It is difficult to move from one country to another. It is actually not an easy task. It is not easy to move from the place you love to be to a new place. James Truslow Adams, a free-lance writer, popularized the phrase “American Dream” in his 1931 book Epic of America. The phrase was popularized by this man and many people have lived up to it. Believe that everyone should have the opportunity to live a happier, more fulfilling life.
The American Dream is the freedom to pursue your personal calling. This is what most people think. This American dream is now a “disaster” for some. I am referring to mostly immigrants. They can work, but they also risk their lives as they don’t have the right qualifications to do so. They do this to be able provide for their families. Barack Obama: “Each wave that has come in have been able assimilate, integrate, and then rise up to become part of the great American Dream.” All Americans believe in the American Dream. Even our greatest leaders have repeated it many times.
What is the American dream? Let’s say that middle-class people pay income taxes of $50,000 to $75,000 per year. What is the government doing with this money? Is there any improvement? The middle class must work hard to pay their taxes. They are told by the government to pay taxes if they are unable to. If they don’t, they will be punished. This does not sound like the American dream.
Experts believe that people now say more that they have achieved the American dream than ever before. In 2005, 32% said they had achieved the American Dream. By 2009, 44% said they had fulfilled the American Dream. They said this because their goals were more about emotional accomplishments than materialistic ones. It is not possible to provide for everyone’s needs. That’s why they claim they have achieved the American dream when they can afford more than they did back.
Although America does provide jobs, they limit the number of them. You will not get the raise you requested if you are an immigrant who has a job, is doing well and asking for a raise. Another example is school. If you’re a foreign student and go to school in America, you have done a great job. They will take the money or keep it because you aren’t from this country and don’t meet the requirements. It is absurd that you have worked so hard to obtain a scholarship to help your parents, who aren’t from this country and want you to have a better life. They have bills to pay, they bought or rented a home they provide for their families and they are subject to taxes.
You may be able to see that the American dream is not all it appears. You may not always get what your want, even though the Americans accept you in some ways. “We must stop talking so much about the American dream and listen to what Americans want.” -Max Beerbohm If the United States had lived up to this quote, I guarantee that people would have been more successful and more open to new opportunities.
Essay #2 – The American dream for immigrants
The rapid growth of immigration was one thing that made twentieth-century society a unique place in the early Progressive era. Because America offered religious freedom, freedom of oppressive rule, and overall a better lifestyle than the previous, there was a lot of demand for immigrants to move to America. They were quickly labelled criminals because they brought labor competition at lower rates than American workers. As time went by, the number of immigrants has increased and the country’s diversity has risen to new heights. It is possible to reflect on this topic today, as the cost of achieving “The American Dream” demonstrated how progressive America transformed society.
America emerged victorious after World War I and offered Europeans the chance to rebuild their lives in America. Many people arrived from Poland, Italy and Ireland to help with food, water and shelter when it was difficult to find homes and food. The United States held the advantage. The focus had shifted from reducing immigration to the country to 1905. Congress passed the Literacy Test 1917 to test them. Another way to view it is in 1940’s when thousands of African Americans moved to the north in search of better lives. Americans were skeptical of the potential immigrants and were afraid to let them in the “golden doors”.
The immigration wave was sparked by Theodore Roosevelt’s signing of the Immigration Act into law in 1907. The Progressives opposed the idea of immigration. Through the years, the new law created barriers between different races. By the 1920’s both northern and southern political leaders had agreed to “the regulation of blacks as second-class citizens” (Foner 805). Lucian W. Parrish spoke in Congress, saying that “The true spirit and Americannism left by our father will slowly become poisoned” (Parrish VOF148). The fear of the changes brought by blacks and immigrants was their main analogy. History shows that people of color were seen in America as second-class citizens who would disrupt American customs and infest the country. In the years to come, more propaganda and patriotism would be produced.
In 1920, a temporary law was introduced that limited immigration from Europe to around 357,000 per annum. This restriction was later reduced to 150,000 per annum (Foner 803-804). It was actually driven by the Johnson-Reed Act (or Immigration Act) to ensure that the descendants of old immigrants outnumber the children born to them forever (Foner 804). The law established the illegal alien category, and prohibited entry to anyone not qualified for naturalization. The border between the United States of America and Mexico is tightly controlled today and is often closed. Border Patrol was and still is a powerful enforcement mechanism that deports and arrests those who dare to enter illegally. Because of quotas or limits, it became more difficult to enter the United States regardless of what century or era.
The theory behind history is that it repeats itself. In the early 1900’s, the benefits and drawbacks of immigration in America were clearly evident. It had increased our productivity numerically but it also provided America with laborers and servants. It is important to consider how society would function if they weren’t there. They were not a threat. They learned the principles and practices of democracy, which transformed America’s ethnic diversity into a multi-cultural society that has diverse languages, traditions, and practices. Amazing cultural contributions by modern immigrants challenge the President Coolidge’s statement that “America must remain American” (Foner 805).