What in History Has Impacted the American Dream?

The American Dream is a concept that has been an integral part of the United States’ cultural identity for centuries. It is the idea that anyone can achieve success, prosperity, and upward mobility through hard work and determination.

However, the American Dream has not always been available to all people equally throughout history. In this article, we will explore some of the key events and factors that have impacted the American Dream.

The Founding of America

The American Dream can be traced back to the founding of America itself. The founding fathers believed in the idea of individual liberty and opportunity for all citizens. They believed that by establishing a country founded on these principles, they could create a society where anyone could achieve success through their own hard work and determination.

The Civil War

The Civil War was a turning point in American history as it abolished slavery and paved the way for greater civil rights for African Americans. The Emancipation Proclamation issued by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863 declared that all slaves in confederate states were free. This event marked a significant step towards achieving equality for all Americans.

The Women’s Suffrage Movement

Women’s suffrage movement was one of the most significant social movements in American history to secure women’s right to vote. Women fought tirelessly for decades to gain equal rights under the law, including voting rights. Finally, in 1920, the 19th Amendment was ratified, giving women across America access to voting booths.

The Great Depression

The Great Depression was a period of severe economic downturn between 1929-1939 that had devastating effects on millions of Americans. The stock market crashed, businesses failed, and unemployment rates skyrocketed. However, this period also marked an era of resilience and perseverance among Americans as they fought to rebuild their lives.

The Civil Rights Movement

The Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s was a pivotal moment in American history. African Americans and their allies fought for greater civil rights and equality under the law. The movement led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which eliminated legal barriers to voting and ended segregation in public places.

The Digital Age

The rise of technology has significantly impacted the American Dream in recent years. The internet has made access to information more accessible than ever before, allowing people from all backgrounds to gain knowledge and pursue their dreams. Additionally, social media platforms have created new opportunities for entrepreneurship and self-promotion.


Throughout American history, there have been many events that have helped shape the American Dream. From the founding of America itself to modern-day advancements in technology, these events have made it possible for anyone to achieve success through hard work and determination.

However, it is important to recognize that there are still many barriers that exist today, preventing some people from achieving their dreams. It is up to us as a society to continue working towards equality and opportunity for all.