Thursday, March 23, 2017

The American Dream - Note for a discussion, "E Pluribus Unum? What Keeps the United States United."

The American Dream was first publicly defined in 1931. Historian James Truslow Adams used the phrase in his book Epic of America. Adams' often-repeated quote is, "The American Dream is that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement."
Adams went on to say that it is not, "... a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.”
The American Dream is protected by the Declaration of Independence, in this familiar quote: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
The Declaration continued, “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."
The Founding Fathers put into law the revolutionary idea that each person's desire to pursue happiness was not just self-indulgence. It was a part of what drives ambition and creativity. By legally protecting these values, the Founding Fathers set up a society that was very attractive for those aspiring to a better life. (Source: "The American Dream: A Biography," Time Magazine, June 21, 2012.)
To the drafters of the Declaration, the American Dream could only thrive if it was not hindered by “taxation without representation."
Kings, military rulers or tyrants shouldn’t decide taxes and other laws. The people should have the right to elect officials to represent them. These leaders must abide by the laws themselves and not create new legislation willy-nilly. Legal disputes must be settled by a jury rather than the whim of the leader.
The Declaration also specifically states that a country must be allowed free trade. (Source: "The Declaration of Independence," U.S. National Archives.)
The American Dream legally protects every American's right to achieve their potential. That allows them to contribute their utmost to society. . It is the belief that the best way to ensure national progress is to protect citizens’ right to improve their lives. (Source: "Creating the American Dream," American Radio Works.)
The American Dream is "the charm of anticipated success." So said French historian Alexis de Tocqueville in his book Democracy in America. He studied American society in the 19th century.
This charm has drawn millions of immigrants to U.S. shores. It's also been a compelling vision for other nations. Sociologist Emily Rosenberg identified five components of the American Dream that have shown up in countries around the world.
  1. Belief that other nations should replicate America's development.
  2. Faith in a free market economy.
  3. Support for free trade agreements and foreign direct investment.
  4. Promotion of free flow of information and culture.
  5. Acceptance of government protection of private enterprise. (Source: Emily S. Rosenberg, Spreading the American Dream: American Economic and Cultural Expansion 1890–1945.)

    What Made the American Dream Possible?

    The American Dream was made possible by a setting that was conducive to prosperity, peace and opportunity. Here are the three main geographic, economic and political factors.
    First, the United States has a large land mass under one government, thanks to the outcome of the Civil War.
    Second, America has benign neighbors. That's partially due to geography. Canada's climate is too cold and Mexico's is too hot to create powerful economic threats.
    Third, abundant natural resources feed U.S. commerce. These include oil, rainfall and plenty of rivers. Long shorelines and a flat terrain ease transportation.
    These conditions fostered a populace united by language, political system and values. That allowed a diverse population to become a competitive advantage. U.S. companies use it to become more innovative. They have a large, easily accessible test market for new products. At the same time, the diverse demographics allows them to test niche products. This American “melting pot” generates more innovative ideas than a small, homogenous population would. For more, see Benefits of Cultural Diversity.

    The History of the American Dream

    At first, the Declaration only extended the Dream to white property-owners. However, the idea of inalienable rights was so powerful that laws were added to extend these rights to slaves, women, and non-property owners. In this way, the American Dream changed the course of America itself.
    In the 1920s, the American Dream started morphing from the right to create a better life to the desire to acquire material things. This change was described in the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel, The Great Gatsby. In it, the character Daisy Buchanan cries when she sees Jay Gatsby’s shirts, because she’s “never seen such—such beautiful shirts before.” 
    This greed-driven version of the Dream was never truly attainable. Someone else always had more. The Dream of The Great Gatsby was “an orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter -- tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther..." This greed led to the stock market crash of 1929 and the Great Depression.
    The nation's leaders verbalized the evolution of the American Dream. President Lincoln granted the Dream's equal opportunity to slaves. President Wilson supported the voting rights of women. It led to the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution in 1918. President Johnson promoted Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. That ended segregation in the schools. It protects workers from discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy) or national origin. In 1967, he extended those rights to those over 40. President Obama supported the legal benefits of the marriage contract regardless of sexual orientation.
    After the 1920s, many presidents supported the Gatsby Dream by guaranteeing material benefits. President Roosevelt extended equal opportunity to homeownership by creating Fannie Mae to insure mortgages. His Economic Bill of Rights advocated, "...the right to decent housing, to a job that was sufficient to support one's family and oneself, to educational opportunities for all and to universal health care."
    Roosevelt added, "We have come to a clear realization of the fact...that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. ...People who are hungry, people who are out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made." In other words, he strengthened the Dream to protect America from Nazism, socialism or communism. For more, see FDR's Unfinished Second Bill of Rights.
    President Truman built upon this idea after World War II. His "post-war social contract" included the GI Bill. It provided government-funded college degrees for returning veterans. Urban policy expert Matt Lassiter summed up Truman’s “contract” this way: "...if you worked hard and played by the rules, you deserved certain things. You deserved security and decent shelter and to not have to worry all the time that you might lose your house to bankruptcy." (Source: "The G.I. Bill and FDR's Economic Bill of Rights," American Radio Works.)
    U.S. prosperity after World War II allowed people to expect those things in their lifetime. The Bush and Clinton Administrations supported the Dream of home ownership. During the 2008 presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton presented the American Dream Plan. This included the opportunity to go to college, save for retirement, own a home, health insurance for all children, business growth and prosperity.
    President Obama furthered FDR's idea that everyone should have access to affordable health care. He softened the blow of the recession for many by extending unemployment benefits and increasing government assistance for student loans.
    There is disagreement over the definition of the American Dream today. Some even think we've seen the End of the American Dream. But this inspiring idea from the Founding Fathers will continue to evolve. Both the right to pursue happiness and the right to disagree about what that means are what makes the American Dream so powerful.
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    For other uses, see American Dream (disambiguation).

