This paper’s purpose is to elaborate on how racism and the “American Dream” have helped shape United States history from 1492 and 1877. First, this paper intends to define racism and the “American Dream”; second explain the historical origins of these ideas and, third, describe how they helped shape the United States history from 1492 to 1877. In conclusion this paper will discuss how studying history helps us understand the present “state of beings.”
Let’s begin with racism, which dates back to as far as humans can remember. “It may be defined as the hatred of one person by another -- or the belief that another person is less than human -- because of skin color, language, customs, place of birth or any factor that supposedly reveals the basic nature of that person. It has influenced wars, slavery, the formation of nations, and legal codes” One of the most known acts of racism was the enslavement of Africans in the new world. This racism was a result of the racist belief that black Africans were less human than white Europeans.
As stated before, racism is not something that people thought of in the last ten years, it is an ongoing theme that has been flowing through the story of the United States. Starting from the enslavement of black Africans, and moving along to the days of when African Americans were separated from white Americans even though they lived in the same country and walked the same streets. Racism is seen all over the world. Hitler killed close to six million Jews during World War II due to the fact that he claimed that Germans were superior. He said that Jews polluted Europe and began “cleaning” it up. “Racism serves both to discriminate against ethnic minorities and to maintain advantages and benefits for White Americans.” This is what Mark Feinberg, PhD, stated about this issue and most people would agree.
Secondly, it is important to know what the “American Dream” really is. The term was first seen in the book, The Epic of America written by James Truslow Adams in 1931.
"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. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysShow More
The term “American Dream” is defined as an idea which believes that all people have the possibility of prosperity and success. The idea first came from James Adams, a noted American writer and historian. He claimed, “Life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability and achievement.” Therefore, the core concepts of the American Dream were closely linked to hard work and opportunity.
The Untied States of America was built on the exploitation of others and the expansion of foreign lands. Anglo-Saxon superiority and their successive impact on governing policies and strong domination throughout every social institution in the nation allowed discrimination to prevail. Scientific Racism reached new heights of justification towards slavery, the massive eradication of the Native people, colonialism and daily occurrences of unequal behaviors and treatments towards colored people. The strong presence of polygenesis helped spur along and justify racism; the idea that all non whites were groups of individuals who ultimately came from another type of species supporting the idea that Blacks, Natives and other colored people were not ‘real’ human beings. Traditions, legislation, domination and acceptance of such social norms allow racism to be principal whether it was apparent through slavery or hidden in new laws and policies to come. Every aspect of a colored person’s life was affected upon, Education, economic status, environmental location and political rights. Those who had the power within the court system followed the Anglo-Saxon ways, making any change difficult and time consuming to come across.
The American Dream describes an attitude of hope and faith that looks forward to the fulfillment of human wishes and desires. What these wishes are, were expressed in Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence of 1776, where it was stated:
Racism can be traced back many years, and despite what many believe, it is still a prominent issue. Racism is when people discriminate others because of the color of their skin. Some people are racist on purpose, but there are times when they do it subconsciously. Everything in this world has a beginning, and racism started with the belief that people of color were inferior to those that weren’t. This belief spread throughout America as it was passed down from generation to generation. Racism seems to be a characteristic of being human. When we are introduced to a new face our mind automatically categorizes people based off of their physical appearance. When people don’t meet certain standards set by others, there becomes a divide between them
The American Dream is a strong and powerful set of values that includes the chance to have an abundance of freedom, wealth, and success. In The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L Frank Baum, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, the American Dream is something everybody wants. Sometimes it takes a long journey to achieve these goals and the path taken may not be an easy one.
