The American Dream Essay

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Anthony Nuss U.S. History Since 1945 September 4, 2013 Assignment #1 The American Dream Assessing the picturesque view of the post war years certainly created an image of the well used term “The American Dream.” In the 1931 book The Epic of America by writer and historian James Truslow Adam defines the American Dream 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. 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.” Adams goes 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 circumstances of birth or position.” – James Truslow Adams, The Epic of America. The post war years after World War II, became an era of growth and economic improvements for America, when compared to the Great Depression and the poverty that existed during the 1930’s. Many Americans struggled to survive. The post war era was the start of a time in American history where the country focused on the growth of America, the good for the American people and the American Dream. As Boyer writes in chapter one of “Promises to Keep” the end of World War II and the Great Depression laid the foundation for sustained post-war economic growth. (Boyer 10) The post war boom took off with increased wages, factory and job growth, increased housing and with increased confidence in a stronger economy, a rise in birth rates through the 1940’s and 1950’s, would define the term as the “baby boomer” period. While the American Dream appeared to be a realization for the majority,

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