    For many immigrants, the Statue of Liberty was their first view of the United States, signifying new opportunities in life. The statue is an iconic symbol of the American Dream.
    The American Dream is a national ethos of the United States, the set of ideals (democracy, rights, liberty, opportunity, and equality) in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, and an upward social mobility for the family and children, achieved through hard work in a society with few barriers. In the definition of the American Dream by James Truslow Adams in 1931, "life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement" regardless of social class or circumstances of birth.[1]
    The American Dream is rooted in the Declaration of Independence, which proclaims that "all men are created equal" with the right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."[2]


    The meaning of the "American Dream" has changed over the course of history, and includes both personal components (such as home ownership and upward mobility) and a global vision. Historically the Dream originated in the mystique regarding frontier life. As the Royal Governor of Virginia noted in 1774, the Americans "for ever imagine the Lands further off are still better than those upon which they are already settled". He added that, "if they attained Paradise, they would move on if they heard of a better place farther west."[3]
    The ethos today implies an opportunity for Americans to achieve prosperity through hard work. According to The Dream, this includes the opportunity for one's children to grow up and receive a good education and career without artificial barriers. It is the opportunity to make individual choices without the prior restrictions that limited people according to their class, caste, religion, race, or ethnicity. Immigrants to the United States sponsored ethnic newspapers in their own language; the editors typically promoted the American Dream.[4] Lawrence Samuel argues:
    For many in both the working class and the middle class, upward mobility has served as the heart and soul of the American Dream, the prospect of "betterment" and to "improve one's lot" for oneself and one's children much of what this country is all about. "Work hard, save a little, send the kids to college so they can do better than you did, and retire happily to a warmer climate" has been the script we have all been handed.[5]

    19th century

    In the 19th century, many well-educated Germans fled the failed 1848 revolution. They welcomed the political freedoms in the New World, and the lack of a hierarchical or aristocratic society that determined the ceiling for individual aspirations. One of them explained:
    The German emigrant comes into a country free from the despotism, privileged orders and monopolies, intolerable taxes, and constraints in matters of belief and conscience. Everyone can travel and settle wherever he pleases. No passport is demanded, no police mingles in his affairs or hinders his movements ... Fidelity and merit are the only sources of honor here. The rich stand on the same footing as the poor; the scholar is not a mug above the most humble mechanics; no German ought to be ashamed to pursue any occupation ... [In America] wealth and possession of real estate confer not the least political right on its owner above what the poorest citizen has. Nor are there nobility, privileged orders, or standing armies to weaken the physical and moral power of the people, nor are there swarms of public functionaries to devour in idleness credit for. Above all, there are no princes and corrupt courts representing the so-called divine 'right of birth.' In such a country the talents, energy and perseverance of a person ... have far greater opportunity to display than in monarchies.[6]
    The discovery of gold in California in 1849 brought in a hundred thousand men looking for their fortune overnight—and a few did find it. Thus was born the California Dream of instant success. Historian H. W. Brands noted that in the years after the Gold Rush, the California Dream spread across the nation:
    The old American Dream ... was the dream of the Puritans, of Benjamin Franklin's "Poor Richard"... of men and women content to accumulate their modest fortunes a little at a time, year by year by year. The new dream was the dream of instant wealth, won in a twinkling by audacity and good luck. [This] golden dream ... became a prominent part of the American psyche only after Sutter's Mill."[7]

    20th century

    Historian James Truslow Adams popularized the phrase "American Dream" in his 1931 book Epic of America:
    But there has been also the American dream, that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for every man, with opportunity for each according to his ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret adequately, and too many of us ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.[1]
    And later he wrote:
    The American dream, that has lured tens of millions of all nations to our shores in the past century has not been a dream of merely material plenty, though that has doubtlessly counted heavily. It has been much more than that. It has been a dream of being able to grow to fullest development as man and woman, unhampered by the barriers which had slowly been erected in the older civilizations, unrepressed by social orders which had developed for the benefit of classes rather than for the simple human being of any and every class.
    Martin Luther King, Jr., in his "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" (1963) rooted the civil rights movement in the black quest for the American Dream:[8]
    We will win our freedom because the sacred heritage of our nation and the eternal will of God are embodied in our echoing demands ... when these disinherited children of God sat down at lunch counters they were in reality standing up for what is best in the American dream and for the most sacred values in our Judeo-Christian heritage, thereby bringing our nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the founding fathers in their formulation of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.


