What is the American dream? Have you ever thought deeply about this question? If you ask most of the people around you, they’ll tell you that it’s an American success story or some form of upward mobility. They might try to describe a symbolic house that showcases economic stability and security. According to the Oxford Dictionary, the American Dream is an ideal that all citizens of the United States should have equal opportunities to achieve their goals and prosper through determination, hard work, and initiative.
If the American Dream is all about prosperity for everyone, you might wonder why it was being fought by a mob at the Capitol back in January. Global observers from Iran, the UK, and Australia said that the Capitol riot was a fight against the American Dream. However, it was mob driven by the political assault on democracy.
American dream definition
Regardless of how we define the American dream, the fact is most people across the world link the American dream to social politics instead of profound and aspirational meaning.
Back in 1931, James Adams wanted to make sense of the Great Depression which was an economic and political crisis. In Europe, authoritarianism was gradually rising. And Americans were concerned that the same energy would support an individual who will end up being a tyrant. Adams knew that America had lost track by focusing on material success instead of other values. Citizens were treating money as a value instead of a means to produce value.
The worship of material success was not anything close to the definition of the American dream. It was the opposite. It demonstrated the failure of Americans to live a richer and happier life. He clearly distinguished the American dream from material success. It was a dream of a social order where every man or woman would easily attain the stature that they are capable of. And get recognition from others for the people they are regardless of their position in society. As a college student, you’ll learn that the American dream was a vision of wellbeing and moral character that would be supported by anyone who wanted to make progress in life while writing your campus essay.
The same idea was voiced out by Martin Luther King Jr. back in 1963 when he called people to service. There are lots of essay samples, a book, course and class on Martin Luther King Jr and the American Dream. You should seek writing help if you cannot understand his message. He shared the dream with white Americans and told them that they wanted the same thing that Black Americans craved.
Back in 1900, the New York Post reported that America was at great risk because of discontented millionaires. All other popular republics were taken by rich men. And the same was about to happen to America. Monopoly capitalists were going against the constitution without the rebuke of the executive and public. If they were given an opportunity, that would have been the end of the American dream. In the 21st century, Americans are prioritizing material success over essential values.
Advantages of the American Dream
To achieve the American dream, economic and political freedom are essential. Without these
two essential ingredients, it will be difficult for individuals to make choices that will enable them to achieve their goals. The American dream focuses on equality and freedom. It offers citizens the freedom to make small and big decisions. Everyone will have the freedom to aspire for better things and the possibility of achieving them. The freedom to accumulate money and live a respectable life.
Disadvantages of the American Dream
Since it’s called a “dream” it sends a clear message that the ideals haven’t been adopted by many Americans both in the present and past. People have always known that reality has fallen short of the idea for many years. Some of the factors that have hindered the realization of this dream include slavery, the spread of settlers in America, the white landowners, and the limitation of democracy.
Also, income inequality has been a major factor that has prevented the realization of this dream since the 70s. According to a US census report, family income began to grow in the top segments of American society more than others.
Measuring the American dream
Homeownership has been cited by millions of people as the perfect example of attaining the American dream. It’s a symbol of independence and financial success. It’s the power to control one’s area of dwelling instead of being controlled by the landlord. Owning a business is also a clear representation of the fulfillment of the American dream. Other elements of the American dream include access to healthcare and university education.
Homeownership has been growing in the United States steadily over the years. And this has been a key aspect of the American dream. As of 2020, homeownership was at 65.8 percent 2020. This was 0.7 percent higher than in 2019. Also, small businesses created more than 1.5 million jobs in 2019 alone.
The American Dream is one of the most unique concepts in the world. It encourages individuals to build the life they want by pursuing their dreams and putting in the work. This concept has positively influenced the economy with individual ambition and entrepreneurship. There is a need to revive the American Dream in the 21st century. While the American Dream means lots of things to different people, it is an integral part of the American ethos. We need to focus on creating a nation whose powers are derived from democracy. In the end, it’s the will and character of the people that matter greatly.