student Abolitionism and the Politics of Antislavery in Higher Education, 1833-1841 , Michael E. Jirik, History

Theses from 2014 2014

Against The Odds: Accounting For The Survival Of The Berkshire Athenaeum , John Dickson, History

Motives of Humanity: Saint-Domingan Refugees and the Limits of Sympathetic Ideology in Philadelphia , Jonathan Earl Dusenbury, History

The City of Minas: The Founding of Belo Horizonte, Brazil and Modernity in the First Republic, 1889-1897 , Daniel Lee McDonald, History

Mishoonash in Southern New England: Construction and Use of Dugout Canoes in a Multicultural Context , Jacob M. Orcutt, History

The Politics of Psychiatric Experience , Shuko Tamao, History

Commodore Perry's Expedition, 1852-4: Layered Experiences and Perceptions of the U.S., Japan, and the Kingdom of Ryukyu , Erika Tomoyose, History

Theses from 2013 2013

The Regional Influences on Religious Thought and Practice: A Case Study in Mormonism’s Dietary Reforms , Samuel Alonzo Dodge, History

Henry Thoreau's Debt to Society: A Micro Literary History , Laura J. Dwiggins, History

Colonial Role Models: The Influence of British and Afrikaner Relations on German South-West African Treatment of African Peoples , Natalie J. Geeza, History

From Main to High: Consumers, Class, and the Spatial Reorientation of an Industrial City , Jonathan Haeber, History

The Terrorist Doppelganger: Somoza and the Sandinistas , Thomas A. Hohenstein, History

The Third Reich in East German Film: Defa, Memory, and the Foundational Narrative of the German Democratic Republic , Jaimie Kicklighter, History

Nationalism and the Public Sphere: Tracing the Development of Nineteenth-Century Latin American Identities , Lisa Ponce, History

Theses from 2012 2012

Citizens and Criminals: Mass Incarceration, "Prison Neighbors," and Fear-Based Organizing in 1980s Rural Pennsylvania , Erika Arthur, History

The Praxis of Horst Hoheisel: the Countermonument in an Expanded Field , Juan Felipe Hernandez, History

Si Se Puede: The United Farm Workers, Civil Rights, and the Struggle for Justice in the Fields , Roneva C. Keel, History

Good News , Eesha Williams, History

Theses from 2011 2011

"Super Successful People": Robert Schuller, Suburban Exclusion, and the Demise of the New Deal Political Order , Richard Anderson, History

SCAR'd Times: Maine's Prisoners' Rights Movement, 1971-1976 , Daniel S. Chard, History

Intellectuals and Local Reforms in Late Qing Wuxi: 1897-1904 , Lei Duan, History

An End to the “Vichy/Algeria Syndrome”?: Negotiating Traumatic Pasts in the French Republic , Justin W. Silvestri, History

The Politics of Labor Militancy in Minneapolis, 1934-1938 , Kristoffer Smemo, History

Eugenothenics: The Literary Connection Between Domesticity and Eugenics , Caleb J. true, History

Theses from 2010 2010

"Flying is Changing Women!": Women Popularizers of Commercial Aviation and the Renegotiation of Traditional Gender and Technological Boundaries in the 1920s-30s , Emily K. Gibson, History

Bolivia's Coca Headache: The Agroyungas Program, Inflation, Campesinos, Coca and Capitalism In Bolivia , John D. Roberts, History

Theses from 2009 2009

For Love or Money: Labor Rights and Citizenship for Working Women of 1930s Oaxaca, Mexico , Sandra K. Haley, History

A New Vision of Local History Narrative: Writing History in Cummington, Massachusetts , Stephanie Pasternak, History

Drawing Defeat: Caricaturing War, Race, and Gender in Fin de Siglo Spain , Joel C. Webb, History

Theses from 2008 2008

Reconstructing Molly Welsh: Race, Memory and the Story of Benjamin Banneker's Grandmother , Sandra W. Perot, History

Theses from 2007 2007

"Somebody understood us" :: Nancy Macdonald and the Spanish Refugee Aid/ , Marta H. Healey, History

Abandoning nature :: European philosophy and the triumph of equal temperament/ , Noel David Hudson, History

American workers, American empire :: Morrison I. Swift, Boston, Massachusetts and the making of working-class imperial citizenship, 1890-1920/ , Justin Frederick Jackson, History

Men of the meanest sort :: military leadership and war in the New England colonies, 1690-1775/ , Seanegan P. Sculley, History

Theses from 2005 2005

"This place is not meant for recreation. It is meant for inspiration" :: the legacies of Clara Endicott Sears/ , Megan M. Kennedy, History

Theses from 2004 2004

Woodrow Wilson's conversion experience :: the President, the woman suffrage movement, and the extent of executive influence , Beth A. Behn, History

Hardball diplomacy and ping-pong politics: Cuban baseball, Chinese table tennis, and the diplomatic use of sport during the Cold War , Matthew J. Noyes, History

Theses from 2000 2000

John F. Kennedy, the development of counterinsurgency doctrine and American intervention in Laos, 1961-1963 , Daniel C. Koprowski, History

Theses from 1998 1998

Eadric Streona :: a critical biography/ , Terry Lee Locy, History

Theses from 1997 1997

Sectionalism and national consciousness in the early Republic :: the case of New England Federalists, 1800-1815/ , Denis A. Kozlov, History

Theses from 1996 1996

A stabilizing influence :: the "war of the dictionaries," 1848-1861/ , James F. Leach, History

I ain't got no home in this world anymore: sharecroppers, tenant farmers, and the Southern Tenant Farmer's Union , James D. Ross, History

Theses from 1995 1995

Marching through hell :: the British soldier in the First World War's East African campaign/ , Taylor Harper, History

The daughters of rural Massachusetts :: women and autonomy, 1800-1860/ , Glendyne R. Wergland, History

Theses from 1994 1994

Law and public life in thirteenth century Montpellier/ , Charles E. Bashaw, History

Into the hornet's nest :: how shall they hear without a preacher/ , Jean Sherlock, History

Theses from 1993 1993

The committees of correspondence, inspection and safety in old Hampshire County, Massachusetts, during the American Revolution/ , Carolyn D. Hertz, History

Theses from 1992 1992

The education of a field marshal :: Wellington in India and Iberia/ , David G. Cotter, History

"Webs of significance" :: Italian textile labor and the fabric of society, 1750-1850/ , Dorothy M. Dumont, History

Aspects in creating a gentleman :: education and the Grand Tour in eighteenth-century England/ , Lisa C. Mangiafico, History

Theses from 1991 1991

American Catholicism and the political origins of the Cold War/ , Thomas M. Moriarty, History

The ass worship controversy/ , Robert E. Ravens-seger, History

The development of local religious tolerance in Massachusetts Bay Colony/ , Andrew Leonard Sweet, History

Theses from 1990 1990

Bucking the tide :: Charles Phelps and the Vermont land grant controversies, 1750-1789/ , Peter E. Dow, History

Populism and the Guatemalan revolution :: politics and power in transition, May 1944-March 1945/ , Todd R. Little, History

Theses from 1988 1988

Very special circumstances :: women's colleges and women's friendships at the turn of the century/ , Rosalind S. Cuomo, History

Charlemagne and kingship :: the responsibility of absolute power/ , Jane Swotchak Ourand, History

Chinese political movements and historiography on American history/ , Wenjun Xing, History

Theses from 1984 1984

The distorting image : women and advertising, 1900-1960/ , Judith A. Freeman, History

Amherst soldiers in the American Revolution/ , Martha N. Noblick, History

Theses from 1983 1983

Genealogy and social history :: the early settlement of Lebanon, Connecticutt, as a case study. , Robert Charles Anderson, History

Theses from 1982 1982

Morphology of the 1980 Massachusetts business elite. , David P. Perlman, History

Theses from 1981 1981

The way that good folks do: Junior Achievement and corporate culture. , Edwin Gabler, History

Theses from 1978 1978

Lindomania or the Penny Press observed :: a study of the 1850 New York press in action. , Janet Lehrman Brown, History

Signal: a study in Geman propaganda of the Second World War. , Jeffrey Alan Hanson, History

Theses from 1977 1977

The status of West Indian immigrants in Panama from 1850-1941. , Sadith Esther Paz B., History

The Peace of Nicias/ , Milo Milton Williams, History

Theses from 1976 1976

The British War Office ;: from the Crimean War to Cardwell, 1855-1868. , Paul H. Harpin, History

The Santa Cruz strikes: a case study in labor relations in the Yrigoyen era/ , Robert Nelson Landback, History

An examination of the laws of William the Conqueror. , Steven D. Sargent, History

Farmer's daughter, innkeeper's daughter, minister's daughter ;: young women of the early republic. , Thomas Paul Smith, History

Theses from 1975 1975

Aufbau-Reconstruction and the Americanization of German-Jewish immigrants 1934-1944. , Dorothee Schneider, History

Theses from 1974 1974

Anglo-American blood sports, 1776-1889: a study of changing morals. , Jack William Berryman, History

Theses from 1973 1973

Between a crown and a gibbet: Benjamin F. Butler and the early war years. , David M. Nellis, History

Theses from 1972 1972

Imperial looting and the case of Benin. , Mary Lou Ratté, History

Theses from 1971 1971

The attitudes of the American business community to the Soviet Union, 1917-1933. , Patricia J. Behenna, History

Religious conversion in Tlaxcala, 1520-1550. , Edmund C. Hands, History

The early career of Pliny Earle: A founder of American Psychiatry , Constance M. Mcgovern, History

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Thesis Statements

Every paper must argue an idea and every paper must clearly state that idea in a thesis statement.

A thesis statement is different from a topic statement.  A topic statement merely states what the paper is about.  A thesis statement states the argument of that paper.

Be sure that you can easily identify your thesis and that the key points of your argument relate directly back to your thesis.

Topic statements:

This paper will discuss Harry Truman’s decision to drop the bomb on Hiroshima.

The purpose of this paper is to delve into the mindset behind Truman’s decision to drop the bomb on Hiroshima.

This paper will explore how Harry Truman came to the decision to drop the bomb on Hiroshima.

Thesis statements:

Harry Truman’s decision to drop the bomb on Hiroshima was motivated by racism.

The US confrontation with the Soviets was the key factor in Truman’s decision to drop the bomb on Hiroshima.

This paper will demonstrate that in his decision to drop the bomb on Hiroshima, Truman was unduly influenced by hawks in his cabinet.

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Department of History

Yale history dissertations.

thesis for us history

During the late 1800’s, only a trickle of dissertations were submitted annually, but today, the department averages about 25 per year. See who some of those intrepid scholars were and what they wrote about by clicking on any of the years listed below.

Georgetown University.

College of Arts & Sciences

Georgetown University.

Completed Dissertations


Broadus, Victoria Latin American History “ Vissungo: The Afro-Descended Culture of Miners and Maroons in Brazil’s Diamond District, 1850s-2020s “ Advisor: Bryan McCann

Mensah, Tracey African History “ ‘Shopping for All Pocket’: A Business History of Indians in Ghana, 1890–1980 “ Advisor: Meredith McKittrick

Nanavati, Abhishek East & Central Asian History “ Co-Producing ‘American Dreams’: Dependents Housing, Hydroponic Farming, and the Militarization of Everyday Life in Occupied Japan, Okinawa, and South Korea, 1945-1950 “ Advisor: Jordan Sand


Akgül, Önder Middle East & North African History “ Ecology, the Accumulation of Capital, and Dispossession in Late Ottoman Western Anatolia “ Advisor: Mustafa Aksakal

Chan, Paula Russia & Eastern European History “ Eyes on the Ground: Soviet Investigations of the Nazi Occupation “ Advisor: Michael David-Fox

Grams, Benan Middle East & North African History “ Damascus in the Time of Cholera: The Impact of Communicable Diseases on the Transformation of an Ottoman Provincial Capital 1840-1920 “ Advisor: Mustafa Aksakal

La Lime, Matthew African History “ Land, Informality, and Security: A Material History of West Africa’s Futa Jallon Massif (1650-2019) “ Advisor: Meredith McKittrick

Norweg, Emily United States History “ Mass(achusetts) Incarceration and Higher Education: the Deep Origins and Contested History of College Behind Bars in the Bay State “ Advisor: Marcia Chatelain

Steir, Kate Transregional History “ Provisions of Power: Food and Scarcity in Jamaica 1730-1790 “ Advisor: Alison Games


Christensen, Robert Latin American History “Worlds in Conflict: Indigenous Peoples, Environmental Challenges, and the ‘Conquista del Desierto’ in the Making of Argentina, 1870-1900” Advisor: Erick Langer

De Vries, Jennifer European History “‘In the Manner of the Beguines’: Regulating Beguine Life in the Low Countries, 1200-1600” Advisor: Amy Leonard

Dingman, Jacob East & Central Asian History “‘The Unknown Country’: Tibet in the Western Imagination, 1850 – 1950” Advisor: James Millward

Hudson, Chelsea East & Central Asian history “‘To Absent Us from Humanity’: Ainu and Population Counts under Russian and Japanese Administration” Advisor: Jordan Sand

Loyd, Thomas Russian and Eastern European History “Black in the USSR: African Students, Soviet Empire, and the Politics of Global Education during the Cold War” Advisor: Michael David-Fox

Proctor, Dylan Environmental History “Multidisciplinary Approaches to Infectious Disease History in Twentieth-Century Africa” Advisor: Timothy Newfield

Tarasov, Stanislav Russian and Eastern European History “Noble Feelings of Dissent: Russian Emotional Culture and the Decembrist Revolt of 1825” Advisor: Michael David-Fox

Torres, James Latin American History “Trade in a Changing World: Gold, Silver, and Commodity Flows in the Northern Andes, 1780-1840” Advisor: Erick Langer

Thacker, Molly United States History “‘Are We Not Children Too?’: Race, Media, and the Formative History of Unaccompanied Immigrant Children in the United States Advisor: Katherine Benton-Cohen

Young, Cory United States History “For Life or Otherwise: Abolition and Slavery in South Central Pennsylvania, 1780-1847” Advisor: Adam Rothman


Barraza Mendoza, Elsa United States History “Catholic Slaveholders, Enslaved People, and the Making of Georgetown University, 1792-1862” Advisor: Adam Rothman

DeLorenzo, Christopher Latin American History “Coca Substitution and Community Response in the Yungas of La Paz, Bolivia, 1920-1988” Advisor: Erick Langer

Eames, Anthony Transregional History “Public Diplomacy For the Nuclear Age: Anglo American Grand Strategy in the Late Cold War” Advisor: Kathryn Olesko & David Painter

Feldman, Benjamin United States History “Liberation from the Affluent Society: The Political Thought of the Third World in Post‐War America” Advisor: Michael Kazin

Gornostaev, Andrey Russia and Eastern European History “Peasants ‘on the Run’: State Control, Fugitives, Social and Geographic Mobility in Imperial Russia, 1649-1796” Advisor: James Collins

Holekamp, Abigail Russian and Eastern European History “Citizens and Comrades: Entangled Revolutions and the Production of Knowledge between Russia and France, 1905-1936” Advisor: Michael David-Fox

Johnson, Matthew Environmental History “Temples of Modern Pharaohs: Environmental Impacts of Dams and Dictatorship in Brazil” Advisor: John McNeill

Kang, Sukhwan European History “Between Peaceful Coexistence and Ongoing Conflict: Religious Tolerance and the Protestant Minority in Seventeenth-Century France” Advisor: James Collins

Kaymakci, Said European History “The Constitutional Limits of Military Reform: Ottoman Political Writing During the Times of Revolutionary Change, 1592-1807” Advisor: Gabor Agoston

McQueeney, Kevin United States History “The City that Care Forgot: Apartheid Health Care, Racial Health Disparity, and Black Health Activism in New Orleans, 1718-2018” Advisor: Marcia Chatelain

McRae, Douglas Latin American History “From Fluvial City To Hydro-Metropolis: Water, Sanitation, and Metropolitan Environment In São Paulo, Brazil (1850-1975)” Advisor: Bryan McCann

O’Neal, Jennifer United States History “Beyond the Trail of Broken Treaties: The International Native American Rights Movement, 1975‐1980” Advisor: David Painter

Patel, Trishula African History “Becoming Zimbabwean: A History of Indians in Rhodesia, 1890-1980” Advisor: Meredith McKittrick

Perry, Jackson Environmental History “The Gospel of the Gum: Eucalyptus Enthusiasm and the Modern Mediterranean, ca. 1848-1900” Advisor: John McNeill

Schwertner, Hillar Latin American History “Tijuandiego: Water, Capitalism and Urbanization in the Californias, 1848-1982” Advisor: John Tutino

Singh, Amarjot Transregional History “The Shadows of Command: Military Command in Ancient Sparta and Athens” Advisor: Alexander Sens & Jordan Sand


Belokowsky, Simon Russian & Eastern European History “‘Youth Is to Live in the City!’: Rural Out-Migration in the Black Earth Region under Khrushchev and Brezhnev” Advisor: Michael David-Fox

Cano, Daniel Latin American History “Frontiers of Education: The Making of the ‘Literate Indian’ in the Mission Schools of Chile and Bolivia, 1880-1950” Advisor: Erick Langer

Famularo, Julia East & Central Asian History “‘Fighting the Enemy with Fists and Daggers:’ The Chinese Communist Party’s Counterterrorism Policy in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region under Xi Jinping, 2012-2019” Advisor: James Millward

Foley, Thomas United States History “An ‘Odious Aristocracy:’ Energy, Politics, and the Roots of Industrial Capitalism in Nineteenth-Century Pennsylvania” Advisor: David Painter

Frazier, Chad United States History “From Subjects to Citizens: The University of Puerto Rico and the Citizenship Revolution in the Greater United States, 1898-1935” Advisor: Katherine Benton-Cohen

Hock, Stefan Middle East & North African History “Policing War and Sexuality in the Ottoman Empire and Turkey, 1908-1938” Advisor: Mustafa Aksakal

Goffman, Laura Middle East & North African History “Disorder and Diagnosis: Health and Society in the Gulf and Arabian Peninsula” Advisor: Judith Tucker

Kondoyanidi, Anita Russian & Eastern European History “The Prophet Disillusioned: Maxim Gorky and the Russian Revolutions” Advisor: Michael David-Fox

Macartney, Alexander European History “War in the Postwar: Japan and West Germany Protest the Vietnam War and the Global Strategy of Imperialism” Advisor: Anna von der Goltz

Ryzhkovskyi, Volodymyr Russian & Eastern European History “Soviet Occidentalism: Medieval Studies and the Restructuring of Imperial Knowledge in Twentieth-Century Russia” Advisor: Michael David-Fox

Scallen, Patrick Latin American History “‘The Bombs That Drop in El Salvador Explode in Mount Pleasant:’ From Cold War Conflagration to Immigrant Struggles in Washington, DC, 1970-1995” Advisor: John Tutino & Joseph McCartin


Al-Saif, Bader Middle East & North African History “Reform Islam? The Renewal of Islamic Thought and Praxis in Modern and Contemporary Arabian Peninsula” Advisor: Yvonne Haddad

Berry, Chelsea Transregional History “ Poisoned Relations: Medicine, Sorcery, and Poison Trials in the Contested Atlantic, 1680-1850 ” Advisor: Alison Games

Brew, Greg US History “ Mandarins, Paladins, and Pahlavis: The International Energy System, the United States, and the Dual Integration of Oil in Iran, 1925-1964 ” Advisor: David Painter

Cornwell, Graham H. Middle East & North African History “ Sweetening the Pot: A History of Tea and Sugar in Morocco, 1850-1960 ” Advisor: Osama Abi-Mershed

Dannies, Kate Middle East & North African History “ Breadwinner Soldiers: Gender, Welfare, and Sovereignty in the Ottoman First World War ” Advisor: Judith Tucker

Horn, Oliver US History “ From Model to Menace: U.S. Foreign Aid, Development, and Drugs in Cold War Colombia, 1956-1978 ” Advisor: David Painter

Kates, Adrienne Latin American History “ The Persistence of Maya Autonomy: Global Capitalism, Tropical Environments, and the Limits of the Mexican State, 1880-1950 ” Advisor: John Tutino

Mellor, Robynne Environmental History “ The Cold War Underground: An Environmental History of Uranium Mining in the United States, Canada, and the Soviet Union, 1945-1991 ” Advisor: John McNeill

Porta, Earnest Middle East & North African History “ Morocco in the Early Atlantic World, 1415-1603 ” Advisor: Osama Abi-Mershed

Raykhlina, Yelizaveta Russian & Eastern European History “ Russian Literary Marketplace: Periodicals, Social Identity, and Publishing for the Middle Stratum in Imperial Russia, 1825-1865 ” Advisor: Catherine Evtuhov Shi, Yue East & Central Asian History “ The Seven Rivers: Empire and Economy in the Russo-Qing Central Asian Frontier, 1860s-1910s “ Advisor: James Millward


Abbott, Elena Transregional History “ Beacons of Liberty: Free-Soil Havens and the American Slavery Debate, 1813-1863 ” Advisor: Adam Rothman Denning, Meredith Environmental History “ Connections and Consensus: Changing Goals for Transnational Water Management on Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, 1900-1972 ” Advisor: John McNeill

Hull, Catherine US History “ The Machine has a Soul: American Sympathizers with Italian Fascism ” Advisor: Michael Kazin

Husain, Faisal Environmental History “ Flows of Power: The Tigris-Euphrates Basin Under Ottoman Rule, 1534-1831 ” Advisor: John McNeill

Kaplan, Isabelle Russian & Eastern European History “ The Art of Nation-Building: National Culture and Soviet Politics in Stalin-Era Azerbaijan and Other Minority Republics ” Advisor: Michael David-Fox

Maurer, John US History “ An Era of Negotiation: SALT in the Nixon Administration, 1969-1972 “ Advisor: David Painter

Mevissen, Robert European History “ Constructing the Danube Monarchy: Habsburg State-Building in the Long Nineteenth Century ” Advisor: James Shedel

Reger, Jeffrey Middle East & North African History “ Planting Palestine: The Political Economy of Olive Culture in the 20th Century Galilee and West Bank ” Advisor: Judith Tucker

Smith, Jordan Transregional History “ The Invention of Rum “ Advisor: Alison Games

Taylor, Stephanie US History “ ‘I Have the Eagle:’ Citizenship and Labor in the Progressive Era, 1890-1925 ” Advisor: Joseph McCartin

Walter, Alissa Middle East & North African History “ The Ba’ath Party in Baghdad: State-Society Relations Through Wars, Sanctions and Authoritarian Rule, 1950-2003 ” Advisor: Judith Tucker

Yeaw, Katrina Middle East & North African History “ Women, Resistance and the Creation of New Gendered Frontiers in the Making of Modern Libya, 1890-1980 ” Advisor: Judith Tucker


Amelicheva, Mariya Russian History “ The Russian Residency in Constantinople, 1700-1774: Russian-Ottoman Diplomatic Encounters “ Advisor: Catherine Evtuhov

Benton, James US History “ Fraying Fabric: Textile Labor, Trade Politics, and Deindustrialization, 1933-1974 ” Advisor: Joseph McCartin

Biasetto, Bruno Latin American History “ The Poisoned Chalice: Oil and Macroeconomics in Brazil (1967-2003) ” Advisor: Bryan McCann

Calisir, M. Fatih European History “ A ‘Virtuous’ Grand Vizier: Politics and Patronage in the Ottoman Empire during the Grand Vizierate of Fazil Ahmed Pasha (1661-1676)” ” Advisor: Gabor Agoston

Davies Lenoble, Geraldine Latin American History “ Filling the Desert: The Indigenous Confederacies of the Pampas and Northern Patagonia, 1840-1879 ” Advisor: Erick Langer

El Achi, Soha European History “ Children and Slave Emancipation in French Algeria and Tunisia, 1846-1892 ” Advisor: Osama Abi-Mershed

Gettig, Eric Transregional History “ Oil and Revolution in Cuba: Development, Nationalism, and the U.S. Energy Empire, 1902-1961 ” Advisor: David Painter

Gungorurler, Selim European History “ Diplomacy and Political Relations Between the Ottoman Empire and Safavid Iran, 1639-1822 ” Advisor: Gabor Agoston

Megowan, Erina Russian & Eastern European History “ For Fatherland, For Culture: State, Intelligentsia and Evacuated Culture in Russia’s Regions, 1941-1945 ” Advisor: Michael David-Fox

Mullins, Sylvia European History “ Myroblytes: Miraculous Oil in Medieval Europe ” Advisor: James Collins