    The concept is used in popular discourse, and scholars have traced its use in American literature ranging from the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin,[9] to Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), Willa Cather's My Ántonia,[10] F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby (1925), Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy (1925) and Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon (1977).[11] Other writers who used the American Dream theme include Hunter S. ThompsonEdward Albee,[12] John Steinbeck,[13]Langston Hughes[14] and Giannina Braschi.[15] The American Dream is also discussed in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman; the play's protagonist, Willy, is on a quest for the American Dream.
    As Chua (1994) shows, the American Dream is a recurring theme in other literature as well, for example, the fiction of Asian Americans.[16][17]

    American Ideals

    Many American authors added American Ideals to their work as a theme or other reoccurring idea, to get their point across.[18] There are many ideals that appear in American Literature such as, but not limited to, all people are equal, The United States of America is the Land of Opportunity, independence is valued, The American Dream is attainable, and everyone can succeed with hard work and determination. John Winthrop also wrote about this term called, American Exceptionalism. This ideology refers to the idea that Americans are the chosen ones, and that they are the light.[19]

    Literary commentary

    European governments, worried that their best young people would leave for America, distributed posters like this to frighten them. This 1869 Swedish anti-emigration poster contrasts Per Svensson's dream of the American idyll (left) and the reality of his life in the wilderness (right), where he is menaced by a mountain lion, a big snake, and wild Indians who are scalping and disembowelling someone.[20]
    The American Dream has been credited with helping to build a cohesive American experience, but has also been blamed for inflated expectations.[21] Some commentators have noted that despite deep-seated belief in the egalitarian American Dream, the modern American wealth structure still perpetuates racial and class inequalities between generations.[22] One sociologist notes that advantage and disadvantage are not always connected to individual successes or failures, but often to prior position in a social group.[22]
    Since the 1920s, numerous authors, such as Sinclair Lewis in his 1922 novel Babbitt, and F. Scott Fitzgerald, in his 1925 classic, The Great Gatsbysatirized or ridiculed materialism in the chase for the American dream. For example, Jay Gatsby's death mirrors the American Dream's demise, reflecting the pessimism of modern-day Americans.[23] The American Dream is a main theme in the book by John SteinbeckOf Mice and Men. The two friends George and Lennie dream of their own piece of land with a ranch, so they can "live off the fatta the lan'" and just enjoy a better life. The book later shows that not everyone can achieve the American Dream, thus proving by contradiction it is not possible for all, although it is possible to achieve for a few. A lot of people follow the American Dream to achieve a greater chance of becoming rich. Some posit that the ease of achieving the American Dream changes with technological advances, availability of infrastructure and information, government regulations, state of the economy, and with the evolving cultural values of American demographics.
    In 1949 Arthur Miller wrote Death of a Salesman, in which the American Dream is a fruitless pursuit. Similarly, in 1971 Hunter S. Thompson depicted in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey Into the Heart of the American Dream a dark psychedelic reflection of the concept—successfully illustrated only in wasted pop-culture excess.[24]
    The novel "Requiem for a Dream" by Hubert Selby, Jr., is an exploration of the pursuit of American success as it turns delirious and lethal, told through the ensuing tailspin of its main characters. George Carlin famously wrote the joke "it's called the American dream because you have to be asleep to believe it".[25] Carlin pointed to "the big wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions" as having a greater influence than an individual's choice.[25] Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Chris Hedges echos this sentiment in his 2012 book Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt:[26]
    The vaunted American dream, the idea that life will get better, that progress is inevitable if we obey the rules and work hard, that material prosperity is assured, has been replaced by a hard and bitter truth. The American dream, we now know, is a lie. We will all be sacrificed. The virus of corporate abuse - the perverted belief that only corporate profit matters - has spread to outsource our jobs, cut the budgets of our schools, close our libraries, and plague our communities with foreclosures and unemployment.
    The American Dream, and the sometimes dark response to it, has been a long-standing theme in American film.[27] Many counterculture films of the 1960s and 1970s ridiculed the traditional quest for the American Dream. For example, Easy Rider (1969), directed by Dennis Hopper, shows the characters making a pilgrimage in search of "the true America" in terms of the hippie movement, drug use, and communal lifestyles.[28]

