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Q1: The American Dream: Zusammenfassung

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American Dream Abitur Zusammenfassung

University, School

Goetheschule Wetzlar

Grade, Teacher, Year

2013, Schuljahr Q3

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Text by Robert K. ©
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English (Q1) - The American Dream

"The star-spangled Banner":

  • bravery

  • liberty

  • freedom

  • faith

  • confidence

  • resistance

  • ambition

  • success

  • militarism

  • pride

  • brotherhood

  • beauty of the flag

  • "America, the Beautiful":

  • beauty

  • pride

  • patriotism

  • god

  • brotherhood

  • => The "Star-Spangled-Banner" is the national anthem of the USA.

  • => Reasons: it underlines the strength of America and it's pride to be independent from Britain. Furthermore certain values of the "American Dream" (e.g. brotherhood / bravery) are included.

  • The Promised Land:

  • "We shall be a City upon a Hill, the eyes of all people are upon us!" --> shows the confidence of the Puritans to be the "chosen ones" , wanted to be idols for others

  • The Puritans made a social and religious movement in the 16th/17th century

  • --> wanted to cleanse the church of England from the Roman-Catholic Baptism

  • --> moved to America to reform the church of England (Puritans = "purify the church")

  • They split up into 2 different groups:

  • 1)Presbyterians

  • 2) Congregationalists

  • Later: New groups settled in America (Quakers, Baptists, Methodists)

  • => Puritans shaped many aspects of the American civil religion:

  • => virtue (Tugend), integrity (Integrität) , education, work, individual freedom

  • The Puritans who disembarked in Massachusetts 1620 believed, they were:

  • establishing "New Israel"

  • guided and chosen by God

  • identified themselves with the ancient Hebrews

  • viewed the "New World" as "New Canaan"

  • --> connection to the Moses dividing the Red Sea and liberating the Hebrews from Egyptian captivity.

  • America was their "Promised Land"

  • The American Dream: General

  • freedom, live individually

  • everyone can achieve his / her goals and improve the position in life

  • take responsibility of your own life

  • having your own opinion

  • Values:

  • Equality

  • Immigration

  • Liberty

  • Fortune

  • Independence

  • Individualism

  • Progress

  • What must be avoided:

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  • should leave all the ancient prejudices behind him

  • "In America individuals of all nations are melted together"

  • great mass of arts, sciences, vigor (Kraft ), industry (Fleiß)

  • carries great knowledge

  • fat and frolicsome (--> no hunger)

  • his labor (Arbeit) is founded on the basis of nature

    • => The American is a new man who acts upon new principles and must therefore entertain new ideas and form new opinions.

    • The American Dream (John Truslow Adams)

    • life should be better and richer and fuller for every man

    • everybody should have the opportunity for each according to his ability or achievement

    • too many Americans already lost their confidence in the "Dream"

    • --> Dream is about being recognized by others for what you are, regardless of the circumstances of birth or position (but many materialistic people)

    • the American Dream is not only about material plenty:

    • --> it has been a dream of being able to grow to the fullest development as man and woman

    • moral aspect --> people should be social --> respect other people --> realize your dreams

    • => Have a satisfied life!

    • the epic looses all its glory without the "Dream"

    • --> Americans should still believe in the "Dream", no matter what size, population or wealth their country has

    • If the Dream fails there is nothing left but the "old eternal round"

    • Trying to capture a myth:

    • Even if not all of the Americans believe in the American Dream, they all have an opinion on it. The American Dream is a key concept in American history, society and culture and that's why it is so essential for an understanding o.....

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  • ==> Even if there are many different believes, the American Dream still exists! ==> There is a Dream!

  • The Declaration of Independence:

    • written by Thomas Jefferson (approved by the Continental Congress on July 4. 1776)

    • mentions the independence of the thirteen states from each other as well as from Britain

    • each state is to be separately governed

    • "All men are created equal and are given unalienable (unveräußerlichen) rights (Life, Liberty, Pursuit of Happiness)

    • government has to secure peoples right and provide a legal framework

    • When a government fails to protect those rights, it is not only the right, but also the duty of people to overthrow or abolish that government --> replace it by a better one

    • => The Declaration of Independence was announced by the Continental Congress, which consisted of representatives of the 13. colonies. The Reason for the Declaration was a deterioration (Verschlechterung) of the British-American-Relationship (war)

    • .....

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  • --> right to go on court when they were abused

  • --> depending on master: own property, marriage, housework (women), time-off

  • Hispanic Immigration:

    • Hispanics account for the highest percentage of immigrants --> they arrive mostly from Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, etc

    • Some legally, some illegally --> dangerous circumstances

    • Immigrants flee from poverty, unemployment and political oppression --> ready to accept any work they can get in the USA

    • The American Dream is a big inspiration for the immigrants

  • Reason for Migration / Problems with Migration

  • Issues / Problems to be aware of when you plan to immigrate:

  • Illegal Immigration:

    • Coyotes help Mexicans to cross the border --> long border difficult to control

    • American Dream --> hope for a better life (job, house, children, future)

    • Racism --> racist behavior of Americans --> Discriminations --> Prejudices

    • no legal citizenship --> n.....

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  • their color, physical appearance, dress or accent might be different to that of other countries --> lead to radical prejudice

    • -->harassment (Belästigung)

    • --> abuse

    • Illegal immigration - Pros and Cons:

    • PRO:

    • Immigrants make money in America to send to their families

    • possibility that some of the most intelligent and ambitious workers bring their skills to the US

    • increases the diversity and expands the culture of the US

    • Immigrants take low-paid jobs

    • gives struggling people an opportunity for a better life

    • America is a nation based on immigration! (Melting Pot, etc.) --> Everybody deserves a better chance in life

    • CON:

    • More immigrants --> more opportunities for terrorists, drug dealers and other criminals

    • especially poorer immigrants consume a high amount on government resources (e.g.: health care, education, welfare, etc)

    • national identity and language is disappearing --> Melting Pot is replaced by .....

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