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EVER HAD AN AMERICAN DREAM?

Essay Sample:

Yet, this is not the case in the United States, and is indicative of the changing face of the American Dream. Cases of people helping one another survive on the dangerous frontier, the concept of Southern Hospitality, and multi-generational family homes from the early history of the country have given way to unkindness and individualism. This is reflected in the fact that public safety nets such as Welfare and the Affordable Care Act are met with unrelenting criticism in the government. In fact, Ron Paul, has repeatedly called healthcare reform and support “Un-American” because it necessitates a response and payments from people who have higher means than others (Paul, 2013). This eschews the view that the American Dream is an idea that involves a cohesive imagining of America and replaces it with one that is disparate and predicated upon whoever is able to climb to the top, alone.
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The absence of a safety net that includes education and training for positions outside of the service industry has prepared the United States for an American Dream that does not take most of the people living in the country into consideration. Thus, the rendering of the American Dream would have to be distilled into the following at this juncture: the ability to live freely in a nation, grow on your own merits, and then ignore the needs of others as long as you get to a place in society that does not necessitate state or federal support. This is a complicated view that ultimately shows the disparity in the nation, and forms a construct of the poor American Dream versus the wealthy American Dream.
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Even still, there are greater challenges to the American Dream that have to be considered beyond the education gap: the gender and racial biases. There is an oft-quoted statistic that shows that women in the nation do not make the same amount of money as men. In fact, “in 2013, female full-time workers made only 78 cents for every dollar earned by men, a gender wage gap of 22 percent” (Pay Equity, 2013). This is important for two distinct reasons. First, it shows that women make less money than men simply because of their gender. Second, it demonstrates the fact that poor women have a compounded difficulty when it comes to facing financial growth and challenges in the American system. In other words, it is more difficult for women to find well-paying jobs, enter the elite areas of wealth, an attend university. This means that the conceptualization of women in terms of the American dream is even more dismal than it is on the whole.
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These conditions of the American Dream in the context of people with little power based on their gender are also applicable to people who are racial minorities in the nation. One particular racial group that is at a disadvantage is that of the African Americans. Not only do African Americans inhabit the areas of America that are in the greatest economic and financial distress, but they face several other problems such as widespread racism and disproportionate prison representation. One disturbing report that tracks the rate of African American imprisonment and university enrollment showed that from the period of 1986 to 2001, there were more African Americans in the prison system than there were enrolled in university classes (By the numbers, 2012). This makes it less likely that African Americans will be able to get high-paying jobs, while all but ensuring the fact that there will be continued problems in the realms of imprisonment, poverty, and cyclical damage to the socio-culture systems.
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Thus, the affect on the American Dream for African Americans, or even African American women, is one that has to account for having little support in the area of social culture, few opportunities in the educational field, and increased need of a social safety net. The American Dream for them is one that is predicated on survival, not even able to seek out the benefits of the overall system.

HOW WEALTH DISPARITY IS MOLDING A NEW ‘AMERICAN DREAM’

Essay Sample:

