A unitary definition does not exist–the American dream probably has a different meaning to every US citizen. For some it is the dream of freedom and equality, for others it is the dream of a fulfilled life or even the dream of fame and wealth. In general, the American dream can be defined as being the opportunity and freedom for all citizens to achieve their goals and become rich and famous if only they work hard enough.
History of the American dream:
The first settlers hoped for freedom of religion; in their home countries they had been persecuted because of their religious and political views. Bad living conditions in Europe and the hope for better living standards in America attracted more and more settlers to migrate to the new world. The booming US industry during the first half of the 20th century caused the myth “from rags to riches”. The American dream today
Today’s role of the American dream is a matter of discussion. Some think that the American dream is still a viable element today, for others it is only an illusion.
The American dream focusses on the success of the individuum (not the wellbeing of the whole population). On the one hand, this has advantages, e.g. lower taxes, little interference of the state. On the other hand, the same advantages are disadvantageous for society: there is no social fond for the poor and there is no serious interest in important issues like environmental protection etc.
1. the ideals of freedom, equality, and opportunity traditionally held to be available to every American. 2. a life of personal happiness and material comfort as traditionally sought by individuals in the U.S.