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American Dream

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American Dream
The term “American Dream” is used in a number of ways, but essentially the American Dream is an idea which suggests that all people can succeed through hard work, and that all people have the potential to live happy, successful lives. Many people have expanded upon or refined the definition of the American Dream, and this concept has also been subject to a fair amount of criticism. Many people believe that the structure of American society belies the idealistic goal of the American Dream, pointing to examples of inequality rooted in class, race, and ethnic origin which suggest that the American Dream is not attainable for all.
The idea of an American Dream is older than the United States, dating back to the 1600s, when people began to come up with all sorts of hopes and aspirations for the new and largely unexplored continent. Many of these dreams focused on owning land and establishing prosperous businesses which would theoretically generate happiness, and some people also incorporated ideals of religious freedom into their American Dreams. During the Great Depression, several people wrote about an American Dream, codifying the concept and entrenching it in American society.
For people who believe in the American dream, anything is attainable through hard work. The concept plays on the idea that American is a classless society, although it is obviously not, as any honest examination of the United States will reveal. The idealistic vision of the American Dream also assumes that people are not discriminated against on the basis of race, religion, gender, and national origin, another thing which is unfortunately not true in the United States.
Critics of the American dream also point out that many versions of the dream equate prosperity with happiness, and that happiness may not always be that simple. These critics suggest that the American Dream may...

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