The American dream

The Great Gatsby

What is the American Dream?
‡ America has always been seen as the Land of Opportunity, partly because immigrants from Europe saw it as a place of freedom, a place to begin a new life, a place for real possibilities and wealth for all. ‡ This belief in America as a country where ordinary people could create a better life for themselves is often referred to as The American Dream

‡ From the 17th century, where the 1st settlers arrived, immigrants dreamed of a better life in America ‡ People went there to escape from persecution, to make a new life for themselves and their families. ‡ For many the dream became a nightmare. ‡ The horrors of slavery, of the American Civil War, the growth of slums and the corruption of the government led to many shattered hopes ‡ For many the dream ended with the Wall Street crash in 1929.

‡ This was the start of the Great Depression that would affect the whole world during the 1930¶s. ‡ The dream did survive for individuals. ‡ 1000¶s made their way west to California to escape farmlands of the mid-west. ‡ The growing popularity of the cinema was the last American Dream for many.

Richard Nixon: presidential Nomination Acceptance Speech, 1968
‡ ³My fellow Americans, the long dark night for America is about to end. The time has come for us to leave the valley of despair and climb the mountain so that we may see the glory of the dawn ± a new day for America, a new dawn for peace and freedom in the world.´

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