Cross Curricular Research Paper Possible Topics



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Cross Curricular Research Paper Possible Topics
Unit 1:


  1. Discuss the various motivations for the expansion of empires at the turn of the 20th Century. May be advisable to choose one empire to focus on. (British, German, French, etc)

  2. Discuss the causes and origins of the First World War (focus on Nationalism, Imperialism, the Alliance Systems, Militarism)

  3. Discuss the impact of Franz Ferdinand’s assassination on the outbreak of World War One.

  4. Discuss how the attitudes of the British and the Germans on the eve of war contributed to the start of the war.

  5. Explain why the United States entered the First World War.

  6. Explain the effect that Russia and the United States had on Allied efforts at the end of World War One.

  7. Discuss how the French and British goals in determining the conditions of the Treaty of Versailles had profound effects on European stability in the post-war period.

Unit 2:



  1. Research Grigori Rasputin and explain the effect he had on Russian politics leading up to the fall of the Tsar in 1917.

  2. Discuss the reasons for the downfall of Tsar Nicholas Romanov in 1917.

  3. Explain why the provisional government under Alexander Kerensky failed to stabilize the political situation in Russia after the fall of the Tsar.

  4. Discuss why Lenin’s New Economic Policy was enacted and its social and economic repercussions on Russia in the mid 1920’s.

  5. Research Stalin’s 5 Year Plans. Explain why they were enacted and discuss their social and economic repercussions on the people of the Soviet Union.

  6. Discuss the methods that Stalin used to exert control over the people of the Soviet Union.

  7. Discuss the motivation behind the creation of Fascism in Italy.

  8. Explain how the treaty of Versailles, economic difficulties and a fear of communism, in addition to various other factors, lead to Hitler’s rise to power in the 1930’s.

  9. Identify and explain the variety of factors lead to the Great Depression.

Unit 3:



  1. Explain Germany’s motivations to expand its territory and influence in Europe in the 1930’s.

  2. Explain why Germany had so much initial success during World War II.

  3. Discuss the Allied motivation for the appeasement policy, and why it proved to be ineffective.

  4. Were the use of atomic weapons on Japan at the end of World War II justified? Discuss both the American and Japanese perspective in your essay.

  5. Discuss how the change in leadership and the dropping of atomic weapons on Japan during the Potsdam conference lead to tensions between the worlds two emerging superpowers.

  6. Research the other major war conferences (aside from Yalta and Potsdam) and discuss their effects on tensions between the US and the USSR and how they affected political boundaries at the conclusion of WWII.

  7. Identify and discuss the key events that allowed the United States and the Soviet Union to become Superpowers.

Unit 4:



  1. Research the American policy of containment and discuss how it influenced the formation of the Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan and NATO.

  2. Discuss the Soviet Union’s reaction to the American policy of containment by discussing the formation of the Molotov Plan, the Berlin Blockade and the Warsaw pact.

  3. Discuss the causes of the Korean War and evaluate its consequences on the relationship between the US and the USSR and its general effect on the Cold War.

  4. Through research, determine of the Korean War is a better example of the American policy of containment or of a peacekeeping operation by the United Nations.

  5. Discuss the causes of the Cuban Missile Crisis and evaluate its consequences on the relationship between the US and the USSR and its general effect on the Cold War.

  6. Discuss the causes of the Vietnam War and evaluate its consequences on the relationship between the US and the USSR and its general effect on the Cold War.

  7. Evaluate the effect that the Vietnam War had on the American population. Discuss the role of the news media, popular culture and hippie movements in your essay.

  8. Discuss the effects that Perestroika and Glasnost had on the social and economic conditions of the USSR when they were introduced.

  9. Discuss the consequences that Gorbachev reforms had on Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union and the international community. In your essay, you should reference the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, the reunification of Germany and the end of the Cold War.

  10. Discuss the challenges that former Soviet Republics faced as the Cold War came to an end. In your essay, please reference political reform, economic stability and ethnic relations. You may choose one former republic to focus on.

Unit 5:



  1. A variety of factors lead to the decline of colonialism in Africa. Identify and explain these factors.

  2. Discuss how Mahatma Gandhi promoted nationalism and independence within India. Make certain to reference his methods.

  3. Discuss the methods used by Gamel Abdel Nasser to promote nationalism and independence within Egypt. You should refer to the Suez Canal Crisis in your essay.

  4. Discuss why Apartheid was a divisive and racist policy within South Africa. Make reference to the effect on racial relations, political consequences, economic consequences and social consequences.

  5. Discuss the methods used by Nelson Mandela to promote nationalism and independence in South Africa.

  6. Discuss the escalation of the Suez Canal crisis and how its resolution had implications on future conflicts.

Unit 6:



  1. Research and explain the effectiveness of a specific UN peacekeeping operation/effort involving mediating a dispute between two opposing parties.

  2. Research and explain the effectiveness of a specific UN peacekeeping operation/effort involving peacekeeping during a civil war.

  3. Research and explain the effectiveness of a specific UN peacekeeping operation/effort involving the deployment of military forces to ensure the fair distribution of humanitarian aid.

  4. Analyze the effectiveness of recent peacekeeping operations in Somalia during the 1990’s.

  5. Analyze the effectiveness of recent peacekeeping operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the 1990’s.

  6. Discuss how re-emerging nationalism, ethnic diversity and religious differences lead to conflict in the former Yugoslavia.

  7. Discuss how re-emerging nationalism, ethnic diversity and religious differences lead to conflict in Rwanda.

  8. Discuss how re-emerging nationalism, ethnic diversity and religious differences lead to conflict between India and Pakistan.

  9. Explain how the perceived threat of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq lead to the Iraq War of 2003.

  10. Explain why the George W. Bush coined Iraq, Iran and North Korea as the Axis of Evil in 2002.

  11. Explain how the September 11 attacks threatened world peace and security.


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