All Americans should have freedom, equality and rights. Many people moved to America to live the American Dream. But what exactly does that mean? The American dream could be defined many different ways depending on who you ask. Our founding fathers established a Bill of Rights which states all the freedoms and rights you have as an American citizen. Freedom of religion, assembly, press, petition and speech are to me the most important rights. To be able to voice what you believe in and to choose what to believe in is very important. Racial equality has always been a huge right in America that people seem to argue and fight over. Martin Luther King Jr. stood against the racial segregation and inequality in his, “I Have a Dream” Speech. America has overcome lots of racial issues but it still is a problem today in some places. Also throughout the years, the American Dream has changed into who has the best house or the best job, when it used to be pride and want for a better future. In the article, “The Transformation of the ‘American Dream’”, Robert Shiller says, “(The American Dream) involves owning a beautiful home and a roaring business, but it wasn’t always so. Instead, in the 1930’s, it meant freedom, mutual respect and equality of opportunity. It had more to do with morality than material success” (Shiller para 2). I think this is a very accurate explanation of how the American Dream has changed and it is sad to me that people base their life off of material success and not freedom and happiness in a safe country where you have your own rights to live whatever life you want to live.

 

Founding, Fathers. “Bill of Rights.” National Archives and Records Administration, 1791.

 

King, Martin L., Jr. “I Have a Dream.” Speech. Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D. C. 28        

Aug. 1963.

 

Shiller, Robert J. “The Transformation of the ‘American Dream.’” The New York Times, 4 Aug.

2017

 

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CC BY-SA 4.0 Are Americans Living the American Dream? by Grace is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

6 Comments
  1. Lila 1 month ago

    Hi Grace!
    I agree with your claim that the first amendment rights are the most important. If we weren’t able to voice our own opinions, this world would be a lot different today. Although racial equality has improved immensely since Martin Luther King’s time we still have a lot to work through. I am really interested in the part where you talk about the transformation of the American dream. It really has become this very materialistic outlook whereas it should be more about a society that is free and peaceful. I also used that as one of my articles to back up my claim!

  2. Allison 2 months ago

    Hi Grace!!!

    I agree with you how it is sad how our American Dream has morphed into being about material things instead of focusing on the exact ideology of being American. Yes, being materialistic has become a huge part of what defines Americans but it shouldn’t be the only part of what makes you American. I like how you tied in a part about the “I have a dream speech”, this speech is widely popularized and most people when they read your post will understand what you are talking about. I also like how right away we can tell what your stance is so we don’t have to waste time searching through every sentence.

  3. Tanner 2 months ago

    Hi Grace. This is an engaging topic to discuss at this period of time. I, too, think this is sad how society says how successful you is only based on popularity, money, and expensive property. I think the American Dream should be that you can do whatever you want to do, and you are happy about your situation. I am aware that racism still exist, and it’s still a problem we need to face today. This article actually goes through history of the US on how the American Dream has been changed. Starting from Declaration of Independence protecting this idea to Obama’s Affordable Care Act. It is pretty interesting to read through. What do you think we, as society, can do to change society’s view of “materialistic American Dream”? I am excited to read what more information you will find for this topic in the future!
    Source: https://www.thebalance.com/what-is-the-american-dream-today-3306027

  4. Erica Maggelet 2 months ago

    Grace,

    This is a very interesting topic. I agree that the American dream has changed. I liked how you pointed out that “it is sad to me that people base their life off of material success and not freedom and happiness in a safe country where you have your own rights to live whatever life you want to live.” Have you looked into current pressing issues? The link below has some interesting points about social issues that are facing America today. Some of these issues could be reasons why people aren’t able to live the American Dream. I look forward to reading your future posts because I think they bring a new perspective to interesting topics.

    http://www.socialjusticesolutions.org/2016/01/18/grand-challenges-for-social-work-identify-12-top-social-issues-facing-america/

  5. Hailey 2 months ago

    Very interesting idea, Grace. I also find the new, and changing, idea of the “American Dream” to be different from where the United States first started. It is interesting that people today look at success at material goods. I believe that success does not equate to how wealthy a person seems, but by the “content of their character” as Martin Luther King said. I believe it is important to look how far the United States has come in terms of racial equality, as you said, but also look for ways to improve upon this issue. What do you think is the most pressing problem that should be addressed today in the U.S.? If you would like to read more about How the United States has strayed from its original ideals, you should read this article: http://business.time.com/2011/12/01/american-dream-deferred-we-now-embrace-more-modest-personal-goals/. I really enjoyed your thoughts in this piece, specifically about “racial equality…in America.” I look forward to reading more of your writing in the future regarding this topic.

  6. Kira 2 months ago

    This is a really interesting view, Grace. When most people think of their achievement of the American Dream (or lack thereof), they often refer to their position of employment and their possessions. I wonder what factors changed the perception of it. Perhaps you could continue your writing with possible reasons as to why the perception of the American Dream has shifted from “freedom, mutual respect and equality of opportunity” to what it is now. I’m looking forward to seeing where you can take this in the near future.

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