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A Brief History Of The American Dream

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What is the ‘American dream? It can be best explained as an idea that proclaims that if someone is appropriately dedicated to something with incredible perseverance and hard work, he/she can grow from rags to riches. It was the notion of the ‘self-made man.

In American history, this notion has made an impeccable impact. It has motivated thousands of Americans to work even harder to achieve their dream of success and financial accomplishment.

In a broader aspect, it was focused on strengthening the concepts of equality, democracy, individual rights, and freedom for every American citizen. You can find many essays on American dream online that show different perspectives of the American dream. Those essay examples can help you understand the bigger picture.

The concept is mainly to make the people believe that they have all the rights to seek success and prosperity in life. It was an opinion for all, irrespective of their current status in their society as per success is concerned.

Versions  Of The American Dream

The notion of the American dream has changed its course with time. One can perceive this idea with different epochs and how it has changed into newer shapes and forms. However, changes do not mean complete deformation. Like any other ideas or isms, the core belief behind this idea remained intact. The concept of happiness and freedom, which are the two wheels of this idea, altered with the altering the context of America.

There were different reasons for this constant alteration of the idea. As an example, Virginia’s Governor John Murray, back in 1774, said that “people think that the lands far from them are way better than those they are already living.” This quote spiked a considerable debate against the idea of the American dream, stating that psychologically, people always stay in a state of fulfillment and dissatisfaction. And it also provoked the impression that people always desire something even better or even more.

It ends with a quote that “When got heaven, people would love to move to place even more wonderful than that.”

The Origin Of The American Dream

The concept of the American Dream is influenced by the United States Declaration Of Independence. There are two declarations by America’s founding fathers that have boosted the creation of this idea. The notions are “all men are created equal” and “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

These were the founding days of the notion of the American dream. The acceptance of this notion heightened after the U.S. constitutional government decided to incorporate this enchanted idea directly into its Preamble.  

19th Century America

The idea of the American dream began to grow acknowledgment all over the United States, especially in the education system. Every student was given the fundamental idea of the American dream in schools. In every American college and university, the American dream became a popular topic.

But the notion got affected due to massive immigration in the 19th century. The whole thought of traditional America changed due to this prolonged immigration along with the idea of the American dream.

The thought of the American dream completely shifted its course after gold was discovered in America in the 19th century. Especially in California, the foundation of new gold mines that many people think that their fortune can reach a new height overnight.

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20th the Century: Beginning Of The Creation Of The American Dream

The notion of the American reached the ultimate peak of popularity in the 20th century. According to  “Epic of America” the book by Truslow Adams showed how the American dream became highly popular in this century and how the American government played a significant role in this century.

Quoting Adams’ exact words, he started in his essay that the American Dream is “not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of a social order in which each man and each woman 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 their birth or position.”

The American dream can be simply defined as one of the best ideas that America has ever had. The American dream has initiated many great movements, such movement for the voting rights of women and also the civil rights movement.


With many changes and shifts kept apart, the American dream can be defined as a wondrous idea even in the 21st century, with its fixed set of strong beliefs. In the end, we can conclude that the concept of a dream can look different to different people. And, everyone can incorporate the brilliant idea of the American dream in their own lives to reach success.

James is a professor in Science. His writing skills brought him to BelleNews. He enjoys writing articles for the Science and Technology category. James often finds himself reading about the latest gadgets as the topic is very appealing to him. He likes reading and listening to classical music.