Has The American Dream Changed From The 1960s To Today Essay Definition

The American Dream

  • Length: 673 words (1.9 double-spaced pages)
  • Rating: Excellent
Open Document

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - More ↓
"The American Dream" is that dream of a nation in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with options for each according to capacity or accomplishments. It is a dream of social stability in which each man and each woman shall be able to achieve to the fullest distinction of which they are essentially competent, and be distinguish by others for what they are, despite of the incidental conditions of birth or stance. The American Dream is often something that humanity wonders about. What is the American dream? Many people discover success in a range of things. There are many different definitions of the American Dream. However, the American Dream embraces prosperity, personal safety, and personal liberty. The American dream is a continually fluctuating set of ideals, reflecting the ideas of an era.

With America actually being seen as the land of assurance, the American dream is usually associated with the freedom and opportunity of gaining prosperity, recognition, power, triumph, and contentment. On the surface, this dream appears virtually delighted, offering individuals the exceptional hope of accomplishing success despite of one’s race, religion, or family history. The American Dream is accurately what it seems to be the chance of perfect lying nearby the corner. However, the actual nature of this dream prohibit the pleasure of the victory one has earned, as the desire is always demanding one to work a slight harder and gain a slightly more.

     The American Dream can obliterate any prospect of satisfaction and does not show its own unfeasibility. The American dream is combine and intensely implanted in every structure of American life. During the previous years, a very significant number of immigrants had crossed the frontier of the United States of America to hunt the most useful thing in life, the dream, which every American human being thinks about the American dream. Many of those immigrants sacrificed their employments, their associations and connections, their educational levels, and their languages at their homelands to start their new life in America and prosper in reaching their dream.

     So what is this fantasy all about? One would most likely describe it as being rich and famous, some would imply to have a lot of power; nonetheless, the personal definition of an American dream is the capacity to have a personal freedom, being able to get the highest level of education, being successful in finding an suitable job, to have a vigorous and happy family, eventually to have an reasonable place of living and dependable personal transportation.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The American Dream." 123HelpMe.com. 10 Mar 2018
    <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=52216>.

