Poverty and the American Dream

4620 WordsMay 7, 201219 Pages
“The American Dream” as defined by James Truslow Adams in 1931 is a national ethos of the United States in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, and an upward social mobility achieved through hard work. Truslow states "life should be worse and poorer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement" regardless of social class or circumstances of birth. The idea of the American Dream is rooted in the United States Declaration of Independence which proclaims that "all men are created equal" and that they are "endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights" including "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." The American Dream is viewed by many Americans as not…show more content…
As he noted in the preface, there was no shortage of such books. What he wanted to contribute was broad interpretive sensibility that emphasized important historical themes. For Adams, no theme was more important than what he called that American dream of better, richer, and happier life for all our of citizens of every rank, which is the greatest contribution we have made to the thought and welfare of the world. That dream of hope has been present since we became and independent nation, each generation has seen an uprising of ordinary Americans to save that dream from the forces which appeared to be overwhelming it.” While Adams may have the coined the phrase of the American Dream, it is apparent that the notion of the Dream was a prevalent long before the term was engrained in the oral culture of American society. The roots of the American Dream is evident even in the composition of the Declaration of Independence. Written in 1776, Cullen suggests that the Declaration of Independence is directly worded to invoke a spirit of the anything is possible at any moment. He states: “ Maybe saying that the Declaration is central in contemporary American life seems odd, since a few of us have actually read the entire document. And those of us who have can’t help but notice that this manifesto, like so much else about American Revolution, is remote, even tedious.” The Key
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