One of the prerequisites of going to a college is that the individual is able to earn good grades and do well on nationalized tests such as the SAT. However, there have been numerous studies that prove that there are certain schools throughout the United State that are not able to adequately prepare their students for these tests and for the rigors of university. In particular, these students do not have access to technology or resources that will allow them to become readers and writers, nor do they have the calculators that are required to perform high level mathematics (Why are students, 2013). These students do not have the chance to do well, and there are millions of them that are at risk. This fact alone ultimately discounts these students from living a life where they will have access to a higher education. At this point, the exception becomes the person that is able to escape poverty, and does not function with the aforementioned definition of the American Dream. The vast majority either end up in a negative situation that they started in such as living in impoverished conditions and without job prospects, or they end up worse off than before. Most disturbing is the fact that these problems are limited to people who are living in poverty within the nation, and the numbers of those living in poverty can be described nothing but extreme.
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The effect of this inability to attend universities is having an adverse effect on the American Dream. Not only are people not being able to view the systems by which they are being discriminated, but it is transforming the American Dream into something that is less and less attainable. Since it is not an attainable degree of wealth and living, the definition of the American Dream has to change. Rather than maintain its focus on the wealth and education of the individuals throughout the country, there has been a greater focus on the individual freedoms throughout the country. This emphasis is being purveyed by politicians, specifically conservative politicians that say the most important aspect of America is that people are able to exercise their personal freedoms. According to a Gallup poll from 2013, most Americans rated individual freedoms as the most important virtue in the nation (Saad, 2013). The majority of the people who listed this as a top priority were the ones that were living in areas that typically voted for Republicans, who are the individuals that typically purvey this evaluation of American values (Saad, 2013).
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This has a significant effect on the rendering that Americans have about their own nation. If more people see individual freedoms as their primary concern, then it tends to make the case against helping other people at a cost to them. In fact, one of the most significant problems that is facing the United States in terms of putting together a comprehensive social safety net is that people tend to believe that they should be able determine where they want their tax money to be spent; an idea that was berthed by the consistent reinforcement of the individual freedoms.
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The American Dream is not only that someone will be able to end their lives in a better condition than they were when they started, but that they will not have to struggle or starve when the conditions are the worse. Based upon the fact that the United States is home to a massive amount of wealth, logically, it would be home to the greatest social safety net or the most people who are willing to share their wealth with the other people in the country (Worstall, 2013). Still, the United States is home to such obscene amounts of wealth that even the poorest Americans are still better off than the poorest in just about every other nation (Worstall, 2013). Any gesture by the upper classes, the colloquial “1%”, or even the wealthy upper middle class could be construed as a means of helping others find the American Drean.
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ECONOMIC STRUGGLES OF ANCIENT CHINA, INDIA AND MEDITERRANEAN

China holds one of the earliest systems of trade and commerce which contributed on the prosperous economic power that it is today. The civilizations and the system of trade and commerce in China started in the yellow river where the agriculture products, livestock, silk, and different materials were transported. In this regard, the socio-economic, political, and cultural history of China was dependent on these rivers and to the economic system that it integrated in the ancient societies. Moreover, almost all aspects of life in the ancient civilizations in China were motivated by economic circumstances particularly war and cultural affairs. Furthermore, China’s culture has been consistently related to poverty. Together with India, China enjoys the largest population and most prosperous economy for two millennia.
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According to Maddison (2006), until the 17th century, India was the wealthiest nation because of its strategic location. The populous nation in Asia is located near the boundaries of China and European countries particularly those in the Mediterranean hence, it forms part of the culturally rich trade route. Similar to China, the earliest civilizations and economic activities started near the river. That was why many individuals from the ancient period settled near the river banks and form their own communities. Eventually, different aspects of the Indian culture were formed in the center of the economic activities like religion, business, customs, and traditions.

The other end of the trade route in the Eurasian continent during the early period was the Mediterranean where the prosperous ancient civilizations in Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Greece are located. The livelihood of the ancient civilizations in the region are dependent on the sea and consequently its culture. The products were then imported to the greater part of Asia passing through the trade route which was mentioned above.

GENOTYPE-ENVIRONMENT CORRELATION WILL BLOW YOUR MIND

Essay Sample

Genotype-environment correlation has a distinct influence on the psychological makeup of the individual, affecting their behavioral patterns and chosen environmental surroundings throughout the course of their life (Jaffee and Price 2008).  The three types of typical interactions, passive, evocative, and active can each possess negative and positive results for correlation between genetics and environment and have shown to provide a strong influence on a child with respect to temperament, behavior, and psychiatric illness among other effects.

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Taking the passive genotype-environment correlation into consideration specifically, in which the link between the genetics a child inherits from one’s parents and the environment in which the child is raised can prove to be significantly influential on how that child develops as an individual, the correlation can prove to be genetically mediated and shift under certain familial conditions and environmental nurturing situations (Lemery-Chalfant et al. 2013). Factors such as noise levels, overall chaos in the home, quality of physical environment can all be present and account for a dramatic negative impact on the child. For example, a negative environment may be defined by a lack of structure, minimal amount of restrictions placed on keeping behavior in check, and high amounts of noise, confusion, and general disorder. In Lemery-Chalfant, et al’s study, they were able to determine that the negative genotype-environment correlation was typified by the example of infant temperament, which can elicit one or many of a number of negative responses. The caregiver may simply be tired and not prepared for the infant’s outburst or might just prove to be flat out neglectful or even abusive either physically or verbally.

