American Dream Impact

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For the past two-hundred years, America has been a nation of profound ideals and values. One of the most fundamental of the these being the American Dream. The American dream has long been thought to be what separates the US from other nations. Nowhere in any other country can a person find anything quite like the American Dream. The American Dream is what turned thirteen ragtag colonies into the greatest country on earth. Unfortunately, as the nation changed so did the American Dream. On the whole, change is beneficial and the change this nation has experienced since its inception has made the nation stronger. The changes to the American Dream, however, were not as positive. Webster's dictionary defines the American Dream as “A happy way…show more content…
Originally the American Dream was simply the idea that hard work was all that is required to obtain a decent life. As simple as this sounds, this idea was revolutionary for its time. The roots of the American Dream can be traced all the way back to the Declaration of Independence: “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.” This gave the common man a chance to improve his status in the world. In the old world, there was no class mobility of any kind. This idea that poor workers could increase their place in society through hard work and determination truly changed the world. The American Dream is the reason that many of the early immigrants came to America. In the old world, peasants often starved and lived in crushing poverty. Many immigrants decided to journey here for the mere possibility of a better life: “ America was truly a new world, a place where one could live one’s life and pursue one’s goals unburdened by older societies’ prescribed ideas of class, caste, and social hierarchy.” (Kamp 23). America gave these immigrants hope that they could be successful and live the American Dream. In the early days, the American Dream had nothing to do with money or frivolous objects. The American Dream meant being…show more content…
This materialism in turn has aided in the transformation of the American Dream into a much different dream. Richer Americans are spending more and more money on wants. Even many of those who cannot afford to purchase such luxury goods have made it their goal. The new dream of Americans is not just to be successful, their dream is to be rich enough to obtain the luxury goods they see others have. The truth of the matter is that while these luxury goods are not vital to people's lives, many have become obsessed by them. This has caused a dramatic shift in the American Dream. Unlike this generation, past generations were less concerned with the pursuit of frivolous goods. Incredibly this shift can be traced back to a single source. The credit card is what changed America's view on frivolous purchases. Before the creation of the credit card when someone wanted to purchase something they need to already have the money to pay for it. With the creation of the credit card people no longer need to have the money to purchase something. They can simply loan the money from the credit card company. This has led to the massive increase in frivolous purchases seen today. People now have the means and desire to purchase an unhealthy amount of luxury goods. This materialism has corrupted the American Dream into the monstrosity it is
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