15 June 2023

100+ History Dissertation Topics

image of a historic map

A history dissertation is one of the most meticulous pieces of historical writing. It may examine a certain event, person, political violence, or any number of subjects that have a tinge of history. By implication, this means history dissertation topics can involve almost anything since history continually grows to incorporate everything considered "the past." We'll explore several dissertation topics as well as how to structure your paper depending on the field you're writing on.


Without further ado, we'll dive into this deep and interesting topic that allows us to explore 100+ history dissertation topics that give students depth and good material for their dissertations.


List of The Top 20 Favorite Ideas for History Dissertation Topics

  1. US-Soviet relations during the Cold war
  2. Battle for Kyiv: a case of modern warfare
  3. China's transformation from the 1970s onwards
  4. The foreign policy that led to India-Pakistan border hostility
  5. The end-stages of socialism in the Soviet Union
  6. Trade laws in medieval England
  7. Development of banking institutions in Italy during the 14th century
  8. Why did Hungary's "Magna Carta" fail why England's succeeded?
  9. Creation of special economic zones in China
  10. Implication of lifting the special economic zone status of Hong Kong?
  11. The birth of Nazi nationalism in Germany
  12. Impact of World War II on social processes in the US
  13. First world war on political and socioeconomic processes in Europe
  14. The Yugoslav socialism model: Cause of the 1990s Balkan crisis
  15. The emergence of Freemasonry in the 18th century Europe
  16. Avant Garde fashion and its connection to the Russian enlightenment
  17. The impact of England's policies in 19th century Ireland
  18. Cultural transformation during the enlightenment age in France
  19. Influence of 20th-century French colonial expansion in modern Mali
  20. How oil became dominant and how electricity could fix this problem
Image with text written, ‘Good dissertation topics in history: ancient, medieval, and modern history.’

Good Dissertation Topics in History: Time Period

History is a subject as old as time and more vast than the time humankind has existed. It only makes sense to study the subject based on a specific timeline. Let's look at some creative dissertation proposal topics for varying periods in history.

  • Ancient history dissertation topics
  • Medieval history dissertation topics
  • Modern history dissertation topics


Ancient History Dissertation Topics

Take a look at some sample topics for ancient history. And this is but a scratch of what you can come up with!

  1. Origin of Eastern Slavs: Ancient cultures
  2. Ancient civilizations: the Maya Empire
  3. Political formation of Macedonia: 359 B.C. to 336 B.C.
  4. The Roman statehood crisis in the 3rd century
  5. Greek city-states: inspiration for Herodotus
  6. Khosrau's influence on the development of Persia
  7. Sociopolitical ideas in the book of Judges in the Bible
  8. Women's roles and gender relations in the ancient world
  9. The status of Assyrian women under Middle Assyrian Laws
  10. Iron Age burial monuments in the Middle East
  11. Julius Caesar's personality and its effect on Rome
  12. Mesopotamian civilization as the inspiration for the epic of Gilgamesh
  13. Political systems in ancient Egypt
  14. Socioeconomic reasons that led to the collapse of Mesopotamia
  15. How geography influenced the development of ancient civilizations
medieval history Viking helmet and sword

Medieval History Dissertation Topics

Here are some sample dissertation topics on medieval issues that you could explore.

  1. Cultural exchanges in medieval Europe
  2. The influence of the Knights Templar on European socioeconomics
  3. The black death of the 14th century
  4. Rome's cultural transformation in the middle ages
  5. Establishment of feudalism in Europe during the Medieval era
  6. Why the Crusades failed: middle ages
  7. The Renaissance and its economic effect on France's economy
  8. Ibn Al-Haytham: philosophy of the rise and fall of empires
  9. Developments in Japan under the Tokugawa Shogunate
  10. Creation of a unified China: The War of Kingdoms


Modern History Dissertation Topics

Let us now consider the more recent topics that most of us will be familiar with.

  1. The possible energy implications of the Russian-Ukraine war
  2. The history of the Taliban in Afghanistan
  3. Nationalism in 19th-Century Europe: a case of Germany
  4. The industrial revolution and its influence on Western civilizations
  5. Imperialism and its impact on African civilizations
  6. Ideologies of liberalism and its relationship to conservatism
  7. Why Adolf Hitler and the Fascists were able to seize power in Germany
  8. Rise of nationalism in Japan
  9. Ethical treatment of mental illness
  10. The history and development of the Federal Reserve banks of the US
  11. A history of the Cuban revolution
  12. Detangling the Venezuelan economic crisis
  13. Understanding the Chinese-Hong Kong integration conflict
  14. Why the US has major business ties to Taiwan
  15. The growth and development of Qatar from the 1940s
  16. Reasons for the breakup of the former Yugoslavia
  17. Historical development of feminism in the United States
  18. Growth and development of gay rights in the US
  19. Role of women in the first world war
  20. The influence of world war ii on nursing
Greek building from ancient history

Best Ancient History Dissertation Topics

We have come up with a short list of some juicy topics that have loads of information and are bound to get heads turning.

