“All men are created equal”, was proclaimed by our forefathers in the declaration of independence, and is the foundation of the American Dream. Since James Truslow Adams coined the term “American Dream” in1931 (Wiki), a hope for the fulfillment of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Yet, in this era, the harsh reality of poverty threatened life, restricted liberties, and covered happiness with dust. As FDR put it so well, “For too many of us life was no longer free; liberty no longer real; men could no longer follow the pursuit of happiness.” (Teslow Lecture) So why would Adams conceive of the “American Dream” in the midst of the economic disparity in the Great Depression?
Perhaps it was because we don’t know what we have until …show more content…
“During WWI, wheat brought record-high prices on the world market, and for the next twenty years farmers turned the region into a vast wheat factory” (OOM pg. 675) This destroyed the native grasses and top soil. When the drought and dust storms hit, tens of millions of acres of rich topsoil blew away. A Denver journalist named the worst region near eastern Colorado the “Dust Bowl”. “Black blizzards of dust a mile and a half high rolled across the landscape, darkening the sky …Dust storms made it difficult to breathe. “Dust pneumonia “and other respiratory infections afflicted thousands (OOM pg. 675). “ The photo “Farmer and Sons in Dust Storm, Cimarron County, Oklahoma, 1936” by Arthur Rothstein (DAP pg. 269), captures the horror of this disaster. A father and his two small sons cover their eyes from the black air that permeates the photo. They are making their way for cover to a small dilapidated shack the size of a shed. The shack appears to likely provide little protection from the darkness that is filling their lungs. Other than the shack, and the people, the photo shows nothing. The land is barren; there are neither animals nor even roads are shown. The photo leaves us to wonder how they survive, or even if they will. If they were to leave, would they have to do so on foot? With the storms, and the lack of money, they are essentially trapped. Photos like these, as well as literature about the devastation led to national sympathy. FDR tried to address this
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The Dust Bowl, battering the Midwest for nearly a decade with high winds, bad farming techniques, and drought, became a pivotal point in American history. The wind storm that seemed relentless beginning in the early 1930’s until its spell ended in 1939, affected the lives of tens of thousands of Americans and the broader agriculture industry. The catastrophic effects of the Dust Bowl took place most prominently around the Great Plains, otherwise known as the farming belt, including states such as Oklahoma, Texas, and Kansas, which were hit extraordinarily hard. Millions of farming acres destroyed by poor farming techniques was a major contributor to what is considered to be one of the worst man-made environmental disasters in American history. This period resulted in almost a decade of unstable farming and economic despair. Thousands of families sought government assistance in order to survive. Luckily, government aid to farmers and new agriculture programs that were introduced to help save the nation’s agriculture industry benefited families and helped the Great Plains recover from the Dust Bowl. Furthermore, the poor conditions in the farm belt were also compounded by the Great Depression as it was in full swing as the Dust Bowl began to worsen. In addition, World War I was also underway which caused a high demand for agricultural products, such as wheat, corn, and potatoes to be at its peak, which lured many people to the farm belt with the false expectation that farming
To keep the Great Plains residents healthy, “The Red Cross opened six emergency hospitals to deal with the crisis” (Brown 37). This shows that the Dust Bowl crisis got so bad that organizations like the Red Cross enlisted to help the Dust Bowl residents get back on their feet and become happy and healthy once again. To help with the situation, “The federal government developed programs to aid Dust Bowl residents” get back on their feet. This reveals that everyone had to join in the help get the Great Plains get back to its former glory and ability to produce crops. This also shows that the federal government was working to help prevent a disaster this big from occurring again. Finally “The long dry spell ended in the autumn of 1939. Rain drenched the plains for the two days and nights” (Heinrichs 39). This is important because nature finally ran its course and nourished the water-deprived soil. This shows that the long-awaited end to the Dust Bowl and drought had finally ended, bringing hope to not only Dust Bowl residents but all of the United States. The Dust Bowl, an event that caused so much destruction to the Great Plains and the American economy, was finally
Created by John Truslow Adams in 1931, the American Dream is, “the ideals of freedom, equality, and opportunity traditionally held to be available to every American” (Fontinelle). The American Dream was first conceived by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence which states, “We hold these 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.” The American Dream is achieved by hard work and sacrifice. It is earned not won. If you work hard, you’ll make it. In this day and age, new obstacles stand in our way. Now, hardwork may not be enough to be successful. There is a controversial question that looms over America today- Is the American Dream dead or alive? The answer to this question, based on factual evidence, is that the American Dream is dead because poor people are likely to stay poor, education costs are increasing, and expenses are rising.
As it is stated in the constitution, “all men are created equal”, however many people feel as if they are not treated equal to their fellow citizens. America is viewed as a land where all things are possible and people can achieve all their hopes and dreams. Although this is a simple concept, how one must work to achieve these goals is much more complicated. Everyone is born into a different situation and the opportunities they are exposed to differ depending on the person. The original idea of the “American Dream” supported the idea that all American citizens are able to obtain a better life than they are currently living; however, that idea is continuously changing and many interpret their own dream in different ways.
