American Dream - American Dream The American Dream is a...

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American DreamThe American Dream is a nationalethosof theUnited States, a set of ideals in whichfreedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, and an upwardsocialmobilityfor the family and children, achieved through hard work in a society with fewbarriers.In the definition of the American Dream byJames Truslow Adamsin 1931,"lifeshould be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each accordingto ability or achievement"regardless ofsocial classor circumstances of birth.[1]The American Dream is rooted in theDeclaration of Independence, which proclaims that "allmen are created equal" with the right to "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."[2]HistoryThe meaning of the "American Dream" has changed over the course of history, and includesboth personal components (such as home ownership and upward mobility) and a globalvision. Historically the Dream originated in the mystique regardingfrontier life. As the RoyalGovernor of Virginia noted in 1774, the Americans "for ever imagine the Lands further off arestill better than those upon which they are already settled". He added that, "if they attainedParadise, they would move on if they heard of a better place farther west."[3]The ethos today implies an opportunity for Americans to achieve prosperity through hardwork. According to The Dream, this includes the opportunity for one's children to grow upand receive a good education and career without artificial barriers. It is the opportunity tomake individual choices without the prior restrictions that limited people according to theirclass, caste, religion, race, or ethnicity. Immigrants to the United States sponsored ethnicnewspapers in their own language; the editors typically promoted the American Dream.[4]Samuel argues:For many in both the working class and the middle class, upward mobility has servedas the heart and soul of the American Dream, the prospect of “betterment” and to"improve one's lot" for oneself and one's children much of what this country is allabout. "Work hard, save a little, send the kids to college so they can do better thanyou did, and retire happily to a warmer climate" has been the script we have all beenhanded.[5]19th centuryIn the 19th century, many well-educated Germans fled the failed1848 revolution. Theywelcomed the political freedoms in the New World, and the lack of a hierarchical oraristocratic society that determined the ceiling for individual aspirations. One of themexplained:TheGerman emigrantcomes into a country free from the despotism, privileged orders andmonopolies, intolerable taxes, and constraints in matters of belief and conscience. Everyonecan travel and settle wherever he pleases. No passport is demanded, no police mingles in hisaffairs or hinders his movements ... Fidelity and merit are the only sources of honor here. Therich stand on the same footing as the poor; the scholar is not a mug above the most humblemechanics; no German ought to be ashamed to pursue any occupation ... [In America] wealth

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