What Is the American Dream the History That Made It Possible?

The American Dream is a concept that has been deeply ingrained in the minds and hearts of Americans for generations. It represents the belief that with hard work, determination, and opportunity, anyone can achieve success and prosperity.

But what exactly is the American Dream? And how did it come to be?

What is the American Dream?

At its core, the American Dream is about achieving success and upward mobility through hard work and perseverance. It’s about being able to provide for yourself and your family, owning a home, having a good job, and living a comfortable life. For many people, it’s also about having the freedom to pursue their passions and live life on their own terms.

The History of the American Dream

The idea of the American Dream has its roots in the founding principles of America. The Declaration of Independence famously states that all men are created equal and endowed with certain unalienable rights, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. These ideals formed the basis of America’s social contract – that everyone should have an equal opportunity to succeed.

However, it wasn’t until after World War II that the concept of the American Dream really took hold in popular culture. With a booming economy and a growing middle class, people began to see homeownership as a key part of achieving success. The post-war era was also marked by increased social mobility – people from all walks of life were able to rise up through education and hard work.

The Challenges to Achieving the American Dream Today

While the American Dream remains an aspirational ideal for many people today, there are also significant challenges to achieving it. Income inequality has been on the rise for decades, making it harder for low-income families to rise up into the middle class. Access to education can also be a major barrier – college tuition costs have skyrocketed in recent years, leaving many people with crushing debt.

Another challenge to achieving the American Dream is the changing nature of work. In past generations, a good job often meant a stable career with benefits and a pension. Today, more and more jobs are part-time or contract-based, leaving workers without the security they need to plan for the future.


The American Dream is an ideal that has inspired generations of Americans to work hard and strive for success. While it remains an important part of our national identity, we must also recognize and address the challenges that make it harder for people to achieve their dreams. By working together to create a more equitable society with access to education and opportunity for all, we can ensure that the American Dream remains alive and well for future generations.