The American Dream is an idea that has existed throughout the United States" history. Before the United States of America was established, immigrants from all over Western Europe stormed to America. Some immigrants came to help expand their country's empire, some were explorers searching for new adventures, but most came for the American Dream. The American Dream for these immigrants consisted of a few basic ideas such as religious freedom, equality, and a chance to succeed in the world. These people sacrificed everything for the possibility of escaping the oppression of their native lands.
The Revolutionary War was fought to uphold the American Dream. During the war, the American Dream manifested into the Declaration of Independence and later, the Bill of Rights. After the Bill of Rights was passed, freedom of religion was not the problem it had once been. Different religions could not be persecuted by the government, and everyone had the legal right to practice their own religion, whatever it might be. .
With the rise of industrialization, one more aspect became part of the American Dream, prosperity. As the years went on, prosperity and equality became the largest parts of the American Dream. Caucasian men were the only members of the population with equal rights. African American men now had the right to vote, but it was discouraged by such cults as the Ku Klux Klan. They were not considered equal simply on the basis of their skin color. In 1919, women were granted the right to vote as well, but they were continually looked down upon.
F. Scott Fitzgerald's masterpiece, The Great Gatsby, sums up the American Dream of the 1920's. The novel relates the story of a man searching for his American Dream. Jay Gatsby is the main character of the novel. Gatsby's legal name was James Gatz. Gatz grew up in North Dakota where his parents were unsuccessful farmers. Gatz was not satisfied with his parents fate and decided that he would make more of himself.