  1. The origin of Anglo-Saxons in the UK
  2. Political law under Hamurrabi's rule
  3. Sociocultural organization of European Celts
  4. Effects of Nubia's invasion of Egypt on the latter's economic development
  5. The collapse of the Roman age in the 3rd century


Dissertation Topics from the Nineteenth Century

The 19th Century has to be one of the most fascinating historical periods. It saw the creation of skyscrapers, and many towns were built. This is primarily owed to industrialization. People sought accommodation in towns where they worked in droves at factories. This led to a decline in rural populations across Europe.


Getting the right idea for your dissertation topic in the 19th century may be an uphill task because many social issues are interwoven with other fields. While it's not easy, these ideas can spur something in your brain. Check them out and personalize the dissertation ideas into thoughts and topics of interest to you.

Eiffel tower in smog
  1. The sociocultural effects of Darwin's work in Victorian England. Many people in this era found Darwin's theory of evolution very unsettling and discerned that considering that humans evolved from apes was a dangerous theory.
  2. Changing social ideals in Europe. The transition of people from rural areas in Europe to urban centers led to major changes in their social interactions. It led to the collapse of cottage industries that produced quality goods, while mass production in factories became the default mode of production.
  3. Prince Albert's housing influence and its sociocultural implications. The British monarch realized that families and workers did not have well-suited places to live and sought to provide them with housing designs more developed than the ghettos to which they were accustomed.
  4. Secular change in Europe: social upheavals. Writers like Thomas Hardy and his book, "Love and Loss," gained prominence as people sought to associate the loss of meaning in their lives due to major social upheavals with literary works.
  5. Creation of religious doubt during the Spanish Inquisition. Darwin's theory of evolution led to many people questioning sacred writings and beliefs in the Bible. In this sense, most people in Victorian England started losing touch with religion and felt that the Bible had lost its meaning.
  6. Industrialization across the world: Chinese expansion in Asia. The industrial revolution was exported to other countries, such as the U.S., where more people were moving closer to factories and hence, cities. We can examine the textile factories and how they created items like jeans to see how production changes workers' dressing.
  7. Family under Jim Crow law in Southern US. Works like those from Ruskin and Gaskell demonstrate how the 19th century transformed the family unit. Gender relations were also evidently affected by this shift to urbanization.
  8. Power dynamics in Eastern Europe. Represented in literary works by individuals like Charles Dickens, there were social changes demonstrated in works like The Old Curiosity Shop and Bleak House.
  9. Treatment of inmates in Norwegian cells. It may also help to write about a specific topic, like how convicts were exported t Australia and how that manifested in feelings of nationalism.
  10. Domestic work during world war ii. It would also help to focus on more internal issues, such as the social hierarchy that developed in countries like the U.S. and Europe during this era. We could analyze the types of domestic work available and how it influenced the traditional family.
Woman in library thinking about interesting history dissertation topics

Interesting History Dissertation Topics

A history dissertation benefits from a strong thesis. This will help you achieve what you intend to with your paper. Tell your audience why this information is interesting to you. Also, inform them of its importance. This is an excellent place to start writing your dissertation.


Let's check out some more dissertation topics that could spark your interest and help you brainstorm ideas.

  1. George Washington's historical influence
  2. Origin and influence of the French revolution
  3. The Russian Working Class Movement
  4. The influence of Consumerism in modern world history
  5. The creation and evolution of the hermit country: North Korea


The possibilities are endless. Take some time to look into these topics, and you'll find a trove of information that you may find interesting to help you come up with fresh history dissertation topics.

Art history on arched ceiling of Jesuit temple

Good Art History Dissertation Topics

One of the most compelling and exciting ways in which history develops is in the art world. Oil paintings, sculptures, and other historical artifacts tell deep and meaningful tales. For instance, the Nigerian and German governments signed a deal for the former to return hundreds of artifacts referred to as the Benin Bronzes. These are priceless artifacts from the Dahomey kingdom in modern Benin. Art tells stories, so let's look at some great topics you could consider for your history dissertation.

