The basis of the American Dream takes its origin from the American Declaration of Independence adopted by the Continental Congress in 1976. The statement outlines the immortal declaration that, through the creation, all human beings have absolute rights bestowed to them by their creator. These integral rights include; right to life, pursuit of happiness and liberty.
In 1931, James Truslow Adams in his book, The Epic of America defined American dream as, “In the American Dream, life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with an opportunity for each according to his ability or achievement”. All these rights are inalienable without looking at the origin, ethnicity, social status and class of people (Kamp, David 29). In this regard, the American Dream is national norm of the United States, where freedom comprises the chance for achievement and success attained through hard work.
The notion and the term of the American Dream have moved from the print media to gain attention of mass media. In fact, the term is the national motto. According to Cullen (3), different sectors of the state use the term as their guiding measure. For instance, the jubilant athletes refer the dream subsequent to champion games, politicians base their candidacies based on attaining the American Dream. Business people, as well, refer the achievement of the dream as the final goal of their firms. Through this, the American Dream appears as the greatest component of life in the USA.
In the United States, the politicians widely use the notion in their pre-election agitations. They promise the achievement of the American Dream to gain popularity and express their candidacies. For instance, the letter from Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King in 1963 about the black quest largely used the notion of the American Dream. In the letter, Martin Luther pointed out that the black Americans shall win their freedom and their sacred heritage of the American nation by the wish of God. He referred to the times of the American founding fathers and the footage to democracy depicted in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
Many people have viewed the American dream materialistically. It also poses a challenge to the European upper class to understand it. According to the national survey carried out by the National League of Cities (NLC), two thirds of the population explained that the American dream is becoming unattainable due to barriers of poor quality education and financial insecurity. In defining what American dream means, many American citizens stated that the American dream is getting rich. The second top definition opted for concerning the American dream the aspect of homeownership.
While some authors argue that Adam was in deep frustration by Franklin Roosevelt concerning his feeling of betrayal of America’s autonomy traditions and a government collusion to build up a materialistic state, he introduced the American dream. In reality, Jim Cullen (4) claims that the Dream is a dream of social order where everyone whether male or female, shall be able to achieve their aspirations, which they are naturally capable of doing. In addition, other people regardless of status, chances and even birth shall recognize the individual achievement.
The interpretation of the American Dream, however, goes beyond the custom beliefs of materiality to recognition that the dream is neither a reassuring variety nor a mere bromide but an idea bound by complex manifestations that can cut across in different ways. Beyond the recognition of these considerations, the dream includes the acknowledgement that there are many American dreams lying on their specialty and category.
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