The American Dream
It is the intent of this paper to prove that the "American Dream" canbest be explained as a "ciity upon a hill." "Ciity upon a hill" meaningbeing above and superior over those below. The Civil War, the imperialisticrace of the 19th century, the Korean War, the KKK, and the Gulf War are allexamples of the "American Dream" of superiority playing a part in AmericanHistory. Each American has a different idea of this superiority, butnonetheless strive to achieve it, whatever it may be in.
The Civil War which split the United States, was a clash of twoaspects of approaching the "American Dream" in a young America. Both sidesfelt their idea's and philosophies were superior to those of the opposingside 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 onhow to approach it. Slavery was a major issue, the North against, theSouth pro. The disagreement on slavery lead to difficulty in the issue ofWestward expansion. Both agreed to it, but whether to admit them as freeor slave states was where the split occurred. The compromise of 1850stated that California enters free, and New Mexico and Utah decided ontheir own which is giving them more state rights in which the South heavilysupported. This compromise did not satisfy each side fully. The issue ofState rights intensified by the issue of slavery because the Southernstates felt they had the right to decide on their own about Slavery withoutFederal intervention. It seems the Southern states felt that the "Americandream" was out of their reach because they felt powerless and inferior withthe Central government. When the American revolution was fought to breakfrom Britain, the Southern States thought they would be treated assovereign and free. With the State's limited power, they felt as if theFederal 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 tomake the U.S a superior nation in the world. The South wanted to achievethe same ultimate goal for the U.S but with agricultural, pro- slavery, andstates sovereignty institutions. These are the differences between bothsides in achieving "the American Dream." In order to resolve the conflictof interests, North and South had to go to war to prove superiority thusproving which side is "the ciity upon the hill" in which the losing sidewould follow.
During the time of Imperialism in the 19th century, the U.S wanted toexpand worldwide and strive for the lead in the "imperialistic race." In1871, the U.S and Canada signed the Washington treaty meaning that the U.Srecognized Canada as an independent dominion. Any schemes to forcefullyannex Canada and to unite the North American continent under the U.S flaghad been rejected. The U.S could not expand any further in North Americaand 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 Britainand Germany. Some Southern expansionists saw Cuba as an interest becauseit could have possibly been used as a slave territory. Because Northernerswere highly against slavery, the plan was dropped. After the Civil War,Secretary of State Seward had negotiated a treaty to purchase the virginIslands from Denmark, but the senate rejected this treaty. They were notpurchased until 1917. In 1859, the U.S annexed the Midway Islands in theSouth Pacific, and half the Samoan Islands; the other half belonging toGermany. Hawaii, another Pacific island, had always been important to theU.S. It served as an important base for trade with Japan and China. Whenthe U.S annexed Hawaii in 1893 after a coup, to justify it, the U.S claimedit was an important strategic military foothold. They also claimed that theinferior Hawaiian natives were incapable of self government, and that itwas in their best interests. After the annexation of Hawaii, and later thePhilippines in 1899, it seemed clear the U.S was relentless in becoming themost powerful imperialistic nation. It is this idea of expansion thusgaining power and superiority over other nations that proves the "AmericanDream"/"Ciity upon a hill" being about superiority.
The invasion of South Korea by North Korea was the opportunity the U.Sneeded