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This provides a detrimental basis upon which the infant will learn to grow, thus affecting heritable traits that have already been passed down from the parent (Lemery-Chalfant et al 2013). Parental biological predispositions obviously maintain a strong dominance on the home life of the child and it would be assumed that a cycle of interaction is genetically bound to continue from parent to child from generation to generation. Though there are children who manage to develop into adults and break the negative cycles that they were exposed to at a young age, the family environment is one of the most compelling influences on the suppression or encouragement of certain hereditary contributors to temperament and behavior (Lemery-Chalfant et al 2013).

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Compare this fact along positive interactions and the result is, more often than not, increasingly beneficial and supportive of the theory behind passive genotype-environment correlation. Children in a positive environment will develop more constructively and have lesser obstacles toward living a successful and satisfying life. Their temperament is well-adjusted, behavior patterns kept in check and behaviors learned in a positive direction allow stronger and more meaningful social relationships to take place. This calls into play John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth’s attachment theory, which puts a sharp focus on the mother-infant bond that will lay the fundamental groundwork on which the essential building blocks of personality, coping skills, and relationship negotiation are provided to the child (Porter 2003). It is this crucial moment in the evolution of the child, the attachment on which a mother’s attunement with her child brings them into sync with one another and the lessons of social interaction are wired, that both a positive and negative interaction under the passive gene-environment correlation are fully established. This starting point is of utmost importance in deciding how the child will grow, and parents should not discount its priority for fear of putting the infant at a disadvantage in life almost immediately.

AMERICAN FAMILY REVOLUTION IN YOUR BACKYARD

Essay Sample

If one was to ask people in the United States about what it means to be a family, the answers would invariably differ based on the age of the individual that has been asked. Throughout the last century, from 1900 to present day, there have been immense changes in what defines a family and what comprises a family in United States culture. Moreover, these changes have brought about various forms of transformations, resulting in both advantages and disadvantages to those who live in certain family situations. Throughout this paper, these changes will be evaluated for their historical impact as well as the benefits and detriments that are offered through each family type.
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Generally speaking, one of the most significant factors that have changed the way that families are constructed in the United States has been the amount of people in each family. In the early part of the 20th century, it was common for families to be quite large. According to data gathered during this time, over twenty percent of all families during the year 1900 had over seven members living under the same roof (Pearson, 2006). This put the average household size at that time at 4.93 people per home. This number steadily declined during the years following World War II, but remained at 3.37 people per home during the years that spawned what is now known as the Baby Boomer Generation (Pearson, 2006). Since there were more jobs and an expansion to move to the suburban areas, there was less of reason to have so many children to support a family. Birth rates have continued to fall in the modern age, and more people are opting to live on their own or marry later in life, causing this rate of people to households to fall to an all-time low of 2.57 as of March 2004. (Pearson, 2006). This may be one of the most significant changes to the notion of a family, since fewer people can affect a large number of changes in the household such as overall income and amount of attention for each individual.
Another one of the largest changes that have impacted the United States family system since 1900 has been the changing values system in regards to marriage. In the year 1910, only 13.6 percent of all children were raised in a family where there was a fragmented family situation (Ruggles, 1994). This includes parents that are deceased, but more commonly divorced. While this trend of low incident rates of divorce held through the oft-idealized 1950s in the United States, it began to rapidly accelerate during the 1980s to 33.5 percent and now rests at 40.5 percent of people throughout the United States that live in fragmented families (Ruggles, 1994). During this time, the concept of the nuclear family, a both parents and their children, has fallen into shambles, but is not indicative of social degeneration, only a shift in values. As a result of these changes, there has been an increase in the number of parents that are cohabitating with their own parents while they attempt to raise their own child.
One of the other familial modalities that has changed over the last centuries involves the individuals who comprise a family unit as well as those who cohabitate. For example, families in the 1900s rarely had children from other marriages living in the household, which is now found in one in five of all homes in the United States (Rosengrant, 2014). Even though relative house sizes have fallen in the last century, there has been a recent uptick in the amount of individuals that have parents living with them or that live with their parents to help with childcare. While it was expected to have one’s parents living with them in the early part of the 20th century, it fell out of the social ideal in the mid 20th century as more people opted for independence. However, these changes have not had an impact on the overall numbers of people that are living together in a single household, but instead provide a mechanism through which to explore these changes. Still, it is important to recognize that overall cohabitation between men and women who are unmarried has risen significantly from just 400,000 people in 1950 to 3.8 million in 2010 (Grabmeier, 2012).Still, one can examine the change in the overall family unit by exploring the birth rates of individuals within the confines of marriage and those who are not born in marriage.

