The American Dream Essay

In: Social Issues

Submitted By JessiSteel
Words 1120
Pages 5
The American Dream will never truly have a solid definition; it is ever evolving, molding into a new meaning as society develops and changes. It is like a fire; ever turning in one way or another; impossible to grasp, but yet never changing its basic identity. Throughout its history, the United States has endured many trials and obstacles. These trials have changed the way American citizens view the Dream’s preliminary ideals. Regardless of its history and the people involved in its development, America’s dream will always be—at the very least— loosely based on the principles upon which it was founded—those of life, liberty, and the endless pursuit of happiness.
When the United States was initially founded in the late 1700’s, it was viewed as a pioneering wilderness; an escape where a person was free to believe what he or she wanted without opposition. Indeed, a home where people could start a new life, free from the pressures of religion and the government they bore in the lands they came from. Over time, others began to hear of this great new land and they too sought after this dream of freedom. These people saw America as a beacon which gave them hope of a new life.
The interpretation of the American Dream has evolved over time. Conflicts have arisen, injustice has spread, and many have been martyrs as a result of the Dream that they believed in. For instance, in the 1800s, it was the white Southern man’s Dream to own slaves and property. The black man, however, had a very different Dream, which was to be free from the control of their masters. Ultimately, the Civil War was fought and Southern, white men had their Dream shattered while the black slaves realized theirs. After a long and brutal war fighting over President Lincoln’s proclamation that “all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, shall be then, thenceforward, and…...

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