Pitts, Graham Transregional History “ Fallow Fields: Famine and the Making of Lebanon, 1914-1948 ” Advisor: John McNeill

Polczynski, Michael Russian and Eastern European History “ The Wild Fields: Power and Space in the Early Modern Polish-Lithuanian/Ottoman Frontier ” Advisor: Andrzej Kaminski & Gabor Agoston

Rabah, Makram Middle East and North African History “ Conflict on Mount Lebanon: Collective Memory and the War of the Mountain ” Advisor: Osama Abi-Mershed

Shen, Yubin East and Central Asian History “ Malaria and Global Networks of Tropical Medicine in Modern China, 1919-1950 ” Advisor: Carol A. Benedict

Sicotte, Jonathan Russian and Eastern European History “ Baku: Violence, Identity and Oil ” Advisor: Michael David-Fox


Danforth, Nicholas Modern European History “ Memory, Modernity, and the Remaking of Republican Turkey:  1945-1960 ” Advisor: Mustafa Aksakal

Dixon, Patrick US History “ The Hamlet Factory Fire and the Political Economy of Poultry in the Twentieth Century “ Advisor: Joseph McCartin

England, Christopher US History “ Land and Liberty: Henry George, the Single Tax Movement, and the Origins of the 20th Century Liberalism “ Advisor: Michael Kazin

Gardner, Zackary US History “ Uniforming the Rugged: Gender, Identity, and the American Administrative State during the Progressive Era, 1898-1917 “ Advisor: Katherine Benton-Cohen

Gratien, Christopher Middle East & North African History “ The Mountains Are Ours: Ecology and Settlement in Late Ottoman and early Republican Cilicia, 1856-1956 “ Advisor: Judith Tucker

Gregory, Eugene John East & Central Asian History “ Desertion and the Militarization of Qing Legal Culture “ Advisor: James Millward

Hammond, Kelly East & Central Asian History “ The Conundrum of Collaboration: Japanese Involvement with Muslims in North China, 1931-1945 “ Advisor: James Millward

Johnson, Glen Russia & Eastern European History “ The Reflection of Byzantine ‘Political Hesychasm’ In The Literature of The Second South Slavic Influence ” Advisor: David Goldfrank

McCarron, Barry US International History “ The Global Irish and Chinese: Migration, Exclusion, and Foreign Relations Among Empires, 1784-1904 “ Advisor: Carol A. Benedict

Ngo, Lan, S.J. East & Southeast Asian History “ Nguyen-Catholic History (1770s-1890s) and the Gestation of Vietnamese Catholic National Identity “ Advisor: Sandra Horvath-Peterson

Pimenov, Alexei Russia & Eastern European History Dissertation Title: “ German Romantic Nationalism and Indian Cultural Tradition ” Advisor: Catherine Evtuhov

Roe, Alan Russian & Eastern European History “ Into Soviet Nature: Tourism, Environmental Protection, & the Formation of Soviet National Parks, 1950s-1990s “ Advisor: John McNeill

Veloz, Larisa Latin American History “ ’Even the Women Are Leaving’ Gendered Migrations between Mexico and the United States: Revolutionary Diasporas, Depression-Era Depatriations, and Wartime Bracero Controls, 1900-1950 ” Advisor: John Tutino

Wen, Shuang Transregional History “ Mediated Imaginations: Chinese-Arab Connections in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries “ Advisor: John Voll

Williams, Elizabeth Middle East & North African History “ Cultivating Empires: Environment, Expertise, and Scientific Agriculture in Late Ottoman and French Mandate Syria ” Advisor: Judith Tucker


Adler, Paul US History “ Planetary Citizens: U.S. NGOs and the Politics of International Development, 1965-1993 “ Advisor: Michael Kazin

Kueh, Joshua Eng Sin Transregional History “ The Manila Chinese: Community, Trade and Empire, 1570-1770 “ Advisor: Carol A. Benedict

Packard, Nathan R. US History “ The Marine Corps ‘Long March’: Modernizing the Nation’s Expeditionary Forces in the Aftermath of Vietnam, 1970-1991 “ Advisor: David Painter

Perez Montesinos, Fernando Latin American History “ Poised to Break Liberalism, Land Reform, and Communities in the Purépecha Highlands of Michoacán, Mexico, 1868-1913 “ Advisor: John Tutino

Perrier, Aurelie E. Middle East & North African History “ Intimate Matters: Negotiating Sex, Gender, and the Home in Colonial Algeria, 1830-1914 “ Advisor: Judith Tucker

Stewart Mauldin, Erin US Environmental History “ Unredeemed Land: The U.S. Civil War, Changing Land Use Practices, and the Environmental Limitations of Agriculture in the South, 1840-1880 “ Advisor: John McNeill

Taylor, Brian M. US History “ ‘To Make a Union What It Ought to Be’: African Americans, Military Service, and the Drive to Make Black Civil War Service Count “ Advisor: Chandra Manning


Bowlus, John V. US History “ Connecting Midstream: The Politics and Economics of Oil Transportation in the Middle East “ Advisor: David Painter

Doucette, Siobhan Russia & Eastern European History “ Mightier than the Sword: Polish Independent Publishing, 1976-1989 ” Advisor: Andrzej Kaminski

Fernandez, Rodolfo Latin American History “ Revolution and the Industrial City: Violence and Capitalism in Monterrey, Mexico, 1890 to 1920 “ Advisor: John Tutino

Gooding, Frederick W. Jr. US History “ American Dream Deferred: Black Federal Workers in Washington, D.C., 1941-1981 “ Advisor: Michael Kazin

Hill, Michael R. Transregional History “ Temperateness, Temperance, and the Tropics: Climate and Morality in the English Atlantic World, 1553-1705 “ Advisor: Alison Games

Hower, Jessica S. Transregional History “ Tudor Imperialism: Exploration, Expansion, and Experimentation in the Sixteenth-Century British Atlantic World “ Advisor: Alison Games

Hower, Joseph E. US History “ Jerry Wurf, the Rise of AFSCME, and the Fate of Labor Liberalism, 1947-1981 “ Advisor: Joseph McCartin

İşçi, Onur Middle East & North African History “ Russophobic Neutrality: Turkish Diplomacy, 1936-1945 “ Advisor: Mustafa Aksakal

Puente Valdivia, Javier Latin American History “ Closer Apart: Indigenous and Peasant Communities and the State in Capitalist Peru, 1700-1990 “ Advisor: Erick Langer

Wiley, Christopher J. Modern European History “ Textbook Diplomacy: East German Student Exchange and the GDR’s Bid for Global Legitimacy, 1951-1990 “ Advisor: Aviel Roshwald

Williams, Andrea Elizabeth Middle East & North African Environmental History “ Planting Politics: Pastoralists and French Environmental Administration in the Nineteenth-Century Mediterranean “ Advisor: John McNeill and Gabor Agoston Yoder, April R. Latin American History “ Pitching Democracy: Baseball and Politics in the Dominican Republic, 1955-1978 “ Advisor: Bryan McCann


Corcoran, John M. Russia & Eastern European History “ Power in the Provinces: The Evolution of Local Government Practices in Imperial Russia, 1825-1917 ” Advisor: Catherine Evtuhov

Francis-Fallon, Benjamin US History “ Minority Reports: The Emergence of Pan-Hispanic Politics, 1945-1980 ” Advisor: Michael Kazin

Harrison, Jennifer Pish US History “ Teacher Unionism and Civil Rights in Boston, 1963-1981 ” Advisor: Joseph McCartin

Hazelton, Andrew J. US History “ Open-Shop Fields: The Bracero Program and Farmworker Unionism, 1942-1964 ” Advisor: Joseph McCartin

Kern, Darcy A. Early Modern & Late Medieval European History “ The Political Kingdom: Parliamentary Institutions and Languages of Legitimacy in England and Castile, 1450-1520 ” Advisor: Jo Ann Moran-Cruz

Krache Morris, Evelyn F. US History “ Into the Wind: The Kennedy Administration and the Use of Chemicals in South Vietnam ” Advisor: David Painter

Landry, Marc D. Modern European Environmental History “ Europe’s Battery: The Making of the Alpine Energy Landscape, 1870-1955 ” Advisor: John McNeill

Lurie, Guy Early Modern & Late Medieval European History “ Citizenship in Later Medieval France, C. 1370- C. 1480 ” Advisor: James Collins

Scarborough, Daniel L. Russia & Eastern European History “ The White Priest at Work: Orthodox Pastoral Activism and Social Reconstruction in Late Imperial Russia ” Advisor: Catherine Evtuhov

Toprani, Anand US History “ Oil and Grand Strategy: Great Britain and Germany, 1918-1941 ” Advisor: David Painter


Apel, Thomas A. US History “ Feverish Bodies, Enlightened Minds: Yellow Fever and Common-Sense Natural Philosophy in the Early American Republic, 1793-1805 “ Advisor: Adam Rothman

Connell, Tula A. US History “ Frank Zeidler and the Conservative Challenge to Liberalism in 1950s Milwaukee “ Advisor: Joseph A. McCartin

Coral Garcia, Emilio M. Latin American History “ The Mexico City Middle Class, 1940-70: Between Tradition, the State, and the United States “ Advisor: John Tutino

Guenther, Rita S. Russia & Eastern European History “ One Local Vote at a Time: Electoral Practices of Kazan Province, 1766-1916 “ Advisor: Catherine Evtuhov

Gurkan, Emrah S. Early Modern & Late Medieval European History “ Espionage in the Sixteenth-Century Mediterranean: Secret Diplomacy, Mediterranean Go-Betweens and the Ottoman Habsburg Rivalry ” Advisor: Ágoston, Gábor

Higuchi, Toshihiro US History “ Radioactive Fallout, the Politics of Risk, and the Making of a Global Environmental Crisis, 1954–1963 “ Advisor: David Painter

Hofmeister, Björn Modern European History “ Between Monarchy and Dictatorship: Radical Nationalism and Social Mobilization of the Pan-German League, 1914-39 “ Advisor: Roger Chickering

Johnston, Shona Transregional History “ Papists in a Protestant World: The Catholic Anglo-Atlantic in the Seventeenth Century “ Advisor: Alison Games

Maureira, Hugo A. Latin American History “ Los Culpables de La Miseria:’ Poverty and Public Health during the Spanish Influenza Epidemic in Chile, 1918-1920 ” Advisor: Erick Langer

McKenna, Catherine J. Russia & Eastern European History “ The Curious Evolution of the Liberum Veto: Republican Theory and Practice in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, 1639-1705 ” Advisor: Andrzej Kaminski

Murphy, Curtis G. Russia & Eastern European History “ Progress without Consent: Enlightened Centralism vis-a-vis Local Self-Government in the Towns of East Central Europe and Russia, 1764-1840 ” Advisor: Andrzej Kaminski

Noorlander, Danny L. Transregional History “ Serving God and Mammon: The Reformed Church and the Dutch West India Company in the Atlantic World, 1621-1674 “ Advisor: Alison Games

Wang, Tao US History “ Isolating the Enemy: US-PRC Relations, 1953-1956 ” Advisor: Nancy B. Tucker

Yousef, Hoda A. Middle East & North African History “ Contested Knowledge: The Politics of Literacy in Egypt at the Turn of the 20th Century “ Advisor: Judith Tucker


Al-Arian, Abdullah A. Middle East & North African History “ Heeding the Call: Popular Islamic Activism in Egypt, 1970-1981 “ Advisor: John Voll

Bowman, Matthew B. US History “ The Urban Pulpit: Evangelicals and the City in New York, 1880-1930 “ Advisor: Michael Kazin

Campion, Corey J. Modern European History “ Negotiating Difference: French and American Cultural Occupation Policies and German Expectations, 1945-194 9″ Advisor: Roger Chickering

Engelke, Peter O. Modern European History “ Green City Origins: Democratic Resistance to the Auto-oriented City in West Germany, 1960-1990 “ Advisor: Roger Chickering and John McNeill

Gummer, S. Chase Modern European History “ The Politics of Sympathy: German Turcophilism and the Ottoman Empire in the Age of the Mass Media, 1871-1914 “ Advisor: Roger Chickering

Robarts, Andrew R. Russia & Eastern European History “ A Plague on Both Houses?: Population Movements and the Spread of Disease across the Ottoman-Russian Black Sea Frontier, 1768-1830s “ Advisor: Catherine Evtuhov

Rotramel, Seth A. Modern European History “ International Health, European Reconciliation, and German Foreign Policy after the First World War, 1919-1927 “ Advisor: Roger Chickering

Vallve, Frederic Latin American History “ The Impact of the Rubber Boom on the Indigenous Peoples of the Bolivian Lowlands, 1850-1920 “ Advisor: Erick Langer


Brandow-Faller, Megan Modern European History “ An Art of Their Own: Reinventing ‘Frauenkunst’ in the Female Academies and Artist Leagues of Late-Imperial and First-Republic Austria, 1900-1930 “ Advisor: James Shedel

Fulwider, Benjamin Latin American History “ Driving the Nation: Road Transportation and the Postrevolutionary Mexican State, 1925-1960 “ Advisor: John Tutino

Mamedov, Mikail N. Russia & Eastern European History “Imagining the Caucasus in Russian Imperial Consciousness, 1801-1864” Advisor: Catherine Evtuhov

Morrison, Christopher A. US History “ A World of Empires: United States Rule in the Philippines, 1898-1913 “ Advisor: Nancy B. Tucker

Palmer, Aaron J. US History “‘ All Matters and Things Shall Center There’: A Study of Elite Political Power in South Carolina, 1763-1776 “ Advisor: Alison Games

Sakul, Kahraman Early Modern & Late Medieval European History “ An Ottoman Global Moment: War of Second Coalition in the Levant “ Advisor: Gabor Agoston

Sexton, Mary D. US History “ The Wages of Principle and Power: Cyrus R. Vance and the Making of Foreign Policy in the Carter Administration “ Advisor: David Painter

Shlala, Elizabeth Middle East & North African History “Mediterranean Migration, Cosmopolitanism, and the Law: the Italian Community of Nineteenth-Century Alexandria, Egypt”

Wilkinson, Xenia V. Latin Amerian History “ Tapping the Amazon for Victory: Brazil’s ‘Battle for Rubber’ of World War II “ Advisor: Erick Langer


Abul-Magd, Zeinab A. Middle East & North African History “ Empire and Its Discontents: Modernity and Subaltern Revolt in Upper Egypt, 1700-1920 “ Advisor: Judith Tucker

Byrnes, Melissa K. Modern European History “French Like Us? Municipal Policies and North African Migrants in the Parisian Banlieues, 1945-1975” Advisor: Aviel Roshwald

Granados, Luis F. Latin American History “Cosmopolitan Indians and Mesoamerican Barrios in Bourbon Mexico City: Tribute, Community, Family and Work in 1800” Advisor: John Tutino

Lauziere, Henri Middle East & North African History “ The Evolution of the Salafiyya in the Twentieth Century through the Life and Thought of Taqi al-Din al-Hilali “ Advisor: John Ruedy

Otovo, Okezi T. Latin American History “ To Form a Strong and Populous Nation: Race, Motherhood, and the State in republican Brazil “ Advisor: Bryan McCann

Rosu, Felicia Russia & Eastern European History “ Contractual Majesty: Electoral Politics in Transylvania and Poland-Lithuania, 1571-1586 “ Advisor: Andrzej Kaminski

Swanson, Ryan US History “Jim Crow on Deck: Baseball during America’s Reconstruction” Advisor: Michael Kazin

Wackerfuss, Andrew T. Modern European History “ The Stormtrooper Family: How Sexuality, Spirituality, and Community Shaped the Hamburg SA “ Advisor: Roger Chickering

Wyrtzen, Jonathan D. Middle East & North African History “ Constructing Morocco: The Colonial Struggle to Define the Nation, 1912-1956 “ Advisor: John Voll


Bulmus, Birsen Middle East & North African History “ The Plague in the Ottoman Empire, 1300-1838 “ Advisor: Kathryn Olesko

Elliott, Robin Gates Russia & Eastern European History “ Saddling the Cow: The Collectivization of Agriculture in Poland, 1948-1956 “ Advisor: Andrzej Kaminski

Fedyashin, Anton A. Russia & Eastern European History “Auchtotonous and Practical Liberals: Vestnik Evropy and Modernization in Late Imperial Russia” Advisor: Catherine Evtuhov

Lambert, Margo M. US History “ Francis Daniel Pastorius: An American in Early Pennsylvania, 1683-1719/20 “ Advisor: Alison Games

Lin, Catherine Kai-Ping East & Central Asian History “ Nationalism in International Politics: The Republic of China’s Sports Foreign-Policy-Making and Diplomacy from 1972-1981 “ Advisor: Carol A. Benedict

Ma, Haiyun East & Central Asian History “ New Teachings and New Territories: Religion, Regulation, and Regions in Qing Gansu, 1700-1800 “ Advisor: James Millward

Oyen, Meredith US History “ Allies, Enemies, and Aliens: Migration and U.S.-Chinese Relations, 1940-1965 “ Advisor: Nancy B. Tucker

Sbaiti, Nadya J. Middle East & North African History “ Lessons in History: Education and the Formation of National Society in Beirut, Lebanon, 1920s-1960s “ Advisor: Judith Tucker

Vann, Martin E. Modern European History “ Encounters with Modernity: Jews, Music, and Vienna, 1880-1914 “ Advisor: James Shedel


Ameskamp, Simone Modern European History “ On Fire: Cremation in Germany, 1870s-1934 “ Advisor: Roger Chickering

Carter, Karen E. Early Modern & Late Medieval European History “ Creating Catholics: Catechism and Primary Education in Early Modern France “ Advisor: James Collins

Gruber, Isaiah J. Russia & Eastern European History “ The Russian Orthodox Church and the Time of Troubles, 1598-1613 “ Advisor: David Goldfrank

Keller, Tait S. Modern European History “ Eternal Mountains–Eternal Germany: The Alpine Association and the Ideology of Alpinism, 1909-1939 “ Advisor: Roger Chickering

Scalenghe, Sara Middle East & North African History “ Being Different: Intersexuality, Blindness, Deafness, and Madness in Ottoman Syria “ Advisor: Judith Tucker

Snyder, Sarah B. US History “ The Helsinki Process, American Foreign Policy, and the End of the Cold War “ Advisor: Nancy B. Tucker

Stoneman, Mark R. Modern European History “ Wilhelm Groener, Officering, and the Schlieffen Plan “ Advisor: Roger Chickering

Uchimura, Kazuko US History “ Miners without Unions: Life and Work in West Virginia’s New River Gorge Mining Towns, 1900-1933 “ Advisor: Joseph McCartin

Zickafoose, Virginia Paige Russia & Eastern European History “ Virtuous Crown, Virtuous Res Publica: The Henrician Constitutional Declaration of Poland-Lithuania Interregnum, 1572-1574 “ Advisor: Andrzej Kaminksi Zimmers, Stefan Early Modern & Late Medieval European History “ Wisdom, Kingship, and Royal Identity: An Examination of the Discourse on Kinship and Rulership in the Anglo-Saxon Era “ Advisor: Jo Ann Moran Cruz


Belli, Meriam Middle East & North African History “ Remembrance of Nasserian Things Past: A Window to the History and Memory of the Nasser Years ” Advisors: John Voll and James Collins

Du Quenoy, Paul Russia & Eastern European History “ Harlequin’s Leap: Performing Arts Culture and the Revolution of 1905 in Saint Petersburg ” Advisor: Richard Stites

Foley, Sean E. Middle East & North African History “ Shaykh Khalid and the Naqshbandyya-Khalidiyya, 1776-2005 ” Advisor: John Voll

Joseph, Sabrina E. Middle East & North African History “ The Islamic Law on Tenancy and Sharecropping in Late Sixteenth- through Early Nineteenth-Century Syria ” Advisor: Judith Tucker

Khachaturian, Lisa Russia & Eastern European History “ Cultivating Nationhood in Imperial Russia: the Periodical Press and the Formation of a Modern Eastern Armenian Identity ” Advisor: Catherine Evtuhov

Martin, Kevin W. Middle East & North African History “ Enter the Future! Exemplars of Bourgeois Modernity in Post-World War II Syria ” Advisor: Judith Tucker

Merrow, Alexander C. Modern European History “ The Catholic Historical Discipline in Imperial Germany, 1876-1901 ” Advisor: Roger Chickering

Negroponte, Diana V. US History “ Conflict Resolution at the End of the Cold War ” Advisor: Nancy B. Tucker

Norman, York A. Middle East & North African History “ An Islamic City? Sarajevo’s Islamization and Economic Development, 1461-1604 ” Advisor: John Voll

Roedell, Christopher A. Modern Europe “ The Beasts That Perish: The Problem of Evil and the Contemplation of the Animal Kingdom in English Thought, c. 1660-1839 ” Advisor: Kathryn Olesko

Shearer, Valerie J. Early Modern & Late Medieval European History “ A Good Deed is Never Forgotten: Credit and Mutual Exchange in Seventeenth-Century France ” Advisor: James Collins

Vrtis, George H. US Environmental History “ The Front Range of the Rocky Mountains: An Environmental History, 1700-1900 ” Advisor: John McNeill


Andreassi, Anthony D. US History “ ‘Begun in Faith and Grit and God!’: The Sisters of the Divine Compassion, 1869-1954 “ Advisor: Emmett Curran

Ari-Chachaki, Waskar T. Latin American History “ Race and Subaltern Nationalism: The AMP Activist-Intellectuals in Bolivia, 1921-1964 “ Advisor: Erick Langer

Brooke, George Mercer III US History “ A Matter of Will: Sir Robert Thompson, Malaya, and the Failure of American Strategy in Vietnam “ Advisor: Nancy B. Tucker

De Bryun Kops, Henriette (Rahusen) Early Modern & Late Medieval European History “ Liquid Silver: The Wine and Brandy Trade between Rotterdam and Nantes in the First Half of the Seventeenth Century “ Advisor: James Collins

Rouland, Michael R. Russian & Eastern European History “ Music and the Making of the Kazak Nation, 1920-1936 “ Advisor: Richard Stites


Bryne, Daniel US History “ Adrift on a Sea of Sand: The Search for United States Foreign Policy Toward the Decolonization of Algeria, 1942-1962 “ Advisor: David Painter

Class, James N. Russia & Eastern European History “ Russian Messianism in the Napoleonic Wars “ Advisor: Catherine Evtuhov

Coventry, Michael T. US History “ ‘God, Country, Home and Mother’: Soldiers, Gender, and Nationalism in Great War America “ Advisor: Dorothy Brown

Drummond, Elizabeth A. Modern European History “ Protecting Poznania: Germans, Poles, and the Conflict Over National Identity, 1886-1914 “ Advisor: Roger Chickering

Goldyn, Bartholomew H. Russia & Eastern European History “ Cities for a New Poland: State Planning and Urban Control in the Building of Gdynia and Nowa Huta “ Advisor: Andrzej Kaminski

Hill, Brendan L. Early Modern & Late Medieval European History “ Puritans in the Public Sphere: The Societies for Reformation of Manners and the Continuity of Calvinism in Early Eighteenth Century England “ Advisor: Jo Ann Moran Cruz

Ivey, Linda L. US Environmental History “ Poetic Industrialism: Ethnicity, Environment and Commercial Horticulture in California’s Pajaro Valley, from the Progressive Era through the Great Depression “ Advisor: John McNeill

Linford, Rebecca R. Early Modern & Late Medieval European History “ The Women of the Quarter Sessions: A Study of Women’s Involvement in Crime in Lancashire County, 1590-1606 “ Advisor: Jo Ann Moran Cruz

Nichols-Busch, Tracy Russia & Eastern European History “ A Class on Wheels: Avtodor and the Automobilization of the Soviet Union 1927-1935 “ Advisor: Richard Stites

Schutts, Jeff Richard Modern European History “ Coca-Colonization, ‘Refreshing Americanization, or Nazi Volksgetrank’: The History of Coca-Cola in Germany, 1921-1961 “ Advisor: Roger Chickering

Zejmis, Jakub Russia & Eastern European History “ Belarus: Religion, Language and the Struggle for National Identity in a Soviet-Polish Borderland, 1921-1939 “ Advisor: Richard Stites


Abi-Mershed, Osama Middle East & North African History “ Domination by Consent: The Bureaux Arabes and Public Instruction in Colonial Algeria, 1831-1870 “ Advisor: John Ruedy

Belmonte, Monica L. US History “ Reining in Revolution: The United States Response to British Decolonization in Nigeria in an Era of Civil Rights, 1953-1960 “ Advisor: Nancy B. Tucker