  1. History and development of Avante Garde in Russia
  2. History and development of ballet
  3. Flamenco and its origins in Latin American history
  4. Jazz culture and its development in North America
  5. The music of Beethoven: influence on classical art
  6. The life of Michael Jackson as a pop icon
  7. The contribution of Shakespeare's work to modern theatre
  8. The History and evolution of modern Chinese music
  9. Changes in Vincent Van Gough's technique and their inspiration
  10. The curious ambiguity of the Mona Lisa


Historical analysis of art proves one point, history is in everything, and one needs to relate their dissertation topic to what one studies.

Historical people and events at the Trevi fountain

Historical People and Events Dissertation Topics

History is wrought with incredible information about heroes of myth and history. The good thing is that events are inspired mainly by people so that you can tell a tale of pretty much anyone famous. Ensure they relate to your area of study, or you could be in for a lot of work. Here are some timeless topics that are difficult to exhaust information on.

  1. The Spartan Kings by Herodotus.
  2. Winston Churchill: improving the U.K.'s international relations
  3. The relationship dynamics between Margaret Thatcher and Mary Whitehouse
  4. Political activities of Mahatma Gandhi
  5. Adolf Hitler and his ascension to power
  6. Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi: the development of algebra and geometry
  7. Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu: the foreign policy of Israel
  8. The Colonial War in West Africa: Ghana
  9. People's Democracy in Cambodia in the 20th century
  10. African Communities in North America


If you can name an event that transpired since we could write, you could find a history topic to write about. Just make sure it interests you and dig deep for information that will fill up your manuscript. And remember, you must be well-versed in the research method best for your topic, so keep this in mind as you think of a person or event you'd like your report to be about.

Baroque style statue of Italian reunification

Italian Unification History Dissertation Topics

Risorgimento, or the unification of Italy, happened in the 19th century. This social and political movement also led to the amalgamation of the different states constituting the Italian Peninsula. This consolidation occurred in 1861 and led to the birth of the Kingdom of Italy.

  1. A history of the disorgimento in Italy
  2. The Unification of Italy was an accident
  3. Bismark and Cavour: the reason for Italian Unification
  4. The effects of the disorgimento on the Italian government
  5. The uphill journey that was the Unification of Italy
  6. The historical significance of the disorgimento in the nineteenth century
  7. The three prominent figures of the Unification of Italy
  8. The life of the Count of Cavour, Camilion Benso


With the proper research materials, you can write a topic on just about anything. But remember, it must be interesting to enable you to enjoy yourself while working on a tedious project.

Mount Rushmore and American flag depicting American history

American History Dissertation Topics

When approaching a subject like American history, you have many ideas to choose from for your paper. What you must consider is which one best suits you. As always, please choose an area of interest and inject some energy and passion into it. However, if you must select a topic that does not interest you, buying a dissertation online can help you avoid the hustle and struggle of writing dissertations.


Remember to reconstitute the ideas as you look through the following list of ideas. Make the paper unique and suited to your area of study; make it your own. This is your starting point as you begin reflecting on something you'd like recognized as the crown jewel of your academic writing prowess. Let's get to it!

  1. The possible causes of the Salem witch trials
  2. The relationship of North American religions to the environment
  3. The reasons for and consequences of the Boston Tea Party
  4. The ramifications of the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794
  5. The politics of public health and taxation in the U.S.: 1990-2020
  6. Impact of the cotton gin on the American economy
  7. Political implications of the cotton gin in U.S. history: 19th century
  8. Causes and effects of the Mexican war
  9. Reasons for the opposition of the Mormon settlers in Illinois
  10. The impact of the Abolitionist movement in the U.S.


The U.S. has more than 300 years of interesting history topics to choose from. It has some of the most proficient innovators in different fields. You will definitely find something that piques your interest to write about among these American history dissertation topics.

Grayscale photo of two men holding tank guns in the second world war

Second World War Dissertation Topics

Arguably one of the most impactful wars in human history, the second world war predicated an era known as the Cold war. These two periods are wrought with historical figures, the best broth to collect a good history dissertation topic. Let's look at some of the areas you could explore when it comes to a world war ii history dissertation topic.