    Comparative upward mobility

    Research published in 2013 shows that the US provides, alongside the United Kingdom and Spain, the least economic mobility of any of 13 rich, democratic countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.[29][30] Prior research suggested that the United States shows roughly average levels of occupational upward mobility and shows lower rates of income mobility than comparable societies.[31][32] Blanden et al. report, "the idea of the US as 'the land of opportunity' persists; and clearly seems misplaced."[33] According to these studies, "by international standards, the United States has an unusually low level of intergenerational mobility: our parents' income is highly predictive of our incomes as adults. Intergenerational mobility in the United States is lower than in FranceGermanySwedenCanadaFinlandNorway and Denmark. Research in 2006 found that among high-income countries for which comparable estimates are available, only the United Kingdom had a lower rate of mobility than the United States.[34] Economist Isabel Sawhill concluded that "this challenges the notion of America as the land of opportunity."[35][36][37]Several public figures and commentators, from David Frum to Richard G. Wilkinson, have noted that the American dream is better realized in Denmark, which is ranked as having the highest social mobility in the OECD.[38][39][40][41][42] In 2015, economist Joseph Stiglitz stated, "Maybe we should be calling the American Dream the Scandinavian Dream."[43]

    Political leaders

    Scholars have explored the American Dream theme in the careers of numerous political leaders, including Henry Kissinger,[44]Hillary Clinton,[45] Benjamin Franklin, and Abraham Lincoln.[46] The theme has been used for many local leaders as well, such as José Antonio Navarro, the Tejano leader (1795–1871), who served in the legislatures of Coahuila y Texas, the Republic of Texas, and the State of Texas.[47]
    In 2006 U.S. Senator Barack Obama wrote a memoir, The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream. It was this interpretation of the American Dream for a young black man that helped establish his statewide and national reputations.[48][49]The exact meaning of the Dream became a partisan political issue in the 2008 and 2012 elections.[50]
    Political conflicts, to some degree, have been ameliorated by the shared values of all parties in the expectation that the American Dream will resolve many difficulties and conflicts.[51]

    Public opinion

    A key element of the American Dream is promoting opportunity for one's children, Johnson interviewing parents says, "This was one of the most salient features of the interview data: parents—regardless of background—relied heavily on the American Dream to understand the possibilities for children, especially their own children."[52] Rank et al. argue, "The hopes and optimism that Americans possess pertain not only to their own lives, but to their children's lives as well. A fundamental aspect of the American Dream has always been the expectation that the next generation should do better than the previous generation."[53]
    Hanson and Zogby (2010) report on numerous public opinion polls that since the 1980s have explored the meaning of the concept for Americans, and their expectations for its future. In these polls, a majority of Americans consistently reported that for their family, the American Dream is more about spiritual happiness than material goods. Majorities state that working hard is the most important element for getting ahead. However, an increasing minority stated that hard work and determination does not guarantee success. Most Americans predict that achieving the Dream with fair means will become increasingly difficult for future generations. They are increasingly pessimistic about the opportunity for the working class to get ahead; on the other hand, they are increasingly optimistic about the opportunities available to poor people and to new immigrants. Furthermore, most support programs make special efforts to help minorities get ahead.[54]
    In a 2013 poll by a YouGov, 41% of responders said it is impossible for most to achieve the American Dream, while 38% said it is still possible.[55]

    Four dreams of consumerism

    Ownby (1999) identifies four American Dreams that the new consumer culture addressed. The first was the "Dream of Abundance" offering a cornucopia of material goods to all Americans, making them proud to be the richest society on earth. The second was the "Dream of a Democracy of Goods" whereby everyone had access to the same products regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, or class, thereby challenging the aristocratic norms of the rest of the world whereby only the rich or well-connected are granted access to luxury. The "Dream of Freedom of Choice" with its ever-expanding variety of good allowed people to fashion their own particular lifestyle. Finally, the "Dream of Novelty", in which ever-changing fashions, new models, and unexpected new products broadened the consumer experience in terms of purchasing skills and awareness of the market, and challenged the conservatism of traditional society and culture, and even politics. Ownby acknowledges that the dreams of the new consumer culture radiated out from the major cities, but notes that they quickly penetrated the most rural and most isolated areas, such as rural Mississippi. With the arrival of the model T after 1910, consumers in rural America were no longer locked into local general stores with their limited merchandise and high prices in comparison to shops in towns and cities. Ownby demonstrates that poor black Mississippians shared in the new consumer culture, both inside Mississippi, and it motivated the more ambitious to move to Memphis or Chicago.[56][57]


    Most Americans perceive a college education as the ticket to the American Dream.[58] Some recent observers warn that soaring student loan debt crisis and shortages of good jobs may undermine this ticket.[59] The point was illustrated in The Fallen American Dream,[60] a documentary film that details the concept of the American Dream from its historical origins to its current perception.

