The American Dream By James Truslow Adams Essay

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James Truslow Adams in 1931 coined the term “The American Dream” in his book The Epic of America (Michels, n.d., para. 1). He wrote of an America that offered freedom of religion, and speech, as well as political and social opportunities that few other countries offered. However, according to Eva Michels, “The American Dream” means something different for each individual, it refers to the way of life that Americans strive for and have equal rights to achieve regardless of social class or nationality (n.d., para. 4). She goes on to write that for some this dream can mean opportunities and equality, while for others it can mean materialism and gained wealth (Michels, n.d., para. 6). On the other hand, there is a notion that “The American Dream” is free for the taking for anyone who desires wealth and freedom. Robert A. Heinlein once, quickly rejected this notion saying, “Nothing of value is free. Even the breath of life is purchased at birth only through gasping effort and pain” (n.d., n.p.). Immigrants have been attracted to the opportunities of American life since 1607 when colonists created the first settlement in Jamestown, since then people have migrated to America for many reasons. These immigrants have entered the country expecting that these freedoms and “The American Dream” are free creating an out of control immigration problem. As more and more people have immigrated, crime, drugs, and negative economic consequences have resulted. The American government needs to
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