The American Dream

Topics: United States Declaration of Independence, United States, Thomas Jefferson Pages: 2 (602 words) Published: May 9, 2007
The American Dream

The American Dream is a term that implies a successful and satisfying life. Many people associate it with immigration, as the dream of religious freedom, economic prosperity, and opportunity has historically driven immigrants to the United States. The term is used by a lot of modern Americans to signify success in life as a result of hard work. A man named James Truslow Adams first used the term in his book The Epic of America, written in 1931. He states "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." In the United States Declaration of Independence, our founding fathers say: "…held certain 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." This could possibly be the foundation for the American Dream. From the American Revolutionary War and into the later 1800s, many of America's physical resources were unclaimed and held out the promise land ownership and lucky investment in land or industry in the 1900s. The Industrial Revolution was developing and there were great natural resources in the enormous and unsettled continent. This created the possibility of achieving wealth and transitioning "from rags to riches". Because of the living conditions in Europe and the hope of a better standard of living in America, hundreds of thousands of people migrated to the new world. The Industrial Revolution was one of the great forces that developed the American Dream. It resulted in the creation of thousands of jobs. The development of the Transcontinental Railroad and the increase in oil production greatly increased the American standard of living. "Rags to riches" stories led to the belief that if you had talent, intelligence, and a willingness to work extremely hard,...
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