The term "American Dream" was coined in the year 1931 by James Truslow Adams who was a historian.
It is considered to be the quintessential ethos of the nation of the United States comprising of a set of principles that do not discriminate when it comes to the freedom of right to prosperity and success through opportunities according to ability. It also includes higher social mobility for everyone despite their backgrounds because it was only achievable in a society with lesser hurdles through hard work.
It was very appealing to many because there were many instances where people overcame their social obstacles and turned from rags to riches. The American Dream's titular concept is that this country is the land of all opportunities and that success can be achieved through hard work. However, unlike the old American Dream which emphasized the right to pursue prosperity, freedom, and happiness, the modern American Dream is all about technology and materialistic wealth. Here is a list of quotes on the American Dream that are essential for all dreamers and doers.
Famous Inspirational Quotes On The American Dream
Here's a list of some of the 1930s American Dream quotes as well as other famous American Dream quotes defining the American Dream.
1. "That dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to his ability or achievement."
- James Truslow Adams.
2. “Harry had worked his way through the American Dream and come to the conclusion that is was composed of a good lunch and a deep red wine that could soar.”
- Colum McCann.
3. "The road to success is not easy to navigate, but with hard work, drive and passion, it's possible to achieve the American dream."
- Tommy Hilfiger.
4. "Barack knows the American Dream because he’s lived it, and he wants everyone in this country to have that same opportunity, no matter who we are or where we’re from or what we look like or who we love."
- Michelle Obama.
5. "The American dream. Those three short, simple words encompass the hopes and aspirations of all the peoples on earth. The words are not only short and simple. They are also fragile."
6. "The American dream of rags to riches is a dream for a reason - it is hard to achieve; were everyone to do it, it wouldn't be a dream but would rather be reality."
- Robert Fulton.
7. "The American dream does not come to those who fall asleep."
-Gerald R. Ford.
8. "The American dream comes from opportunity. The opportunity comes from our founding principles, our core values that's held together and protected by the Constitution."
9. "The American dream is not that every man must be level with every other man. The American dream is that every man must be free to become whatever God intends he should become."
10. "I am the American Dream. I am the epitome of what the American Dream basically said. It said you could come from anywhere and be anything you want in this country. That's exactly what I've done."
- Whoopi Goldberg.
11. "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
- Thomas Jefferson.
12. "That's why they call it the American Dream, because you have to be asleep to believe it."
- George Carlin.
13. "To me, the American Dream is being able to follow your own personal calling. To be able to do what you want to do is incredible freedom."
14. "...And now, all of a sudden, I’m a superhero in a Marvel movie? Talk about the American dream, man – I’m living it."
- Dave Bautista.
15. "And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream."
Martin Luther King, Jr.
16. "Only in America can someone start with nothing and achieve the American Dream. That's the greatness of this country."
17. "The American Dream is one of success, homeownership, college education for one's children, and have a secure job to provide these and other goals."
18. "The American Dream is a term that is often used but also often misunderstood. It isn't really about becoming rich or famous. It is about things much simpler and more fundamental than that."
19. "Every human being has a dream. I think what's special about the American Dream is that it implies, given everything that's happened with the history of America, that there is the opportunity to make your dream come true."
20. "I'm gonna fight, and I'm gonna make something out of nothing. That's pretty much the American dream."
21. "Most people are looking for security, a nice, safe, prosperous future. And there's nothing wrong with that. It's called the American Dream."
22. "To think that a once scrawny boy from Austria could grow up to become governor of the state of California and then stand here... then stand here in Madison Square Garden and speak on behalf of the president of the United States - that is an immigrant's dream. It is the American dream."
23. "As an educator, I have always striven to see that the fruits of the American Dream are available to all."
-James D. Watson.
24. "The American Dream is one of the greatest ideas in the history of human achievement."
25. "To realize the American dream, the most important thing to understand is that it belongs to everybody. It's a human dream. If you understand this and work very hard, it is possible."
26. "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."
27. "I am living proof that the American dream still exists. It is still alive and well. There is only one trick, you have to be willing to roll up your sleeves and work very, very hard."
28. "College is part of the American dream. It shouldn't be part of a financial nightmare for families."
29. "The REAL American Dream is not about a garage full of new cars, winning the lottery, or retiring to a life of ease in Florida. It's about doing work that has meaning, work that makes a difference, and doing that work with people you care about."
30. "From the very beginning, the American dream meant proving to all mankind that freedom, justice, human rights, and democracy were no utopia but were rather the most realistic policy there is and the most likely to improve the fate of each and every person."
31. "I love entrepreneurship because that’s what makes this country grow, and if I can help companies grow, I am creating jobs; I am setting foundations for future generations. It sends the message that the American Dream is alive and well."
- Mark Cuban.
32. "The real job-killers are corporate greed and political expediency. It's time for working people in Maine and all across the country to take back the American dream."
33. "When it comes to the American dream, no one has a corner on the market. All of us have an equal chance to share in that dream."
-J. C. Watts.
34. "Everybody has dreams. You are living the American dream, what's wrong with pushing to secure it for everyone?"
35. "Success is the American Dream we can keep dreaming because most people in most places, including thirty million of ourselves, live wide awake in the terrible reality of poverty."
-Ursula K. Le Guin.
36. "What is the American dream? The American dream is one big tent. One big tent. And on that big tent, you have four basic promises: equal protection under the law, equal opportunity, equal access, and fair share."
- Jesse Jackson.
37. "But maybe that was the whole point. In America, the dream is whatever you think it is."