Brewer, M. Jonah Early Modern & Late Medieval European History “ Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh: French Consuls and Commercial Diplomacy in the Ottoman Levant, 1660-1699 “ Advisor: James Collins

Caffrey, Patrick Joseph East & Central Asian Environmental History “ The Forests of Northeast China, 1600-1960: Environment, Politics, and Society “ Advisor: Carol A. Benedict

Davenport, Lisa E. US History “ Jazz, Race, and American Cultural Exchange: An International Study of U.S. Cultural Diplomacy, 1954-1968 “ Advisor: David Painter

DeLong-Bas, Natana J. Middle East & North African History “ Muhammed Ibn Abd al-Wahhab: An Intellectual Biography “ Advisor: John Voll

Dorsey, Jennifer H. US History “ Free People of Color in Rural Maryland, 1783-1832 “ Advisor: Alison Games

Ludes, James M. Modern European History “ A Consistency of Purpose: Political Warfare and the National Security Strategy of the Eisenhower Administration “ Advisor: Aviel Roshwald

Semerdjian, Elyse Middle East & North African History “ Off the Straight Path: Gender, Public Morality, and Legal Administration in Ottoman Aleppo, Syria “ Advisor: John Voll

Zalar, Jeffrey T. Modern European History “ Knowledge and Nationalism in Imperial Germany: A Cultural History of the Association of Saint Charles Borromeo, 1890-1914 “ Advisor: Roger Chickering


Abugideiri, Hibba E. Middle East & North African History “ Egyptian Women and the Science Question: Gender in the Making of Colonized Medicine, 1893-1929 “ Advisor: John Voll

Alvaro-Velcamp, Theresa Latin American History “ Peddling Identity: Arabs, Conflict, Community and the Mexican Nation in the Twentieth Century “ Advisor: John Tutino

Caplan, Gregory A. “ Wicked Sons, German Heroes: Jewish Soldiers, Veterans and Memories of World War I in Germany “ Advisor: Roger Chickering

Duggan, Michael F. US History “ Chauncey Wright and Forward-Looking Empiricism, a History of Ideas “ Advisor: Emmett Curran

Hamilton, Joanna Early Modern & Late Medieval European History “ The Merchants of Vannes: 1670-1730 “ Advisor: James Collins

Hoerle, Scott Modern European History “ Hans Friedrich Blunck: Poetry, Politics, and Propaganda, 1888-1961 “ Advisor: Roger Chickering

Janik, Elizabeth Koch Modern European History “ Music in Cold War Berlin: German Tradition and Allied Occupation, 1945-1951 “ Advisor: Roger Chickering

Law, Randall Russia & Eastern European History “ Humanity’s Workshops: Progressive Education in Russia and the Soviet Union, 1856-1927 “ Advisor: Richard Stites

McGillivray, Gillian Latin American History “ Blazing Cane: Sugar Communities, Power, and Politics in Cuba, 1868-1948 “ Advisor: John Tutino

McGinn, John US History “ Balancing Defense and Détente in NATO: The Harmel Framework and the 1968 Crisis in Czechoslovakia “ Advisor: David Painter Sampsell, Catherine M. U.S. History “ ‘To Grab a Hunk of Lightning’: An Intellectual History of American Depression-Era Photography “ Advisor: Emmett Curran


Carafano, James J. “ ‘Waltzing into the Cold War’: U.S. Army Military Operations in Occupied Austria “ Hill, Richard F. “ Pearl Harbor Month: Why the United States Went to War with Germany “ Jackson, Maurice “ ‘Ethiopia Shall Soon Stretch Out Her Hands Unto God’: Anthony Benezet and the Atlantic Anti-Slavery Revolution “ Skinner, Barbara J. “ The Empress and the Heretics: Catherine II’s Challenge to the Uniate Church, 1762-1796 “ Socolow, Michael J. “ To Network a Nation: N.B.C., C.B.S., and the Development of National Network Radio in the United States, 1925-1950 “ Taffet, Jeffrey A. “ Alliance for What?: U.S. Development Assistance in Chile During the 1960s “ Wall, Michael C. “ Chinese Reaction to the Portrayal of China and Chinese in American Motion Pictures prior to 1949 “


Brüggemann, Julia “ Through the Prism of Prostitution: State and Society in Hamburg, 1800-1914 “ Burch, Susan “ Biding the Time: American Deaf Cultural History, 1900 to World War II “ Cline, Ruth Harwood “ The Congregation of Tiron in the Twelfth Century: Foundation and Expansion “ Dale, Melissa S. “ With the Cut of a Knife: A Social History of Eunuchs During the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) and Republican Periods (1912-1949) “ Davis, Rebekah “ Development as a Tool of Diplomacy: The Domestic Models for U.S. Policy in the Jordan River Valley, 1939-1956 “ Heineman, Paul “ In Defense of an Anachronism: The Cossack Question on the Don, 1861-1914 “ Khalafallah, Haifaa “ Rethinking Islamic Law: Genesis and Evolution in the Islamic Legal Methods and Structures. The Case of a 20th Century ‘Alim’s Journey into His Legal Traditions. Muhammad Al-Ghazali (1917-1996) “ Pisiotis, Argyrios K. “ Orthodoxy Versus Autocracy: The Orthodox Church and Clerical Political Dissent in Late Imperial Russia, 1905-1914 “ Pujals, Sandra “ When Giants Walked the Earth: The Society of Former Political Prisoners and Exiles of the Soviet Union, 1921-1935 “ Reifowitz, Ian “ Civic Nationalism in a Multiethnic Society: Conceptions of a Supraethnic Austrian Identity, 1848-1918 “ Ritenour, Perry “ Chinese Banking and Foreign Trade (1949-1979) with a Focus on Guangdong “ Taylor, Karen “ Cher espoir de la nation sainte: The Maison Royale de Saint-Louis at Saint-Cyr “ Wiggers, Richard “ Creating International Humanitarian Law [IHL]: World War II, the Allied Occupations, and the Treaties that Followed “


Arpaia, Paul “ Luigi Federzoni and the Italian Nationalist Association: From a Cultural Conception of Italy to a Neo-Conservative Political Program “ Foehr, Sherry “ Modernization for the Honor of the Estate: Die Deutsche Landwirtschaftsgesellschaft, 1884-1914 “ Healy, Róisín “ The Jesuit as Enemy: Anti-Jesuitism and the Protestant Bourgeoisie of Imperial Germany, 1890-1917 “ Kawamura, S.J., Shinzo “ Making Christian Lay Communities During the ‘Christian Century’ in Japan — A Case Study of Takata District in Bungo “ Ke, Yan “ Scholars and Communications Network: Social and Intellectual Change in 17th-Century North China “ Jain, Asha “ Kumarapala Chaulukya (r. 1143-74) of Gujarat, India: A Convert to Jainism in Historical Perspective “ Vladimirov, Katya “ The World Of Imperial Provincial Bureaucracy, Russian Poland 1870-1904 “ Powers, Daniel “ All Roads Lead to Rome: French and German Christian Democrats, the Nation-State and the Reconstruction of Europe, 1945-1950 “ Qualls, Karl “ Raised From Ruins: Restoring Popular Allegiance Through City Planning in Sevastopol, 1944-1953 “ Slater, Joseph “ Down By Law: Public Sector Unions and the State in America, World War I to World War II “ Veidlinger, Jeffrey “ Soviet Politics on the Yiddish Stage: Moscow’s State Yiddish Theater, 1919-1949 “


Carpenter, Kim “ ‘Sechs Kreuzer sind genug für ein Bier!’ The Munich Beer Riot of 1844: Social Protest and Public Disorder in Mid-19th Century Bavaria “   Enriquez, Jonmikel “ Theodore White and the Remaking of Political Journalism “   Goedde, Celia J. “ The Artisan’s Approach to Modernity: The Political Culture of the German Artisans in Vienna and Augsburg “   Long, Loretta M. “ A Fellow Soldier in the Cause of Reformation: The Life of Selina Campbell “   Pendzich, Barbara “ The Burghers of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania during the War of 1654-1667: Resiliency and Cohesion in the Face of Muscovite Annexation “   Phillips, Steven “ Restoration and Conquest: The Taiwanese Elite under Nationalist Chinese Rule, 1945-1950 “

Russell, Mona Lisa “ Creating the New Woman: Consumerism, Education, and National Identity in Egypt, 1863-1922 “

Scholz, Norbert “ Foreign Education and Indigenous Reaction in Late Ottoman Lebanon: Students & Teachers of the Syrian Protestant College in Beirut “   Tamari, Stephen “ Teaching and Learning in 18th-Century Damascus: Localism and Ottomanism in an Early Modern Arab Society “   Zehren, Maria “ The Dangling Scissors: Marriage, Family, and Work Among Italian Immigrant Women in the Clothing Industry in Baltimore, 1890-1920 “

History Thesis Topics: List of 69 Outstanding Ideas

thesis for us history

Unless you plan to go for a Ph.D. in history, a thesis will be the most significant academic writing of your life. It shows your in-depth knowledge of a subject, your ability to think logically, creatively, and originally. Besides, it’s a great way to demonstrate how good your writing is.

But finding an appropriate title for your thesis is a challenging task. You may feel unsure about any idea until you see the rest of them. So, what can help you?

A history thesis topics list, of course. In this article, you’ll consider a wide variety of ideas about historical events and figures. There are some tips on picking the right one for you. With a little explanation of the basics, you’ll differentiate the Bachelor’s thesis from the Master’s one in a second.

  • ☝️ How to Choose?
  • ⭐ Top-12 Thesis Ideas
  • 🚀 American History
  • ⚔️ European History
  • 🎨 Art History
  • 📚 MA Thesis Topics
  • 🦉 MPhil Thesis Ideas
  • 👨‍🏫 Thesis vs. Dissertation

☝ How to Choose a History Thesis Topic?

Before picking a topic about history, you have to understand what you’re looking for. Take into account that you’re going to spend plenty of time writing your thesis. So, you need to find an idea that engages you and is worthy of your time. Don’t go for a random history topic that you do not feel passionate about.

Searching for an idea, follow the tips below:

  • Find a topic that interests you . You’ll most probably write your thesis for a whole semester or even longer. That’s why you should determine something that doesn’t bore easily. At least those countless hours in the library will be spent with pleasure. The more the idea challenges and intrigues you, the less you’ll procrastinate and suffer from writing. No one can tell you what to write about. Your advisor can help you specify the topic, but it is up to you what to write about.
  • Look for a topic that creates a trajectory for further research . You may not pursue it later, but having an opportunity to do so is a significant advantage. If you decide to pursue a further degree, you will already be familiar with the topic well. Take a look at available works in a free essays database to get a clearer picture of what can be further explored.
  • Find a professor who will become your thesis advisor . Bring some thesis ideas up and see what your instructor suggests. It’s a good thing to have several research topics in mind—the instructor can help you determine the best one.
  • Think beyond the graduation date . Whether you are going to start a career or continue your studies, your thesis should help you in achieving your goals. What may your employer look for in your paper? What do you need to be successful in your job or further research? It’s good to approach the issue with some level of practicality. See if you can apply the skills and information you’ve acquired to your professional life.
  • Strive for originality but stay within your studies context . Try to make your title unique to grasp attention and intrigue from the get-go. At the same time, don’t fall outside the scope of your field. Before picking a topic, do some research to understand the field deeper. This way, you’ll see what exactly you would like to address.
  • Make sure your title fits the requirements . Open your university guidelines for the thesis work and find this out before anything else. Ask your thesis advisor as well to give you honest feedback.

You don't have to choose a thesis topic that reflects the latest craze in your field.

⭐ Top-12 History Thesis Ideas

  • Civil War — the role of women.
  • The Watergate Scandal.
  • Contemporary art history.
  • The Napoleonic Wars.
  • Causes of World War 2.
  • Impact of the Black Plague.
  • The Cuban Missile Crisis.
  • Japanese-American conflict.
  • The Vietnam anti-war protests.
  • Origins of the Great Famine in Ireland.
  • The French Revolution.
  • The rule of Elizabeth I.

📝 History Thesis Topics for Bachelor’s Degree

Usually, American Universities don’t require students to write a Senior Thesis. However, you still have an option to choose one. You can write a thesis as a part of your program completion. It will take a lot of time, energy, and effort. But, in the end, you will be able to produce a prime piece of academic writing.

Strive to write anywhere from 60 to 100 pages. You will also dedicate a lot of time writing and polishing it afterward. Make sure to leave enough time for that too.

What’s the first step?

Look for a thesis advisor you know you will enjoy working with. Consider all the professors you’ve interacted with at your university and pick several. Approach them and see if they are accepting new students for thesis supervision.

Make sure to choose a history thesis paper topic that your advisor knows a lot about. At some point, you will become very knowledgeable about the history thesis topic you chose. It will be crucial to have someone who can direct you.

There are several reasons why you should consider writing a thesis for a Bachelor’s Degree in history:

  • It provides you with essential experience in writing, researching, and brainstorming ideas. It can later help you in your academic or professional life.
  • You can deeply understand a subject that interests you.
  • You can improve your reading skills.
  • If you have to use foreign sources, you can also increase your foreign language skills.

Having a strong position on the history thesis topic is great.

Are you still wondering what historical thesis ideas are appropriate? Then, this list is perfect for you.

🚀 American History Thesis Topics

  • African American history in the United States : disfranchisement and segregation in 1890-1900
  • Early American History and the lost colony of Roanoke
  • The construction of race in American culture and history. It’s not a secret that race is a social construct. In American culture and history, it plays a critical role. In the thesis, you will have a chance to research the mechanisms through which the race was constructed. Movies, literary representations, articles, what else? It’s up to you to find out what can be relevant.
  • World War 2 through personal letters and diaries . This thesis can be personal and will not leave people indifferent. Examination of diaries, notes, and personal accounts can be fascinating. You won’t be bored doing historical research. Maybe you even have some in your own family? Worth checking it out.
  • Guilt over Slavery in the United States: a historical examination
  • Gender equality in American education . A comparative study of Germany, Russia, The United States
  • New York City and its historical geography. NYC is one of the captivating American cities. Writing a thesis about its historical geography is not an easy task. Gladly, you have tons of information available to you.

You can examine various documents for your history thesis topic.

  • Rocket Science as one of the most significant innovations of the 20th century
  • Examining the Role of Privilege within the Ivy League Universities
  • Role of American Public Health in a Post-9/11 World

⚔ European History Thesis Topics

  • Formation and development of the European Union during the 20th century
  • Feminist perspective on the representation of women in Roman Art
  • Religion and Nation in Europe in the 19th century
  • Construction of National Identity in Post-Soviet Latvia. What did contribute to developing a national identity of post-soviet Latvia? First of all, its independence and belonging to the European Union. In this thesis, talk about colonization and colonial identity. Consider the policies Latvian government implemented to build a Latvian character. What is it? What are the essential characteristics of it?
  • Composition and religious hierarchy in The Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci
  • Representation of Jews in Late Medieval Period in Europe
  • Problems of political leadership in Athens of 404-355 BCE
  • The French Renaissance Court and its structural hierarchy. This topic is interesting yet complex. Its complexity comes not from the name but the nature of the French Renaissance Court. You need to have a clear idea of how the royal court is built and is operating. Find relevant historians of that time, and, hopefully, you can speak some French.
  • Immigrational Politics of the United Kingdom. The problem of multiculturism at the beginning of 1960-1980.
  • Orientalism or the Middle East through the prism of Western scholars in the XIX century. In this thesis, start by exploring the notion of Orientalism. Edward Said will be a good point of departure and one of the most fundamental works to cite and read. You can agree with his argument or disagree with it. Nevertheless, find the relevant evidence for your point of view.

🎨 Art History Thesis Topics

  • Medicine in Ancient Rome with a focus on surgeries through paintings. This thesis topic is rich. Numerous Ancient Roman paintings depict surgeries and medical treatments. Find the most interesting ones and talk about innovations in medicine. What was the point of recording medical procedures in art? Truly a topic that can captivate anyone.
  • Vincent Van Gogh: A phycological analysis of the artist’s last years . In this thesis, examine his artworks together with the personal letters. Look at the words he used, as well as the images he painted. You need it to comprehend what was happening in Vincent’s life in his last years. Some art therapists claim that the artist had bipolar disorder. Examine those views. However, be careful not to give any medical diagnosis yourself.

Analyze how Vincent Van Gogh's life and mental health issues affected his art.

  • Plato on Punishment and Vice: the notion of punishment in The Republic. You cannot get a degree without reading the most fundamental text of the Western Academy, The Republic . In this thesis, you should simply focus on the ideas of punishment and vice. Plato wrote a lot regarding the morals and the laws. Try to discern what exactly he meant. Extract his views regarding capital punishment and punitive justice.
  • Modern Art in Europe, with a specific focus on Italy
  • Trade in Medieval Europe with a focus on Africa through art
  • The erotism of art of Ancient Rome
  • Synthesis of sculpture and paintings in Spanish art of the 17th century
  • Neoclassicism in French art of the 1900s-1910s
  • Surrealism in Art as the quintessence between realism and hyper-realism

📋 History Thesis Topics for Master’s Degree

In the United States, to enter a graduate degree in history, a bachelor’s degree is required. Most of the time, students will have to submit several recommendation letters. Plus, they need GRE scores and writing samples. Add to this several essays explaining the purpose of going to university again, and there you have it.

Bachelor’s thesis can serve as your writing sample.

It is common to have several completion requirements. They can include basic courses, language tests, and a master’s thesis at the end of the program. However, it depends on the department and the university.

Keep in mind that there are several credits that students should obtain to get a degree. It differs from university to university as well. In most of the programs throughout the United States, they are required to complete 30-32 credits to get an M.A. degree. This number usually corresponds to 8-9 classes.

If you are pursuing an M.A., you’re in luck. There is an excellent chance that you will be able to choose if you would like to write a thesis or not. If you are pursuing an M.Phil., then you will have to write your thesis because it’s a research degree.

No matter if you are pursuing an M.A. or an M.Phil., this historical thesis ideas can help you find a title:

📚 MA Thesis Topics in History

  • Apotheosis of the Philippine Historical Political Tradition
  • Kerala History: Syrian Christians in the region in the 18th century
  • History of Modern India with a focus on women’s rights
  • The history of theater in the American South and the main characteristics of the Southern Drama. This thesis includes a lot of aspects starting from playwriting in Charleston to drama in New Orleans. Then there are War Drama, Black Drama, etc. Try to find a good balance to fit all of the main characteristics of the Southern Drama and theater.
  • New Deal and its impacts on events leading to the Great Depression
  • Mistakes of the Soviet side in WW2. WWII was the deadliest military conflict of the 20th century. In this thesis, talk about the biggest mistakes the Red Army made during the war. Some of those can include signing to the Non-Aggression Pact with Hitler. Plus, there were anti-tank dogs and the Molovot-Ribbentrop Pact.

The initial period of World War II for the USSR was a real catastrophe for the Red Army's tanks.

  • Military strategies that allowed Napoleon to win crucial battles
  • Mussolini & Hitler : connection along with its consequences for Italy
  • Queen Victoria’s politics and the way it has changed British history
  • The Development of Strategic Bombing Doctrine Between the World Wars
  • Historical Creation of a Black Elite in the United States
  • Through Imperial Eyes: Race and British Reactions to the American Slavery Question
  • Gertrude Bell’s Influence in the Formation of Iraq. Gertrude Bell is a crucial figure in Islamic studies. She contributed a lot to the formation of Iraq. In this thesis, explore her unique contribution and approach to building a modern state of the country. She was highly trusted by British politicians and by Arab leaders.
  • Baptist church history as a way to escape slavery

🦉 MPhil Thesis Topics in History

  • Investigating the impact of WWI on trade blocks. A case study of the European Union
  • Women in WWII: sexual objectification of women through magazines and advertisement. Women played an integral part in WWII. In this thesis, explore the role of sexual imagery in the advertising industry during the war.
  • Sudan-American relationships in 1989-2000: US Foreign Policy and Genocide in Sudan
  • Criticism of the war on drugs during the Ronald Reagan administration
  • The political evolution of the Southern States during the Reconstruction Era
  • Everest Expeditions in British Popular Culture, 1920-1960. Explore how Everest Expeditions were depicted in British movies. Analyze the subject via comics, journals, and visual art in the first part of the 20th century.
  • Impact of Otto von Bismarck on German Liberalism

Otto von Bismarck was a prime minister of Prussia and founder of the German Empire.

  • Discrimination of German immigrants in the USA during WW2
  • The Fourth International and the Spanish Civil War
  • Political and economic aspects of the crisis in Venetian Diplomacy in the 1500s
  • The connection between institutionalized racism and police violence in the United States. There are several dimensions to racism. In this thesis, look for a connection between structural racism and police violence in the US. Compare the numbers, look at the stories. See if this data exposes any hidden bias.
  • An image of the Medieval Period in Post Modern Art
  • A comparative analysis of the Four Quran English Translation. In this thesis, discuss why and how the Quran can be translated. Also, you should look at the four translations. Try to determine which one is the closest. To do that, you need to have an advanced level of Arabic.
  • The psychological effect of war on American soldiers in Vietnam

👨‍🏫 Differences between a Thesis and Dissertation

Understanding the difference between a thesis and a dissertation is essential. Would you like to obtain a master’s and a doctoral degree? Then read attentively. In the United States, both thesis and dissertation are vital for this purpose.

The prominent differences that you have to realize are the following:

  • A dissertation is required to graduate with a doctoral degree. A thesis is a culmination of a master’s program.
  • A dissertation is written to add a new piece of knowledge to the field. A thesis is to show that you have enough knowledge about the field.
  • A dissertation usually takes several semesters, sometimes even years, to complete. A thesis does not require this amount of time. It can be finished within months.
  • A dissertation can be seen as an academic book. A master’s thesis is a long research paper.

A dissertation has to be defended, while the master's thesis doesn't require defense in most universities.

Let’s see the main characteristics of a bachelor’s thesis, a master’s thesis, an MPhil’s thesis, and a dissertation:

  • A Bachelor’s Thesis (honors thesis). It’s a research-based paper that allows undergraduate students to put their knowledge into practice. The paper is usually 40-60 pages long. It includes an introduction, main body, conclusion, and bibliography.
  • A Master’s Thesis. It’s a piece of original scholarly work. A mater’s thesis is written under the close supervision of an academic advisor. It attempts to bring some fresh look or a new perspective to a field of study. The length of a master’s thesis can vary. Usually, it doesn’t go beyond 100 pages.
  • An MPhil’s Thesis (Master of Philosophy). It’s a specific type of thesis. As it was stated earlier, most American Universities don’t grant this degree. A few schools give it under specific circumstances. Doctoral students should accomplish all the course work and pass their exams. Then, this degree can be granted to them. A more colloquial way to call this degree is “all but dissertation.” In other cases, this degree is granted to students who are doing their postgraduate research.
  • A Dissertation. It’s a major piece of academic writing. It’s independent, shows critical and thinking ability. A dissertation is meant to illustrate academic knowledge, originality of work, and research skills. The length usually stays within 200-300 pages.

Each thesis and dissertation has its distinct structure.

Any thesis or dissertation is a monumental work. Choose a topic that you are passionate about. Make sure it’s researchable and clear, but at the same time memorable. Spend time writing, proofreading, editing, and talking to your advisor about your ideas and academic goals.

Remember that it is okay to get frustrated and tired at times. If it happens to you, stop working for a bit and relax. Good luck and congratulations on your soon to be graduation! We hope this article was helpful. Share it with those who may need a history thesis topic or a piece of advice.

🔗 References

  • MPhil in History: University of Oxford
  • How to Pick a Masters Thesis Topic: Peter Campbell for Medium
  • How Do I Choose A Thesis Topic: Grad School Hub
  • Writing a Senior Thesis: Undergraduate Program, Department of History, Brandeis University
  • The Bachelor’s Thesis, Bachelor EE: University of Twente
  • Guidelines for the Preparation of Your Master’s Thesis: the Office of Graduate Studies and Research: University of Nebraska at Kearney
  • Guidelines for Writing a Master’s Thesis for MA Degree: Jeremy Bailey, Susan Scarrow, University of Houston
  • What is a dissertation? How it is different from an essay: The Royal Literary Fund
  • What is the Difference Between a Thesis and a Dissertation: The Best Master’s Degrees
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How to Research and Write a Compelling History Thesis

student works on history thesis in university library

The Importance of Research for Writing a History Thesis

Just as history is more than a collection of facts about past events, an effective history thesis goes beyond simply sharing recorded information. Writing a compelling history thesis requires making an argument about a historical fact and, then, researching and providing a well-crafted defense for that position.