The American Dream can be defined as the ideal that every US citizen should have an equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through hard work, determination, and initiative. Lots of people during the Great Depression had an American Dream. The problem was, was that the American Dream was never attained because of the somber time period that these poor people were going through. Back then and still today, people say to one another to chase their American dream or never give up, but when faced with difficulties or obstacles, it is hard to overcome the American dream. In the novel, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck all of the characters had some sort of American Dream whether it was big or small during the Depression time period that they wanted to be reached. But none of their American Dreams were attained because Steinbeck’s message was that dreams are supposed to be imagined and not achieved. Although people will argue that the American Dream was achievable during the Great Depression, it actually was not because of people’s disabilities, tough job competition, and the harsh discrimination toward those who were different.
The 1930s are a decade marked by devastation; the nation was in an economic crisis, millions of people were going hungry, and jobless. America was going through some dark times. But if you were living in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas (or any of those surrounding states) you had bigger things on your mind than being denied the money in your bank account. From 1935-1939 Winds and dust storms had left a good portion of our country desolate; however our author takes a slightly different, though no less valid, opinion on the matter. In his book Dust Bowl: The Southern Plains in the 1930s Donald Worster blames mans inappropriate interference with nature that allowed these massive storms of dust that happen. "My
The American Dream started as a belief that anyone could come to the U.S. from any background, any economic profile, and find work. They could work hard, earn a living, and achieve happiness and financial security. In The American Dream: Dead, Alive, or on Hold by Brandon King, the author quotes a line from a New York Times survey that states “… Americans still believe that it is possible to start poor, work hard, and become rich in America” (Seelye, 2009). This quote perfectly embodies what the American Dream used to mean to people. The quote is from 2009 as well, so even seven years ago people had this opinion. It also states that when American’s were asked what the American Dream refers to, most of them said something like “financial security” or “being able to retire without struggling”. It
The American Dream as it is defined cannot simply hold true without preservation of it’s ideals. An ideal is maintained by the people. Enjoying the benefits the American Dream promises requires each person to uphold its ideals among his fellows. If this were the case, the original definition might have been preserved. The problem is that other factors kicked in which prioritized wealth and status among people which interfered with the ability of others to pursue the dream. From there, the American Dream gradually changed from hard work to status.
The Dust Bowl was an American travesty that not only affected the people living in the Midwest, but throughout the entire country in many ways. The Dust Bowl had a series of things that provoked it, along with the great depression that was going on at that time. It also caused many people to disperse all across the country in order for them to try and escape the deadly dust. Just to make everything worse, the current president at the time, Herbert Hoover, didn’t do much in order to help. The Dust Bowl caused a great deal of loss to many people, not only their loss of crops, but their loss of families and farm animals.
In “Black Blizzard” from Scholastic Scope it describes how people survived the Dust Bowl during The Great Depression. Dust storms could be as high as 7,000 feet and were similar to tidal waves, but made from dirt, dirt so thick that people would be able to taste it and could suffocate from inhaling it. States on the Great Plains, such as Kansas and Oklahoma, suffered from hundreds of these destructive storms that destroyed the land, economy, and forced people to move west, mainly to California. In the early 1900’s people moved to the Plain states and successfully grew crops and raised cattle, destroying something they didn’t realize would save their lives. When farmer’s invaded they wiped out the native grasses and replaced it with cash crops,
The Dust Bowl and the Great Depression were catastrophic events that occurred in the mid-1930s and affected the Great Plains. One place in particular that suffered was the Oklahoma panhandle. The dust storms were so bad that farmers could not make a living, and the land was almost un-inhabitable. This drove many families to leave the panhandle and flee to places like California. Margaret Larason is a woman who was born in the pan handle before the Dust Bowl and Great Depression, and she even lived through it. She explains how she saw everything happening around her as she had just graduated from school.
The 1930's were a time of tragedy for Midwestern people who lived in the United States, especially farmers in the Great Plains region. During this time crops perished and winds picked up causing a massive dust storm to begin. In the course of this catastrophe “at least 350,000 Okies loaded their belongings into cars and trucks and headed to California” (Henretta, Hinderaker, Edwards, and Self 688). Californians were opposed to the arrival of these dust bowl refugees because they were competition for California’s already limited job market, the refugees were receiving a large amount of the state’s Federal Relief money, and they were causing problems in society. This essay will start with a little background of the Dust Bowl, explore how Californians
The idea of the American Dream has been around since America was founded, but until 1933, it was not put into words. In the article American Faces 1933’s Realities, by James Truslow Adams, he defines the American Dream as “ ...a vision of a better, deeper, richer life for every individual, regardless of the position in society which he or she may occupy by the accident of birth” (1). The American Dream does not have to be described as having copious amounts of wealth. To some, it is only a vision of a better life for themselves and their families.
The term “American dream” is relatively new and can stand for different connotations depending on the context. It was created by James Truslow Adams and written down in his book, The Epic of America, which was published in 1931. He states that 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”(Adams). However, the basis for the foundation can be traced back to the sixteenth century Puritans. The Puritans did not call it the American dream, but their attitude towards religion and work ethic is similar to the term. They believed that for every single person there was a destiny. James Truslow Adams was a writer and stated 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”(Adams). America
Similarly, the American Dream in the 1920s went from being ambitious and faithful to all being brainwashed by wealth. The American society started to aim for goals that were heavily influenced by consumerism. In 1931, American writer and historian James Truslow Adams describes the American Dream in his book “The American Epic”, stating that “life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability and achievement” regardless of social class or circumstances of birth.” He believes that people started to become competitive with each other, losing their sense of identity and hope. It was about who could throw the biggest party, who will have the most ladies or gents, and the list goes on. *NEXT SLIDE.