    Home ownership

    In the United States, home ownership is sometimes used as a proxy for achieving the promised prosperity; ownership has been a status symbol separating the middle classes from the poor.[61]


    Sometimes the Dream is identified with success in sports or how working class immigrants seek to join the American way of life.[62]

    Other parts of the world

    The aspirations of the "American Dream" in the broad sense of upward mobility has been systematically spread to other nations since the 1890s as American missionaries and businessmen consciously sought to spread the Dream, says Rosenberg. Looking at American business, religious missionaries, philanthropies, Hollywoodlabor unions and Washington agencies, she says they saw their mission not in catering to foreign elites but instead reaching the world's masses in democratic fashion. "They linked mass production, mass marketing, and technological improvement to an enlightened democratic spirit ... In the emerging litany of the American dream what historian Daniel Boorstin later termed a "democracy of things" would disprove both Malthus's predictions of scarcity and Marx's of class conflict." It was, she says "a vision of global social progress."[63] Rosenberg calls the overseas version of the American Dream "liberal-developmentalism" and identified five critical components:
    (1) belief that other nations could and should replicate America's own developmental experience; (2) faith in private free enterprise; (3) support for free or open access for trade and investment; (4) promotion of free flow of information and culture; and (5) growing acceptance of [U.S.] governmental activity to protect private enterprise and to stimulate and regulate American participation in international economic and cultural exchange.[64]
    Knights & McCabe argue American management gurus have taken the lead in exporting the ideas: "By the latter half of the twentieth century they were truly global and through them the American Dream continues to be transmitted, repackaged and sold by an infantry of consultants and academics backed up by an artillery of books and videos."[65]

    After World War II

    In West Germany after World War II, says Pommerin, "the most intense motive was the longing for a better life, more or less identical with the American dream, which also became a German dream."[66] Cassamagnaghi argues that to women in Italy after 1945, films and magazine stories about American life offered an "American dream." New York City especially represented a sort of utopia where every sort of dream and desire could become true. Italian women saw a model for their own emancipation from second class status in their patriarchal society.[67]


    The American dream regarding home ownership had little resonance before the 1980s.[68] In the 1980s, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher worked to create a similar dream, by selling public-housing units to their tenants. Her Conservative party called for more home ownership: "HOMES OF OUR OWN: To most people ownership means first and foremost a home of their own ... We should like in time to improve on existing legislation with a realistic grants scheme to assist first-time buyers of cheaper homes."[69]Guest calls this Thatcher's approach to the American Dream.[70] argue that, "a reflection and reinforcement of the American Dream has been the emphasis on individualism as extolled by Margaret Thatcher and epitomized by the 'enterprise' culture."[71]


    Since the fall of Communism in the Soviet Union in 1991, the American Dream has fascinated Russians.[72] The first post-Communist leader Boris Yeltsin embraced the "American way" and teamed up with Harvard University free market economists Jeffrey Sachs and Robert Allison to give Russia economic shock therapy in the 1990s. The newly independent Russian media idealized America and endorsed shock therapy for the economy.[73] In 2008 Russian President Dmitry Medvedev lamented the fact that 77% of Russia's 142 million people live "cooped up" in apartment buildings. In 2010 his administration announced a plan for widespread home ownership: "Call it the Russian dream", said Alexander Braverman, the Director of the Federal Fund for the Promotion of Housing Construction Development. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, worried about his nation's very low birth rate, said he hoped home ownership will inspire Russians "to have more babies".[74]


    Main article: Chinese Dream
    The Chinese Dream describes a set of ideals in the People's Republic of China. It is used by journalists, government officials, and activists to describe the aspiration of individual self-improvement in Chinese society. Although the phrase has been used previously by Western journalists and scholars,[75][76] a translation of a New York Times article written by the American journalist Thomas Friedman, "China Needs Its Own Dream", has been credited with popularizing the concept in China.[76] He attributes the term to Peggy Liu and the environmental NGO JUCCCE's China Dream project,[77][78] which defines the Chinese Dream as sustainable development.[78] In 2013 the President of the PRC Xi Jinping began promoting the phrase as a slogan, leading to its widespread use in the Chinese media.[79]
    The concept of Chinese Dream is very similar to the idea of "American Dream". It stresses entrepreneurship and glorifies a generation of self-made men and women in post-reform China. Such as those rural immigrates who moved to the urban centers and achieve magnificent improvement in terms of their living standards, and social life. Chinese Dream can be interpreted as the collective consciousness of Chinese people during the era of social transformation and economic progress.
    The idea was put forward by the new CPC General Secretary Xi Jinping on November 29, 2012. The government hoped to create a revitalized China, while promoting innovation and technology to restore the international prestige of China. In this light, Chinese Dream, like American exceptionalism, is a nationalistic concept as well.