With so many sources available—some of which may provide conflicting findings—how should a student research and write a history thesis? How can a student create a thesis that’s both compelling and supports a position that academic editors describe as “concise, contentious, and coherent”?

Key steps in how to write a history thesis include evaluating source materials, developing a strong thesis statement, and building historical knowledge.

Compelling theses provide context about historical events. This context, according to the reference website ThoughtCo., refers to the social, religious, economic, and political conditions during an occurrence that “enable us to interpret and analyze works or events of the past, or even the future, rather than merely judge them by contemporary standards”.

The context supports the main point of a thesis, called the thesis statement, by providing an interpretive and analytical framework of the facts, instead of simply stating them. Research uncovers the evidence necessary to make the case for that thesis statement.

To gather evidence that contributes to a deeper understanding of a given historical topic, students should reference both primary and secondary sources of research.

Primary Sources

Primary sources are firsthand accounts of events in history, according to Professor David Ulbrich, director of Norwich University’s online Master of Arts in History program. These sources provide information not only about what happened and how it happened but also why it happened.

Primary sources can include letters, diaries, photos, and videos as well as material objects such as “spent artillery shells, architectural features, cemetery headstones, chemical analysis of substances, shards of bowls or bottles, farming implements, or earth or environmental features or factors,” Ulbrich says. “The author of the thesis can tell how people lived, for example, by the ways they arranged their material lives.”

Primary research sources are the building blocks to help us better understand and appreciate history. It is critical to find as many primary sources from as many perspectives as possible. Researching these firsthand accounts can provide evidence that helps answer those “what”, “how”, and “why” questions about the past, Ulbrich says.

Secondary Sources

Secondary sources are materials—such as books, articles, essays, and documentaries—gathered and interpreted by other researchers. These sources often provide updates and evaluation of the thesis topic or viewpoints that support the theories presented in the thesis.

Primary and secondary sources are complementary types of research that form a convincing foundation for a thesis’ main points.

How to Write a History Thesis

What are the steps to write a history thesis? The process of developing a thesis that provides a thorough analysis of a historical event—and presents academically defensible arguments related to that analysis—includes the following:

1. Gather and Analyze Sources

When collecting sources to use in a thesis, students should analyze them to ensure they demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the materials. A student should evaluate the attributes of sources such as their origin and point-of-view.

An array of primary and secondary sources can help provide a thorough understanding of a historical event, although some of those sources may include conflicting views and details. In those cases, the American Historical Association says, it’s up to the thesis author to determine which source reflects the appropriate point-of-view.

2. Develop a Thesis Statement

To create a thesis statement, a student should establish a specific idea or theory that makes the main point about a historical event. Scribbr, an editing website, recommends starting with a working thesis, asking the question the thesis intends to answer, and, then, writing the answer.

The final version of a thesis statement might be argumentative, for example, taking a side in a debate. Or it might be expository, explaining a historical situation. In addition to being concise and coherent, a thesis statement should be contentious, meaning it requires evidence to support it.

3. Create an Outline

Developing a thesis requires an outline of the content that will support the thesis statement. Students should keep in mind the following key steps in creating their outline:

  • Note major points.
  • Categorize ideas supported by the theories.
  • Arrange points according to the importance and a timeline of events addressed by the thesis.
  • Create effective headings and subheadings.
  • Format the outline.

4. Organize Information

Thesis authors should ensure their content follows a logical order. This may entail coding resource materials to help match them to the appropriate theories while organizing the information. A thesis typically contains the following elements.

  • Abstract —Overview of the thesis.
  • Introduction —Summary of the thesis’ main points.
  • Literature review —Explanation of the gap in previous research addressed by this thesis.
  • Methods —Outline how the author reviewed the research and why materials were selected.
  • Results —Description of the research findings.
  • Discussion —Analysis of the research.
  • Conclusion —Statements about what the student learned.

5. Write the Thesis

Online writing guide Paperpile recommends that students start with the literature review when writing the thesis. Developing this section first will help the author gain a more complete understanding of the thesis’ source materials. Writing the abstract last can give the student a thorough picture of the work the abstract should describe.

The discussion portion of the thesis typically is the longest since it’s here that the writer will explain the limitations of the work, offer explanations of any unexpected results, and cite remaining questions about the topic.

In writing the thesis, the author should keep in mind that the document will require multiple changes and drafts—perhaps even new insights. A student should gather feedback from a professor and colleagues to ensure their thesis is clear and effective before finalizing the draft.      

6. Prepare to Defend the Thesis

A committee will evaluate the student’s defense of the thesis’ theories. Students should prepare to defend their thesis by considering answers to questions posed by the committee. Additionally, students should develop a plan for addressing questions to which they may not have a ready answer, understanding the evaluation likely will consider how the author handles that challenge.

Developing Skills to Write a Compelling History Thesis

When looking for direction on how to write a history thesis, Norwich University’s online Master of Arts in History program can provide the needed skills and knowledge. The program’s tracks and several courses—taken as core classes or as electives in multiple concentrations—can provide a strong foundation for thesis work.

Master of Arts in History Tracks

In the Norwich online Master of Arts in History program, respected scholars help students improve their historical insight, research, writing, analytical, and presentation skills. They teach the following program tracks.

  • Public History —Focuses on the preservation and interpretation of historic documents and artifacts for purposes of public observation.
  • American History —Emphasizes the exploration and interpretation of key events associated with U.S. history.
  • World History —Prepares students to develop an in-depth understanding of world history from various eras.
  • Legal and Constitutional History —Provides a thorough study of the foundational legal and constitutional elements in the U.S. and Europe.

Master of Arts in History Courses

Norwich University’s online Master of Arts in History program enables students to customize studies based on career goals and personal interests through the following courses:

  • Introduction to History and Historiography —Covers the core concepts of history-based study and research methodology, highlighting how these concepts are essential to developing an effective history thesis.
  • Directed Readings in History —Highlights different ways to use sources that chronicle American history to assist in researching and writing a thorough and complete history thesis.
  • Race, Gender, and U.S. Constitution —Explores key U.S. Supreme Court decisions relating to national race and gender relations and rights, providing a deeper context to develop compelling history theses.
  • Archival Studies —Breaks down the importance of systematically overseeing archival materials, highlighting how to build historical context to better educate and engage with the public.

Start Your Path Toward Writing a Compelling History Thesis

For over two centuries, Norwich University has played a vital role in history as America’s first private military college and the birthplace of the ROTC. As such, the university is uniquely positioned to lead students through a comprehensive analysis of the major developments, events, and figures of the past.

Explore Norwich University’s online Master of Arts in History program. Start your path toward writing a compelling history thesis and taking your talents further.

Writing History: An Introductory Guide to How History Is Produced , American Historical Association     How to Write a Thesis Statement , Scribbr     The Importance of Historic Context in Analysis and Interpretation , ThoughtCo.     7 Reasons Why Research Is Important , Owlcation     Primary and Secondary Sources , Scribbr     Secondary Sources in Research , ThoughtCo.     Analysis of Sources , History Skills     Research Paper Outline , Scribbr     How to Structure a Thesis , Paperpile     Writing Your Final Draft , History Skills     How to Prepare an Excellent Thesis Defense , Paperpile

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History Masters Theses Collection

This collection contains open access and campus access Masters theses, made possible through Graduate Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston. The full content of open access theses is available to all, although some files may have embargoes placed on them and will be made available as soon as possible. The full content of campus access theses is only available to those either on the UMass Boston campus or with a UMass Boston campus username and password. Click on the "Off-Campus UMass Boston Users" link on the record page to download Campus Access publications. Those not on campus and those without a UMass Boston campus username and password may gain access to this thesis through resources like Proquest Dissertations & Theses Global or through Interlibrary Loan.

Theses from 2023 2023

Margaret Cross Norton in Context: Norton’s Portrayal in American Archival Theory, the Social Conditions of Her Time and the Evolution of Presidential Libraries in the United States , Marie H. Bowen

Culture Wars: North Carolina, Representation, and the Vote on the Federal Constitution of 1787 , Maria A. Carlson

George Boardman Weston's Grand Tour: Travel Writing and its Impact on Nineteenth-Century Americans , Joshua Tyler Clark

“Each Heart Alone Knoweth Its Own Bitterness”: The Jackson Family in Clarke County, Virginia, from Enslavement to Jim Crow , Melanie E. Garvey

Deconstructing Reconstruction: The Portrayal of The Reconstruction Era in High School History Textbooks , Eleanor Katari

Radical Routes: The Formation of the Boston School Bus Drivers Union Local 8751 , Maci Mark

Limitations & Liberation: Republican Motherhood and Female Advancement in Nineteenth Century America , Hannah Russell

The Armenian Genocide as Presented by the American Press , Grace A. Wargovich

Theses from 2022 2022

Northeastern Pennsylvania's Forgotten Labor Massacre: Analysis pf the English Language Record of the Lattimer Massacre , Jamie C. Costello

Shadow of the Vietnam War on the Senate Persian Gulf Debate of 1991 , Austin DiBari

Popular Memory, Silence, and Trust: A Mother and Son’s Relationship to School in the Shadow of the Prince Edward County Closures , Rory S. Dunn

The Arrows, The Shield: Mapping, Identity, and Tradition in Colonial Cempoala, Mexico , Savvas Papadopoulos

The Unsung Influence of the National Day of Mourning: A Study of Indigenous Activism, Race, and Memory , Erika T. Tauer

The Role of the Catholic Church’s Teachings on Slavery and Secession Affecting Allegiances During the American Civil War , David J. Thompson

Theses from 2021 2021

Celebrating Chinese American Veterans: Commemoration and America's Collective Memory Of War , Kevin Lee

Community in a Time of Crisis: How the People of Provincetown, Massachusetts Worked to Combat the HIV/AIDS Epidemic , Danielle Maria Lisbon

Uncommon Ground: Pawtucket-Pennacook Strategic Land Exchange in Native Spaces and Colonized Places of Essex County and Massachusetts Bay in the Seventeenth Century , Kristine Malpica

The Decline of the Massachusetts Know-Nothing Party: The Impact of Slavery and Temperance in 1855 , Alexander Rodrigues

The Boston Black United Front and Community-Centered Alternatives to the Carceral State , Joseph W. Sikowitz

Theses from 2020 2020

Operation Nickel Grass: Richard Nixon and the Yom Kippur War , Luke George Bergquist

Essential Labor: Marginalized People in the American Whaling Industry, Southeastern Massachusetts , Brielle E. Berical

A Dogged Resolve: The Doctrine and Decline of Mormon Plural Marriage, 1841-1890 , Jaclyn Thornock Gadd

The Hyde Park Thought Club: Pioneers in the Women’s Club Movement -- A Case Study 1868 – 1902 , Patrice A. Gattozzi

The Ghosts of Empires Past: The Red Army Faction’s Violent Relationship with Cold War Neo-Imperialism, 1969-1974 , Renee Danielle Jean

Reassessing the Factors that Led to the Evacuation of Japanese in World War Two , Mark S. Lewis

Black Masters; The Ownership of Slaves by Free People of Color in the Antebellum South 1780-1861 , Michael O. Magbagbeola

"To Have and Enjoy": Seating in Boston's Early Anglican Churches, 1686-1732 , Erica Jill McAvoy

Scholars, Spinners and Economies of Scale: Public Education on Exhibit in the Textile Era in New Bedford, Massachusetts , Arthur P. Motta Jr.

Beyond the Big Top: The Legacy of John Ringling and the American Circus , Casey L. Nemec

“Even if it Means Our Battles to Date are Meaningless” The Anime Gundam Wing and Postwar History, Memory, and Identity in Japan , Genevieve R. Peterson

"Full of Light and Fire": John Brown in Springfield , Louis J. Rocco Jr.

The Psychogram , Nathaniel M. Sullivan

Washed Away: Native American Representation in Oklahoma Museums and High Schools, 2000 – 2020 , Catherine E. Thompson

Theses from 2019 2019

Revelation and Concealment; The Words and World of Omar ibn Said , David Gabriel Babaian

Anabasis Aquilonos: The Interplay of Exemplarity and Scientific Historiography in B.H. Liddell Hart’s A Greater than Napoleon: Scipio Africanus , Daniel T. Barbre

The Language of the Herodians: An Analysis of Herodian Material Culture , Alexander J. D'Amore

Theses from 2018 2018

The Charge of Deserting Their Sphere: The Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society and Women’s Place in the Abolitionist Movement , Megan Irene Brady

Competing Goals: The Boston Teachers Union and the Boston Busing Crisis , Matthew R. Clark

"The Right to Play" The Establishment of Playgrounds in the American City , Kyle James Fritch

Good Girls Gone Bad: Interpreting the White Slavery Scare As A Response To Changing Women's Roles in the Progressive Era , Rachael Gorski

Innocent Victors: Atomic Identity at the American Museum of Science and Energy in Oak Ridge, Tennessee , Kathryn Leann Harris

William Monroe Trotter and His Contributions to the Early Civil Rights Movement , Katherine N. Jahl

Lapidary Medicine in Early Modern Spain , Dana L. Marquis

A Seemingly Insurmountable Problem: Carl Stokes and the Failure of Cleveland Now! , David M. Rainey

The Creation of the OSS And Anglo American Intelligence Co-Operation In Yugoslavia: A Case Study In Diverging Agendas , Christopher J. Royack

Luis V. Manrara & the Truth About Cuba Committee, Inc.: A Microhistory on the Effect of Socio-Economic Advantages and Politics on Early Cuban Acculturation within American Society , Francis E. Tansey

“Wicked and Illegal Traffic”: Newspaper Portrayal of Nigerian Women in the Cannabis Trade (circa 1970 – 1980) , Edet A. Thomas

Theses from 2017 2017

Mendez V. Westminister (1945): A Case that Brought Race to Center Stage , Samantha R. Albert

A Light in the Darkness: Constructing a View of Victorian Gynecological Surgery through Examination of Medical Treatises , Mandy M. Jimenez

Riot and Resurgence: The Antebellum African American Community of Providence, Rhode Island , Christopher J. Martin

Reverend James D. Eaton and Congregationalist Missionary Education in Revolutionary Mexico , Lucas A. Mihalich

Indian, Black, Mustee, and Music: Race, Identity, and Culture in Native Communities During the Age of Whaling , Tara M. Munro

Expendable: Eight Soldiers From Massachusetts Regiments Executed For Desertion During the United States Civil War , Stephen F. Ragon

Theses from 2016 2016

Exploring Reconstruction in the Territory of New Mexico , Krystle Eugley Beaubrun

'For the Sake of the Salvation of our Souls': An Analysis of Hildegard of Bingen's Authority and Reformist Theology in Relation to the Founding of Mount St. Rupert , Alexandra G. Borkowski

Rebuilding the City on a Hill: The Currents of New England Sectionalism and Liberal Christianity in Garrisonian Abolitionism , Zachary Boutin

'For the Benefit of Mankind': Franklin Roosevelt's Development of Trusteeship for the Postwar World , Tasnin R. Chowdhury

Run Aground: Cultural Transformation in Southeastern Massachusetts' Aquatic Spaces, 1637-1711 , Jonathan Dennis Green

In Freedom's Cause: An Exploration of Suffragette and Chartist Militancy in Britain , Ashley Kennedy-MacDougall

Countdown to Martial Law: The U.S-Philippine Relationship, 1969-1972 , Joven G. Maranan

He was a Camera: Christopher Isherwood, Weimar Germany, and Transationalism in the American Gay Rights Movement , Kristof R. Nelson

Somewhere Between Exploitation and Partnership: English and Native Alliances Surrounding the Raids on Deerfield and King William’s War , Caitlyn J. Remmes

The Barbadoes Family and the Pursuit of African-American Equality in 19th Century America , Robert J. Shaw

Theses from 2015 2015

Traitor or Pioneer: John Brown Russwurm and the African Colonization Movement , Brian J. Barker

A Queen's Legacy: The Lives of Elizabeth Woodville and Jacquetta of Luxembourg , Heather E. Bump

We're Just Like You: Strategies of Gay Activism against the Religious Right, Politics and Conservatism, and the AIDS Crisis , William G. Burton

Gay Outlaws: The Alpine County Project Reconsidered , Jacob D. Carter

George Loney Wallace and the Wrentham State School: 1906-1930 , Lindsay Fulton

Charles Francis Adams: A Study on the Crucial Role of Adams in Maintaining British Neutrality During the American Civil War , Jonathan S. McIsaac

The Massachusetts Bay Circuit , Corey W. Medeiros

É Para Sair de Portugal a Todos os Custos! The Policia Repressiva de Emigração Clandestina (1896-1911) and the Politics of Azorean Emigration to the United States , Sonia Patricia da Silva Pacheco

The Integration of African Americans in the Civilian Conservation Corps in Massachusetts , Caitlin E. Pinkham

Anti-Catholicism and Gender Norms: Reassessing the Charlestown Convent Riot, 1834 , Daniel S. Sousa

Theses from 2014 2014

Crowning a Florentine Princeps in a New Rome: The Civic Humanism of Leonardo Bruni and the Rise of Cosimo de' Medici, "Pater Patriae" , Jason F. Amato

The Transvaal Constitution and Responsible Government: How Churchill influenced Apartheid , Christopher H. Beckvold

"Tenacious of Their Lands": Fortifying the District of Mashpee, 1834-1842 , Nicole Alexis Breault

Assent and You Are Sane: "John Brown Was Right" , Jermain S. Corbin

Saving the "Original Paradise": Health Tourism, Tropical Disease, and the Problem of Cuba in the American Imperial Imagination, 1848-98 , Liana DeMarco

Panthersprung: The Vital Inheritance of the Agadir Crisis , Patrick E. Doerr

Lusitania: An Examination of Captaincy and Seamanship in the Face of Disaster , Robert J. Goulding

“So Succeeded by a Kind Providence”: Communities of Color in Eighteenth Century Boston , Eric M. Hanson Plass

Constructing A Vernacular Narrative: Communal Memory of Boston's West End , Eleanor Martinez Proctor

Theses from 2013 2013

Generations Apart: Cultural Revolution Memory and China's Post-80's Generation on the Chinese Internet , Vincent R. Capone

Once Lords and Emperors: Chivalry and the Making of Clerical Masculinity in High Medieval Normandy , Charles S. Carroll

Fort Devens: Civil Rights Unrest and African-American Identity in a Northern Military Camp during World War I and World War II , Janine Hubai

The Hidden Experience: Untold Stories of Immigrant Agency During the Settlement House Movement in Boston , Deirdre L. Kutt

General Von Seeckt and Sino-German Cooperation , Yue Lan

"Our Brothers In This Country": Captivity and Kinship in the Colonial Northeast , Steven C. Moore

The Teacher Revolt: Militancy, Grassroots Mobilization, and Local Autonomy in the National Education Association and the Massachusetts Teachers Association (1960-1980) , Jamie A. Rinaldi

Germs, Pigs and Silver: King Philip's War and the Deconstruction of the Middle Ground In New England , Benjamin M. Roine

Men of Uncommon Substance: Sailor Literature and American Identity in Antebellum America, 1805 - 1840 , Pete Sprayregen

Technology Transfer and Diffusion in the Context of Globalization: A Study of a Critical Decade in the Ottoman Empire through the Experiences of Henry Eckford, 1830-1840 , Gulumhan Huma Yildirim

Theses from 2012 2012

The Forgotten Children: The Educational Demographics of an Austrian Diocese 1848-1852 , Mathew Richard Boyeson

Gaetano Salvemini: A Lesson in Thought and Action , Michael Christopher DiClemente

The Cultural Assault on the Female Gender during the Weimar Years , Jaime Alexandra Gaudet

Immigrants as Americanizers: The Americanization Movement of the Early Twentieth Century , Alexis Claire Hanley

Union Army Doctrine: The Role of the Artillery During the Campaign for Vicksburg , Stephanie A. Peacock

Botticelli's La Primavera: Painting the Cosmos of Human Ideals , Leatha Eleni Tzioumis

Women Under National Socialism: The Case Study of Melita Maschmann , Lynda Maureen Willett

Theses from 2011 2011

Diplomatic and Military Objectives and Their Impact on Operation Olympic: The Invasion of Kyushu, Japan, November 1st, 1945 , John Joseph Favara

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AP®︎/College US History

Course: ap®︎/college us history   >   unit 10, ap us history periods and themes.

  • AP US History multiple choice example 1
  • AP US History multiple choice example 2
  • AP US History short answer example 1
  • AP US History short answer example 2
  • AP US History DBQ example 1
  • AP US History DBQ example 2
  • AP US History DBQ example 3
  • AP US History DBQ example 4
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  • AP US History long essay example 2
  • AP US History long essay example 3
  • Preparing for the AP US History Exam (5/4/2016)
  • AP US History Exam Prep Session (5/1/2017)

AP US history periods and themes

Example ap us history problems, key terms, documents, and court cases to know, primary documents:.

John Winthrop, “City on a Hill” / “A Model of Christian Charity”
Jonathan Edwards, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”
Thomas Jefferson, “Declaration of Independence”
James Madison, “Constitution of the United States”
Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, “Declaration of Sentiments”
Frederick Douglass, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”
Harriet Beecher Stowe, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” (main ideas)
Abraham Lincoln, “House Divided” speech, Second Inaugural Address
Sojourner Truth, “Ain’t I a Woman?”
Andrew Carnegie, “The Gospel of Wealth” (main ideas)
Josiah Strong, “Our Country” (main ideas)
Upton Sinclair “The Jungle” (main ideas)
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, First Inaugural Address, December 8 1941 address
George Kennan, “Long Telegram”
Martin Luther King Jr. “Letter from Birmingham Jail”, “I Have a Dream” speech
Betty Friedan “The Feminine Mystique” (main ideas)
Ronald Reagan “Evil Empire” speech

Supreme Court cases:

Marbury v. Madison
Dred Scott v. Sanford
Plessy v. Ferguson
Brown v. Board of Education
Roe v. Wade
Bush v. Gore

Foreign policy doctrines:

Monroe Doctrine
Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine
Truman Doctrine
Nixon Doctrine
Bush Doctrine
virgin soil epidemic
salutary neglect / benign neglect
judicial review
Jacksonian Democracy
popular sovereignty
Jim Crow segregation
mass production
labor union
laissez-faire economics
liberalism (economics/politics)
Soviet Union
Domino Theory
non-violent protest (Civil Rights)

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Great Answer

Harvard University Theses, Dissertations, and Prize Papers

The Harvard University Archives ’ collection of theses, dissertations, and prize papers document the wide range of academic research undertaken by Harvard students over the course of the University’s history.

Beyond their value as pieces of original research, these collections document the history of American higher education, chronicling both the growth of Harvard as a major research institution as well as the development of numerous academic fields. They are also an important source of biographical information, offering insight into the academic careers of the authors.

Printed list of works awarded the Bowdoin prize in 1889-1890.

Spanning from the ‘theses and quaestiones’ of the 17th and 18th centuries to the current yearly output of student research, they include both the first Harvard Ph.D. dissertation (by William Byerly, Ph.D . 1873) and the dissertation of the first woman to earn a doctorate from Harvard ( Lorna Myrtle Hodgkinson , Ed.D. 1922).

Other highlights include:

  • The collection of Mathematical theses, 1782-1839
  • The 1895 Ph.D. dissertation of W.E.B. Du Bois, The suppression of the African slave trade in the United States, 1638-1871
  • Ph.D. dissertations of astronomer Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin (Ph.D. 1925) and physicist John Hasbrouck Van Vleck (Ph.D. 1922)
  • Undergraduate honors theses of novelist John Updike (A.B. 1954), filmmaker Terrence Malick (A.B. 1966),  and U.S. poet laureate Tracy Smith (A.B. 1994)
  • Undergraduate prize papers and dissertations of philosophers Ralph Waldo Emerson (A.B. 1821), George Santayana (Ph.D. 1889), and W.V. Quine (Ph.D. 1932)
  • Undergraduate honors theses of U.S. President John F. Kennedy (A.B. 1940) and Chief Justice John Roberts (A.B. 1976)

What does a prize-winning thesis look like?

If you're a Harvard undergraduate writing your own thesis, it can be helpful to review recent prize-winning theses. The Harvard University Archives has made available for digital lending all of the Thomas Hoopes Prize winners from the 2019-2021 academic years.

Accessing These Materials

How to access materials at the Harvard University Archives

How to find and request dissertations, in person or virtually

How to find and request undergraduate honors theses

How to find and request Thomas Temple Hoopes Prize papers

How to find and request Bowdoin Prize papers

  • email: Email
  • Phone number 617-495-2461

Related Collections

Harvard faculty personal and professional archives, harvard student life collections: arts, sports, politics and social life, access materials at the harvard university archives.

