What is an American dream? Is it fame? Is it fortune? An American dream can be one of a nation, or one of an individual, it is simply the urge for a better life. The origins of a nation's American dream seem to have been rooted in the pioneering mentality of the 18th and 19th century immigrants, most of whom who came to America because of a promise of a new and better life, in particular, the opportunity to own one's land. However, land ran out and so cities developed and massive variations of wealth arose, which meant that this American Dream changed from being a potential reality, into being a dream. For many people, the American dream can represent a variety of things. It can be as minute as to where they want to live when they grow up, or as vast as to how they would like to change the world to improve the future. Some of the most influential dreams can come from an individual. A person in history who is an example of this is Thomas Jefferson. His American dream is the foundation of the 'Declaration of Independence': 'We believe that all men are born with these inalienable rights - life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.' (Thomas Jefferson, 1776). His dream consists of a genuine and determined belief that in America, all things are possible to all men, regardless of birth or wealth, and if you endeavor all the grievances, you will be able to achieve anything. To be hard working, honest and to have ambition are all parts of my American dream. I believe that this will lead me to success, wealth and in due time - power. My dream is to be one of high stature and respect. I wish to lead a life of accomplishments and learn from my mistakes and to do my best not to repeat them. Several of the dreams that I have originated from Thomas Jefferson, because he opened up the pathways for me to follow my American dream. Without freedom, and to have to live a life in oppression, I would never be able to convert my dream into a reality, and my American dream would always remain as only a dream.