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Thomas Jefferson, Father of the American Dream

  • Date Submitted: 08/11/2010 02:01 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 40.5 
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Thomas Jefferson: Father of the American Dream
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy shared a meal in the White House Dining Room with some of the smartest men on the planet; a total of forty-nine Nobel Prize winners were in attendance. Of the dinner, President Kennedy said it was “probably the greatest concentration of talent and genius in this house… except for perhaps those times when Thomas Jefferson ate alone.” Indeed, Thomas Jefferson was one of the most brilliant social and political thinkers in the history of the world. Praise of such magnitude is legitimized in review of the impact this man had on the founding and sustainment of America as a new, independent nation. His notions of a newly conceived nation founded on basic human liberties and freedom have sustained in the two hundred years since he left office as the 3rd President of the United States. Many of the most important aspects and foundations of American government are in effect today as a result of ideas conceived by Thomas Jefferson. More so, one can contribute the 20th century philosophy of the “American Dream” to basic concepts Jefferson laid out in the most revered document in American history, the Declaration of Independence, of which he authored. Though the term “American Dream” was not invented for nearly a hundred years after his Presidency, this notion of a “dream” is essentially what Jefferson had in mind as he constructed the documents that would present America’s case to Britain proclaiming its status as an independent nation. The nation Jefferson and the other extraordinary men who have been revered as its “Founding Fathers” had in mind was one where its people are born with, as Jefferson put it, “certain inalienable rights” to achieve and become anything they desire through thrift and hard work. That notion is the essence of today’s American Dream. As a 21st century nation of “superpower” status, we continue to reap the benefits of the works- both in government and in society- of one...

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