American History Introduction Essay Format

Example of a Research Paper essay on History about:

history / colonial America / American Revolution / the Civil War

Essay Topic:

The impact of the Colonial era, the American revolution and the Civil War on the historical development of the United States of America.

Essay Questions:

What was the influence of the Colonial America period for the whole American history? Did the American Revolution contribute to the development of America’s society? How did the Civil War historically shape contemporary America?

Thesis Statement:

For thousand people North America became that place, that promising land they hoped to build a happier future on.


American History periods essay

Table of contents:

1. Introduction: Colonial America

2. The American Revolution

3. The Civil War

Introduction: Colonial America. The 17th century was a hard time for the people of what was once to be called the United States of America. It was the era of changes, the era of giving up everything up to start a better future in a better place. For thousand people North America became that place, that promising land they hoped to build a happier future on. It was these changes that “wafted” the sense of progress to the people belonging to the colonial era. The primary values of people of the 17th century America was to manage to adjust or in other words to be flexible and strong enough to defend their right to be on the new land. The colonists consisted primarily of English, Dutch, Spanish, and French colonists and it was eastern North America that became their new home. It was the era of continuous failures on the way to a “bright” future and these continuous failures in the 17th century started to be constant colonies.

The major difficulty of the people belonging to the Colonial Era was that they had different social and racial backgrounds, which created obstacles for finding the “points of contiguity”. The era of the new world became the home for people of different color of skin and made that learn how to live with each other and was the first step to what nowadays is proudly called to be the most powerful country in the world. America is a country of diversities nowadays owing to the fact that each colony back in the era of Colonial America had its own economic, political, religious, and social structure. The major conflict of that era was this very specific contradiction of their colonies and their location and at the same moment the prosperity can be seen in the fact that it formed the base for a country that accepted different people under its flag. It has truly shaped Americans as a nation giving them the notion of the right for being different and the lesson how to respect other social, religious and economic ways of living. It was the era that by its four major colonies: New England, the Middle Colonies, the Chesapeake Bay Colonies and the Southern Colonies gave the start to the most powerful nation in the world owing to its flexibility and ability to adapt; owing to the variety of life-styles and economical strategies. So the great transmigration of the Europeans to North America represented the time of changes that the existing world required. This people, who were brave enough to come to an unknown lad formed the “national character of the Americans”, as the journey to North America was from six to twelve weeks and many of the migrants died from numerous diseases and their food was scanty. The ships the traveled on, often experienced gales and storms and people disappeared in the open sea. Still, people were strong enough to continue their fight for survival, forming what we call a “real American” nowadays.

2. The American Revolution. The term “American Revolution” is known to every single American citizen and or just to a person who somehow is acquainted with American’s history. Back in the time 18th century the existing colonies were under a great dependence on the British Empire, which controlled them and dictated their political and economic strategies. Years passed and the inconvertible changes needed to come. These changes had a lot of ideology in them, as they were full with ideas of independence. The American Revolution was more than just the political separation of the thirteen colonies from Britain; it was the affirmation of a new nation and a new country – the United States of America. So, all the changes in that historical are corresponded to the values and the ideas of that time. For it was the time of the French and Indian War (1754-1763), American War of Independence (1775-1783) and many other less significant rebels. The changes were well timed for just as John Adams said: “The revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people”. It was a great fight for independence that resulted in the election of the first president of the newly formed United States of America, consisting of 13 ex-colonies.

A very significant thing to add is that the Revolution did not just influence the history of America – it changed the history of the whole world. It was a transformation that created a qualitative new nation of survivors. The American Revolution was the driving force of the revolutions that took place all over the world – creating “updated” societies. So, the conflict of that time was going against the set ways of living people had. They were dependent of “far governments” that did not feel them but simply gave directions. The prosperity was the replacement of these obtruding government by a completely new one and actually by a completely new country.It is very hard to underestimate the true value of the American Revolution for every single American. It did not just simply effect the cultural development and the nation itself, for it was the begging of the existance of the nation. Basically saying the American Revolution of the thirteen North American colonies against the British rule was the key factor of the creation of a new independent state – the United States of America. It was prepared by the preceding socio-economic history of the colonies. The development of capitalism in the colonies and the beginning of the formation of the north-American nation contradicted the metropolitan policy of the British Empire, which viewed the colonies as a source of raw materials and as a market. The American Revolution with its War of Independence was a bourgeois revolution, which lead to the dethronement of the colonial suppression and to the formation of the independent American state. And is also important the embargos of the British Empire stopped restricting the development of industry and trade in the colonies. It was a magnificent beginning of a new state!