520 Excellent American History Topics & Tips for an A+ Paper

How can you define America? If you’ve ever asked yourself this question, studying US history will help you find the answer.

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This article will help you dive deeper into this versatile subject. Here, you will find:

  • Early and modern US history topics to write about. We’ve also got topics for DBQ essays for students taking an AP US history class.
  • Tips on how to create a great history paper.

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🔝 Top 10 American History Topics

✅ how to write a history paper, ⭐ top 10 us history topics to research.

  • 🦅 Topics Before 1865
  • ⚔️ Civil War Topics
  • 🛠️ Reconstruction & Industrialization
  • 🗽 20th Century Topics
  • 🔫 Topics on WWI & II
  • ☮️ Civil Rights Movement Topics
  • 💬 Debatable Topics
  • ✊🏿 Black History Topics
  • 🏞️ Native American Topics
  • ⭐ Topics on Famous People

🔍 References

  • The ideology of the Black Panthers
  • How did tenements affect America?
  • Why was Wilmot Proviso so controversial?
  • What characterizes the Roaring Twenties?
  • Cause and effect of the Missouri Compromise
  • The role of women during the Great Depression
  • Did anyone profit from the 1929 Stock Market Crash?
  • Michael Collins’ contribution to the space exploration
  • How did the US benefit from the Bracero Program?
  • Brigham Young’s contribution to the development of the West

History writing is controversial by nature. Selecting questions and topics is already a subjective process. On top of that, you need to interpret the sources. So, there is much to think about when it comes to history papers.

We’ve compiled several tips to make it easier for you. Check it out:

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  • Don’t be afraid to disagree . People explain many issues by conventional wisdom. Be skeptical and examine your own bias.
  • Explore new terrains . Not all historical events get the attention they deserve. Writing about generally neglected topics can yield fascinating results.
  • Consider how situations change over time . Frame your subject with a start- and endpoint.
  • Wonder . History is not just descriptions of what happened—it also questions how and why specific events took place.
  • Avoid relating everything to the present . Examine the past on its own terms. In doing so, keep the chronological order straight.
  • Don’t judge your subject . Your goal is to understand the past. Remember: moral norms might have been different in the period you’re studying.
  • Give context . It’s crucial to engage with and interpret your sources. Pinpoint their place in the grand scheme of events.

Finally, you might want to write in the present tense. While this works for other social sciences, it’s not advisable for history. It’s best to keep the past in the past! Also, if you need to construct a MLA title page , there’s nothing wrong in using a specialized tool to do that, as long as it allows you to concentrate on the more important part—writing.

  • What caused the Red Scare?
  • What did the Loyalists fight for?
  • Literacy rates during Puritan times
  • The effects of the Great Awakening
  • Why was the Boston Tea Party justified?
  • The aftermath of the Battle of Bunker Hill
  • Why was presidential Reconstruction a failure?
  • The causes of the economic recession of the 1780s
  • Railroads development role in the Industrial Revolution
  • Frederick Douglass’s contribution to the abolition of slavery

🦅 Essay Topics on US History before 1865

The period of colonial America is packed with turmoil. Think of the Boston Tea Party or the American Revolution. And these are only two of that era’s most notable events. In this rubric, you’ll find colonial American history essay topics. The period in question starts with the British arrival in the New World and ends with the Civil War.

  • The origins of Thanksgiving. One idea is to find out why the Pilgrims started celebrating it in the first place. Alternatively, you could examine how it became a national holiday.
  • Why did the British begin settling in the New World? This topic allows you to explore the rivalry with Spain. Or you could investigate England’s problem with poverty.
  • Discuss the emergence of joint-stock companies. Who profited from them? What is their legacy? You might also want to study their role in early settling attempts.
  • Compare and contrast the Jamestown and Plymouth settlements. You can concentrate on areas such as religion and government.

Barack Obama quote.

  • Why did Americans start revolting? An excellent place to begin might be America’s position in global power struggles. The impact of the European Enlightenment movement is also something to consider.
  • The history of African American culture . Ask yourself these questions: How does it differ from the way it is now? What factors influenced its development?
  • What problems arose during the drafting of the Constitution? You might want to write about the economic crisis. Other important factors include different interest groups and their expectations.
  • How did the American Revolution influence society? Your essay can be concerned with its immediate or long-term impact. Find out how women, slaves, and other groups reacted to the revolutionary spirit.
  • Consequences of the Royal Proclamation of 1783. American settlers didn’t obey the proclamation, but it still proved to be influential. Your paper could discuss why. Perhaps you’d also like to ponder if it was a good idea.
  • The role of nationalism in the westward expansion. Explore how Americans justified their belief in Manifest Destiny .

Don’t forget to check out these essay topics on early American history:

  • Why did the settlers start importing slaves?
  • How did Texas become a sovereign republic?
  • Why was the American Revolution successful?
  • Discuss the significance of the Louisiana Purchase.
  • What events led to the war of 1812 ?
  • How did the French Revolution impact America?
  • Describe the changes the American Revolution brought to the states.
  • What did “American” mean in the 18 th century?
  • The role of the Sons and Daughters of Liberty in achieving unity.
  • Why was the right to bear arms included in the Bill of Rights?
  • The first President of the United States.
  • Investigate the origins of the two-party system.
  • Alexander Hamilton’s financial policies: opposition and political consequences .
  • How did Washington, DC become the national capital?
  • Trace the Lewis and Clark expedition.
  • Analyze the importance of cotton for the South’s economy in the 1800s.
  • How did the relations between the settlers and Native Americans develop over time?
  • Who formed the abolitionist movement, and why?
  • How did Kansas become a battleground for proponents and opponents of slavery?
  • Who were the Border Ruffians?
  • What was the Compromise of 1850 ?
  • Consequences of the Mexican-American war.
  • Long-term influences of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin .
  • Compare the real Underground Railroad with the Underground Femaleroad in Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale .
  • The Declaration of Independence and its legacy.
  • What did the philosophy of transcendentalism entail?
  • Abigail Adams and the fight for women’s rights in the new republic.
  • Who was Daniel Shays?
  • Trace the ratification process of the United States’ Constitution.
  • What problems arose with the Missouri Compromise ?
  • The revival of religion in the US after achieving independence.
  • How did the mass immigration of Germans and Irish people impact the US?
  • Nativism in the US: riots and the politics of the Know-Nothings.
  • How did the South and the North respectively argue for and against slavery?
  • Investigate the emergence of the “Old American West.”
  • Study the connection of the blue jeans’ invention with the California gold rush .
  • Describe a day in a life of a slave.
  • Why was the Dred Scott Decision significant?
  • How does the 1860 election relate to the southern states seceding from the Union?
  • Explain the term “popular sovereignty.”

⚔️ Civil War Topics for Your Paper

In the pre-war period, tensions in the US over state rights and slavery were high. The differences seemed impossible to overcome. Eventually, this led to several southern states seceding from the Union. What followed was the bloodiest war ever to take place on American ground. In writing about the Civil War, you can explore military, political, and social issues.

  • Did the South ever have a chance to win? The conflict seemed to be heavily in favor of the more industrialized North. Still, it took four years of fighting to get the South to surrender. Your essay could examine the South’s underestimated strengths.
  • Compare and contrast the South’s and North’s economic situation on the eve of the Civil War . You might want to investigate the following questions: What did they produce? How did this influence the decision to wage war?
  • How did the Emancipation Proclamation affect the war? You could focus on the contributions of African American soldiers.
  • Discuss the fatal mistakes made on the battlefields of the Civil War. What decisive moments impacted its results the most? Your paper might explore what the generals could have done differently.
  • Was the Civil War inevitable ? It may be interesting to contemplate a possible compromise. In doing so, think about whether this would have merely delayed the war.
  • The general public’s position on the Civil War. It might be compelling to analyze who supported the effort and why. One focal point could be on differences between social classes.
  • The role of beliefs during the Civil War. You could investigate what the South and the North respectively held sacred. Were religious beliefs a crucial motivator for one or both sides?
  • The “Angel of the Battlefield”: Clara Barton. An essay could analyze how she contributed to the recognition of women’s war participation. It could also examine how it forwarded the struggle for women’s rights.

Clara Barton.

  • What were the political reasons to fight the Civil War? Investigating this question might yield surprising insights.
  • Contrasting Stonewall Jackson and Ulysses Grant might be engaging for those who are interested in military strategies.

Do you want more? Have a look at the following topic samples for high and middle school students:

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  • Analyze why Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address became a critical moment in American history.
  • Was the Civil War justified?
  • Why was Fort Sumter relevant?
  • How did the Civil War battles impact the American social sphere?
  • What does the notion of the “Lost Cause” mean?
  • Would the election of a different man other than Abraham Lincoln as president have prevented the Civil War?
  • Why did many former slaves enlist in the Union army after the Emancipation Proclamation?
  • Describe the consequences of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination .
  • Why was slavery essential for the South?
  • Foreign US policy during the 1860s.
  • European reactions on the American Civil War.
  • How did Jefferson Davis’ government differ from Abraham Lincoln’s ?
  • Analyze the notion “A rich man’s war and a poor man’s fight.” Why was this especially true in the South?
  • Why did the Union rely heavily on blockades to weaken the Confederation?
  • Examine how Mary Boykin Chesnut’s A Diary from Dixie reflects on the war.
  • How did the war affect life in the South vs. the North ?
  • Investigate the events that led to the Union victory in 1864-65.
  • Was the abolitionist movement the catalyst for the war?
  • The impact of industrialization on the battlefield.
  • What technologies emerged during the Civil War?
  • Discuss the societal effects of war photography .
  • How did the Civil War affect the many immigrants who recently entered the United States?
  • Did the American Civil War impact the rest of the globe? If so, how?
  • Can one consider Abraham Lincoln one of the best presidents in American history? If so, why?
  • Compare and contrast the most important generals and their tactics.
  • Debate the influence of Manifest Destiny on exacerbating tensions.
  • What states were devastated the most after the war, and why?
  • Describe the South’s and North’s goals during the Civil War.
  • What does the term “Bleeding Kansas” mean?
  • Newspaper coverage of the Civil War in the South vs. the North.
  • Analyze various letters to understand how people from different backgrounds perceived the Civil War .
  • Art and theater in 1860s America.
  • Debate how sectionalism and protectionism contributed to pre-war tensions in the US.
  • Why did the Crittenden Compromise fail?
  • How did the border states perceive the battles of the Civil War?
  • Explore the war contributions and legacy of Mary Edwards Walker.
  • The importance of the US navy in leading the Union to victory.
  • What happened on the West Coast during the Civil War?
  • Trace a timeline of the Civil War’s key battles.
  • Nation-building and national identity: how did the Civil War shape the idea of “Americanness”?

🛠️ Essay Topics on Reconstruction & Industrialization

After the war, industrialization was rapidly changing the American landscape. Additionally, restoring the order after years of fighting proved a challenge. In abolishing slavery, Republicans took the first step to ensure constitutional rights for African Americans. But not everyone shared the same viewpoints. Dive deeper into these confusing times with one of our topics on American history before 1877:

  • Why did scholars initially view the Reconstruction Era in a bad light ? When answering this question, you can focus on the idea of “Black Supremacism.” You also might want to analyze what compelled them to shift their perspective.
  • Another option is investigating what caused Reconstruction to fail . You can further argue where it succeeded and perhaps offer a new interpretation.
  • Maybe you’d prefer an essay on why the Reconstruction Era mattered . This topic allows you to highlight crucial contemporary debates still relevant today.
  • Tracing the origins of the Ku-Klux-Klan has much to offer. You can link this topic to today and question if handling them has changed.
  • Why did President Johnson veto the enactment of the Civil Rights Act in 1866? It might be interesting to contrast his political reasoning and his personal beliefs.
  • Compare the phases of Reconstruction. How did the concept change from Lincoln’s initial plans to President Johnson’s execution?
  • How did urbanization affect American life? Your paper could contrast life in the city and the countryside. You can take economic, social, and health factors into account.
  • How did the American landscape change during industrialization? You might want to examine city growth and architecture.
  • The invention of electricity was one of the most important events in human history. It might be compelling to wonder what side effects its implementation had.
  • Why not investigate the symbolism of skyscrapers? Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead is a fascinating source for this subject.

But wait, that’s not all of it. We’ve got more, including topics on American history since 1877:

  • Did the situation for freedmen improve after Reconstruction?
  • How did industrialization affect African Americans?
  • Discuss what consequences the Compromise of 1877 had.
  • The role of transportation during industrialization .
  • How does an assembly line work?

The first ever assembly line was installed by Henry Ford.

  • The invention of the automobile.
  • Describe in what ways mass production affected American society.
  • What was the Panic of 1873?
  • Long-term effects of Plessy v. Ferguson.
  • How did the Freedmen’s Bureau help former slaves?
  • Why did rebuilding the South prove so difficult?
  • Debate the effects of the print revolution on American society.
  • What was the primary goal of Reconstruction?
  • How did the Reconstruction Act affect politics in the South?
  • What caused the formation of Radical Republicans?
  • The transformation of leisure in late 19 th century America.
  • Analyze why landownership was a crucial issue in establishing African American equality.
  • Was President Johnson’s attempted impeachment in 1868 justified?
  • How did the US government help exacerbate the wealth gap in the late 19 th century?
  • What changes did transcontinental railroad transportation bring?
  • How did John D. Rockefeller influence the American economy?
  • The role of oil in industrializing America.
  • Discuss the relevance of the Great Upheaval.
  • Changing gender roles in times of urbanization.
  • Industrialization and Education: obstacles and opportunities for women and African Americans.
  • Analyze how industrialization and urbanization in the USA challenged old values.
  • How did the American newspaper business change in the 19 th century?
  • The impact of sensationalism on the American public.
  • Why did steel become such a crucial material during the late 1800s?
  • What caused the Reconstruction Era to come to an end?
  • How did contemporary cartoons attempt to depict the mood during Reconstruction?
  • What problems did Ulysses S. Grant have to face with his administration?
  • Compare and contrast reconstruction measures in various states.
  • Why did cities become increasingly attractive for America’s rural population in the 19 th century?
  • Examine the significance of the Slaughterhouse Cases.
  • Determine the difference between Presidential Reconstruction and Radical Reconstruction?
  • From the black code to Jim Crow: institutionalized racism in the southern states.
  • The combined rise of populism and imperialism in the 1800s.
  • Discuss the significance of regional differences during industrialization .
  • The impact of labor unions on the American work environment.

🗽 20th Century US History Topics to Write About

By the turn of the century, the US was a significant global player. Events such as the Great Depression affected the whole world. In addition, American contributions to the arts changed the cultural sphere forever. If you’re looking for modern US history thematic essay topics, this section is for you.

  • Why did the “final frontier” gain such importance in the 20 th century? Your essay could examine if the space race was an extension of Manifest Destiny.
  • How did the Titanic’s sinking influence innovation and safety regulations ? The ship was the biggest and most technologically advanced ocean liner at the time. Carrying over 2000 passengers, it sank on its maiden voyage. Investigating its legacy might yield fascinating results.
  • How did progressivism shape the political landscape in America at the turn of the century? In the early 1900s, the USA was almost a different country than it was 50 years prior. How did this happen? And who were the leading figures of this process?
  • Are you curious about the development of American workplace laws? Write about the consequences of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire .
  • If you’re into corporate history, look into the rise and fall of America’s formerly largest retailer, Sears.
  • The real William Randolph Hearst vs. his portrayal in David Fincher’s Mank . This topic allows you to combine film theory and the history of American journalism.
  • The impact of Citizen Kane on movies around the globe. To this day, Citizen Kane is considered one of the most influential films ever made. In a paper on the 1941 masterpiece, you can focus on what made it special. Which features are still prominent in cinema today?
  • How did the eugenics movement affect American society? You might want to investigate marriage laws or forced sterilizations.
  • Consequences of the Spanish-American War . The brief battle didn’t last long, but its impact was immense. Your essay could highlight the war as a stepping stone to making the US a global power.
  • Escalating racial violence: The Rosewood Massacre. In 1923, the entire town of Rosewood, Florida, was wiped out by white aggressors. How did racial tensions get so far?

Haven’t found anything yet? Here are some other American history thesis topics for you to explore:

  • The impact of the Cold War on the American economy.
  • What caused the Great Depression ?
  • Ellis Island as a beacon of hope for immigrants and refugees.
  • The transformation of the American school system in the 1920s.
  • What were pop art’s main concepts?
  • Moral vs. political considerations during the annexation of Hawaii.
  • Who were the Social Gospel preachers?
  • John Dewey’s role in advancing education.
  • What sources fueled American progressivism ?
  • Trace the timeline of Theodore Roosevelt’s presidency.
  • What was laissez-faire capitalism?
  • How did President Woodrow Wilson reform businesses?
  • A dive into the speakeasy culture.
  • How did the widespread availability of cars impact American dating life?
  • Prohibition : reasons and consequences.
  • Connecting arts and civil rights: The Harlem Renaissance .
  • Al Capone and the rise of organized crime in the 1920s.
  • What was the New Deal, and why was it necessary?
  • How did FDR’s “Alphabet Agencies” help the economy after the Great Depression?
  • Explore the funding of the UN.
  • Discuss the significance of the Berlin Airlift.
  • Screen rebels: how James Dean and Marlon Brando changed American cinema forever.
  • Find a connection between McCarthyism and the Salem Witch Trials.
  • How did affordable television perpetuate the idea of the ideal American family?
  • Analyze the political consequences of the Watergate scandal.
  • A new American culture: variety shows in the 1950s.
  • The origins of Rock’n’roll .
  • What caused the US to slide into inflation in the 1970s?
  • Counterculture literature in the middle of the century: The Beat Generation.
  • The aftermath of the Vietnam War .
  • What made John F. Kennedy a popular president ?
  • The development of Hippie culture in the 1960s.
  • Reproductive rights and the rise of American feminism in the late 20 th century.
  • Intertwining show-business and government: Ronald Reagan’s presidency .
  • Outline the tactical maneuvers of Operation Desert Storm.
  • How did MTV revolutionize the music industry ?
  • Why did drug use become an existential problem in America during the 1970s and 80s?
  • American environmental reform policies from 1960 to 1980.
  • ’70s fashion as a social and political statement in the US.
  • How did the sexual revolution redefine American social life?

🔫 Topics about America in World Wars I & II

America during the World Wars is an engaging writing prompt. But it may be too broad for an essay. That’s why it makes sense to narrow your focus. Which area do you find most interesting about the subject? For example, you can choose between culture, economy, technology, and, of course, the military.

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  • Repressions and progress went hand in hand in the postwar US. Writing about the impact of WWI on domestic American politics would give you various directions to research.
  • President Woodrow Wilson was against entering the war until 1917. What events led the US to break its neutrality?
  • Many Germans of the time called the Treaty of Versailles a “dictate of shame.” It is often considered a significant reason for World War II. What was the US’ position on the Treaty of Versailles?
  • After WWI, America followed isolationist politics. Until 1941, when they declared war on Japan after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Could the USA have stayed out of WWII?
  • How did WWII affect the American economy? Think about military needs and rationing.
  • President Woodrow Wilson was a fierce supporter of the League of Nations. But congress coerced him not to have the USA join. Should America have become a member of this organization?

Woodrow Wilson quote.

  • How did American civilians contribute to the war effort? Your essay can focus specifically on women. Be sure to examine new arrangements in daily life.
  • If you’re more into art, why not analyze how the world wars influenced American art?
  • WWII changed all aspects of American life, including their diet. What new methods of food preservation emerged during that time?
  • Another fascinating topic to engage in is propaganda and advertisement in the US during WWII. Your focus might lie on how they targeted different members of society.

Don’t forget to read the rest of our topics on this issue:

  • Evaluate Woodrow Wilson’s 14 points program.
  • How did the American army recruitment work in WWII?
  • “Kilroy was here”: examine where the mysterious slogan comes from.
  • Outline the history of Japanese Americans in Japanese internment camps.
  • US spies: where and how did they operate?
  • The Manhattan Project: trace the making of the atomic bomb.
  • How did migration shape American society in the 1930s and ‘40s?
  • The notion of freedom in America before, during, and after the wars.
  • What role did communication play for the military in WWI vs. WWII?
  • Canadian-American relations during WWII.
  • How did the wars spur transportation developments in the US?
  • Discuss the significance of D-Day .
  • Could the allies have won WWII without the USA?
  • Why did America emerge as a “Global Policeman” after the world wars?
  • The effects of National Socialism in America.
  • In what ways does the outcome of WWII still influence American society today?
  • Compare and contrast military strategies in Europe vs. the Pacific.
  • Was the dropping of the atomic bomb necessary?
  • After the Little Boy’s devastating results, why did the American government decide to drop Fat Man?
  • What made the Zimmerman telegram such a central document for American war participation?
  • What happened to prisoner-of-war camps in the US after the fighting was over?
  • Compare the leadership styles of Franklin D. Roosevelt in WWII and Woodrow Wilson in WWI.
  • Why did the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor ?
  • What methods did the American government use to conceal their operations?
  • Growing up in the ‘40s: how did the war impact the manufacture of toys?
  • Which medical advancements were helpful to American soldiers in WWII that didn’t yet exist in WWI?
  • How did the 1940s fashion in the USA reflect the global situation?
  • Did the two world wars change the civil rights situation for African Americans? If so, how?
  • How did the war affect employment in the US?
  • What was unique about the Higgins boats?
  • The role of submarines in WWI.
  • How did America cooperate with the allied forces in Europe in WWI?
  • Discuss how the American citizens reacted to being drawn into WWI vs. WWII.
  • Did anyone in the US profit from the wars? If so, who?
  • Describe how American families changed during WWII.
  • What stories do letters that soldiers sent to their families back home tell?
  • Joseph Heller’s depiction of World War II in the novel Catch-22 .
  • Compare and contrast memory culture concerning WWII in Russia vs. the USA.
  • How did the perception of America on the global stage change after World War I?
  • The role of women in the US military.

☮️ Essay Topics About the Civil Rights Movement

The struggle for African American equality finally intensified in the 1950s and 60s. Influential figures such as Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks emerged. Their resilience inspired countless others. Seventy years later, the fight is far from over. The rights of minorities and people of color are still a crucial topic in American society today.

  • Nine months before the Montgomery Bus Boycott , Claudette Colvin refused to give up her seat to a white woman. Yet, Rosa Parks is the one commonly associated with sparking the event. Why is Claudette Colvin often ignored in history?
  • Everybody knows Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr , but who were the Civil Rights Movement’s lesser-known figures? Start your research with Aurelia Browder and Susie McDonald.
  • Which concepts and themes can you find in Martin Luther King Jr. ’s I Have A Dream speech ? One idea is to focus on how he expresses hope and freedom for black Americans.

Martin Luther King Jr Quote.

  • Which committees and organizations were central to the Civil Rights Movement’s success ? Discuss the roles of the SNCC, CORE, and NAACP.
  • What makes Malcolm X a controversial figure? Be sure to mention his nationalist ideas and membership in the Nation of Islam.
  • The Little Rock Nine: what made their integration into Little Rock Central High School difficult? In your research paper, you can write about harassment issues and military intervention.
  • What did the Civil Rights Act of 1957 change? On the one hand, you can talk about the history of voter rights. On the other, you might want to investigate how the public reacted to the new law.
  • If you prefer personal stories, you can trace Ruby Bridges’ experiences. She became famous as the first black person to go to an all-white school. She’s still alive today.
  • History can be ugly. If you’re not afraid to encounter violence during your research, check out the Freedom Rides. How did they help attract international attention to the Civil Rights Movement?
  • Consequences of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. Did the movement die with him? How did the government respond?

