The American Dream

Topics: United States Declaration of Independence, John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie Pages: 3 (759 words) Published: April 14, 2014
The American Dream: Is It Still Attainable?
What is the American dream? Some would say a successful career. Some would say a life of fulfillment and happiness. Some might even say equality and acceptance for all Americans. But what it is really, and how must an individual go about attaining it? I believe the American dream is defined by the personal desires of the one striving and working for it. Our rights as Americans are clearly stated in the Declaration of Independence: Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. However, I believe our forefathers worked hard for the ownership of these rights and today’s generation’s work ethic is on a steep decline. The American Dream is most certainly existent and attainable for those who are willing to do what it takes to achieve it. Times may be tough, but the American Dream is alive and well.

The titan of the industrial age, Andrew Carnegie, made billions in the railroad and steel industries and holds a place in history as one of the nation's greatest philanthropists and the second-richest man of all time behind John D. Rockefeller. He rose to that wealth and stature after enduring an impoverished childhood that forced his jobless father to relocate his family to America amid tough times in his native Scotland. As a young man, Carnegie worked to make ends meet as a messenger boy for a telegraph company and in a factory that made sewing machine “bobbins.” It was in 1853 that Carnegie was hired by Thomas Scott of the Pennsylvania Railroad Co. as a secretary and telegraph operator, kicking off his iconic ascent to wealth. Earning just $4 a week, he worked vigorously and in turn rose, step by step, within the ranks of the company -- eventually put in a high-profile and quite lucrative post overseeing military transportation efforts during the Civil War. Success led to re-investing gains and, over time, Carnegie's holdings became substantial. Oil speculation soon made Carnegie a millionaire on an initial $40,000...
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