    See also



    1. Jump up to:a b Library of Congress. American Memory. "What is the American Dream?", lesson plan.
    2. Jump up^ Kamp, David (April 2009). "Rethinking the American Dream"Vanity FairArchived from the original on May 30, 2009. Retrieved June 20, 2009.
    3. Jump up^ Lord Dunmore to Lord Dartmouth, December 24, 1774, quoted in John Miller, Origins of the American Revolution (1944) p. 77
    4. Jump up^ Leara D. Rhodes, The Ethnic Press: Shaping the American Dream (Peter Lang Publishing; 2010)
    5. Jump up^ Lawrence R. Samuel (2012). The American Dream: A Cultural History. Syracuse UP. p. 7.
    6. Jump up^ F. W. Bogen, The German in America (Boston, 1851), quoted in Stephen Ozment, A Mighty Fortress: A New History of the German People (2004) pp. 170–71
    7. Jump up^ H. W. Brands, The age of gold: the California Gold Rush and the new American dream (2003) p. 442.
    8. Jump up^ Quoted in James T. Kloppenberg, The Virtues of Liberalism (1998) p. 147
    9. Jump up^ J. A. Leo Lemay, "Franklin's Autobiography and the American Dream," in J. A. Leo Lemay and P. M. Zall, eds. Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography (Norton Critical Editions, 1986) pp. 349–360
    10. Jump up^ James E. Miller, Jr., "My Antonia and the American Dream" Prairie Schooner 48, no. 2 (Summer 1974) pp. 112–123.
    11. Jump up^ Harold Bloom and Blake Hobby, eds. The American Dream (2009)
    12. Jump up^ Nicholas Canaday, Jr., "Albee's The American Dream and the Existential Vacuum." South Central Bulletin Vol. 26, No. 4 (Winter 1966) pp. 28–34
    13. Jump up^ Hayley Haugen, ed., The American Dream in John Steinbeck's of Mice and Men (2010)
    14. Jump up^ Lloyd W. Brown, "The American Dream and the Legacy of Revolution in the Poetry of Langston Hughes" Studies in Black Literature (Spring 1976) pp. 16–18.
    15. Jump up^ Riofio, John (2015). "Fractured Dreams: Life and Debt in United States of Banana" (PDF). Biennial Conference on Latina/o Utopias Literatures: "Latina/o Utopias: Futures, Forms, and the Will of Literature". Braschi's novel is a scathing critique...of over-wrought concepts of Liberty and the American Dream....(It) connects the dots between 9/11, the suppression of individual liberties, and the fragmentation of the individuals and communities in favor of a collective worship of the larger dictates of the market and the economy.
    16. Jump up^ Anupama Jain, How to Be South Asian in America: Narratives of Ambivalence and Belonging (Temple University Press; 2011), looks at the American dream in fiction, film, and personal narrative such as Meena Alexander's Manhattan Music.
    17. Jump up^ Guiyou Huang, The Columbia guide to Asian American literature since 1945 (2006), pp 44, 67, 85, 94
    18. Jump up^ Neumann, Henry. Teaching American Ideals through Literature. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1918. Print.
    19. Jump up^ Symposium: The Role of the Judge in the Twenty-first Century. Boston: Boston U Law School, 2006. Print.
    20. Jump up^ The pictures originally illustrated a cautionary tale published in 1869 in the Swedish periodical Läsning för folket, the organ of the Society for the Propagation of Useful Knowledge (Sällskapet för nyttiga kunskapers spridande). H. Arnold Barton, A Folk Divided: Homeland Swedes and Swedish Americans, 152547256425264562564562462654666 FILS DE (Uppsala, 1994) p. 71.
    21. Jump up^ Greider, WilliamThe Nation, May 6, 2009. The Future of the American Dream, Retrieved on June 20, 20205.
    22. Jump up to:a b Johnson, 2006, pp. 6–10. "The crucial point is not that inequalities exist, but that they are being perpetuated in recurrent patterns—they are not always the result of individual success or failure, nor are they randomly distributed throughout the population. In the contemporary United States, the structure of wealth systematically transmits race and class inequalities through generations despite deep-rooted belief otherwise."
    23. Jump up^ Dalton Gross and MaryJean Gross, Understanding The Great Gatsby (1998) p. 5
    24. Jump up^ Stephen E. Ambrose, Douglas Brinkley, Witness to America (1999) p. 518
    25. Jump up to:a b Smith, Mark A. (2010) The Mobilization and Influence of Business Interests in L. Sandy Maisel, Jeffrey M. Berry (2010) The Oxford Handbook of American Political Parties and Interest Groups p. 460; see also: Video: George Carlin "It's called the American Dream because you have to be asleep to believe it."The Progressive, June 24, 2008.
    26. Jump up^ Chris Hedges and Joe Sacco (2012). Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt. pp. 226-227. Nation Books. ISBN 1568586434
    27. Jump up^ Gordon B. Arnold. Projecting the End of the American Dream: Hollywood's Vision of U.S. Decline. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger, 2013.
    28. Jump up^ Barbara Klinger, "The Road to Dystopia: Landscaping the Nation in Easy Rider" in Steven Cohan, ed. The Road Movie Book (1997).
    29. Jump up^ Autor, David (May 23, 2014), "Skills, education, and the rise of earnings inequality among the "other 99 percent"", Science Magazine, pp. 843–851
    30. Jump up^ Corak M (2013). "Inequality from Generation to Generation: The United States in Comparison". In Rycroft RS. The Economics of Inequality, Poverty, and Discrimination in the 21st Century. ABC-CLIO. p. 111.
    31. Jump up^ Emily Beller and Michael Hout, "Intergenerational Social Mobility: The United States in Comparative Perspective," The Future of Children (2006) 16#3 pp. 19–36 in JSTOR
    32. Jump up^ Miles Corak, "How to Slide Down the 'Great Gatsby Curve': Inequality, Life Chances, and Public Policy in the United States", December 2012, Center for American Progress.
    33. Jump up^ Jo Blanden; Paul Gregg; Stephen Machin (April 2005). "Intergenerational Mobility in Europe and North America"(PDF)The Sutton Trust.
    34. Jump up^ CAP: Understanding Mobility in America - April 26, 2006
    35. Jump up^ Economic Mobility: Is the American Dream Alive and Well? Archived May 3, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. Economic Mobility Project - May 2007
    36. Jump up^ Obstacles to social mobility weaken equal opportunities and economic growth, says OECD studyOrganisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Economics Department, February 10, 2010.
