Where to find the American dream
The American dream can find its origin predating American independence. The British colonies that ultimately forged the largest republic the world ever knew in their time are the roots of the dream.
People from all walks of life and religious beliefs, including atheists, sought the New World to be free of persecution and to have ability to pursue whatever they wished.
Where Europe offered suppression, forced conversions, bloody conflicts against Jews, and the wrong types of Christians, the New World offered hope.
The American Revolution came about through more religious beliefs than had ever been witnessed in the history of the world. There were no limitations on what Jews and Gentiles could do, which is the reason so many fought side by side for independence under Jewish and Gentile officers.
The various European revolutions were focused on religion. It was either to ensure that a single religious belief was forced upon the masses or to remove religion as a whole. In either case, one tyrant replaced another, with the successor generally being more brutal than what was being replaced.
After independence and a hastily formed confederation of states was formed, there was no terror. There were a few rebellions, but nothing like what was witnessed in other parts of the world.
Where revolutions, like what happened in France, led to Robespierre's terror and the tearing down of everything, the Americans sought order and building up.
In America, when it was realized the confederation had too many flaws, influential people went to the Constitutional Convention to start from scratch. It was not easy to convince the states to join the largest republic the world had ever known, but they were convinced in time.
Throughout the world, failures tended to be double-downed. There was never an instance where any tyrant took a step back and logically questioned his own judgment. In France, Napoleon replaced Robespierre, where kinder terror awaited Europe.
Successful revolutions tend to cause people to flee. The American Revolution and the Constitution that would come a short time later resulted in mass immigration. Having a Bill of Rights, so unlike anywhere on Earth to this day, was appealing to people of all walks of life.
Anywhere else in the world saw most people with limited opportunity. If they were not born to the right family or the right religion, opportunities did not exist. Being self-made was something that almost never happened, save for some very few examples in history.
Most people who were born into poverty working a farm died in poverty working that same farm. It did not matter what their abilities were, since they were not free to pursue anything. Not that it mattered, since most were illiterate. How many writers and mathematicians have been lost due to not being able to read and know even basic math?
Where much of the world prohibited people from owning businesses, women and free blacks in slave states had their own shops and plantations. Outside America, there were and are tremendous limitations. Within the borders, the only limitations are self-imposed.
John D. Rockefeller was born into poverty and became the wealthiest man in the world. Madam C.J. Walker was part of the first generation of blacks to be born free and, like most others, was born into poverty. She became the first self-made female millionaire in the history of the world. Neither of them would have succeeded had he been born anywhere else.
The American dream, for most, has nothing to do with financial wealth. It has everything to do with having the opportunity to do more than what the station they are born into allows. Those first-generation Americans are rarely looking to put themselves through college. They are too busy working to ensure that their children have that opportunity.
Those who disparage the American dream are people who have no idea just how unique the country is. Throughout every nation on Earth, people dream of getting into the United States so they can have the most basic freedoms so many Americans take for granted.
As for those spoiled Americans who call America every name under the sun, perhaps they should research why there is no dream for any other nation. Successful revolutions have happened throughout the world, but they have never created anything like the American dream outside America.
If there is no time to study the various revolutions turned nightmares, they should at least respectfully witness a naturalization ceremony. Americans who take the United States for granted should see the tears in their eyes when they are told they are among the newest Americans. Ask those who went through the flaming hoops of bureaucracy why they wanted to become Americans, and listen to their answers.
America is the greatest nation on Earth. The fact that the dream is felt and yearned for is evidence.
Bob Ryan is a writer who has an MBA and is a science fiction writer and mostly historical blogger. He has been a weekly blogger at the Times of Israel since 2019. He is an American Christian Zionist who staunchly supports Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state.
Image: Pixabay, Pixabay License.
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