American dream 3

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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AMERICAN DREAM Government & Economy The American dream, it has been said, means different things to different people. Differences in wealth and status affect the meaning of the dream for different people. Its meaning has also changed repeatedly over time. The reason that they have changed is because the American Dream is regulated by the government and the economy. An eighteenth century, white, male plantation owners' answer to the question, "What is the American Dream?" would probably be different from that of a modern, black, buisness-type female. A common essence shines through these many aspects of the American dream. The American Dream can be seen by three angles; freedom from want, freedom from threat of physical danger, and freedom of choice. Even though we feel we can control all of this is is pretty much out of our hands and in the governments.

The first aspect of the American dream is freedom from want.

For the plantation owner, freedom from want might have meant owning more land and more slaves and building a bigger house. For the slave, the dream might simply have been eating decent food, wearing warm clothes, perhaps saving enough money to purchase his manumission. (McLennan, S.) Toward the later part of the nineteenth century, the picture had changed. America had spread westward and had filled with immigrants from Asia and Europe. While this was going on America was forming the modern day government and started to put proposals together to make this "Land of the Free" cost a little bit. Those fortunate and industrious enough to do so were accumulating vast fortunes. Despite America's great wealth, freedom from basic want was still only a dream for the working poor. Wages were low and manual labor was grueling. For them, the American Dream was to earn enough...