- Zhanna Slor.
38. "He was going to get the American Dream that even Americans dream about."
- Nicola Yoon.
39. "Americans need a fresh reminder of the amazing nation they have and the power of liberties I see so often taken for granted."
- Ali Master.
40. "Only in America can someone start with nothing and achieve the American Dream. That's the greatness of this country."
- Rafael Cruz.
Achieving The American Dream Quotes
The American Dream is what instilled hope into the hearts of many young people. However, there were also many who were left disillusioned because of it. Here is a list of famous quotes about the American dream, the hardships as well as the reality of achieving the American dream, and also immigrant quotes about the American Dream.
41. "The negative side of the American Dream comes when people pursue success at any cost, which in turn destroys the vision and the dream."
42. "Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires."
43. "The American Dream, that has lured tens of millions of all nations to our shores in the past century has not been a dream of material plenty, though that has doubtlessly counted heavily."
-James Truslow Adams.
44. "I have been swamped all my life with the idea of the unlimited potential and resources of the American Dream. Not only is this untrue, but it's an injustice to those people who don't have access to this utopia."
45. "American dreams are strongest in the hearts of those who have seen America only in their dreams."
46. "The truth is that I've always been fascinated with wealth in America. To me, it's been about the American dream and the corruption of that dream."
47. "In the US a child born into a poor family will become a poor adult. The American dream is just that - it is not true, because of the level of extreme inequality."
48. "America has nothing to fear from these newcomers, that they have come here for the same reason that families came here 150 years ago..."
-Barack Obama, 'The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream'.
49. "For so long I have wanted to escape into the Dream, to fold my country over my head like a blanket."
-Ta-Nehisi Coates, 'Between the World and Me'.
50. "The United States is a land that, if you work hard and keep your dream alive, you may or may not achieve it. However, if you cheat, lie, manipulate, and bribe, you will definitely succeed."
51. "Dat's what they say of this cauntry back home, Kath: 'America, the land of milk and honey.' Bot they never tell you the milk's gone sour and the honey's stolen."
― Andre Dubus III, 'House of Sand and Fog'.
52. "We don't see any American dream. We've experienced only the American nightmare."
― Malcolm X.
53. "I've always resented the smug statements of politicians, media commentators, corporate executives who talked of how, in America, if you worked hard you would become rich."
― Howard Zinn, 'You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train: A Personal History of Our Times'.
54. "The American Dream is not the nation’s promise of opportunity based on one’s ability and hard work alone. Instead, it is the uniquely American ability to believe, despite all evidence to the contrary, that the nation will one day be willing to offer such opportunity."
― Blair Bronwyn, 'Forbidden Woman'.
55. "We must stop talking about the American dream and start listening to the dreams of Americans."
56. "In the end, the American dream is not a sprint, or even a marathon, but a relay."
57. "I have spent my life judging the distance between American reality and the American dream."
58. "The American Dream I believe in is one that provides anyone willing to work hard enough with the opportunity to succeed."
59. "No person can maximize the American Dream on the minimum wage."
-Benjamin Todd Jealous
60. "We need to remain a nation that doesn't just welcome but that celebrates legal immigrants who come here seeking to pursue the American Dream."
American Dream Quotes From Pop Culture
There are countless quotes on the American Dream from books and movies based on it because of the influence and the impact it had on everyone. Here are some American Dreams quotes including, 'The Great Gatsby' Quotes and the like.
61. "Nite Owl II: But the country's disintegrating. What's happened to America? What's happened to the American dream?
The Comedian: It came true. You're lookin' at it."
― Alan Moore, 'Watchmen'.
62. "...all these things were part of the business of dreams. He had learned not to laugh at the advertisements offering to teach writing, cartooning, engineering, to add inches to the biceps and to develop the bust."
― Nathanael West, 'Miss Lonelyhearts and A Cool Million'.
63. "Gatsby's fall from grace may be grim, but the language of the novel is buoyant; Fitzgerald's plot may suggest that the American Dream is a mirage, but his words make that dream irresistible."
― Maureen Corrigan.
64. "...but the actual founder of my line was my grandfather's brother, who came here in fifty-one, sent a substitute to the Civil War, and started the wholesale hardware business that my father carries on to-day."
-Nick Carraway, 'The Great Gatsby'.
65. "I lived at West Egg, the—well, the less fashionable of the two, though this is a most superficial tag to express the bizarre and not a little sinister contrast between them."
-Nick Carraway, 'The Great Gatsby'.
66. "He was balancing himself on the dashboard of his car with that resourcefulness of movement that is so peculiarly American—that comes, I suppose, with the absence of lifting work or rigid sitting in youth and, even more, with the formless grace of our nervous, sporadic games."
-Nick Carraway, 'The Great Gatsby'.
67. "The man who makes an appearance in the business world, the man who creates personal interest, is the man who gets ahead. Be liked and you will never want."
-Willy Loman, 'Death of a Salesman'.
68. "I realized what a ridiculous lie my whole life has been."
-Biff, 'Death of a Salesman'.
69. "'Cause what could be more satisfying than to be able to go, at the age of 84, into 20 or 30 different cities, and pick up a phone, and be remembered and loved and heped by so many different people?"
-Willy Loman, 'Death of a Salesman'.
70. "The man knew what he wanted and went out and got it! Walked into a jungle and comes out, the age of 21, and he's rich!"
-Willy Loman, 'Death of a Salesman'.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for American Dream quotes then why not take a look at African American quotes or Alaska quotes.
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