4AmDreamFrontier - THE AMERICAN DREAM The American Dream,...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
THE AMERICAN DREAM The American Dream , sometimes in the phrase "Chasing the American Dream," is a national ethos of the United States in which freedom includes a promise of prosperity and success. In the American Dream, first expressed by James Truslow Adams in 1931, citizens of every rank feel that they can achieve a "better, richer, and happier life." [1] The idea of the American Dream is rooted in the second sentence of the Declaration of Independence which states that "all men are created equal" and that they are "endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights" including "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." [2] Home ownership is sometimes used as a proxy for achieving the promised prosperity; ownership has been a status symbol separating the middle classes from the poor . [3] Sometimes the Dream is identified with success in sports or how working class immigrants seek to join the American way of life. [4] History Since its founding in 1776, the United States has regarded and promoted itself as a beacon of liberty and prosperity. The meaning of the "American Dream" has changed over the course of history. While historically traced to the New World mystique — especially the availability of low-cost land for farm ownership — the ethos today simply indicates the ability, through participation in the society and economy, for everyone to achieve prosperity. According to the dream, this includes the opportunity for one's children to grow up and receive a good education and career without artificial barriers . It is the opportunity to make individual choices without the prior restrictions that limit people according to their class, caste, religion, race, or ethnicity. Criticism The American Dream has been credited with helping to build a cohesive American experience, but has also been blamed for overinflated expectations. [7] Some commentators on the left have argued that despite deep-seated belief in the egalitarian American Dream, the modern American wealth structure still perpetuates racial and class inequalities between generations. [8]
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Page1 / 4

4AmDreamFrontier - THE AMERICAN DREAM The American Dream,...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online