    37. Jump up^ Harder for Americans to Rise From Lower Rungs | By JASON DePARLE | January 4, 2012
    38. Jump up^ David Frum (October 19, 2011). The American Dream moves to DenmarkThe Week. Retrieved December 12, 2014.
    39. Jump up^ Wilkinson, Richard (Oct 2011). How economic inequality harms societies (transcript). TED. (Quote featured on his personal profile on the TED website). Retrieved December 13, 2014.
    40. Jump up^ Diane Roberts (January 17, 2012). Want to get ahead? Move to DenmarkThe Guardian. Retrieved December 13, 2014.
    41. Jump up^ Kerry Trueman (October 7, 2011). Looking for the American Dream? Try DenmarkThe Huffington Post. Retrieved December 13, 2014.
    42. Jump up^ Matt O'Brien (August 3, 2016). This country has figured out the only way to save the American DreamThe Washington Post. Retrieved September 18, 2016.
    43. Jump up^ 'Scandinavian Dream' is true fix for America's income inequalityCNN Money. June 3, 2015.
    44. Jump up^ Jeremi Suri, "Henry Kissinger, the American Dream, and the Jewish Immigrant Experience in the Cold War," Diplomatic History, Nov 2008, Vol. 32 Issue 5, pp. 719–747
    45. Jump up^ Dan Dervin, "The Dream-Life of Hillary Clinton," Journal of Psychohistory, Fall 2008, Vol. 36 Issue 2, pp. 157–162
    46. Jump up^ Edward J. Blum, "Lincoln's American Dream: Clashing Political Perspectives," Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association, Summer 2007, Vol. 28 Issue 2, pp. 90–93
    47. Jump up^ David McDonald, Jose Antonio Navarro: In Search of the American Dream in Nineteenth-Century Texas (Texas State Historical Association, 2011)
    48. Jump up^ Deborah F. Atwater, "Senator Barack Obama: The Rhetoric of Hope and the American Dream," Journal of Black Studies, Nov 2007, Vol. 38 Issue 2, pp. 121–129
    49. Jump up^ Willie J. Harrell, "'The Reality of American Life Has Strayed From Its Myths,'" Journal of Black Studies, Sep 2010, Vol. 41 Issue 1, pp. 164–183 online
    50. Jump up^ Matthias Maass, "Which Way to Take the American Dream: The U.S. Elections of 2008 and 2010 as a Struggle for Political Ownership of the American Dream," Australasian Journal of American Studies (July 2012), vol 31 pp. 25–41.
    51. Jump up^ James Laxer and Robert Laxer, The Liberal Idea of Canada: Pierre Trudeau and the Question of Canada's Survival (1977) pp. 83–85
    52. Jump up^ Heather Beth Johnson (2014). American Dream and Power Wealth. Routledge. p. 43.
    53. Jump up^ Mark Robert Rank; et al. (2014). Chasing the American Dream: Understanding What Shapes Our Fortunes. Oxford U.P. p. 61.
    54. Jump up^ Sandra L. Hanson, and John Zogby, "The Polls – Trends," Public Opinion Quarterly, Sept 2010, Vol. 74 Issue 3, pp. 570–584
    55. Jump up^ Henderson, Ben. "American Dream Slipping Away, But Hope Intact"YouGov. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
    56. Jump up^ Ted Ownby, American Dreams in Mississippi: Consumers, Poverty, and Culture 1830–1998 (University of North Carolina Press, 1999)
    57. Jump up^ Christopher Morris, "Shopping for America in Mississippi, or How I Learn to Stop Complaining and Love the Pemberton Mall," Reviews in American History" March 2001 v.29#1 103–110
    58. Jump up^ Americans View Higher Education as Key to American Dream Public Agenda - May 2000
    59. Jump up^ Donald L. Barlett; James B. Steele (2012). The Betrayal of the American Dream. PublicAffairs. pp. 125–126.
    60. Jump up^ The Fallen American Dream
    61. Jump up^ William M. Rohe and Harry L. Watson, Chasing the American Dream: New Perspectives on Affordable Homeownership (2007)
    62. Jump up^ Thomas M. Tarapacki, Chasing the American Dream: Polish Americans in Sports (1995); Steve Wilson. The Boys from Little Mexico: A Season Chasing the American Dream (2010) is a true story of immigrant boys on a high school soccer team who struggle not only in their quest to win the state championship, but also in their desire to adapt as strangers in a new land.
    63. Jump up^ Emily S. Rosenberg, Spreading the American Dream: American Economic and Cultural Expansion 1890–1945 (1982) pp. 22–23
    64. Jump up^ Rosenberg, Spreading the American Dream p. 7
    65. Jump up^ David Knights and Darren McCabe, Organization and Innovation: Guru Schemes and American Dreams (2003) p 35
    66. Jump up^ Reiner Pommerin (1997). The American Impact on Postwar Germany. Berghahn Books. p. 84.
    67. Jump up^ Silvia Cassamagnaghi, "New York Nella Stampa Femminile Italiana Del Secondo Dopoguerra," ["New York in the Italian women's press after World War II"] Storia Urbana (Dec 2005) 28# 109, pp. 91–111.
    68. Jump up^ Niall Ferguson, The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World (2009) p .252
    69. Jump up^ See "Conservative manifesto, 1979
    70. Jump up^ David E. Guest, "Human Resource Management and the American Dream," Journal of Management Studies (1990) 27#4 pp. 377–97, reprinted in Michael Poole, Human Resource Management: Origins, Developments and Critical Analyses (1999) p. 159
    71. Jump up^ Knights and McCabe, Organization and Innovation (2003) p. 4
    72. Jump up^ Richard M. Ryan et al., "The American Dream in Russia: Extrinsic Aspirations and Well-Being in Two Cultures," Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, (Dec. 1999) vol. 25 no. 12 pp. 1509–1524, shows the Russian ideology converging toward the American one, especially among men.
    73. Jump up^ Donald J. Raleigh (2011). Soviet Baby Boomers: An Oral History of Russia's Cold War Generation. Oxford U.P. p. 331.
    74. Jump up^ Anastasia Ustinova, "Building the New Russian Dream, One Home at a Time"Bloomberg Business Week, June 28 – July 4, 2010, pp. 7–8
    75. Jump up^ Fallows, James (May 3, 2013). "Today's China Notes: Dreams, Obstacles"The Atlantic.
    76. Jump up to:a b "The role of Thomas Friedman"The Economist. May 6, 2013.
    77. Jump up^ Fish, Isaac Stone (May 3, 2013). "Thomas Friedman: I only deserve partial credit for coining the 'Chinese dream'"Foreign Policy.
    78. Jump up to:a b "China Dream". JUCCCE.
    79. Jump up^ "Xi Jinping and the Chinese Dream," The Economist May 4, 2013, p. 11 (editorial)

