The American Dream

Topics: United States, F. Scott Fitzgerald, United States Declaration of Independence Pages: 2 (660 words) Published: April 9, 2012
The American Dream
The concept of the American Dream has been ingrained in our thoughts ever since America became was established. You may have heard it anywhere such as politician’s speeches, popular songs, and hundreds of books. “What is the American Dream?” some might say. The American Dream has a number of meanings, but the most popular definition is that every American has the chance for prosperity, and with wealth and material items bring happiness. The American Dream to this day is still around but has greatly evolved to the changing times. The desire to achieve great wealth can be seen in the origin, evolution, and variations of the American Dream. The American Dream also has an opposing side, as Fitzgerald exposes in his book, The Great Gatsby. Many men have been credited with popularizing the idea of the American Dream. In 1630 a man by the name of John Winthrop gave a speech to his Puritan colonists as they sailed to Massachusetts. His vision was of a society, that, as long as they worked together and followed the Bible, everyone would have a chance for good fortune. Although John Winthrop was recorded to be one of the first men to popularize the American Dream, many men were to follow. In the year of 1776 the Declaration of Independence was written by Thomas Jefferson. Thomas Jefferson’s belief was that everyone in America was entitled to “life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.” Another man, James Truslow Adams, wrote a book “The Epic of America” in 1931. His idea of the American Dream, stated in his book, is “that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement.” The evolution of the American Dream has changed as the country has. There has been times when it has completely disappeared from view as the country has been in turmoil. The Great Depression is one example. During this time, millionaires lost their wealth and the majority of the society lost...
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