ELEMENTS OF ART

Art Essay Example

In an art piece, the form refers to the elements that are not related to the actual meaning of the art piece or are not of semantic significance. Examples include lines, mass, medium, scale, shape, value, texture, and space. Formal aspects of the image do not carry meaning as seen in words. The form also includes primary features such as unity, similarity, rhythm, composition and contrast.
Content refers to the essence of an artwork on the main idea or information being depicted in a visual style. Example, a religious symbol such as a cross or an angel facilitates understanding of the meaning of an artwork such as salvation. Context, on the other hand, refers to the conditions or situations under which artworks are produced or interpreted.
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The artwork under analysis is that of George Washington from the Phoenix art gallery in Arizona accessible at http://www.phxart.org/collection/american. The image is painted by Gilbert Stuart, in 1796. The portrait had a dark background that that brings out the face of George Washington. The artist mainly focused on the face of George Washington.   The Dull black background takes the largest proportion of the painting. The black background enables the view to focus on the image of George Washington without distractions from the homogenous background environment.  The extremely low contrast of the black background promotes the radiance of the painting mainly the face. The image is also dull and brings out an impressive harmony by combining a black background with white, gray and brown used to construct the face. The unity created by the four colors makes the image radiant despite it dull black background.

The content refers to the message in an artwork and is mainly based on the interpretation of the viewer if the artist did not provide the meaning. The painting is meant to serve a historical meaning. Quoting the history of the United States and the contribution of George Washington, the painting is a symbol of unity in the United States.

The context of the image refers to the environment of production, interpretation, and intended meaning. The George Washington photograph was painted for historical reasons to push forward his legacy. George Washington was the first president of the United States and fondly remembered as the “founding father.” George Washington was also a commander in the revolutionary war leading to the formation of the United States. The painting is created to serve a historical purpose. The painting was made by Gilbert Stuart in 1796 and is one of the 75 such unfinished paintings made in the likeness of George Washington. I believe the dull black background is meant to radiant the face of George Washington as a symbol of unity and formation of one united country from the several individual states.

The second analysis was the linkage artwork by Barbara Grygutis in 1999; the creation depicts interlocking ribbons. The artwork is a representation of the pathways in the college with the ribbons intersecting at the column. The artwork is found at the Mesa Community College Campus.

The artwork shows several distinctive aspects of the form including color, contrast, line, space, harmony and balance or asymmetry. The artwork utilizes a variety of colors including white, gray, red, white and black. White and Black’s colors dominate a large section of the artwork. The colors make the images more attractive and also help bring out the meaning of the image.

THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE AMERICAN RAILROAD: ESSAY SAMPLE

The railroad system has been the most innovative medium of transportation and trade in the history of American developments. However the American railroad was not always the intriguing transport system that we use in today’s time. There were many historical developments made towards the railroad which eventually brought it to how we view and use it in our modern era. In retrospect the beginning of a railroad revolution was first hinted through the use of the steam engine ship. James Watt’s early improvements on the steam engine were put to great use by John Fitch in 1787 (Railroad 2015). Fitch was inspired enough to use the steam engine as a way to propel ships on the Delaware and Potomac rivers.
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It was not long after that until the first commercial steamboat was used as a medium of domestic transportation and trade and there laid the groundwork plans of the railroad revolution. A man by the name of John Stevens is considered in American history to be the father of the railroad system. In 1826 he successfully demonstrated the feasibility of the steam locomotion on circular track used for the experiment (Railroad 2015).  He completed this experiment on his own estate in Hoboken, New Jersey and after its success he was granted the first railway charter in 1815. After this demonstration other grants for charters were approved and soon after the developments of the first operational railroads began to form.

Early Developments
Developments of the railroad began with surveying, mapping, and construction in different experimental areas on different experimental tracks. B & O company in both Baltimore and Ohio around 1830 placed fourteen miles of track to be put to use with a locomotive that relied purely on horsepower. Other American manufacturers began to take notice and jump onboard what they saw as a railway revolution. Companies like Mohawk and Hudson, which opened in September 1830, the Saratoga, which opened in July 1832, and the South Carolina Canal and Railroad Company, which opened in 1833, all produced contributed their developments into this railway revolution (Railroad 2015). The South Carolina Canal and Railroad Company specifically, produced a 136-mile long track which proved to be the longest steam railroad in the world at that time.

