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What Is The American Dream Essay

1710 words - 7 pages

What it means to be an American has been interrupted many different ways. To some, it is all about being able to worship whatever they want and to have the freedom of speech. Others go to a deeper level of what it means. During America’s early days there was a large amount of literature written about the country and the things that it offered. Some of the most influential include Jean de Crèvecoeur, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine. All were very significant for their writings during their time and they all shared a common feature in what they expressed, they all love America. Each offered different reasons on why they did, but nonetheless, they cherished this new land just as people do today.

The first people to come to America may have been some of the best people to embody the American Dream. They came here not knowing what to expect but they still came with high hopes and the will to make something out of the situation. They had been sick of how they were treated in Britain and now coming to America was a chance at a new start. They had the freedom to worship their own religion and live the life that they wanted to. The Puritans created their own culture very fast. They set up their government and it revolved largely around their religion. Their American Dream was to be able to settle down and work on what they enjoyed without being told what to do by those with more power and money than they had. Nearly everyone that came to America at the time wasn't looking to make vast amounts of money. Instead they came to live freely.

Jean de Crèvecoeur was a french man that came to America in 1775 and fell in love with it. He wrote a few different collections of letters and published them. HIs most famous was Letters from an American Farmer, in which he talks about all the great qualities that are here in America. This collection became a bestseller in the european market and caused many Europeans to consider moving to America due to all the great things that Crèvecoeur wrote about. In his letters he wrote things like “Can a wretch who wanders about, who works and starves, whose life is a continual scene of sore affliction or pinching penury; can that man call England or any other kingdom his country? A country that has no bread for him, whose fields procure him no harvest, who met nothing but the frowns of the rich, the severity of the laws, with jails and punishment; who owned not a single foot of the extensive surface of this planet? No! urged by a variety of motives, here they came.” Many farmers in Europe are very poor and often in debt. Crèvecoeur writes about how in America you can be farmer and do it without the pressures of the rich and possibility of being jailed. You can grow all the food you want and there is plenty of land to do so. He portrays America as the perfect place if you are a farmer, and compared to Europe, it almost is. In America there is also no royalty. “We have no princes, for whom we toil,...

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