The American Dream in the Nineteenth Century - Research Article from Literary Themes: The American Dream

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The American Dream in the Nineteenth Century

Introduction

The American dream of the nineteenth century was marked by a heightened sense of individualism and self-interest—a natural response to America's relatively new freedom from British rule. With a mere twenty-five years of independence behind them, Americans entered the 1800s intent on exploring the vast wilderness that lay west of their former colonies. This frontier mindset called for a rugged individualism that quickly replaced the community-oriented thinking that once motivated the American colonists. With the push west came the forced expulsion of Native Americans and, later, a frenzied scramble for California gold. Nineteenth-century Americans also witnessed wave upon wave of immigration, the nightmare of the Civil War, and a period of industrialization that seemed to alter the American economy and culture overnight. Competitiveness took the place of cooperation as Americans fought to control...

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This section contains 2,792 words
(approx. 10 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy The American Dream in the Nineteenth Century Encyclopedia Article
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Literary Themes: The American Dream
The American Dream in the Nineteenth Century from Literary Themes: The American Dream. ©2008 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.