The American Dream


It is the intent of this paper to prove that the "American Dream" can
best be explained as a "ciity upon a hill." "Ciity upon a hill" meaning
being above and superior over those below. The Civil War, the imperialistic
race of the 19th century, the Korean War, the KKK, and the Gulf War are all
examples of the "American Dream" of superiority playing a part in American
History. Each American has a different idea of this superiority, but
nonetheless strive to achieve it, whatever it may be in.

The Civil War which split the United States, was a clash of two
aspects of approaching the "American Dream" in a young America. Both sides
felt their idea\'s and philosophies were superior to those of the opposing
side and therefore would benefit the country more and make it superior.
Both North and South wanted to better the country to have it achieve the
"American Dream". Unfortunately, each side had a different perspective on
how to approach it. Slavery was a major issue, the North against, the
South pro. The disagreement on slavery lead to difficulty in the issue of
Westward expansion. Both agreed to it, but whether to admit them as free
or slave states was where the split occurred. The compromise of 1850
stated that California enters free, and New Mexico and Utah decided on
their own which is giving them more state rights in which the South heavily
supported. This compromise did not satisfy each side fully. The issue of
State rights intensified by the issue of slavery because the Southern
states felt they had the right to decide on their own about Slavery without
Federal intervention. It seems the Southern states felt that the "American
dream" was out of their reach because they felt powerless and inferior with
the Central government. When the American revolution was fought to break
from Britain, the Southern States thought they would be treated as
sovereign and free. With the State\'s limited power, they felt as if the
Federal government would become a monarchy. The Northern States wanted the
"American dream" achieved for the whole country to be industrial,
anti-slavery, and very federalist. Upon these institutions they planned to
make the U.S a superior nation in the world. The South wanted to achieve
the same ultimate goal for the U.S but with agricultural, pro- slavery, and
states sovereignty institutions. These are the differences between both
sides in achieving "the American Dream." In order to resolve the conflict
of interests, North and South had to go to war to prove superiority thus
proving which side is "the ciity upon the hill" in which the losing side
would follow.

During the time of Imperialism in the 19th century, the U.S wanted to
expand worldwide and strive for the lead in the "imperialistic race." In
1871, the U.S and Canada signed the Washington treaty meaning that the U.S
recognized Canada as an independent dominion. Any schemes to forcefully
annex Canada and to unite the North American continent under the U.S flag
had been rejected. The U.S could not expand any further in North America
and had to look at other parts of the world for expansion. At the time,
there were many other nations looking to expand its empire such as Britain
and Germany. Some Southern expansionists saw Cuba as an interest because
it could have possibly been used as a slave territory. Because Northerners
were highly against slavery, the plan was dropped. After the Civil War,
Secretary of State Seward had negotiated a treaty to purchase the virgin
Islands from Denmark, but the senate rejected this treaty. They were not
purchased until 1917. In 1859, the U.S annexed the Midway Islands in the
South Pacific, and half the Samoan Islands; the other half belonging to
Germany. Hawaii, another Pacific island, had always been important to the
U.S. It served as an important base for trade with Japan and China. When
the U.S annexed Hawaii in 1893 after a coup, to justify it, the U.S claimed
it was an important strategic military foothold. They also claimed that the
inferior Hawaiian natives were incapable of self government, and that it
was in their best interests. After the annexation of Hawaii, and later the
Philippines in 1899, it seemed clear the U.S was relentless in becoming the
most powerful imperialistic nation. It is this idea of expansion thus
gaining power and superiority over other nations that proves the "American
Dream"/"Ciity upon a hill" being about superiority.

The invasion of South Korea by North Korea was the opportunity the U.S
needed to invade and de-communize