American Dream Essay

Topics: United States Declaration of Independence, American Dream, Martin Luther King, Jr. Pages: 3 (1161 words) Published: January 9, 2014

The American Dream

The concept of the American Dream dates back to the time of birth of the United States of America. Specifically, it was originally referenced in 1776 in the United States Constitution by our founding fathers when they wrote, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” Since that time, the definition of the American Dream has evolved and taken on diverse meanings to different subsets of people. This has been particularly true as the social, educational, economic, and political factors within America have changed significantly with each generation. Despite the differences in the various definitions, these beliefs regarding the eventual realization of the American Dream remain primary: all people will obtain true equality, humankind will develop a genuine sense of unity, every individual will be truly valued as a person, and hard work will lead to and, subsequently, ensure success. Although the concept is now over 237 years old, the term “American Dream” was not actually introduced until 1931 when James Truslow Adams first used it in his book, The Epic of America. Adams stated: “The American Dream 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. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret adequately, and too many of ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and women shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or...
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