With all of these early developments in tact was not long until the concept of the transcontinental railroad begin to take shape. The railroad had come so far that by 1846 talks of connecting the Atlantic and Pacific coasts went underway. Asa Whitney was one of the main promoter who was obsessed of connecting the two coasts (Railroad 2015). In fact he was so obsessed that he created his own scheme outlined in book called Project for Railroad to the Pacific. It included an outline map of the potential railroad path that would eventually connect the two coast. In addition it called for Irish and German immigrants to be to ones on the labor constructing the first transcontinental railroad. However with all these plans presented Congress still failed to sanction the construction of the railroad. It was not until about 1862, with the help of pioneer Theodore Judah, that Congress finally gave their support for the railroad (Railroad 2015). The sanction was called The Railroad Act of 1862 and on May 10th, 1869 the Union Pacific railroad joined with the Central Pacific at Promontory, Utah for the first time linking the continent together.

This revolutionary act brought definite and lasting changes to the U.S that are still very evident today. The railroad interconnected the American society much like newer more innovative technology continues to do all the time. America’s trade, mail system, and mediums of transportation was forever altered in the most practical and efficient way at the time. The country has come a long way since the early developments of the railway system but those initial plans and concepts will always be remembered and so will the various pioneers that put them into action.

I HAVE AN AMERICAN DREAM: HOW WEALTH DISPARITY IS MOLDING A NEW ‘AMERICAN DREAM’

Given the battered economy, the housing market collapse, and spiraling costs of inflation, what is the state of the American dream? Although the country has floundered through the largest recession since the Great Depression, 64 percent of Americans (Sorkin and Thee-Brenan 2014) said that they believe it is possible to start out poor, work hard, and become rich; in other words, only slightly more than half of Americans still believe in the quintessential American dream. The American dream has been a carefully constructed fallacy which negatively portrays the poor and working classes and excludes undocumented immigrants from having an “American” dream of their own, but since the recent recession, the definition of the American dream is changing.
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Proponents of the “work hard and pull yourself up by your bootstraps” camp do not understand the irony of the stance. “Pulling yourself up by your bootstraps” was a phrase originally used to illustrate doing something impossible (CITE). It is physically impossible to put yourself off from the ground by pulling on your bootstraps. Why does this mentality persist among half the American population? Media plays a large role in the negative portrayal of the poor and the perception of the poor by those more affluent. Beliefs like one can live a comfortable life working a menial, low-skilled job are perpetuated in televisions shows like the well-known sitcom, Friends: Rachel lived in a spacious apartment in Manhattan while working as a waitress in a café. If Rachel can do it, why can’t anyone?
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Over the last decade or two, the American middle class has become a shell of its former self, with a prosperous, well-educated minority growing on one side which is now colloquially known as ‘the 1%’ and the working class majority on the other side facing greater adversity and limited opportunity to change their circumstances. This is the greatest wealth disparity America has seen since the days of robber barons and the birth of the American dream (Robber, 2012).
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The conceptualization of the American Dream is one that is important to track throughout the history of the United States. The basic tenets of the American Dream are “that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement” (The American, 2015). However, the very conceptualization of the American Dream from an objective standpoint is that each person will have a better life; not that everyone will reach the upper echelon of power and prestige, but that they are granted the chance. Still, there are several factors that are keeping Americans from realizing this dream.
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One of the first ways that the United States’ dream is being extinguished is through the terrible divide in overall education. Being that the highest paying jobs in the United States require some form of post-secondary degree, it is safe to say that pay is an indicator of whether or not a person will be successful in their pursuit of the American Dream. According to the findings of Georgetown University, the higher education that an individual has is one of the determinant factors about the total amount of money that an individual will be able to make throughout their lives. A person holding a Bachelor’s Degree will earn about $2.37 million while someone without a degree will only earn $1.2 million dollars throughout their lives (Burnsed, 2011). This shows that there is a definitive disparity between those who are able to attend school and those who are not. Of course, this falls back to the “pull yourself up by the bootstraps” fallacy, that anyone who is truly dedicated to being able to go to college will be allowed to. Yet, this is a sheer lie, as there are many factors that determine if an individual is able to go to college at all.