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The American Dream during the Great Depression

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Matt MacKinnon

on 5 October 2012

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Transcript of The American Dream during the Great Depression

The American Dream During the 1930's The subject of the article is the American Dream during the period of economic depression in the 1930's. This period of time was marked by poverty, and attributes such as being parsimonious, became to be much more highly valued. The years of the Great Depression were very difficult for the entire american population; many became unemployed and lost significant portions of their savings when the banks failed. In the article, at this time period, the american dream was defined as the possibility for a better life for every individual regardless of their position in society, their heritage, etc. "... as a vision of a better, deeper, richer life for every individual, regardless of the position in society which he or she may occupy by the accident of birth." This definition of the American Dream, the fact that any individual could improve on their circumstance and that their children could do better than their parents, has not been maintained to the modern day. Now, many people do not believe in this dream. There is no longer the same opportunity for those who do not have a college degree. In the early 1900's, it was guaranteed that a person without a formal education could find a reasonably well paying job. Now, if you do not graduate from college, it is very difficult to find well paying work. Jobs are becoming more and more scarce due to competition. The american dream now is to obtain a college degree and find a job. There is no ambition to be more successful than your parents. This is different from the american dream of the 1930's in that, back then, everyone hoped to obtain a job and then find a different job with better pay through hard work.
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