The American Dream, that oft-talked about yet elusive sales pitch to an entire nation of blue collar workers. Considering how ubiquitous it is in the history and culture of America it’s always a common topic to be given an essay on. American Dream fans might fancy it would be an easy task but when you think of the depth of those two words you’ll realize it’s not so simple. That’s why we’re providing you with an example of an essay on the American Dream here to get you started.
The American Dream is what inspired a nation to join together and strive for prosperity under the promise that hard work will always get a just reward and everyone has equal opportunities. The results have been astounding. Since its formation a mere 240 years ago, America has risen to become the greatest global superpower in terms of industrial, economic and military strength. It permitted religious and political freedoms to early European immigrants and is seen as the Land of Opportunity by most of the low-income world. But was this Dream ever more than a grand fiction, lauded and glorified to pacify the lower classes?
The American Dream came about as its founding principles of democracy and all men being created equally were a beacon of hope for people fleeing persecution and poverty in the Old World and its entrenched social order. Immigrants could become big businessmen, churches could preach freely, and there was free land for whoever wanted it. Who wouldn’t want to grab the opportunity to better themselves? Well for a start the millions of slaves that were being trafficked to the country and the Native Americans whose land was being stolen to give to the generally white immigrants and citizens of this new nation. The Dream from the outset seemed to only be for people who looked a certain way and proclaimed loyalty to the USA.
American history is often painted very differently, just like most national histories tend to overemphasize the good and bury the bad. The fact remains however that though slavery may have been abolished in 1865, the infamous Jim Crow laws enforced segregation against black people until 50 years ago. Racial discrimination and racist language are still all too common place in American society yet is frequently ignored by the white majority, as it has been since the birth of the nation.
As you can see, the American Dream only ever seemed to appear in the heads of a select grouping of European immigrants. Though it has evolved to seemingly be inclusive of everyone, when one looks at the facts and figures concerning wealth gaps (median white households have 18 – 20 times more wealth than Latin and black households) it can be seen as nothing more than a fantasy sold to encourage repressive wage laws and working conditions. The only place the American Dream can ever truly be seen is in people’s sleep.