Are you curious for more? Have a look at these prompts:

  • Compare the modern Black Lives Matter movement with the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.
  • What did the Black Panthers party achieve?
  • The best way to teach about the Civil Rights Movement in 8 th grade.
  • What happened at the Greensboro sit-ins?
  • Why did the civil rights activists encounter so much violence, even though they mostly protested peacefully ?
  • Compare and contrast Gandhi’s methods and those of Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Why was Bloody Sunday a crucial moment for the Civil Rights Movement
  • What was the “long, hot summer”?
  • Examine the creation of the Kerner Commission.
  • The role of students in advancing civil rights for African Americans.
  • What rights did black Americans gain through the Civil Rights Movement
  • Describe the Nation of Islam’s goals.
  • Who were the members of the Black Panther Party ?
  • What distinguishes the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s from previous movements to establish more rights for African Americans?
  • Give a brief overview of the most important Supreme Court decisions concerning the struggle for equality.
  • The importance of the church for the Civil Rights Movement.
  • Compare the effects of various marches for freedom.
  • What made Martin Luther King Jr. a great leader for the movement?
  • How did the murder of Emmett Till affect the public’s view on segregation and racism?
  • How did the press support or hinder the Civil Rights Movement ?
  • Loving v. Virginia: legacy and contemporary significance.
  • What did the notion of “miscegenation” entail?
  • What were the Jim Crow laws ?
  • Describe the goals and achievements of Operation Breadbasket.
  • Who was Stokely Carmichael?
  • Analyze Ralph Abernathy’s autobiography And the Walls Came Tumbling Down . Why do some people consider it controversial?
  • Debate the criticism brought up against the Congress of Racial Equality.
  • Why did some civil rights activists in the 1960s radicalize?
  • Did the election of Barack Obama mark the end of the struggle for equal rights?
  • Discuss the success of the Baton Rouge bus boycott.
  • What events led to Lyndon B. Johnson’s signing of the Voting Rights Act?
  • Examine Coretta Scott King’s career after her husband’s passing.
  • Investigate conspiracy theories concerning James Earl Ray’s role in the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
  • The publishing and writing process of Malcolm X’s autobiography.
  • How and why did the 2020 election undermine parts of the Voting Rights Act?
  • Is studying the Civil Rights Movement still relevant today? If so, why?
  • How did CORE help desegregate schools in Chicago?
  • Who is Jesse Jackson?
  • Contemporary commemoration of the Civil Rights Movement.
  • How did John F. Kennedy’s death impact the Civil Rights Movement?

💬 Debatable US History Topics to Research

Controversy has been a constant companion of American history. And it’s not only questionable segregation practices that are up for debate. Women’s and LGBT rights, as well as welfare programs, are issues still unresolved today. If you want argumentative or persuasive essay topics about American history, check out this section.

  • Memories are always socially constructed. “How do various communities around the US perceive monuments of slaveholders?” is an engaging question to explore in your essay.
  • In 1995, an exhibition at the Smithsonian centered around the Enola Gay sparked a nationwide controversy. Critics said the exhibit focused too much on the Japanese suffering the nuclear bomb dropped from the aircraft caused. Was that criticism justified?
  • In the past, Colonial Williamsburg’s issues with slavery were often overlooked. Instead, when creating and developing the historical site, the focus lay on its democratic values. Is Colonial Williamsburg still a good place to learn about American history?
  • What does the Liberty Bell stand for today? You can include recent and older controversies surrounding the location and custody of the bell.
  • Tracing the history of LGBT rights will yield many debatable insights. Which court decisions would you consider especially controversial, and why?
  • The legacy of the Centralia massacre in 1919: are the events linked to the Red Scare? How did the town try to obscure the truth?
  • In 1887, President Eisenhower supported a campaign to promote patriotism. Part of this was the addition of “under God” to the American Pledge of Allegiance. Analyze the debates surrounding the issue.
  • The history of prostitution laws in the US. Your thesis could suggest a connection between decriminalizing sex work and the workers’ wellbeing.
  • In the 2020 election, several states voted to legalize not only marijuana but also other drugs. History shows many movements to legalize recreational drug use. What was different now?
  • Many older Disney cartoons depict racist stereotypes. The question of adjusting them to modern values sparked much debate. Using this discussion to explore how America should deal with problematic media from the past might be promising.

Keep reading and discover more controversial United States history topics.

  • Did President Barack Obama deserve his Nobel Peace Prize?
  • What did the US gain from the Iraq War ?
  • Would Germany have won WWII without America’s intervention?
  • Should the presidents of the previous century have done more to promote animal rights ?
  • Given its historical context, should we keep celebrating Thanksgiving?
  • Why did it take so long for American women to achieve legally equal rights ?
  • Find historical reasons why the US never instituted universal healthcare.
  • The necessity of cow’s milk in America: past vs. present.
  • Was the annexation of Puerto Rico justified?
  • Did the Chicano Movement achieve positive changes for Mexican Americans?
  • John F. Kennedy’s most controversial presidential actions.
  • The ratification of the 8 th amendment.
  • Was the government’s response to 9/11 justified?
  • The role of faith in American history before 1877 and after.
  • Who or what caused the US’ drug overdose epidemic?
  • HIV/AIDS denialism in America in the 1990s.
  • What should Locust Grove do to restore its deteriorating African American cemetery? Can the place be considered a historical site?
  • Why did some states introduce felon disenfranchisement in 1792? Did the new law spark any outrage?
  • Trace the historical timeline of the same-sex marriage debate.
  • The USA has always been a country of immigrants. How did this lead to immigration being a fiercely discussed topic nowadays?
  • How did the US contribute to the current instability in the Middle East?
  • Was the “Lost Generation” reckless?
  • How do US historians influence public opinion?
  • Does the Red Scare reflect on Russian-American relations today?
  • Should Bill Clinton have stayed in office ?
  • Discuss the benefits of being a hippie in the 60s.
  • Can the members of the Beat Generation serve as role models for travel enthusiasts today?
  • Roe v. Wade : what made the court case a turning point in the fight for women’s reproductive rights?
  • Did American feminism become too radical by the late 19 th century?
  • The rise and fall of DDT: Why was it allowed in the first place?
  • What should US history education for high school students look like?
  • From a historical perspective, does the reality in Watchmen seem like a likely scenario for the future?
  • Psychiatric methods in early 1900s America.
  • The role of performance-enhancing drugs in the history of American sports achievements.
  • Why do some people believe that the moon landing was staged?
  • Criticism against Ayn Rand’s objectivism and its influence.
  • Before opening America’s first women’s hospital, gynecologist J. Marion Sims experimented on slaves. Should he still be celebrated as the ‘father’ of modern gynecology?
  • Is the notion of “American Century” accurate?
  • American exceptionalism in the 20 th century vs. now.
  • Has technological innovation always been beneficial for the American public?

✊🏿 Black History Topics for an Essay

African American experiences are still very different than those of their white compatriots. That’s why it’s crucial to analyze people of color’s perspectives of and contributions to history. Black history includes thematic topics on education, society, and culture.

  • Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave adapts the 1853 memoirs of Solomon Northup. Though the film doesn’t shy away from brutal images, critics argued it was too soft. Should film writers surrender accurate historical representation to make their content more accessible?
  • After the Civil War, slavery was officially banned in the US. Still, the South continued to find ways to exploit black labor. Examine the consequences of new methods such as convict leasing and sharecropping .
  • Many of those who opposed slavery complied with the system by staying silent or inactive. What did this mean for the reality of African Americans? Why didn’t these people stand up?
  • A paper on what caused the Red Summer of 1919 can focus on the South to North migration of African Americans during WWI.
  • In the 20 th century, the Great Migration relocated many African Americans. How did this event impact the development of black culture? Your paper could concentrate on art movements or political activism.
  • The GI Bill promised financial benefits to veterans. But former black soldiers didn’t profit as much as their white compatriots. To analyze a concrete example of racist inequality, you can write about how the GI Bill affected African American veterans.
  • For decades, American universities did their best to keep African Americans from receiving higher education . How is education inequality still impacting black students today?
  • After WWI, Tulsa was a prosperous city home to the so-called “ Black Wall Street .” Then the Tulsa Race Massacre happened, and the area was left in shambles. Explore the moving history of Tulsa’s Greenwood District.
  • Do you want to investigate the powerful interplay between cinema and reality? Dedicate your essay to the connection between D.W. Griffith’s 1915 picture The Birth of a Nation and the Ku Klux Klan’s revival. What did this mean for black lives in the early 20 th century?
  • Pan-Africanism in the United States: Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association. Writing about this topic, you might want to highlight African American nationalism in the 20 th century.

Are none of these prompts for you? Don’t worry; we’ve got more African American history paper topics for college students:

  • Booker T. Washington vs. W. E. B. Du Bois: similarities and disagreements.
  • African American innovators who never received credit for their inventions.

The most important African American inventors.

  • From Hiram Rhodes Revels and Shirley Chisholm to Barack Obama: African Americans who paved the way for modern American democracy .
  • Should the US government pay reparations to descendants of former slaves?
  • Sojourner Truth : how did the former slave fight to end injustice?
  • How did job competition in the North intensify racial tensions in the 20 th century?
  • The accomplishments of Dorothy Johnson Vaughan.
  • Ida B. Wells’ legacy and the history of lynching in America.
  • Why do we celebrate Black History Month, and why is it important?
  • What does Juneteenth commemorate?
  • Histories of the most famous black scientists in the United States.
  • How did the geographic distribution of black people in America transform over time?
  • Key activists of the abolitionist movement .
  • How did African Americans contribute to NASA’s success?
  • African Americans in the age of Prohibition: views and effects.
  • Juxtapose the development of black rights and felon rights.
  • Analyze the significance of Marian Anderson’s show on the National Mall for the Civil Rights Movement.
  • African American women in the beauty business: the story of Madame C. J. Walker.
  • What motivated many black Americans to fight in WWI voluntarily?
  • How did enslaved people manage to escape to the Northern states ?
  • Compare the origins and outcomes of the Civil Rights Movement’s various marches.
  • The New Deal’s effect on African Americans.
  • Explore the connection between black history in the US and cotton .
  • What does the term “black flight” mean, and why might the phenomenon be a problem?
  • How did white capping inhibit the development of black communities?
  • What were the goals of the Che Lumumba Club?
  • Analyze the Regents of the University of California v. Bakke case. What did its outcome mean for equality?
  • What makes Angela Davis a crucial figure in the black history discourse?
  • Analyze how Jackie Robinson broke the “color line” to pave the way for African American participation in professional sports.
  • Discuss the long-term consequences of the Tuskegee experiment.
  • How did the Watts Riots affect African American communities in California?
  • Explore the origins of Kwanzaa.
  • African American poetry before 1877: Lucy Terry’s Bars Fight .
  • Not so free after all: enactment of the Fugitive Slave Law.
  • Did the situation for American people of color improve after the implementation of Affirmative Action laws? If so, how?
  • Trailblazing black Americans in education.
  • How did sports help promote equality for African Americans in the 1900s?
  • Who were the Scottsboro boys?
  • Journalism’s fight for social justice: The Crisis magazine then and now.
  • How did Prohibition help dissolve segregation?

🏞️ Native American Topics to Write About

Much effort has gone into improving the relations between Americans and the indigenous peoples. Unfortunately, this hasn’t always been the case. The history of native Americans is tainted with cruel battles. Taking a closer look reveals the interplay of various cultures and customs.

  • Pocahontas is one of the most renowned figures in Native American history. Compare Pocahontas’ real life vs. how she is depicted in the media. Why was she often romanticized?
  • How did Andrew Jackson’s government justify the Indian Removal Act ? Moral standards during that time and economic reasoning might be a compelling area to focus on.
  • Native American participation in American wars. The colonists fought many battles with each other. France, Spain, and England all competed for the new territory. Did Native Americans participate in these fights? If so, whose side were they on?
  • African peoples were not the only ones who suffered serfdom. Your research paper could cover the colonial enslavement of Native Americans .
  • In the 18 th century, settlers and natives negotiated a variety of treaties. What did they say? Were these treaties ever beneficial for the natives?
  • The Indian Appropriations Act of 1851 organized Native American lives into reservations. What did life look like for natives in these reservations? Additionally, you could examine how reservations affect their lives today.
  • Attempts to deal with Native Americans included assimilation and “civilization.” How did these methods work out? For a concrete example, investigate Henry Pratt’s Carlisle Indian Industrial school.
  • If you want to know more about Indian belief systems, research the emergence of the Ghost Dance. Originating in the late 19 th century, many native communities adapted the new tradition.
  • Geronimo escaped captivity countless times before turning himself in. How did he do that? Your essay can look at his beliefs and this geographical knowledge.
  • The Narragansett was the first tribe to encounter European settlers. What were their relations? How did they develop? Consider territorial struggles and the role of Roger Williams.

Are you looking for something else? Check out these US history essay questions and prompts:

  • Compare and contrast American and Australian historical relations to their native population.
  • What events led to the breakout of King Philip’s War?
  • Ancient Indian burial rituals and modern myths.
  • How did the Cherokees rebuild their lives after the Trail of Tears?
  • Sacagawea’s contribution to the success of the Lewis and Clark expedition.
  • Great Native American leaders: Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull.
  • What happened at the Battle of the Little Bighorn?
  • Consequences for Native American lives after the proclamation of 1763.
  • The crucial role of Navajo Code Talkers in WWII.
  • How did integration into American culture transform tribal life for different tribes?
  • Explore naming customs of various Native American tribes.
  • Is Black Elk Speaks an accurate representation of Lakota culture?
  • What did the American Indian Movement achieve?
  • What makes the Massacre of Wounded Knee significant?
  • Trace Leonard Peltier’s career in politics and activism.
  • Chief Tecumseh and the Indian confederacy.
  • Compare and contrast the cultures of native tribes from various regions in America before colonization.
  • How did American policies regarding the indigenous population change from the Mayflower’s arrival until now?
  • What happened to California’s extensive Native American population after it became a state?
  • The development of Native American music.
  • Traditional Cherokee farming tools and techniques.
  • Native Americans and religion : what compelled some chiefs to convert to Christianity?
  • How did N. Scott Momaday’s House Made of Dawn shape indigenous cultures’ image for the general public?
  • How did native spiritualism relate to the environment?
  • Gender roles of the Sioux tribe before 1900.
  • The greatest battles between First Nations and Americans.
  • Why were the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, Seminole, and Cherokee considered the “ Five Civilized Tribes ”?
  • America’s first native newspaper: The Cherokee Phoenix and its modern equivalent.
  • How did many of today’s Native Americans become entangled with alcohol and gambling ?
  • Myths and speculations on the ancient origins of indigenous Americans.
  • Economic development of Native American tribes in the 20 th century.
  • Why did Cochise and his Apache warriors raid American settlements?
  • Trace the history of indigenous feminism.
  • What were the blood quantum laws, and why were they introduced?
  • Sitting Bull and Buffalo Bill: forging an unlikely friendship.
  • The accomplishments of Oglala Lakota chief Red Cloud.
  • How did the Louisiana Purchase impact First Nations in the region ?
  • The history of Native Americans in law and politics.
  • The political aftermath of the Sand Creek Massacre
  • Cheyenne warrior societies: the emergence of Dog Soldiers as a separate band.

⭐ Topics on Famous People in American History

People shape history. Many of America’s leading historical figures made it to global importance. This section provides you with history essay topics on American artists, presidents, innovators, and more.

  • The “King of Pop” Michael Jackson died a decade ago. Why is he still one of the most debated American celebrities? Your essay could focus on the controversial allegations of child abuse towards him.
  • The social influence of Benjamin Franklin’s journalism is an enticing topic. It allows you to look at the founding father from a different angle. Make sure to include in your essay his desire to educate Americans in morality.
  • John Harvey Kellogg was a progressive healthcare leader. He was also a fierce follower of Adventism. If you endorse obscure things, write about Kellogg’s “warfare with passion.”
  • Mural made Jackson Pollock famous. Reflect on his career before and after the painting. How did the artist find his passion for drip painting?
  • As a First Lady, Betty Ford was a strong advocate for women’s rights. But her political influence didn’t end with her husband’s career. Discuss Betty Ford’s accomplishments after her time in the White House. Mention her addiction and the subsequent establishment of the Betty Ford Center.
  • In 1935, J. Edgar Hoover founded the FBI. In his later years, he became a controversial figure due to his abuses of power . Examine Hoover’s investigations of subversion. What do you find surprising about them?
  • Before his brother’s assassination, Bobby Kennedy wasn’t particularly popular in the US. Analyze his speeches during his political career after the event. What made him a compassionate orator?
  • The Kennedy-Nixon debates provide a rich foundation for those interested in political campaigning. How did the public react to them? What did the polls say? Keep in mind that it was America’s first televised presidential debate.
  • If you seek to combine environmentalism and politics, Al Gore is your man. How did Al Gore shape America’s political discourse in the 2000s? Consider his loss against George Bush in the controversial 2000 election.
  • Literature enthusiasts know Allen Ginsberg for his explicit poem Howl . How did he express his political and social activism in his works? You could focus on his fight for free speech and the Howl trial.

We’ve got more topics on regents and other famous Americans for you to check out:

  • Just Say No: Nancy Reagan and the failure of her anti-drug campaign.
  • Why was Abraham Lincoln such a controversial figure?
  • Kurt Cobain and Nirvana: the voice of the ‘90s youth.
  • Ronald Reagan was an actor before he became president. What drove him into politics?
  • What circumstances made Donald Trump’s presidency possible?
  • Why was Jimmy Carter such an unpopular president?
  • Discuss what Eleanor Roosevelt achieved for women.
  • Stanley Kubrick: was he the greatest filmmaker of the 20 th century?
  • The role of First Ladies before the Civil War.
  • Judith Butler’s influence on American feminism.
  • Margaret Sanger: the initiator of the birth control movement.
  • How did Oprah Winfrey get to where she is now?
  • Steve Jobs and the revolution of computer technology.
  • Research the mysterious Zodiac Killer and his ciphers. Why were many people obsessed with him?
  • How did the Wright Brothers shape the history of aviation?
  • Amelia Earhart’s disappearance: myths and facts.
  • J. Robert Oppenheimer’s contributions to physics.
  • Bruce Lee and the transformation of martial arts.
  • How did O.J. Simpson end up in the US’ most famous car chase?
  • Charles Goodyear and the road to vulcanized rubber.
  • Creating nanotechnology : the legacy of Eric Drexler.
  • Muhammad Ali’s influence on raising awareness for Parkinson’s research.
  • Describe how Bobby Fischer impacted the world of chess.
  • What made Chuck Norris so famous?
  • How did Marilyn Monroe change the American attitude towards sexuality?
  • Truman Capote’s role in advancing LGBT rights.
  • Harper Lee’s biography after the publishing of To Kill A Mockingbird .
  • Transforming science fiction: the legacy of Philip K. Dick .
  • Andy Warhol as a global anti-capitalist icon.
  • Bringing quantum physics forward: the brilliance of Richard Feynman.
  • Samuel Colt and the consequences of inventing the revolver.
  • Analyze the significance of Helen Keller’s work for women’s and disabled persons’ rights.
  • How did Sam Walton become the wealthiest American in 1985?
  • Discuss the importance of Thurgood Marshall for the Civil Rights Movement.
  • What inspired Bill W. to found Alcoholics Anonymous ?
  • Paving the way for gay politicians: the activism of Harvey Milk .
  • What was Louis B. Mayer’s management style with MGM?
  • Walt Disney : who was the person behind the chipper cartoons?
  • Trace Estée Lauder’s success story.
  • How did Olympia Brown contribute to advance gender equality in the religious sphere?

We hope you found your ideal essay or project topic on US history. Good luck with your assignment!

Further reading:

  • Americanism Essay: Examples, Tips & Topics [2024 Update]
  • 497 Interesting History Topics to Research
  • 460 Excellent Political Topics to Write about in 2024
  • 149 Interesting History Essay Topics and Events to Write about
  • A List of 450 Powerful Social Issues Essay Topics
  • 210 Immigration Essay Topics
  • A List of 175 Interesting Cultural Topics to Write About
  • 512 Research Topics on HumSS (Humanities & Social Sciences)
  • Pre-Columbian to the New Millenium: US History
  • A Brief Guide to Writing the History Paper: Harvard
  • American Civil War:
  • Reconstruction: Encyclopedia Britannica
  • Industrialization and Urbanization in the United States: Oxford Research Encyclopedias
  • The United States in WWI: Khan Academy
  • America Goes to War: The National WWII Museum
  • Controversies: National Council on Public History
  • The 100 Most Significant Americans of All Time: Smithsonian Magazine
  • American History: History Central
  • The 25 Moments From American History That Matter Right Now: Time
  • All Topics: American Historical Association
  • Native American: Library of Congress
  • African American History: National Archives
  • Civil Rights Movement: ADL
  • US 20th Century: Princeton University
  • The Progressive Era: Lumen Learning
  • Timeline: United States History: World Digital Library
  • Explore by Timeline: The New Nation (1783-1860): US General Services Administration
  • The Emergence of Modern America: Smithsonian Institution
  • What Was the Cold War?: National Geographic
  • The Story of the Atomic Bomb: The Ohio State University
  • Continental Feminism: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  • The Constitution: The White House
  • The US During World War I:
  • America in the First World War: The British Library
  • Key Events and Figures of Reconstruction: The City University of New York
  • Reconstruction and Its Impact: IDCA
  • 400 Years since Slavery: a Timeline of American History: The Guardian
  • American Revolution Facts: American Battlefield Trust
  • The Presidents of the United States: Constitution Facts
  • What Caused the American Industrial Revolution: Investopedia
  • Reasons Behind the Revolutionary War: NCpedia
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College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Department of History

Honors thesis abstracts.

This thesis will delve into the legacy that the short-lived Liberal Republican Party and its leaders had on American politics, and more specifically, the end of Reconstruction. It will explore the reasons why it broke off from the Republican Party as well as the corresponding platform it and its nominee Horace Greeley proposed in the 1872 election against Ulysses Grant. The thesis will seek to explain how, despite the party’s defeat in the election, it would have an immediate impact on the American political landscape. It will seek to explain how the ideas espoused by the Liberal Republicans became mainstream in American politics as issues of labor and the political economy superseded those of Reconstruction and civil rights for the federal government as well as for the American populace more generally. The thesis will conclude discussing the 1876 election and the Great Railroad Strike of 1877 as events which encapsulate the complete transition from the Reconstruction Era to the Gilded Age.

In 1936 the seeds of fascism were planted in Spain. Nationalist forces led by General Fransisco Franco looked to overthrow the democratically elected government of Spain. A bloody civil war lasting three years would ensue. The democratically elected government would not fight this war alone though. Thousands of leftists from across the world would come to Spain in the form of International Brigades. The American brigadistas came to be known as the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. Unfortunately, the loyalist government suffered defeat at the hands of fascist forces and the Abraham Lincoln Brigade returned to the United States of America. Upon their arrival home, they found themselves facing discrimination by the FBI, the United States Armed Forces, and their fellow Americans. My project discusses anti-communism in America and its evolution over time. I also delve into what incentivized the Abraham Lincoln Brigade to leave their homes and take up arms in Spain. In my project, I conclude that the security apparatus of the United States of America historically exists largely to quell leftist thought. Furthermore, despite anti-communist sentiment’s prevalence being largely associated with the Red Scare and the era of McCarthyism it was still abundant in the United States between these eras as showcased by the events surrounding the Abraham Lincoln Brigade.

Nicholas Ricciardi

The Oracle of Delphi often appears in ancient Greek history due to its prominent place as a cult site and also for its association with colonization. Since both Delphi and the migrations of Greeks in the Mediterranean were so important in the Archaic and Classical periods, the intersection of the two has been the interest of historical scholarship since the late 19th century. Many primary sources such as Pindar, Herodotus, Thucydides, Diodorus, and Plutarch have been consulted in order to get a grasp on where Delphi fits into the broader colonial narratives contained therein. Modern scholars often use different methods in order to answer this question of prehistoric foundations, including positivist historical methods, as well as “cultural poetics” of analyzing motifs and story structure. Both of these ways of thinking are used here to parse the foundation stories in order to find what role Delphi had in the process.This thesis argues for a limited role for Delphi in legitimizing ancient Greek colonial foundations, particularly those associated with the Dorian peoples. The above methods were used to find that Delphi tended to appear quite rarely in colonial foundation stories, but where it was present, it played an active and sometimes lasting role of giving divine sanction in the narratives. Particularly curious was the finding that the majority of the plausible foundation oracles were sought by founders coming from the Peloponnese, with Delphi being noticeably absent in the foundation stories of other Greeks.

Amanda Rutha, “What’s in a Name? The Decline of the one-China Policy in America” 

In 1979, the United States officially switched diplomatic ties from the Republic of China to the People’s Republic of China. This switch would establish the one-China Policy, in which the US recognized that the PRC was the sole representative government of China and acknowledged China’s stance that Taiwan was a part of China. However, the once mighty one-Chinapolicy has steadily lost influence since its official inception under Carter. Starting with the Carter administration and ending with Obama, this thesis utilizes US policies and American media to investigate how and why the one-China policy has weakened. Specifically, this paper argues that the policy has declined in power in three stages. Originally, the policy weakened when the Soviet Union fell, then when Taiwan established itself as a democracy, and finally when Presidents preferred to stick to the “status quo” above all else. Overall, the one-China policy holds a fraction of the power and recognition it held 45 years ago.

