american dream notes

american dream notes - The American Dream can be described...

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The American Dream can be described as a belief in the freedom that allows all citizens and residents of the United States of America to achieve their goals in life through hard work. Today, in America it generally refers to the idea that one's prosperity depends upon one's own abilities and hard work, not on a rigid class structure , though the meaning of the phrase has changed over America's history. For some, it is the opportunity to achieve more prosperity than they could in their countries of origin; for others, it is the opportunity for their children to grow up with an education and career opportunities; for others, it is the opportunity to be an individual without the constraints imposed by class , caste , race , or ethnicity . The definition of the American Dream is now under constant discussion and debate. [1] Also "The package of beliefs, assumptions, and action patterns that social scientists have labeled the American Dream has always been a fragile agglomeration of (1) individual freedom of choice in life styles , (2) equal access to economic abundance, and (3) the pursuit of shared objectives mutually advantageous to the individual and society ." [2] While the term "American Dream" today is often associated with immigrants , native-born Americans can also be described as "pursuing the American Dream," "living the American Dream" or "living the Dream." American dream , that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for every man, with opportunity for each according to his ability or achievement However, the concept of the American Dream goes back to the 16th century. As 16th and 17th century English promoters were attempting to persuade Englishmen to move to the colonies , their language and promises about what the colonies were like were simultaneously laying the groundwork for three separate, but interrelated persistent myths of America: America as the land of plenty, America as the land of opportunity, and America as the land of destiny. [3] America as the land of plenty figured more prominently in 18th and 19th century definitions of the American Dream than it does today. Central to the dream was the presence of the (still untamed) American land, along with the question how to deal with nature and how to live with other people on the land The American Dream is deep rooted in the concepts found in liberal thought. It is an American adaptation of the norm of private property as a means of liberty, ultimately bringing happiness to the individuals. Classic liberal thought stipulates that liberty is guaranteed by free trade and competition, as these conditions let all individuals maximize their gains, derived from their needs and desires, through trade (the market). Furthermore, there is the hypothesis that all citizens are born with equal rights and opportunities, and only effort (work) differentiates them in the long term, hence the saying that those with will succeed and those without do not. This excerpt of the
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american dream notes - The American Dream can be described...

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