The Definition of the American Dream as the Merriam-Webster dictionary stated is a happy way of living that is thought of by many Americans as something that can be achieved by anyone in the U.S. especially by working hard and becoming successful With good jobs, a nice house, two children, and plenty of money. For a quite good number of americans and even other nationalities the phrase ' The American Dream ' is the motto of fine living for them. It's a motto that have been romanticized to the extreme, where unrealistic expectations are linked to the idea of living in America and what can the land provide for the individual. Also, it's a long ,controvertial and debated subject. The concept of the American Dream began with the settlement of
Since the beginning of colonization, America has been controlled by religiously and ethically diverse whites. The most profound cases of racism in the “United” States of America have been felt by Native Americans, Asians, African Americans, Mexican Americans, and Muslims. Major racially structured institutions include; slavery, settlement, Indian reservations, segregation, residential schools, and internment camps (Racism in the U.S., 1). Racism has been felt and seen by many in housing, the educational system, places of employment, and the government. Discrimination was largely criminalized in the mid 20th century, and at the same time became socially unacceptable and morally repugnant (Racism in the U.S., 1). Although racism was
Over seventy years ago a man by the name of Gunnar Myrdal published “An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy (1944), which focus on thinking that relates to race and politic in America. Mr. Myrdal was commissioned by the Carnegie Corporation to investigate “the Negro problem,” right in here in the United States of American. This Swedish gentlemen was chosen for a few reason, some being that his country was assumed to have little to no history of imperialism
This study will define the problem of racism in the falsity of the American Dream as defined in the writings of Alger, Dalton, Jen, Baldwin, and Cisneros. The notion of equality and fairness in the American Dream has often been defined through the false presumption that hard work will allow the individual the reward of fame and fortune. However, racism against minorities, such as Chinese immigrants, is defined in the Chang family’s struggle to join a local white country club in “In the American Society” by Gish Jen. The Chang endure continual harassment—even though they are wealthy business owners—by white supremacists, such as Jeremy at a country club party:
Up until now, the term American Dream is still a popular concept on how Americans or people who come to America should live their lives and in a way it becomes a kind of life goal. However, the definitions of the term itself is somehow absurd and everyone has their own definition of it. The historian James Tuslow defines American Dream as written in his book titled “The Epic of America” in 1931 as “...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.” The root of the term American Dream is actually can be traced from the Declaration of Independence in 1776 which stated “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that
Racism is a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others. This trend has been around for a long time, from slaves, to discrimination, etc. Although in many cases, people in the time period often tend to act like it does not exist. When looking back on certain situations and their aftermath people then realize the true nature of racism. In 1962, 85% of whites thought that black children in their community had just as good of a chance of getting a good education as white children. The constant trend for lack of knowledge about racism and/or discrimination is real. Now, whites, realize that in 1962 black children did not have as good of a chance, if any, of getting a good education in comparison to white children. In 1969 nearly half of all whites (45%) believed that blacks had a better chance of getting a good-paying job than they did. Once again history repeated itself, in that many whites now realize that blacks not only did not have a better chance of getting a good-paying job than they did, they had a worse chance. (Abagond)
When the term ‘American Dream’ was first mentioned in 1931 by James Truslow Adams, he described it as “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.” (Clark). When Adams mentioned the term, it had much more of an idealistic meaning, rather than the materialistic meaning it has in modern society. At the time of it’s mention, the dream meant that prosperity was available to everyone. In the beginning, the American Dream simply promised a country in which people had the chance to work their way up through their own labor and hard work (Kiger). Throughout history, the basis of the dream has always been the same for each individual person. It
Americans have the opportunity to pursue what they love and achieve their goals in life (Rank np). Many people in America have different ideas and pictures in their heads of what the American Dream means. From the idea that it's about making a lot of money and owning a big house, to creating a good life for your children in a good environment there is a wide range of meanings of the dream. Others believe that America is this great melting pot full of people with all sorts of different ethnic backgrounds (Michels np). The American Dream was first introduced during America’s great depression by a man named James Truslow Adams. He first came up with the phrase “The American Dream” in his book, The Epic of America. In his book he taught Americans what they had to do in order to live the dream (Wills np). Explaining the Dream, Adams told America, that “the American Dream is the belief of the American society that each individual can, through hard working and strength of mind, achieve anything.” (Michels np) People still use the ideas from his book and use them in everyday
The American Dream is a circumstance for every people in America to believe what they can do for their own and take advantage of every opportunity that gave them the chance to live in the country. That advantage will lead to a fact that life only flows on how the world has gone on, and on how the citizens of America reacts to it. Every person in America has a different perspective on life, to the point when they will look for a solution on how they will approach for their dream to live comfortably. American Dream is a dream that makes people experience challenges in life due to diversified circumstances present in the country.