Christopher Tyburski

The construction of the Interstate Highway system in the United States of America displaced a significant number of individuals. Many of the displaced were low-income or minority. Hartford, Connecticut is at the intersection of Interstate 84 and Interstate 91. This paper uncovers the history behind the planning and construction of Interstate 84 in Hartford. Through a historical narrative and OLS regression analysis, I argue that the highway was planned on economic grounds, adversely impacted racial segregation in Hartford when combined with urban renewal, and did not create a Freeway Revolt in the city. However, West Hartford’s activism in opposition to the highway was ahead of its time and may provide an early example of organized Interstate resistance. This paper is an example of multi-disciplinary scholarship and contributes to the study of urban highways’ economic and social impacts.

Elisabeth Bienvenue, “ La Vie en Chant: The Role of Songbooks in Twentieth Century Franco-American Survivance” Thesis Advisor: Dr. Nancy Shoemaker

The Chants Populaires des Franco-Américains were a collection of songbooks published by the Union Saint-Jean-Baptiste d’Amérique in Woonsocket, Rhode Island from 1929-1962. These songbooks should be considered as part of “ la survivance ” (“the survival”), a mindset in which the Franco-Americans of New England sought to preserve the French language, Catholic faith, and cultural ties to Quebec and Acadia in future generations. This paper argues that survivance was both a political and cultural phenomenon and that while the politicized survivance movement fell out of favor after the divisive reform effort known as the Sentinelle Affair ended in 1928, the cultural aspects of survivance endured for several more decades. While the songbooks serve as a powerful example of the importance of music and culture among Franco-Americans of the twentieth century, the songbooks themselves did not survive in mass distribution, but they successfully contributed to the movement to create a cultural legacy among New Englanders of Franco-American descent.

Michael Fox, ““A Strange Thing for the Foot to Guide the Head”:Freedom of Speech in Elizabethan Parliaments Thesis Advisor: Dr. Meredith Rusoff

Freedom of speech is a right that many in the United States, and the Western world, take for granted as something that is critical for any modern democratic society to function. However, this has not been the case for the vast majority of Western, and human, history. It is during the early-modern period, specifically the Enlightenment, that concepts such as freedom of speech were developed, and eventually became fully encoded in law. Britain, more specifically England, led the way in the development of freedom of speech within its Parliament, and the practice of common law. Similar to how the government itself evolved in England, so too did its concept of what rights and liberties could be exercised.

Michael Francomano, “The Influence of the United States on Nuclear Laws” Thesis Advisor: Dr. Alexis Dudden

The United States government has influenced the laws surrounding the use of nuclear weapons from the moment of their first use against a civilian population in 1945. These efforts include countless measures taken to absolve the United States from responsibility for their actions. This is especially seen in the Marshall Islands where US government efforts to abjure legal responsibility to help those directly impacted by radioactive fallout resulting from weapons testing between 1945 and 1962 abound as do efforts to attend the natives that were completely displaced from their home islands destroyed in the name of nuclear testing. These actions span to current day warfare. In so doing, the United States government defies international laws prohibiting the use of nuclear weapons in war in the form of armor piercing rounds of munitions made out of depleted uranium (used as recently as 2015 in Syria). The legality of these weapons is something that remains a gray area in international law, and a major contributor to that is the fact that the United States has used its power and history with nuclear weapons to influence the creation of new precedents and disregard the laws that have already been in place.

Jenifer Gaitan, “ Salir Adelante : Exploring the Systems of Support of First-Generation Latinx College Students in Their Pursuit of Higher Education” Thesis Advisor: Dr. Ariel Mae Lambe

This thesis explores both the obstacles and systems of support of first-generation Latinx college students as they complete their undergraduate education. The history of the Latinx community in the US and their fight for education is detailed. An analysis is provided of the impact of social, cultural, and economic conditions and the role of immigration in the lives of this student demographic. Finally, this thesis contributes to this area of study through the analysis of ten qualitative interviews that were conducted of first-generation Latinx college students in the last year. Several obstacles that students faced were related to finances, gendered expectations, serving as the middleperson between their families and U.S. institutions. Students identified both formal and informal sources of support, which came from student organizations, mentors, their peers, as well as workshops and presentations. These student’s experiences illustrate the importance of having culturally competent resources and material support available in the form of scholarships, computers, and textbooks to ease financial and other burdens.

Arieta Jakaj, “Cosmic Harmony and the Death of Music: Florentine Music Theory and Its Influences During the Late 16 th Century (1573-1587)” Thesis Advisor: Dr. Ken Gouwens

The leaders of Florence’s late Renaissance musical scene — the Florentine Camerata or Camerata de’ Bardi (1573-1587) — believed that music in their own time was dying. To help remedy this, they wanted to bring back Ancient Greek musical forms and theories. Did the Renaissance music masters of late-16th Century Florence know that they could never truly replicate the legendary musical past of Ancient Greece? It is clear from the writings of theorists in Cinquecento Italy that they were very aware of their limitations; Ancient Greek music could never be fully replicated. However, the members of the Florentine Camerata still reflected on Ancient times and sought to pull the past to their present. The Camerata’s focus on the past seemed to represent an ever-present need, a longing, for the past to be real and palpable sonically in Cinquecento Italy. Out of this arose a more formidable question: With little music documentation and notation left from Ancient Greece, separated by a span of over a millennium and a half, why did these musicians of the Italian Renaissance decide to revitalize Ancient forms, knowing they could never achieve exactly what the surviving literature promised? During my investigation, I intend to explore the key Greek musical thought that survived from Ancient times and which aspects of this thought appealed to the Camerata. Furthermore, I shall analyze the debates that ruled the Camerata’s discussion and the results of their attempts to recapture the sound of Ancient Greece. It is my intention to evaluate the validity of the conclusion that I have come to during my research, which is that the intellectuals of the Florentine Camerata were concerned with the power of music to develop the soul and wanted to imitate the Ancient Greeks to capture the power of that influence, all while still experimenting and testing the boundaries of Renaissance music.

Madison May, “Persecution Reaps Freedom: the Impact of the War Against Nazi Germany on the American Civil Rights Movement” Thesis Advisor: Dr. Charles Lansing

This senior honors thesis examines the experience of African Americans during World War II, abroad and on the home front. The guiding questions for this study include: what was the relationship between the Second World War and the Civil Rights Movement?; What did Black soldiers and journalists, at home and abroad, think about the fight against Nazism?; Did the existence of the atrocities committed during World War II accelerate social change? Finally, what connections did Black Americans make with Jewish persecution? Although work has already been done on this topic, this thesis is original in its source content and builds upon the past work of others. Sources for this thesis include a mixture of books, articles, monographs, oral histories, and newspaper articles. There are twenty-two interviews by Black World War Two veterans and twenty-five articles from African American newspapers used as research, spanning from 1933, when the Nazis came to power, to 1946, a year after the war ended. It has been concluded from the research that African American experience during World War II did in fact serve as a spark for the Civil Rights Movement, and social change in general.

Abigail Meliso, “Greek Women and the Theatre: An Analysis of the Presence and Participation of Women in Ancient Greek Theater” Thesis Advisor: Dr. Joseph McAlhany

Western drama can trace its lineage back thousands of years to classical Greece. We see the impact of classical playwrights still in modern theater, as well as various other areas of our society. Even now, students are assigned Antigone in high school and Oedipus has had his troubles immortalized in psychiatric jargon. However, as ubiquitous and easily accessible as it is now, scholarship throughout the years has debated how inclusive classical Greek theater was, particularly in regards to whether women were permitted to participate in or even observe performances. While it has proven popular to deny this possibility, given the occasional raunchiness of the plays and the limited autonomy of women at the time, some evidence suggests that, not only were women present in the audience of theatrical festivals, but sometimes a few select women would perform publicly.

Nicole Mooradd, “’Just Be Glad’: Fiction for Girls during the Progressive Era, 1897-1920” Thesis Advisor: Dr. Peter Baldwin

Prior to the early twentieth century, most children’s books were written for boys and focused on a specifically masculine set of characteristics. Following the release of Little Women in the mid-nineteenth century and the emergence of first-wave feminism, the Progressive Era brought about a new time for literature to thrive, specifically books written explicitly for female children. Many of these books written for girls were by female authors and focused on domestic stories of girls going through an average and expected life. These stories reflect the distinct gender roles expected for female children to adhere to as they grow older and enter into adulthood. This essay argues that these stories use “goodness” and its influence on the concept of feminine duty to highlight typical feminine gender roles that the authors want young readers to emulate as they grow older. Although the women’s place was changing in society, there were still a continuing emphasis of domesticity, womanhood, and childhood that females could not escape. I will focus on three domestic fiction stories, Kate Douglas Wiggins Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm , Eleanor H Porter’s Pollyanna , and Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables to explore these themes. These stories were staples of literature that were popular for young American girls during the Progressive Era and continue to be incredibly famous stories that influence society in the present.

Shankara Narayanan, Knowing China, Losing China: Discourse and Power in U.S.-China Relations Thesis Advisor: Dr. Alexis Dudden

The U.S. government’s 2017 National Security Strategy claimed, “China and Russia challenge American power, influence, and interests, attempting to erode American security and prosperity.” 1 Three years later, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the U.S. foreign policy community’s discursive shift towards Realist competition with China, with officials from the past three presidential administrations coming to view China as a threat to democratic governance and America’s security posture in Asia. The discourse underpinning the U.S.-China relationship, however, remains understudied. During key moments in the relationship, U.S. policymakers’ Realist intellectual frameworks failed to account for Chinese nationalism, suggesting a problem embedded within America’s strategic discourse. This manuscript uses discourse analysis to analyze why and how American officials failed to create a strong, united, and democratic China during the Marshall Mission (1945-1947), arguing that the use of Realist constructs, great-power frameworks, and theories of geopolitical realism prevented them from accounting for Mao Zedong’s postcolonial nationalism, leading to the Mission’s failure. ___________________

1 “National Security Strategy of the United States of America,” The White House, December  2017,

Kasey Schempf, “Unveiling the Feminist Character of Vivien Kellems” Thesis Advisor: Dr. Peter Baldwin

Vivien Kellems was undoubtedly a crusader for tax equality, inspiring many later movements. The Connecticut businesswoman openly despised the Federal Income Tax, among other taxes. She certainly wasn’t afraid to share her opinion, even if it wouldn’t make her any friends. However, in the late 1960s, Kellems began to appeal to a new demographic: young, unmarried women. She moved away from her radical, conservative language and assumed the role of the “spinster,” advocating for younger women. She aligned herself with the movement against the Singles Penalty, or the notion that single tax filers were “penalized” for remaining single. As a result, Kellems is typically praised by scholars as a feminist leader and supporter of Second-Wave Feminism.

This paper aims to examine the transformation of Vivien Kellems from a radical political character to a common household name as she strategically campaigned for single tax filers. Moreover, this study will highlight the activist efforts of Kellems and investigate the possibility of a “feminist rebranding” to secure more supporters for her true motive: to overhaul the American tax system.

Renee Semple, “Preferred Narratives and Their Impact on Historical Memory: An Examination Through Comparison of Twentieth Century Pandemics” Thesis Advisor: Dr. Shirley Roe

Societal response to a crisis and the narratives that emerge from the event(s) often vary and oppose one another. A narrative can be considered a point of view or a lens that is often cultivated through experiences and carries its own tone while telling events. This thesis compares the narratives that emerged from both the 1918 and 1957 influenza pandemics. Examining the 1918 influenza pandemic reveals both a public and a private narrative, in which the public narrative is the preferred out of the two. Filled with optimism, the preferred public narrative focused on moving forward and furthering scientific research—a modernist view that overshadowed the private narrative. This pattern is discovered in the influenza pandemic of 1957; the two narratives emerge, with the public one as the preferred narrative. By comparing these two pandemics within fifty years of one another, it is clear that a pattern of societal response and preferred narratives emerges out of these public health crises. The narratives created during the pandemics persisted afterwards by influencing the cultural memory and perpetuating instances of historical erasure.

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Bibliography of theses and dissertations on African American topics completed at Berkeley.

  • African American Theses and Dissertations 1907-2001. This bibliography lists 600 theses and dissertations on African American topics completed at the University of California, Berkeley. The earliest thesis, by Emmet Gerald Alexander, State Education of the Negro in the South, was completed in 1907 in the Department of Education, while the most recent date from the calendar year 2001. The African experience in the Americas is the connecting thread which links these works completed in thirty three disciplines over the past eight decades. This experience is construed in its widest sense; included therefore are studies of Blacks in the Caribbean and in Central and Latin America as well as in North America. Theses not indubitably on this subject as revealed by their titles have been examined; we have retained only titles either entirely or substantially devoted to this subject. The collection is on microfilm in News/Micro Microfilm 2030.E. The originals have been moved to NRLF.

Find Dissertations

Find Dissertations by searching Dissertations and Theses (Dissertation Abstracts) Full Text , which includes full-text of most dissertations since 1997. It indexes over 1.5 million dissertations completed in North American (including UC) and European universities from 1861 to the present. Listings after 1980 include abstracts, and some feature 24-page excerpts. 

If the dissertation is not available in the database, check UC Library Search . Dissertations completed at other UC campuses prior to 1996 or outside the UC system must be obtained through Interlibrary Loan .

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M.A. Thesis Defense: R. Shaw Bridges

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Robert Shaw Bridges will defend his Master's thesis, "" To Be Considered As Salvors": Risk and Value in the Brokered World of the Early Nineteenth Century American Whale Fishery " in conference with his graduate advisory committee. The Major Professor is Dr. Stephen Mihm. The university community is invited. If you wish to attend please contact the graduate program office at least 48 hours in advance.

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Watch CBS News

Teens come up with trigonometry proof for Pythagorean Theorem, a problem that stumped math world for centuries

By Bill Whitaker

May 5, 2024 / 7:00 PM EDT / CBS News

As the school year ends, many students will be only too happy to see math classes in their rearview mirrors. It may seem to some of us non-mathematicians that geometry and trigonometry were created by the Greeks as a form of torture, so imagine our amazement when we heard two high school seniors had proved a mathematical puzzle that was thought to be impossible for 2,000 years. 

We met Calcea Johnson and Ne'Kiya Jackson at their all-girls Catholic high school in New Orleans. We expected to find two mathematical prodigies.

Instead, we found at St. Mary's Academy , all students are told their possibilities are boundless.

Come Mardi Gras season, New Orleans is alive with colorful parades, replete with floats, and beads, and high school marching bands.

In a city where uniqueness is celebrated, St. Mary's stands out – with young African American women playing trombones and tubas, twirling batons and dancing - doing it all, which defines St. Mary's, students told us.

Junior Christina Blazio says the school instills in them they have the ability to accomplish anything. 

Christina Blazio: That is kinda a standard here. So we aim very high - like, our aim is excellence for all students. 

The private Catholic elementary and high school sits behind the Sisters of the Holy Family Convent in New Orleans East. The academy was started by an African American nun for young Black women just after the Civil War. The church still supports the school with the help of alumni.

In December 2022, seniors Ne'Kiya Jackson and Calcea Johnson were working on a school-wide math contest that came with a cash prize.

Ne'Kiya Jackson and Calcea Johnson

Ne'Kiya Jackson: I was motivated because there was a monetary incentive.

Calcea Johnson: 'Cause I was like, "$500 is a lot of money. So I-- I would like to at least try."

Both were staring down the thorny bonus question.

Bill Whitaker: So tell me, what was this bonus question?

Calcea Johnson: It was to create a new proof of the Pythagorean Theorem. And it kind of gave you a few guidelines on how would you start a proof.

The seniors were familiar with the Pythagorean Theorem, a fundamental principle of geometry. You may remember it from high school: a² + b² = c². In plain English, when you know the length of two sides of a right triangle, you can figure out the length of the third.

Both had studied geometry and some trigonometry, and both told us math was not easy. What no one told  them  was there had been more than 300 documented proofs of the Pythagorean Theorem using algebra and geometry, but for 2,000 years a proof using trigonometry was thought to be impossible, … and that was the bonus question facing them.

Bill Whitaker: When you looked at the question did you think, "Boy, this is hard"?

Ne'Kiya Jackson: Yeah. 

Bill Whitaker: What motivated you to say, "Well, I'm going to try this"?

Calcea Johnson: I think I was like, "I started something. I need to finish it." 

Bill Whitaker: So you just kept on going.

Calcea Johnson: Yeah.

For two months that winter, they spent almost all their free time working on the proof.

CeCe Johnson: She was like, "Mom, this is a little bit too much."

CeCe and Cal Johnson are Calcea's parents.

CeCe Johnson:   So then I started looking at what she really was doing. And it was pages and pages and pages of, like, over 20 or 30 pages for this one problem.

Cal Johnson: Yeah, the garbage can was full of papers, which she would, you know, work out the problems and-- if that didn't work she would ball it up, throw it in the trash. 

Bill Whitaker: Did you look at the problem? 

Neliska Jackson is Ne'Kiya's mother.

Neliska Jackson: Personally I did not. 'Cause most of the time I don't understand what she's doing (laughter).

Michelle Blouin Williams: What if we did this, what if I write this? Does this help? ax² plus ….

Their math teacher, Michelle Blouin Williams, initiated the math contest.

Michelle Blouin Williams

Bill Whitaker: And did you think anyone would solve it?

Michelle Blouin Williams: Well, I wasn't necessarily looking for a solve. So, no, I didn't—

Bill Whitaker: What were you looking for?

Michelle Blouin Williams: I was just looking for some ingenuity, you know—

Calcea and Ne'Kiya delivered on that! They tried to explain their groundbreaking work to 60 Minutes. Calcea's proof is appropriately titled the Waffle Cone.

Calcea Johnson: So to start the proof, we start with just a regular right triangle where the angle in the corner is 90°. And the two angles are alpha and beta.

Bill Whitaker: Uh-huh

Calcea Johnson: So then what we do next is we draw a second congruent, which means they're equal in size. But then we start creating similar but smaller right triangles going in a pattern like this. And then it continues for infinity. And eventually it creates this larger waffle cone shape.

Calcea Johnson: Am I going a little too—

Bill Whitaker: You've been beyond me since the beginning. (laughter) 

Bill Whitaker: So how did you figure out the proof?

Ne'Kiya Jackson: Okay. So you have a right triangle, 90° angle, alpha and beta.

Bill Whitaker: Then what did you do?

Bill Whitaker with Calcea Johnson and Ne'Kiya Jackson

Ne'Kiya Jackson: Okay, I have a right triangle inside of the circle. And I have a perpendicular bisector at OP to divide the triangle to make that small right triangle. And that's basically what I used for the proof. That's the proof.

Bill Whitaker: That's what I call amazing.

Ne'Kiya Jackson: Well, thank you.

There had been one other documented proof of the theorem using trigonometry by mathematician Jason Zimba in 2009 – one in 2,000 years. Now it seems Ne'Kiya and Calcea have joined perhaps the most exclusive club in mathematics. 

Bill Whitaker: So you both independently came up with proof that only used trigonometry.

Ne'Kiya Jackson: Yes.

Bill Whitaker: So are you math geniuses?

Calcea Johnson: I think that's a stretch. 

Bill Whitaker: If not genius, you're really smart at math.

Ne'Kiya Jackson: Not at all. (laugh) 

To document Calcea and Ne'Kiya's work, math teachers at St. Mary's submitted their proofs to an American Mathematical Society conference in Atlanta in March 2023.

Ne'Kiya Jackson: Well, our teacher approached us and was like, "Hey, you might be able to actually present this," I was like, "Are you joking?" But she wasn't. So we went. I got up there. We presented and it went well, and it blew up.

Bill Whitaker: It blew up.

Calcea Johnson: Yeah. 

Ne'Kiya Jackson: It blew up.

Bill Whitaker: Yeah. What was the blowup like?

Calcea Johnson: Insane, unexpected, crazy, honestly.

It took millenia to prove, but just a minute for word of their accomplishment to go around the world. They got a write-up in South Korea and a shout-out from former first lady Michelle Obama, a commendation from the governor and keys to the city of New Orleans. 

Bill Whitaker: Why do you think so many people found what you did to be so impressive?

Ne'Kiya Jackson: Probably because we're African American, one. And we're also women. So I think-- oh, and our age. Of course our ages probably played a big part.

Bill Whitaker: So you think people were surprised that young African American women, could do such a thing?

Calcea Johnson: Yeah, definitely.

Ne'Kiya Jackson: I'd like to actually be celebrated for what it is. Like, it's a great mathematical achievement.

Achievement, that's a word you hear often around St. Mary's academy. Calcea and Ne'Kiya follow a long line of barrier-breaking graduates. 

The late queen of Creole cooking, Leah Chase , was an alum. so was the first African-American female New Orleans police chief, Michelle Woodfork …

And judge for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, Dana Douglas. Math teacher Michelle Blouin Williams told us Calcea and Ne'Kiya are typical St. Mary's students.  

Bill Whitaker: They're not unicorns.

Michelle Blouin Williams: Oh, no no. If they are unicorns, then every single lady that has matriculated through this school is a beautiful, Black unicorn.

Pamela Rogers: You're good?

Pamela Rogers, St. Mary's president and interim principal, told us the students hear that message from the moment they walk in the door.

St. Mary's Academy president and interim principal Pamela Rogers

Pamela Rogers: We believe all students can succeed, all students can learn. It does not matter the environment that you live in. 

Bill Whitaker: So when word went out that two of your students had solved this almost impossible math problem, were they universally applauded?

Pamela Rogers: In this community, they were greatly applauded. Across the country, there were many naysayers.

Bill Whitaker: What were they saying?

Pamela Rogers: They were saying, "Oh, they could not have done it. African Americans don't have the brains to do it." Of course, we sheltered our girls from that. But we absolutely did not expect it to come in the volume that it came.  

Bill Whitaker: And after such a wonderful achievement.

Pamela Rogers: People-- have a vision of who can be successful. And-- to some people, it is not always an African American female. And to us, it's always an African American female.

Gloria Ladson-Billings: What we know is when teachers lay out some expectations that say, "You can do this," kids will work as hard as they can to do it.

Gloria Ladson-Billings, professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin, has studied how best to teach African American students. She told us an encouraging teacher can change a life.

Bill Whitaker: And what's the difference, say, between having a teacher like that and a whole school dedicated to the excellence of these students?

Gloria Ladson-Billings: So a whole school is almost like being in Heaven. 

Bill Whitaker: What do you mean by that?

Bill Whitaker and Gloria Ladson-Billings

Gloria Ladson-Billings: Many of our young people have their ceilings lowered, that somewhere around fourth or fifth grade, their thoughts are, "I'm not going to be anything special." What I think is probably happening at St. Mary's is young women come in as, perhaps, ninth graders and are told, "Here's what we expect to happen. And here's how we're going to help you get there."

At St. Mary's, half the students get scholarships, subsidized by fundraising to defray the $8,000 a year tuition. Here, there's no test to get in, but expectations are high and rules are strict: no cellphones, modest skirts, hair must be its natural color.

Students Rayah Siddiq, Summer Forde, Carissa Washington, Tatum Williams and Christina Blazio told us they appreciate the rules and rigor.

Rayah Siddiq: Especially the standards that they set for us. They're very high. And I don't think that's ever going to change.

Bill Whitaker: So is there a heart, a philosophy, an essence to St. Mary's?

Summer Forde: The sisterhood—

Carissa Washington: Sisterhood.

Tatum Williams: Sisterhood.

Bill Whitaker: The sisterhood?

Voices: Yes.

Bill Whitaker: And you don't mean the nuns. You mean-- (laughter)

Christina Blazio: I mean, yeah. The community—

Bill Whitaker: So when you're here, there's just no question that you're going to go on to college.

Rayah Siddiq: College is all they talk about. (laughter) 

Pamela Rogers: … and Arizona State University (Cheering)

Principal Rogers announces to her 615 students the colleges where every senior has been accepted.

Bill Whitaker: So for 17 years, you've had a 100% graduation rate—

Pamela Rogers: Yes.

Bill Whitaker: --and a 100% college acceptance rate?

Pamela Rogers: That's correct.

Last year when Ne'Kiya and Calcea graduated, all their classmates went to college and got scholarships. Ne'Kiya got a full ride to the pharmacy school at Xavier University in New Orleans. Calcea, the class valedictorian, is studying environmental engineering at Louisiana State University.

Bill Whitaker: So wait a minute. Neither one of you is going to pursue a career in math?

Both: No. (laugh)

Calcea Johnson: I may take up a minor in math. But I don't want that to be my job job.

