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The American Dream: Civil Rights and Opportunities


The United States is a country that was built by people who searched for freedom from the traditional rules imposed by the Church and by feudal masters. It is not surprising that the nation created as a result has freedom as its primary value. The living conditions in the new land were harsh, and newcomers thrived to survive while putting efforts in creating stable households and occupations. This was the beginning of the so-called American dream, a concept that underlined that all citizens could achieve financial stability and growth along with ensuring a better future for their children despite their ancestry or social class. Although this idea is still prevalent in American society, the country’s history features the times when discrimination was common, and people were treated differently due to their background.

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Racial Issues

Historical Background

In the past, the United States was formally divided into the North and the South. While the former was predominantly industrial, southerners were occupied mainly in the agricultural sector. Slavery was standard practice at that time, so few people showed concerns about Blacks working in the fields in inhuman conditions and having no civil rights whatsoever. Nevertheless, philosophers and politicians of the North recognized the problem and started the series of actions that eventually led to the Civil War.

Despite the victory of the side who won the conflict, it was not until the second half of the XX century that Blacks received the same civil rights as other racial groups in America. Although freedom was claimed to be a reality for everyone, the Civil Rights Movement led by Martin Luther King and other activists demonstrated that the nation was still divided, and discriminative practices prevailed. The Movement raised a very important question, which argued that all people should be equal in the number of civil rights they possess since they all contribute similarly to the country’s growth and prosperity. Finally, the USA recognized these claims to be grounded, yet it took several more decades for the White population to accept minorities as equals.

Modern Issues

Unfortunately, the current rhetoric of the country’s officials makes the world believe that the issues of discrimination are yet to be solved. While the law guarantees the same civil rights to all citizens, some practices ensuring national security seem like a targeted attack on them. For instance, the past several years were marked by the deaths and prosecution of Black teenagers by the police across the country, especially in the South. The movement known as Black Lives Matter shows a growing concern about this trend. The core element of the issue is that many representatives of the police forces tend to identify Blacks as criminals by default due to the poor understanding of their behavior. This practice makes some critics believe that the government tries to strip the minorities from their civil rights. The mechanism is simple and is based on the law stating that people accused of committing a felony, for instance, cannot vote for a certain period.

International Representation

Nevertheless, the USA has proved to be a defender of democratic freedoms. Its reputation of offering equal conditions for everyone despite the background has brought the country to economic success. Many private companies nowadays hire employees with diverse backgrounds coming from all over the world. Their talent supports the growth of business in the US, while the government passes legislation that helps these people achieve the American dream themselves. The modern trends of the presidential team to split the society is dangerous and can bring only harm to the diverse nation of the USA.

Female Population

In the past, women were not considered a fully functional group of American society. Their primary task was to stay at home and raise children. They could not vote, take up positions in powerful structures, etc. However, the late XIX century proved that this is a valuable part of the community capable of performing various tasks as well as men did. Two world wars demonstrated that women could effectively work in the heavy production sector, which was considered a male field of activities. Despite the recognition of their usefulness, the government returned to the politics of keeping women at home after the war since men who returned needed to retain their jobs.

Nowadays, women have the same civil rights as men do. They are equal contributors to the country’s economy. However, there are facts about females being paid almost a quarter less than males. This, along with the lack of support for women to join the technical field, keeps them away from the labor market.

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Civil rights have much to do with citizens having an opportunity to achieve the American dream. Discrimination is a massive obstacle that prevents the county from economic growth, as it has been proven by past events and by the modern situation. The government should pay more attention to ensuring equality not only in legislation statements but also in real life.

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