  1. Overview of world war II
  2. Causes of world war II
  3. The invasion of France by Germany
  4. The devastation of the Blitzkrieg
  5. Battles in the Italian Peninsula during the second world war
  6. Operation Barbarossa and its effects on German economics
  7. The invasion of Pearl Harbor: ramifications to U.S. politics
  8. The events leading to the Berlin airlift


As we can see, the topics to write on are practically endless. You can derive even more topics from each of these if you explore the subject deeply. The lucky thing with such topics is their abundance of research material to draw from. Always do some prior research before you start writing your dissertation topic. It will save you a lot of headaches in the future.

Notebook cover written, ‘How long is a history doctoral dissertation’

How Long Is a History Doctoral Dissertation?

A good undergraduate dissertation will take about 8,00 to 15,000 words. This will increase for higher-level dissertation papers, with a typical master's dissertation taking between 12,00 0 and 50,000 words, while PhD theses require book-length writing, that is, around 70,000 to 100,000 words. This will take a toll on someone. So you have to be ready with a good dissertation topic or get help from experts on dissertation chapters.


You must come up with a practical timetable not to leave your paper unattended, as you need it to pass your finals. So coming up with a good and exciting topic for your dissertation is paramount. Explore your field and areas in history that interest you as you have some time to write the paper. But don't take too long; you must complete this mammoth task articulately to graduate with that A+.


How to Choose a History Dissertation Topic?

Choosing a topic to write about is integral to your dissertation. Professors advise students to consider building on past research philosophy. That is, using a dissertation proposal from a past assignment to formulate their research paper. It makes sense to continue digging into a familiar topic rather than start from scratch with another topic and different research methods.


However, if you feel that a change is necessary and want to explore new ideas, go for it! You can direct your paper in a new direction and tackle other issues. Remember to align your topic with the department you'll submit it to. This way, it will pose relevant theories to your field of study.


Here's an easy system to guide you in choosing your topics using specific historical periods to focus on:

  • Ancient history
  • Middle Ages
  • Modern and Recent history


Quick note: Many students find the best history dissertation topics from the Middle Ages because it has a fair deal of documented materials. There are also many peer reviews on topics from this era. This makes it the most popular period to consider for the best history dissertation topics.

To do list written ‘best history dissertation topic’

How to Select the Best History Dissertation Topic?

Coming up with a dissertation can be one of the most exciting but challenging moments of a student's academic writing career. It takes a lot of intellectual effort, time, and courage to write such papers. This is the reason why each step in the writing process is important.


Your journey must begin with researching good dissertation topics, a challenge. This is especially so for liberal arts units. World history, literature, and social studies have practically endless subjects to consider.


You have to be interested in historical events to develop the best dissertation topics for your work. We get it; it's tough. It may be too much to wrap your head around. This is why My Custom Essays prepares history dissertation topics promptly for students. Here's what you must consider to create a catchy and interesting topic for your paper.

  1. Your topic must fit your field of study
  2. Determine how much interest you have in your chosen topic
  3. Ensure that you have enough material to write your topic on
  4. Conduct some prior research
  5. Ask your dissertation advisor for help when needed
Image written ‘Best history dissertation topics for your field of study’ and a checklist and a man below it

1. Your topic must fit your field of study

You must be conversant with what you intend to write. Experts recommend basing your paper on existing experience and knowledge. This will help you come up with a strong dissertation. Choosing to work in an overly complicated field could backfire on you though it seems impressive. Your dissertation writing will be hellish if you choose this route. How can you work on an almost 14,000 worded document without fully understanding it? Remember this question before you begin writing on any topic, and you should be fine.


2. Determine how much interest you have in your chosen topic

This may seem obvious without looking at it critically. You must remember that having an actual interest in a topic makes a huge difference in your work. There are many students that are working on easy but boring topics and find the work twice as difficult. Don't be one of these students; choose a topic that interests you.


3. Ensure that you have enough material to write your topic on

Another important thing to consider is the research methods you will use for your paper. The ideas you choose for your topic should have prudent research methods that can reach accurate conclusions. You must narrow down your area of study to write an excellent dissertation. Many students find it easier to direct their examination and have sufficient sources to work with if they first consider the research limitations and methods. As a bonus, you will get to explore your topic further.

Black magnifying glass and yellow pencil placed on writing pad

4. Conduct some prior research

This will help you better understand how many documents you can find for document analysis in your literature review. Make careful notes about the notes you will use in your literature review for the reference list. Looking at examples of history essays is also a good idea.


5. Ask your dissertation advisor for help when needed

Even great writers have teachers. Don't be shy to ask for help when you feel stuck. After all, this is why we have teachers, right? Yeah. Also, it helps to see which ideas they find appropriate and viable.



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