How has the American Dream Changed over Time: a Historical Perspective on its Evolution

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The American Dream, a big idea in America’s history, has changed a lot over the years. It has adapted as the country grew, showing how things in society, money, and what people value have shifted. It began when the first people came to America wanting freedom and success. This dream has inspired many generations, and this essay looks at how it changed and why.

The American Dream started with the first wave of immigration to America. They wanted the chance for a better life and to be free from suffering because of their convictions.

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The American Dream originally centered on achieving freedom, happiness, and a comfortable existence for oneself and one’s family. These convictions were bolstered by the American Revolution and the founding of a new nation, setting the foundation for a dream that would have an impact on millions of people.

Times of Change and Progress

The American Dream acquired increased significance in the 1800s as the nation became more modern. People could work hard and come up with innovative ways to succeed because there was so much uncharted terrain to discover. Meritocracy was the belief that everyone could succeed if they put in enough effort. The idea that anyone may succeed in life was influenced by the gold rushes, the Homestead Act, which gave everyone access to land, and the rising number of immigrants to America.

The American Dream underwent significant alterations during the 1900s. The 1929 Great Depression demonstrated that money and prosperity were not always stable and that things may go wrong. This caused individuals to reflect on what is truly essential and how the government can assist in difficult circumstances. After WWII, having a solid middle-class living and owning a home were important components of the American Dream. Having a secure family life was more important. Even while circumstances were becoming better for many individuals, some were still treated unfairly due to their skin color, gender, or wealth.

Dreams Today

The American Dream encountered fresh challenges in the 2000s. The financial crisis of 2008 showed that not everyone could achieve their goals and that financial security wasn’t always a given. People started to understand that not everyone had equal possibilities because of outside influences.

The world was changing as well. Technology and how people work were different. More people were doing temporary jobs, and people wanted their work to be meaningful, not just about making money. This made the idea of finding a job that means something to you, having a balance between work and the rest of life, and having experiences that matter more important. These things challenged the old idea that success is just about having a lot of things.

Many things played a role in how the American Dream changed. New technology, how much money people had, things that happened in history, and how people thought all made the dream shift. Good times and bad times, from a long time ago to recent times, made people think differently about what it means to succeed. Movements for equal rights, like the Civil Rights Movement, showed that the dream wasn’t the same for everyone and pushed for fairness.

Conclusion: A Dream That Keeps Changing

The American Dream is always changing, just like how history changes. From wanting to be free to striving for money, moving up in life, and having a better society, the dream has changed a lot. It’s faced problems like bad money times, wars, and significant changes in how people live. As the world changes, the dream changes too, to match what people care about and want for the future.

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How Has The American Dream Changed Over Time: A Historical Perspective on Its Evolution. (2023, Sep 14). Retrieved from