LengthColor Rating 
The American Dream Essay - The American Dream in Death of a Salesman, The Great Gatsby, and Maggie: A Girl of the Streets Millions of immigrants come to America each year to seek their American Dream. Many people believe that rising social mobility and success is possible in America for everyone due to the American social, economic, and political system....   [tags: American Dream Essays]
:: 5 Works Cited
1443 words
(4.1 pages)
Powerful Essays[preview]
Is the American Dream Still Possible? Essay - The American Dream is so important to our country and especially for our generation to take seriously. The American Dream is the opportunity to reach the goals one sets for themselves. It is about having your dream job and life you have always fantasized about. The dream is also about having freedom and equality. The American Dream was much easier to attain a few decades ago compared to today. However, it is still possible. The economy was better fifty years ago than it is today. People are in greater debt now and the United States is in higher debt than it was fifty years ago....   [tags: american dream, freedom, equality]
:: 2 Works Cited
635 words
(1.8 pages)
Better Essays[preview]
The Impossible American Dream Essay examples - The American Dream is known to be a hope for a better, richer, happier life for all citizens of every class. For almost all Americans, this entails earning a college degree, gaining a good job, buying a house, and starting a family. Although this seems wonderful, a large amount of the American population believes that the Dream has changed immensely because of increased prices in today’s society, the price of tuition being highly unaffordable, as well as the unemployment rate skyrocketing and weaker job growth....   [tags: American Dream Essays]
:: 6 Works Cited
958 words
(2.7 pages)
Good Essays[preview]
My American Dream Essay - First, let's define "American Dream". "American Dream" is what you would consider a "perfect life." It can be full of happiness, money, love, food, cars, whatever you desire, everyone has a different opinion. One person’s American Dream may be totally different from someone else’s, that is what makes us all individuals. My American Dream would include a good job and lots of money, spare time for my family and I, and most importantly, healthiness. It seems that so often the subject of economic standing and wealth, are said synonymously with the phrase "The American Dream"....   [tags: Defining The American Dream]544 words
(1.6 pages)
Good Essays[preview]
Essay about The American Dream vs The American Myth - After being stuck en route for an enormously long period of time, would you think that the destination had better be worth all the time spent getting there. Many people would say yes. Think about it. If you were on a journey which lasted months, possibly years of your life, you would want to arrive at your destination seeing the same thing you had dreamt of during the trip. What if, when you got there, you discovered that the dream was actually a myth. The American settlers discovered just that....   [tags: Essays on the American Dream]747 words
(2.1 pages)
Strong Essays[preview]
Essay about The American Dream - "The American Dream" is that dream of a nation in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with options for each according to capacity or accomplishments. It is a dream of social stability in which each man and each woman shall be able to achieve to the fullest distinction of which they are essentially competent, and be distinguish by others for what they are, despite of the incidental conditions of birth or stance. The American Dream is often something that humanity wonders about....   [tags: Essays on the American Dream]673 words
(1.9 pages)
Strong Essays[preview]
Essay on The American Dream - missing works cited It is the intent of this paper to prove that the "American Dream" can best be explained as a "ciity upon a hill." "Ciity upon a hill" meaning being above and superior over those below. The Civil War, the imperialistic race of the 19th century, the Korean War, the KKK, and the Gulf War are all examples of the "American Dream" of superiority playing a part in American History. Each American has a different idea of this superiority, but nonetheless strive to achieve it, whatever it may be in....   [tags: Essays on the American Dream]1824 words
(5.2 pages)
Powerful Essays[preview]
The American Dream: The Essence of America Essay examples - From the birth of America, to America today, the driving force and the heart of America has always been the “American Dream.” The “American Dream” is a goal for many of people who live in the realms of the Americanized world. I believe that the “American Dream” is controlling my own destiny, becoming successful, and living free. Examples of this dream are things like television, automobiles, supermarkets, malls, Internet, planes, trains, etc. The “American Dream” is success, freedom, and being able to control your own destiny....   [tags: Essays on the American Dream]483 words
(1.4 pages)
Good Essays[preview]
Essay on Immigrants and the American Dream - Since the start of the twentieth century America has attracted people all over the world to relocate and start a new life. For many coming to America was a chance for a better life and new things. They all had something in common, they all had a dream, that dream was the "American Dream". In the present day the desire to achieve the dream hasn't changed. However, the idea of the American Dream, brings up a lot of questions. What is the American Dream. Who defines it. Can it be achieved. Lastly, should everyone have a chance to achieve it....   [tags: Essay on the American Dream]1633 words
(4.7 pages)
Powerful Essays[preview]
Essay The American Dream Today - What is the American Dream, and who are the people most likely to pursue its often elusive fulfillment. Indeed, the American Dream has come to represent the attainment of myriad of goals that are specific to each individual. While one person might consider a purchased home with a white picket fence her version of the American Dream, another might regard it as the financial ability to operate his own business. Clearly, there is no cut and dried definition of the American Dream as long as any two people hold a different meaning....   [tags: Essays on the American Dream]1960 words
(5.6 pages)
Strong Essays[preview]

Related Searches

American Dream         Social Stability         American Life         Family History         Prospect         Wonders         Discover         Contentment         Assurance        




All these factors make up the American dream and exist as a goal for every person who is trying to reach it. The constitution of this country advocate that every person who lives on American soil is free. First of all, it means the liberty of choice. Every person is able to make his own decisions in order to reach some goals, which are worthwhile.

When the American people migrated to this country in search of a better life, there was a craving for freedom and realization. For the immigrant in American history, the American Dream meant just a better life, but that better life did not only mean a better life with material goods, although that was part of it. A better life also meant freedom to worship at the church of one's choice, not the one your king commanded you to attend. It meant freedom to liberty from having soldiers coming into your town in the middle of the night and demanding you give them accommodations and equipments from your own personal belongings. Most of the effects we see in the Bill of Rights were components of what the American Dream meant to people who left other lands to come to America. Today, what remains most predominately unfulfilled in America is the promise of affluence for all. Many people have attain their goals and achieved their American Dream, unfortunately not everyone have achieved the American Dream that almost everyone have dream of.