Ne'Kiya Jackson: Yeah. People might expect too much out of me if (laugh) I become a mathematician. (laugh)

But math is not completely in their rear-view mirrors. This spring they submitted their high school proofs for final peer review and publication … and are still working on further proofs of the Pythagorean Theorem. Since their first two …

Calcea Johnson: We found five. And then we found a general format that could potentially produce at least five additional proofs.

Bill Whitaker: And you're not math geniuses?

Bill Whitaker: I'm not buying it. (laughs)

Produced by Sara Kuzmarov. Associate producer, Mariah B. Campbell. Edited by Daniel J. Glucksman.

Bill Whitaker

Bill Whitaker is an award-winning journalist and 60 Minutes correspondent who has covered major news stories, domestically and across the globe, for more than four decades with CBS News.

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  • Entertainment

A Recent Timeline of the Drake vs. Kendrick Lamar Beef

Drake; Kendrick Lamar

T he long-simmering beef between Kendrick Lamar and Drake has exploded in recent days as the rappers repeatedly lobbed insults and allegations about one another’s families and personal lives in a series of escalating diss tracks that has also invoked other hip-hop greats, including Metro Boomin and DJ Mustard.

The feud, in which each rapper has made numerous unverified allegations, prompted Drake to respond in a song on Sunday that he’s “disgusted” by Lamar’s claims about him, including that he has a secret child and engages in sex with underage girls, which he denies.

In “The Heart Part 6”—a title that references Lamar’s “The Heart” song series—Drake said he would have “been arrested” were there any truth to the allegations about him having inappropriate relationships with underage girls. The 37-year-old Canadian rapper, who has a 6-year-old son, also suggested that he leaked false information about having a daughter to Lamar, singing: “We plotted for a week and then we fed you the information/ A daughter that’s eleven years old, I bet he takes it.”

The fight between the two men reached its climax (at least, to date) over the weekend, resulting in the release of multiple songs by and featuring the two artists. While their tense relationship dates back years, the origins of this most recent dispute can be traced to Drake’s song “First Person Shooter,” which was released as part of his album, For All the Dogs, last October. During that track, featured guest J. Cole called himself, Drake, and Lamar the “big three.” When Lamar was featured on Future’s “Like That” on March 22, he ripped into Cole and Drake for suggesting they are on the same level.

Read More: Why Drake Had to Take Down His Song That Featured AI-Tupac Vocals

The ensuing drama has brought forward serious, unverified claims, and shows no signs of slowing down. It is the latest chapter in a long tradition of rap feuds that has seen rivalries between the likes of Jay-Z and Nas and Tupac and Biggie. 

Here’s a recent timeline of the beef between Drake and Kendrick Lamar. 

The backstory and "First Person Shooter”

Both rappers achieved mainstream fame at around the same time in the early 2010s. They’ve worked together in the past; on Drake’s 2011 album, Take Care , Lamar is featured on an interlude, and Lamar had Drake on his second studio album, 2012’s Good Kid, M.A.A.D City , on the song “Poetic Justice.” 

The first sign of trouble seems to have cropped up around 2013, when Lamar appeared on Big Sean’s “Control.” Lamar called out Drake and several other rappers on the song, but Drake didn’t engage at first, suggesting in interviews at the time that he was not going to take the bait.

Instead, Drake's beef with Meek Mill in 2015 consumed much of his time, and later, in 2018, he got into it with Pusha T, who revealed that Drake was hiding a secret baby in the song “The Story of Adidon”—which Drake later admitted was true.

It wasn’t until “First Person Shooter” came out last year that Drake reopened the conflict with Lamar, intentionally or not, after Cole referred to himself, Drake, and Lamar as the “Big Three.” 

Kendrick’s featured verse on “Like That” 

Lamar, who won the Pulitzer Prize in 2018 for his album DAMN. , took offense to the idea that he and Drake are on the same skill level. The standout line in Future’s song “Like That,” which is produced by Metro Boomin, is, “Motherf-ck the big three, it’s just big me.” 

He also refers to Drake’s most recent album, For All The Dogs , rapping, “‘Fore all your dogs gettin' buried/ That's a K with all these nines, he gon' see Pet Sematary .”

J. Cole enters the beef with “7-Minute Drill,” but quickly bows out

Shortly after “Like That” came out, Cole released a surprise album called Might Delete Later, and one of the songs, “7 Minute Drill,” includes a diss directed at Lamar. 

In it, he raps, “Your first sh-t was classic, your last sh-t was tragic/ Your second sh-t put n----s to sleep, but they gassed it/ Your third sh-t was massive, and that was your prime,” a line that many listeners took issue with because Cole suggests that To Pimp a Butterfly (an album widely regarded as Lamar’s best) was boring. He says in the song that people don’t care about Lamar, rapping, “He averagin’ one hard verse like every thirty months or somethin’/ If he wasn’t dissin’, then we wouldn’t be discussin’ him.”

However, Cole then decided to distance himself from the beef. He later said that the song “didn’t sit right with his spirit” and removed it from streaming services on April 12, saying his actions are some of the “lamest, goofiest sh-t” he’s participated in.

Drake tells Lamar he needs to do some “Push Ups”

Rap fans waited with bated breath for Drake’s response, and he returned to the beef with not one song, but two, “Push Ups” and “Taylor Made Freestyle,” released on April 19. The Toronto rapper attempts to put Lamar in his place, calling him a “pipsqueak” and rapping, “How the f-ck you big steppin’ with a size-seven men’s on?” Drake also attempts to make fun of Lamar for doing features on pop songs. “Maroon 5 need a verse, you better make it witty/ Then we need a verse for the Swifties," he raps on “Push Ups,” referring to the 2015 remix of Swift’s “Bad Blood” and “Don’t Wanna Know” with Maroon 5 the following year. 

But Lamar isn’t the only person called out on this record. Drake also dissed Future, The Weeknd, Rick Ross, NBA player Ja Morant, Metro Boomin, and Cole on the song.

“Taylor Made Freestyle,” AI Tupac and Snoop Dogg

Following “Push Ups,” Drake briefly released “Taylor Made Freestyle,” sharing the song in a now-deleted Instagram post on April 19 with the caption: “While we wait on you, I guess.” In the song, Drake alleged Lamar did not release a response to his diss track because Taylor Swift had just put out her latest album The Tortured Poets Department . “Now we gotta wait a f-cking week 'cause Taylor Swift is your new top, and if you boutta drop, she gotta approve,” rapped Drake.

Read More: How AI is Wreaking Havoc on the Fanbases of Taylor Swift, Drake, and Other Pop Stars

But the track was short-lived after Drake was served a cease-and-desist letter from Tupac Shakur’s estate for using AI-generated vocals from the rap legend, who died in 1996. Drake was then forced to remove “Taylor Made Freestyle” from all public platforms. The estate said they would have never approved of using Shakur’s voice for the track. 

The song also featured AI vocals from Snoop Dogg, who joked about it on Instagram.

“6:16 in LA” and the multiple meanings behind the title

Lamar dropped a second song in the same week he released “Euphoria,” with multiple possible meanings behind the cryptic title. He released “6:16 in LA” as an Instagram Reel on his page on Friday. The cover art for the song features a single black glove, seemingly a nod to the O.J. Simpson trial —which began on June 16, 1995. Tupac’s birthday is also on June 16, as is Father’s Day this year. It's also the day the television show Euphoria dropped its first episode. There is also a Bible verse, Corinthians 6:16, that could be read as a dig at Drake’s alleged taste in women: “Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, ‘The two will become one flesh.’”

One of the most surprising aspects about the song was the inclusion of Jack Antonoff’s name on the producer credits. The Bleachers frontman is known for working closely with Taylor Swift and hasn’t previously been publicly involved in this rap feud. Lamar digs further into Drake to suggest that the Toronto rapper might have moles on his team, feeding him information.

“Family Matters”

Drake responded to Lamar by questioning the true father of Lamar’s child with fiancé Whitney Alford, and possibly alleging that Lamar is unfaithful and physically abusive in his current relationship in “Family Matters.” “You the Black messiah wifin' up a mixed queen. And hit vanilla cream to help out with your self-esteem,” Drake raps on the track released on May 3. (Lamar has not directly addressed these claims, although he did say in his response track “Meet the Grahams,” “This supposed to be a good exhibition within the game/ But you fucked up the moment you called out my family's name/ Why you had to stoop so low to discredit some decent people?”) 

Later in that verse, Drake specifically names Dave Free, a record executive who works as Lamar’s manager, saying, “I heard that one of 'em little kids might be Dave Free.” Drake also called Lamar and his body of work, which often addresses racism, inauthentic, saying, “Always rappin’ like you ‘bout to get the slaves freed/ You justin actin’ like an activist, it’s make-believe.” 

The music video shows the destruction of a van used in the 2012 album cover of Lamar’s Good Kid, M.A.A.D City . As of Monday morning, the track is #1 on “trending for music ” on YouTube.

“Meet the Grahams”

Less than an hour after Drake released “Family Matters,” Lamar put out “Meet the Grahams.” The track is arguably the most aggressive of songs released in the past few months, and starts with Lamar apologizing to Drake’s son for having him as a father. Lamar then goes on to claim without evidence that Drake takes Ozempic, and used photos of medication with Drake’s legal name, Audrey Drake Graham, on it, as the cover art for the song. (The images have not been verified as legitimate.) He alludes to gossip that Drake has had a Brazilian butt lift (a rumor—which Drake has not directly responded to—that prompted Rick Ross to coin the nickname “BBL Drizzy”), and even mentions the way that Drake hid his son from the public eye. “Don't be ashamed 'bout who you wit', that's how he treat your moms. Don't have a kid to hide, a kid to hide again,” Lamar raps.

In the second verse, Lamar makes severe implications about Drake by comparing him to Hollywood sex offender Harvey Weinstein, saying, “Him and Weinstein should get fucked up in a cell for the rest they life.” (Weinstein’s 2020 rape conviction was recently overturned in New York, which has opened a new chapter in his case.)

Lamar dedicates the third verse to Drake’s daughter, claiming that Drake is “not active” in her life and calling him a “narcissist, misogynist.” Drake denied claims he has a daughter on his Instagram story on Saturday. 

“Not Like Us”

Lamar doubled down on his allegations against Drake, releasing another four-and-a-half-minute track not even a full 24 hours later on Saturday evening. The cover art is allegedly a photo of Drake’s mansion in Toronto with red markers that seem similar to the ones used to mark homes where sex offenders reside. “Say, Drake, I hear you like 'em young,” Lamar rapped. 

He also says that Drake is not a “colleague” but a “colonizer.”

Lamar also called out Drake for using Tupac’s AI voice: “You think the Bay gon' let you disrespect Pac, n---a? I think that Oakland show gon' be your last stop.”

Metro Boomin’s “BBL Drizzy” 

Metro Boomin—one of the producers on “Like That”—put his foot in the game when he shared a post on X about a “BBL Drizzy Beat Giveaway” on May 5. The rapper encouraged fans to rap over the beat, which looks to be a sample of a parody song written by comedian and AI storyteller King Willonious, according to Complex . 

Drake mentioned Metro Boomin by his legal name in “Family Matters,” calling him “lame” and also alleging that he influenced disagreements between Drake and Future. 

Drake commented on an Instagram post sharing one of Metro Boomin’s tweets about him writing , “you just cheffed a beat about my a-s?”

“The Heart Part 6”

The most recent response to the beef came on Sunday night, when Drake released “The Heart Part 6.” In a post to X , he wrote, “And we know you’re dropping [six] minutes after, so instead of posting my address, you have a lot to address.” He denies the allegations that Lamar lobbed at him, saying he purposefully fed Lamar fake information to see if he’d fall for it and tells him that he should get better at fact-checking. Drake called this beef a “good exercise” and laughed it off, suggesting that Lamar would be a “worthy competitor if [he] was really a predator.”

Drake also directly mentioned Stranger Things actor Millie Bobby Brown, saying that he “Only fuckin' with Whitneys, not Millie Bobby Browns, I'd never look twice at no teenager.” This marks at least the second time Drake has responded to online criticism about his friendship with the actress, whom he first met when she was a young teen . Drake previously addressed comments about her in his song “Another Late Night.”

The Drake vs. Kendrick Lamar beef seems to have no end in sight as the two continue to trade disses with ever-increasing severity in the allegations made towards each other.

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What Does It Feel Like To Be Jewish on Campus Right Now?

Nine jewish students, representing a wide range of perspectives, tell us how they've experienced this moment of campus protests surrounding the israel-hamas war..

A black and white composition notebook on a black background. The notebook says Jewish Voices on Campus '24 and has the flag of Israel, the flag of Palestine, and a bullhorn on the cover.

For the students witnessing the protests, participating in the protests (or counter-protests), talking about the protests with friends and in classes, feeling fearful of the protests, feeling empowered by the protests, or simply trying to study for finals while all this happens around them, this moment is not just something to study in text books or pontificate about over coffee and the newspaper. This is their lived realities.

As a publication and online community that aims to highlight and amplify a diversity of young Jewish voices, we wanted to hear directly from people who were living on college campuses during this time.

And so, last week we put out a call on our platform asking students: What does it feel like to be Jewish on campus right now? 

And wow, did we get responses! We anticipated receiving a few essays, and thought we might publish a handful of them. Instead, we received nearly 100 essays, and here, we are sharing nine of those with you. These essays are all written by Jewish students attending colleges in the United States. They represent a really wide range of perspectives and experiences. And we hope you’ll read all of them. Our goal is not to speak for every single student, but rather to allow each student featured here to speak for themselves. Perhaps you’ll see something that resonates for you; perhaps you’ll see something that makes you mad. Ideally, you’ll find something that sparks a moment of self-recognition or understanding where you didn’t expect it.

Read on to hear from nine college students about what it feels like to be Jewish on campus in 2024.

“I am looking for a community, but I do not fit anywhere.” — Molly Greenwold from Newton, MA; Barnard College, Class of 2026

“I have fought for both Zionist and anti-Zionist students to feel safe.” — Irene Raich from Fayetteville, Arkansas; Yale University, Class of 2027

“Living in fear on campus has become a daily battle.” — Kalie Fishman from Farmington Hills, MI; University of Michigan School of Social Work, Class of 2024

“I was arrested on the first night of Passover at the encampment on my college campus.” — Kira Carleton from Brooklyn, NY; NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, Master’s Student, Class of 2025

“Would people treat me differently if they knew I am Israeli?” — Yasmine Abouzaglo from Dallas, TX; Columbia University, Class of 2027

“I am not a Jew with trembling knees.” — Sophie Friedberg from Los Angeles, CA; University of Wisconsin-Madison, Class of 2024

“For the first time since October 7, I don’t feel so powerless.” — Adrien Braun; Trinity College, Class of 2026

“Maybe if I weren’t grieving the massacre of my community, I would feel differently.” — Devorah Klein from Kansas City, MO; University of Kansas, Class of 2024

“Most of the time, I stay silent.” — Gabriela Marquis from Spokane, WA; Gonzaga University, Class of 2024

thesis for us history

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In "eitan explores: mexico city," celebrity chef eitan bernath reminds us that jewish food and flavor spans wherever jews are in the world..

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Finding a Way To Make the Jewish Prayer for Healing Work for Me

As someone with a chronic illness, i used to struggle with the idea of refuah shleimah, or "complete healing." now, i've made peace with it..

thesis for us history

These Works of Hebrew Calligraphy Protect My Family

The history of shiviti goes all the way back to the great mystics of 14th-century spain..


  1. How To Write an AP US History Thesis Statement

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  2. History Research Paper Thesis Examples

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  3. Thesis Ideas For History

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  4. Writing for History: The Effective Thesis Statement

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  5. The Ultimate Guide to Writing a Brilliant History Essay

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  1. The Thesis Explained

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  3. Final Art History Thesis, Three Minute Thesis Presentation

  4. Borcelle University Thesis Defense Presentation by Estelle Darcy

  5. History of United States America

  6. How to score high in US History? Explained by a mentor Umer Hayat


  1. Thesis Statements

    Your thesis statement is one of the most important parts of your paper. It expresses your main argument succinctly and explains why your argument is historically significant. Think of your thesis as a promise you make to your reader about what your paper will argue. Then, spend the rest of your paper-each body paragraph-fulfilling that promise.

  2. Historical Thesis Statements

    United States History I. Module 4: Imperial Reforms and Colonial Protests (1763-1774) Search for: Historical Thesis Statements. ... For history essays, most professors will expect to see a clearly discernible thesis sentence in the introduction. Note that many history papers also include a topic sentence, which clearly state what the paper is ...

  3. History Theses and Dissertations

    Theses/Dissertations from 2021. Building a New (Deal) Identity The Evolution of Italian-American Political Culture and Ideology, 1910-1940, Ryan J. Antonucci. "It Seemed Like Reaching for the Moon:" Southside Virginia's Civil Rights Struggle Against The Virginia Way, 1951-1964, Emily A. Martin Cochran.

  4. Historical Arguments and Thesis Statements

    United States History II. Module 9: The New Deal (1932-1941) Search for: Historical Arguments and Thesis Statements. Learning Objectives. ... The central claim you make in your argument is called the thesis statement. A thesis consists of a specific topic and an angle on the topic. All of the other ideas in the text support and develop the thesis.

  5. History Department Masters Theses Collection

    Theses from 1991. PDF. American Catholicism and the political origins of the Cold War/, Thomas M. Moriarty, History. PDF. The ass worship controversy/, Robert E. Ravens-seger, History. PDF. The development of local religious tolerance in Massachusetts Bay Colony/, Andrew Leonard Sweet, History.

  6. Thesis Statements

    Thesis statements: Harry Truman's decision to drop the bomb on Hiroshima was motivated by racism. The US confrontation with the Soviets was the key factor in Truman's decision to drop the bomb on Hiroshima. This paper will demonstrate that in his decision to drop the bomb on Hiroshima, Truman was unduly influenced by hawks in his cabinet.

  7. Yale History Dissertations

    Since 1882, when the first dissertation was presented to the history department for doctoral qualification at Yale, hundreds of scholars have since followed that same path, dedicating themselves to countless hours of research, reading, and writing. And begging for more grant money. During the late 1800's, only a trickle of dissertations were ...

  8. PDF AP United States History

    AP. United States History 2022 Scoring Commentary. Question 1—Document-Based Question (continued) C. Evidence (0-3 points): 2. Evidence from the Documents. The response earned 1 point for correctly using the content of Documents 1, 2, 3, 6, and 7 to address the topic of the prompt.

  9. PDF Thesis Statements REVISED

    Your thesis statement is one of the most important parts of your paper. It expresses your main argument succinctly and explains why your argument is historically significant. Think of your thesis as a promise you make to your reader about what your paper will argue. Then, spend the rest of your paper—each body paragraph—fulfilling that promise.

  10. PDF A Guide to Writing a Senior Thesis in History & Literature

    Director of Studies to write a thesis that exceeds 20,000 words. Typical theses run somewhere in the range of 15,000-20,000 words. • All candidates for an honors degree in History & Literature must prepare a senior thesis. Students who do not complete a thesis are not eligible to graduate with honors in History & Literature.

  11. Completed Dissertations

    2020-Present 2023-2024 Broadus, VictoriaLatin American History"Vissungo: The Afro-Descended Culture of Miners and Maroons in Brazil's Diamond District, 1850s-2020s"Advisor: Bryan McCann Mensah, TraceyAfrican History"'Shopping for All Pocket': A Business History of Indians in Ghana, 1890-1980"Advisor: Meredith McKittrick Nanavati, AbhishekEast & Central Asian History"Co ...

  12. History Thesis Topics: List of 69 Outstanding Ideas

    🚀 American History Thesis Topics. African American history in the United States: disfranchisement and segregation in 1890-1900; Early American History and the lost colony of Roanoke; The construction of race in American culture and history. It's not a secret that race is a social construct. In American culture and history, it plays a ...

  13. PDF How To Write an AP US History Thesis Statement

    Types of Thesis Statements: 1. Direct: This a straightforward statement that clearly and directly answers the question. To a remarkable degree Jacksonian democrats succeeded in implementing their vision of American society. 2. Compound: Use this approach when trying to prove two main points. Use the word "and.".

  14. How to Research and Write a Compelling History Thesis

    2. Develop a Thesis Statement. To create a thesis statement, a student should establish a specific idea or theory that makes the main point about a historical event. Scribbr, an editing website, recommends starting with a working thesis, asking the question the thesis intends to answer, and, then, writing the answer.

  15. PDF A Brief Guide to Writing the History Paper

    the History Paper The Challenges of Writing About (a.k.a., Making) History At first glance, writing about history can seem like an overwhelming task. History's subject matter is immense, encompassing all of human affairs in the recorded past — up until the moment, that is, that you started reading this guide.

  16. History Masters Theses Collection

    History Masters Theses Collection. This collection contains open access and campus access Masters theses, made possible through Graduate Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston. The full content of open access theses is available to all, although some files may have embargoes placed on them and will be made available as soon as possible.

  17. AP US History periods and themes

    The Whig Party was a political party in the first half of the 1800s. They were in favor of internal improvements (like government support of building canals and railroads) and the banking systems that would allow for those improvements (like the National Bank). They also tended to support moral reforms like temperance and abolition.

  18. Harvard University Theses, Dissertations, and Prize Papers

    The Harvard University Archives' collection of theses, dissertations, and prize papers document the wide range of academic research undertaken by Harvard students over the course of the University's history.. Beyond their value as pieces of original research, these collections document the history of American higher education, chronicling both the growth of Harvard as a major research ...

  19. 520 Excellent American History Topics & Tips for an A+ Paper

    Think of the Boston Tea Party or the American Revolution. And these are only two of that era's most notable events. In this rubric, you'll find colonial American history essay topics. The period in question starts with the British arrival in the New World and ends with the Civil War. The origins of Thanksgiving.

  20. Frontier Thesis

    The Frontier Thesis, also known as Turner's Thesis or American frontierism, is the argument advanced by historian Frederick Jackson Turner in 1893 that the settlement and colonization of the rugged American frontier was decisive in forming the culture of American democracy and distinguishing it from European nations. He stressed the process of "winning a wilderness" to extend the frontier line ...

  21. Honors Thesis Abstracts

    Elisabeth Bienvenue, "La Vie en Chant: The Role of Songbooks in Twentieth Century Franco-American Survivance" Thesis Advisor: Dr. Nancy Shoemaker. The Chants Populaires des Franco-Américains were a collection of songbooks published by the Union Saint-Jean-Baptiste d'Amérique in Woonsocket, Rhode Island from 1929-1962. These songbooks should be considered as part of "la survivance ...

  22. PDF How To Write an AP US History Thesis Statement

    Types of Thesis Statements: 1. Direct: This a straightforward statement that clearly and directly answers the question. To a remarkable degree Jacksonian democrats succeeded in implementing their vision of American society. 2. Compound: Use this approach when trying to prove two main points. Use the word "and.".

  23. African American Studies: Theses and Dissertations

    This bibliography lists 600 theses and dissertations on African American topics completed at the University of California, Berkeley. The earliest thesis, by Emmet Gerald Alexander, State Education of the Negro in the South, was completed in 1907 in the Department of Education, while the most recent date from the calendar year 2001.

  24. AP United States History Exam Questions

    Download free-response questions from this year's exam and past exams along with scoring guidelines, sample responses from exam takers, and scoring distributions. If you are using assistive technology and need help accessing these PDFs in another format, contact Services for Students with Disabilities at 212-713-8333 or by email at ssd@info ...

  25. M.A. Thesis Defense: R. Shaw Bridges

    Robert Shaw Bridges will defend his Master's thesis, ""To Be Considered As Salvors": Risk and Value in the Brokered World of the Early Nineteenth Century American Whale Fishery" in conference with his graduate advisory committee. The Major Professor is Dr. Stephen Mihm. The university community is invited. If you wish to attend please contact the graduate program office at least 48 hours in ...

  26. Teens come up with trigonometry proof for Pythagorean Theorem, a

    A high school teacher didn't expect a solution when she set a 2,000-year-old Pythagorean Theorem problem in front of her students. Then Calcea Johnson and Ne'Kiya Jackson stepped up to the challenge.

  27. Kendrick Lamar and Drake's Beef, Explained

    Here's a recent timeline of the beef between Drake and Kendrick Lamar. The backstory and "First Person Shooter" Both rappers achieved mainstream fame at around the same time in the early 2010s.

  28. What Does It Feel Like To Be Jewish on Campus Right Now?

    Protests are often a part of life on a college campus. The United States has a long history of student activism, and young people are frequently on the frontlines of movements for social change. Yet for many college students today, the current protests, which first started after October 7 and drastically amplified over the past […]