American Revolution Essay Questions & Topics

Instructor: David Wood

David has taught Honors Physics, AP Physics, IB Physics and general science courses. He has a Masters in Education, and a Bachelors in Physics.

These essay topics will help guide students as they reinforce knowledge and practice historical writing. The questions and topics are organized by theme, such as the causes of the revolution and building the nation afterward.

American Revolution Essay Topics

As students learn more about the build up to the American Revolution, the war of independence, and its aftermath, it's important that students practice writing about this era of history. Not only is writing about history an important skill for any historian, it also helps students confirm and cement their knowledge about the era. Having a variety of possible essay topics can be extremely valuable. Use this series of possible essay questions and topics in several categories to help your students flex their thinking and writing muscles.

Causes & Prelude

Here are some essay questions surrounding the days prior to the Declaration of Independence, focusing on the causes and prelude of the American Revolution:

  • The American colonies were quite different one another. How are they different? And why did those differences develop?
  • Why was the triangle trade route important to the colonies? How did it work?
  • How did Puritanism affect political and social ideas in the colonies?
  • To what extent were the French and Indian wars a prelude to the American revolution?
  • Describe the events of the Boston massacre, and the Boston tea party, and their importance to the American Revolution.
  • Compare and contrast the impacts of the first and second Continental Congress.
  • What attempts were made to reconcile the British Empire with the American colonies?
  • What arguments were made in favor of remaining with the British Empire? How common was this view?
  • What was the main message of Thomas Paine's essay titled Common Sense? How did it influence public thought?
  • Describe the causes and factors that led to the American Revolution. Which factors do you believe to be the most significant?
  • How did the Declaration of Independence relate to the ideas of the Enlightenment?
  • If you had lived during the time of the American Revolution, would you have been a patriot, a loyalist, or neutral? Explain the reasons for your answer.

The War of Independence

Here are some essay questions focusing on the war of independence itself, and the various factors that led to an American victory:

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