America is the land of opportunity where dreams can come true. “The whole of the American dream has been based on the chance to get ahead, for one’s self or one’s children. Would this country have ever reached the point it has if the individual had always been refused the rewards of his labors and dangers?” –James Truslow Adams These words spoken by James Truslow Adams a writer and political commentator expressed a feeling that is still relevant today. Immigrants from all over the world have landed on these shores in search of it. Americans born and bred here live their lives striving to achieve it. The American Dream is real because this nation encourages and protects its dreamers by adhering to principals based on justice, freedom, and equal opportunity.
Equal opportunity proved to be one of the most important elements of the American Dream among the voters who took part in our survey. This concept was divided among many subjects including education. Education is one of the reasons America leads the world. Even though the standards of instruction and facilities may differ from one zip code to another opportunities do exist, teachers are therefore one of the keepers of the American Dream. Also programs like Head Start, which began in 1965, exist to aid low-income children and their families with child development. This program gives them the opportunity to begin their lives on an equal basis with others. Equal opportunity also refers to opportunities available regardless of other factors such as race, gender, and age. Laws exist that prevent discrimination for these and other reasons.
The laws of this country not only protect against discrimination they serve to guarantee justice for all. Part of the American Dream requires that all citizens be treated fairly. Institutions like the Supreme Court has often acted to protect citizen’s access to the American dream. For example when they heard the case of Clarence Gideon in 1963 they ruled that the courts should provide a defense lawyer for a person too poor to hire one. Also the Miranda vs. Arizona decisions ensured that suspects are told of their rights and have the right to a lawyer while being questioned. These provisions ensure fair and equal treatment for all.
The men who wrote the constitution of this country tried very hard to guarantee freedom in many forms. Freedom is essential to the ideal of the American Dream. Americans are free to express their opinions and choose their religions, they have the right to assemble and complain, and they have the right to vote for whom they choose. Freedom hasn’t always been a right; citizens including African Americans and women have had to fight for their rights and there are organizations such as American Civil Liberties Union that still monitor and defend freedom. Freedom and liberty are what make this nation powerful. John Quincy Adams said it best in 1821, “ The nation blessed with the greatest portion of liberty must in proportion to its numbers be the most powerful nation on earth.” The point he was trying to make is very valid, oppressive governments may be able to control their citizens but they don’t grow and develop. The U. S. S R. was once a powerful nation but it crumbled and dissolved into many smaller nations. Where as the United States which is not the largest or the most populace country in the world but is seen as its leader. It is freedom and liberty that make us so strong.
Freedom, justice, and equal opportunity are the foundations of the American dream. The history of this nation shows that the pursuit of this ideal has inspired and encouraged many. Although today we are still divided along racial and economic lines we have more opportunities than many who share this earth with us. For many the American Dream consists of creating a better life for the family, buying homes, cars, achieving financial security. For some it is simply the dream of a better life. Everyone’s idea of the American dream may not be the same, but that isn’t important, what counts is that we live in a country where you can pursue your dreams what ever they are. The American Dream isn’t a myth, it is an ideal that has inspired and encouraged many, it is what makes our country great.