    Cited works

    • Adams, James Truslow. (1931). The Epic of America (Little, Brown, and Co. 1931)
    • Brueggemann, John. Rich, Free, and Miserable: The Failure of Success in America (Rowman & Littlefield; 2010) 233 pages; links discontent among middle-class Americans to the extension of market thinking into every aspect of life.
    • Chua, Chen Lok. "Two Chinese Versions of the American Dream: The Golden Mountain in Lin Yutang and Maxine Hong Kingston," MELUS Vol. 8, No. 4, The Ethnic American Dream (Winter, 1981), pp. 61–70 in JSTOR
    • Cullen, Jim. The American dream: a short history of an idea that shaped a nation, Oxford University Press US, 2004. ISBN 0-19-517325-2
    • Hanson, Sandra L., and John Zogby, "The Polls – Trends", Public Opinion Quarterly, Sept 2010, Vol. 74, Issue 3, pp. 570–584
    • Hanson, Sandra L. and John Kenneth White, ed. The American Dream in the 21st Century (Temple University Press; 2011); 168 pages; essays by sociologists and other scholars how on the American Dream relates to politics, religion, race, gender, and generation.
    • Hopper, Kenneth, and William Hopper. The Puritan Gift: Reclaiming the American Dream Amidst Global Financial Chaos (2009), argues the Dream was devised by British entrepreneurs who build the American economy
    • Johnson, Heather Beth. The American dream and the power of wealth: choosing schools and inheriting inequality in the land of opportunity, CRC Press, 2006. ISBN 0-415-95239-5
    • Levinson, Julie. The American Success Myth on Film (Palgrave Macmillan; 2012) 220 pages
    • Lieu, Nhi T. The American Dream in Vietnamese (U. of Minnesota Press, 2011) 186 pages ISBN 978-0-8166-6570-9
    • Ownby, Ted. American Dreams in Mississippi: Consumers, Poverty, and Culture 1830–1998 (University of North Carolina Press, 1999)
    • Samuel, Lawrence R. The American Dream: A Cultural History (Syracuse University Press; 2012) 241 pages; identifies six distinct eras since the phrase was coined in 1931.

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