What Is the American Dream Today?

It's Drifted from the Vision of Our Founding Fathers.

Before looking at what the American Dream is today, we need to look at its roots. The Declaration of Independence protects your opportunity to improve your life, no matter who you are.

It boldly proclaims: "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. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

Our Founding Fathers introduced the revolutionary idea that each person's desire to pursue their idea of happiness was not self-indulgence, but a necessary driver of a prosperous society. They created a government to defend that right for everyone. The pursuit of happiness became the driver of the entrepreneurial spirit that defines the American free market economy.

Of course, at that time "everyone" only meant white property-owners. Over time, the right was extended to slaves, women and people without property. President Lincoln extended the American Dream to slaves with the Emancipation Proclamation. President Wilson extended it to women by supporting the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote. President Johnson promoted Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. That extended the dream by protecting workers from discrimination by race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy) or national origin.

In 1967, those rights were extended to those older than 40. President Obama established the right to the pursuit of happiness through marriage regardless of sexual orientation. The Supreme Court supported that right in 2015.

How the American Dream Changed

Throughout U.S. history, the definition of happiness changed as well.

In the 1920s, it became the acquisition of material things. That was best exemplified by the novel The Great Gatsby. Its author, F. Scott Fitzgerald, defined the aspirations of the age. At the same time, he warned that a pursuit of happiness driven by greed was not attainable. That's because someone else always had more. This greed led to the stock market crash of 1929 and the Great Depression.

After the 1920s, many presidents supported the idea of the Dream as a pursuit of material benefits. President Roosevelt outlined an Economic Bill of Rights in his 1944 State of the Union address. He defined the pursuit of happiness as decent housing, a good job, education and health care. FDR realized that people who were hungry, homeless and sick were more likely to succumb to strong social forces. He worried about fascism, Communism and Socialism movements that were sweeping the world at that time. For more, see FDR's Unfinished Second Bill of Rights.

President Truman's Fair Deal expanded the Dream to include entitlement. In other words, if you worked hard and played by the rules, the government should provide financial security, education, health care and a home. 

Many national leaders continued the shift set in place by FDR and Truman.

Both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush supported homeownership as part of the Dream. While running for President in 2008, Hillary Clinton proposed her American Dream Plan. It included homeownership, college, retirement and health insurance for children. Obama extended the right to health care with the Affordable Care Act.

Did the Great Recession Create a New American Dream?

Some people think the Great Recession and rising income inequality spelled the end of the American Dream for many. But it only damaged the materialistic American Dream, which isn't achievable anyway.

Instead, many are turning to a new definition of the American Dream that better reflects the values of the country for which it was named. For example, the Center for a New American Dream envisions "... a focus on more of what really matters, such as creating a meaningful life, contributing to community and society, valuing nature, and spending time with family and friends."

Financial adviser Suze Orman described the new American Dream as one "... where you actually get more pleasure out of saving than you do spending. It's a dream where you live below your means but within your needs. You are not spending every penny, you are not impressing people. You are living a life where you can sleep at night and you are actually happy." (Source: Suze Orman on the New American Dream, ABC.)

Is the New Dream Really New?

Both of these new visions reject the American Dream based on materialism. But perhaps there is no need to create a New American Dream from scratch. Instead, let's return to our Founding Fathers' vision. All people have an equal and inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of their own happiness. Federal law protects this right. 

The Declaration of Independence says nothing about any type of lifestyle. It does not define what that happiness should look like. Instead, it seeks to ensure that everyone has equal opportunity to pursue a personal vision. It also promotes faith in private free enterprise as a way to pursue that happiness. 

0 thoughts on “Has The American Dream Changed From The 1960s To Today Essay Definition

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *