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Suggested Topics

 

2021–22 Suggested Topics

The examples below offer a starting point for brainstorming about topics related to this year’s National History Day theme, Debate and Diplomacy in History. Choosing one of these suggestions will not increase or decrease your chances of doing well at a National History Day contest.

Florida Topics

  • American Gunboat Diplomacy on the Apalachicola River: The Destruction of the Negro Fort in Spanish Florida
  • An End to Reconstruction: The Disputed Presidential Election of 1876
  • Banning the Bottle: The Crusade for Prohibition in Florida
  • Bartram’s Travels: William Bartram and Native American Rights
  • African American Soldiers in the Civil War in Florida
  • Black Politicians During Florida’s Reconstruction
  • Black Seminoles and the Second Seminole War
  • Bruce Smathers and the Debate to Preserve Florida’s Historic Capitol
  • Chloe Merrick Reed: Public Education for All Floridians
  • Competing Stands on Immigration: The Elian Gonzalez Case
  • Cubans vs. Haitians: We are All God’s People
  • Debate, Diplomacy, and Manifest Destiny: The Adams-Onís Treaty and the S. Acquisition of Florida
  • Debate, Disenfranchisement, and Black Codes in Post-Civil War Florida: The Constitution of 1865
  • Debate Over Voter Rights: The Exclusion of Convicted Felons from Voter Rolls in Florida
  • De-"Mean"-ing Words in Florida:  The Smathers-Pepper Senatorial Contest of 1950
  • Diplomacy Violated: The Capture of Osceola Under a White Flag of Truce
  • Ending Convict Labor Leasing in Florida
  • Environmental Activism: Marjory Stoneman Douglass’s Fight to Save the Everglades
  • Environmental Compromise: Stopping Construction of the Cross-Florida Barge Canal
  • Exile in Florida: Father Felix Varela’s Opposition to Slavery in Cuba
  • Failed Diplomacy: The Noble Experiment of Father Luis Cancer de Barbastro
  • Florida Teachers’ Strike of 1968
  • Florida’s Bloody Election of 1920
  • Florida’s Debate Over Statehood
  • Florida’s First People: Resisting the Conquistadores
  • Florida’s Wars of Indian Removal
  • Fort Mose: America’s First Free African Settlement
  • Gideon v. Wainwright and the Right to Legal Representation
  • Governor Richard Keith Call: Outspoken Opponent of Florida’s Secession
  • Governor Rubin Askew: Diplomatic Defense of Government in the Sunshine
  • Governor Ossian Hart’s Struggle for Reconstruction in Florida
  • Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore: Racial Violence and the Murders of Two Civil Rights Pioneers
  • Harry T. Moore: Architect of the NAACP in Florida
  • Jackie Robinson at the Plate: Breaking into the Big League
  • Jose Martí: Fighting for Cuban Independence
  • Legislative Efforts to Restrict Suffrage: Florida’s Infamous House Joint Resolution 82 of 1915
  • Mary Mann Jennings Speaks Out for Women’s Rights
  • My Brother’s Keeper: Florida, Cuba, and the Mariel Boatlift
  • Osceola and Seminole Opposition to Indian Removal
  • Pilloried, Branded, and Imprisoned: Abolitionist Jonathan Walker’s Courageous Stand
  • Prejudice and Public Debate in Groveland, Florida: The “Little Scottsboro” Case
  • Queen Anne’s War and the Destruction of the Apalachee
  • Roxcy Bolton Fights for the Equal Rights Amendment in Florida
  • Saving Fish or Losing Livelihoods: Florida’s Net Ban
  • Saving the Miami Circle
  • Scientists vs. Salvors: Protecting Florida’s Submerged History
  • Struggle for Sovereignty: Florida Under Five Flags
  • State of Florida Sister Mary Thomasine: The Right to Teach Black Students
  • Taking a Constitutional Stand in Florida: The 1868 Delegates and Their Mission
  • The Beginning of the End: The Treaty of Moultrie Creek
  • The Campaign to Save the Manatees
  • The Capital Compromise: Tallahassee as Florida’s Capital City
  • The Farmers’ Alliance: The Ocala Demands of 1890
  • “The Fraud of the Century”: Effects on Florida of the Hayes-Tilden Presidential Election of 1876
  • The Reverend C. K. Steele and the Tallahassee Bus Boycott of 1956
  • The Reverend C. K. Steele, Governor LeRoy Collins, and the Integration of Florida Schools
  • The Treaty of Picolata: Peace or Destruction to the Indigenous People of Florida?
  • Union or Secession? Opposing Stands of Governors Call and Milton on the Eve of the Civil War
  • Vernon McDaniel: The Fight for Equal Pay
  • Virgil D. Hawkins: Desegregating Florida’s Law School
  • Women’s Rights in Florida: The Case of Anna Madgigine Jai Kingsley