3. The Civil War. The Civil War took place on the territory of the United States of America in 1861-1865. It was the war between the bourgeois South and North. The South states started a revolt against the North in order to perpetuate and spread the slavery throughout the country. The United States needed changes for it was he time when a person was not considered to have the right to humiliate another person and call another person a “slave” and their property. The North was ready fro those changes, but the South was a different story. As they needed a lot of working force for their plantations they were eager to forget about the humane motives and the moral development. The Civil War made a deep print in the memories of the American citizens because it was the fight against racial prejudice which sometimes still continue all over the world as “rudiments” of the old times.

The reasons of the Civil War are very inconsistent and controversial on the other hand. It was not just a war between two parts of the country – it was the war against to completely different hierarchies within one single country. Those were two different social hierarchies of the north and the South. The South had the planters as a well-to-do class, which usually consisted of the descendants of aristocratic English families. The boundless tobacco, cotton, rice and sugar plantations of the South had the Negroes as slaves, who did not have any rights, to work on them.The Civil War expresses the values of equality of every personality and the right of every citizen to have this right protected. The history of afro-American population in the United States resulted in the fact that they were formally free in the North and a part of the household in the South. The South was against Abraham Lincoln’s plan to stop slavery in the country. So the Civil War may be the war of two motivations within the very same country. This war has definitely played an integral role in the political life of the United States of America.

Conclusion: The Civil War with the two contradicting ideas of life-styles created prosperity for the country for it made the base for a society with equality in its base in the first place. Another thing was that during the course of the Civil War the first mass regular army of a contemporary type was organized.Ass the result of the Civil was and with a cost of huge looses the unity of the United States of America was saved and the slavery was eliminated. The following economic ascent made America on of the most ecomonically-developed countries by the beginning of the XX century.The slavery was abolished on the 1st of January 1863 and thought it was just the begging of the true war it was also the begging of a new “healthy” nation. The contribution of the Civil War is immense as it was the series of events that changes the course of history of the country and the nation.


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5 Steps to Writing an Historical Essay

Written by Liz Cooksey

High School Social Studies Teacher

     The purpose of this guide is to walk a high school student through an easy step-by-step process of writing an historical essay.

     Writing an essay for history is not necessarily the same as it may be for an English class.

    Through the next few pages we will cover a basic overview of the process while also pointing out some "do's and don'ts" of writing an historical essay.


Step 1: Brainstorm

 Once you have read the question or prompt, you must determine the key points you will need to address and then brainstorm ideas that will support your points.


Step 2: Create a Thesis Statement

The purpose of a thesis is to summarize the key arguements of your essay into one firm statement. Strong thesis statements usually need to include about 3 points that you intend to prove through the essay.

When coming up with your thesis for a historical essay there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Make sure to include specific examples that you will later discuss in detail
  • Do not use 1st person
  • Do not write refer to "this essay"


Step 3: Create an Introduction Paragraph

Creating an introduction paragraph becomes more easy once the thesis has been determined. The purpose of this paragraph is only to introduce your ideas, not describe in detail or length.  

When writing your introduction there are a few ideas you need to keep in mind:

  • Open with a broad statement
  • Each sentence should get a little more specific and detailed, but not actually discussing the content of the essay.
  • The introduction paragraph should conclude with the thesis you have already constructed.


  Some people may prefer to write their thesis first as we have done here, or some may choose to begin writing their introduction paragraph and then figure out the thesis as they get there. Neither way is wrong!

Step 4: Write the Body

The majority of your work will appear here, in the body of the essay. This will usually be a minimum of 3 paragraphs (more or less depending on how many points included in you thesis).

Between each major idea you need to use creatively phrased transition statements that allow the flow of the essay to not be disrupted.

The key to a good body portion of your essay is to remember to only discuss 1 major idea per paragraph. Make districtions between you major ideas in order to help support your thesis.

Step 5: Conclusion

The conclusion is the easiest part of your essay. Here you should wrap up you main ideas that you have thoroughly discussed and argued throughout your body paragraphs.

Make sure not to introduce any new points here. this is simply to close out your final thoughts. You should, however, restate the ideas from  your thesis within the conclusion paragraph.

Here is a visual representation of what your essay should look like:

Several pointers for writing your essay:


  • DON’T use 1st person
    • No “I” “me” “we” “us"


  • Don’t use definitive's…
    • “never” “always”


  • Don’t say it unless you are SURE!!!
    • If you aren’t, then phrase is as “likely”


Here are a few phrases that may help you out as you begin to write:

What do you do now???




Follow these 5 steps and you'll be sure to impress your history teacher with your historical writing skills!

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