 

National Topics

  • A Diplomatic End for Whom? The Six Day War
  • Anna Howard Shaw Speaks Out: Women’s Rights Debated
  • Ben Franklin’s Diplomatic Mission to England: Failed Diplomacy/Successful Revolution
  • Censorship of Lyrics: Guiseppe Verdi’s Opera
  • Civil Rights Act of 1964: Congressional Debates
  • Civil Rights Debated: Brown v. Board of Education
  • Clayton Antitrust Act: Debating Monopolies
  • Dayton Peace Accords: A Diplomatic Balance
  • Debated Currency: Battle Between Silver and Gold Standards (1896)
  • Debated Diplomacy: The Cuban Missile Crisis
  • Debated Instruments of Diplomacy: Wampum, Indian Peace Medals, and Treaties
  • Debated Interest: Federal Reserve Act
  • Diplomacy after Conflict: Northern Ireland and England
  • Diplomacy as a Postponement to the Inevitable: The Constitution Convention and the Question of Slavery
  • Diplomacy Refused: The 1953 American-Led Coup in Iran
  • Dropping the Bomb: Moral Debate
  • Equal Rights Amendment, Equal Employment Opportunity Act, or Title IX of the Educational Amendment Act: Equality Debated
  • Failed Debate: President Woodrow Wilson and the League of Nations
  • Failed Diplomacy: Munich Agreement of 1938
  • Federal Trade Commission: Fair Business Trade Debated
  • Fish-ins for Salmon: Debated Treaty Promises, Indians, and Fishing Rights in the Northwest
  • Food Processing Debated: The Jungle
  • Geneva Convention: Successful and Sustained Diplomacy
  • Health vs. Profits: The Pure Food and Drug Act Debated
  • Hepburn Act: Railroad Rates Debated
  • Independence Debated: Consequences for the Colonies
  • Irish, Italians, Chinese: Debated Citizenship
  • Kill the Indian and Save the Man: The Impact of Indian Boarding Schools—Debated Philosophies
  • Lincoln Douglas Debates: Precursor to War
  • Lone Wolf Hitchcock (1903):  Debated Rights
  • Music Debated: The Buckley Report
  • Nature v. Nurture: Child Rearing Debated
  • Arab and Israeli Conflict of 1968: Failed Diplomacy
  • Ping Pong Diplomacy: Nixon’s 1972 Visit to China
  • Poll tax, Literacy Test, Grandfather Clause: Suffrage Debates
  • Segregation Debated and Changed: Little Rock Nine or the Ruby Bridges Story
  • The Black Hills, Mount Rushmore, and American Indians: Debated Land
  • The Indian Reorganization Act of 1934: Debated New Deal for Native Americans
  • The Iran Hostage Crisis: When Diplomacy Fails
  • The Lost Battalion: Diplomacy at Versailles
  • Women’s Fashion Debated in the Gilded Age: Broadening Boundaries—Shrinking Limitations
  • Yalta: Reshaping the World through Diplomacy

 

Although you can select a topic dealing with any time or place in history, excellent subjects often are found by investigating local or statewide history. The availability of firsthand informants, historic sites, and documents and records provides many research options, although your search for information about any topic should extend far and wide. Be sure to look at the Florida Research Directory on the FHD website for repositories in Florida. The State Library and Archives of Florida has many online resources in their collections that relate to Florida topics which can be accessed by clicking on the links below.