American Dream & A legend --- Lecture I. American Dream

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  • American Dream & A legend --- Lecture I

  • American Dream

  • The Beginning of the Country Mayflower In December 1620, with snow already flying, Mayflower dropped anchor off Cape Cod. Fifty men, twenty women and thirty-four children driven from England finally came to the new land where they could enjoy their religious freedom to the full.

  • Basic American Beliefs We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed (by Creator with certain inalienablerights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    ---The Declaration of Independence

  • Chinese Version : ,,


  • Six Basic Beliefs1. individual freedom 2. self-reliance3. equality of opportunity 4. competition5. material wealth 6. hard work

  • What is American Dream?

  • What Is American Dream( Improving financial situation)1. getting out of poverty2. getting good education for kids3. opening ones own business4. getting very rich( Improving social status)5. living upper-class lives6. becoming a senator or something7. becoming the President

  • The Great Depression---From Prosperity to Poverty

  • America began the year 1929 flushed with optimism. Business had never been better; the stock market continued to climb; and easy credit helped a free flow of goods, jobs, and money. It seemed that America had found the secret of prolonged prosperity. By autumn, however, clouds appeared unexpectedly. The Wall Street stock market crash on Oct. 21, 1929 resulted in the Great Depression, the worst economic downturn in the Unites States.

  • Americas Retreat After WWI USA failed to join the League of Nations; Raised tariffs on European imports; Restricted European immigration for the first time. Quotas already existed for Asian migration but European immigration had been uncapped.

  • Prosperity: The Roaring 1920s Mass production developed as business strategy to increase output and reduce dependence on skilled labor. Mass consumption: New home appliances flooded the market, often offered on credit. Washing machines, refrigerators, stoves, dishwashers and irons offered people an irresistible chance to change their lives.

  • Prelude to a NightmareAs America prospered the gap between rich and poor widened.Prices on goods rose but wages did not. Demand for goods fell, workers were laid off and the downward spiral continued.The economy began to slow by 1928.

  • Prelude to a Nightmare Fierce speculation in the 1920s had lifted the stock market to unrealistic heights. Investors borrowed large sums of money on margin, i.e., without collateral. When large numbers of investors began to sell, believing that stock prices were inflated, loans were called due. Everybody sold and stocks plummeted.

  • Depression Massive Bank Failures Deflation (Disaster for those in debt - especially farmers) Massive unemployment Drought - Dust Storms.

  • The trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange just after the crash of 1929. On Black Tuesday, October twenty-ninth, the market collapsed. In a single day, sixteen million shares were traded----and thirty billion dollars vanisheddisappear into thin air. The "Era of Getting Rich Quick" was over. Jack Dempsey, America's first millionaire athlete, lost $3 million. Cynical (suspecting and questioning) New York hotel clerks asked incoming guests, "You want a room for sleeping or jumping?"

  • I saw and approached the hungry and desperate (feeling that one has no hope and is ready to do anything to change the bad situation one is in) mother, as if drawn by a magnet. I do not remember how I explained my presence or my camera to her, but I do remember she asked me no questions. I made five exposures, working closer and closer from the same direction. I did not ask her name or her history. She told me her age, that she was thirty-two. She said that they had been living on frozen vegetables from the surrounding fields, and birds that the children killed. She had just sold the tires from her car to buy food. There she sat in that lean- to tent with her children huddled around her, and seemed to know that my pictures might help her, and so she helped me. There was a sort of equality about it.

  • Dorothea Lange's "Migrant Mother," destitute (without money, food, a home or possessions) in a pea picker's camp, because of the failure of the early pea crop. These people had just sold their tent in order to buy food. Most of the 2,500 people in this camp were destitute. By the end of the decade there were still 4 million migrants on the road.

  • Police Guard the Banks

  • Unemployment Line

  • They used to tell me I was building a dream.And so I followed the mob.When there was earth to plow or guns to bearI was always there right on the job.

    They used to tell me I was building a dreamWith peace and glory ahead.Why should I be standing in lineJust waiting for bread?

    Once I built a railroad, I made it runMade it race against time.Once I built a railroad and now it's doneBrother, can you spare a dime?Once I built a tower way up to the sunWith bricks and mortar and limeOnce I built a railroad and now it's doneBrother, can you spare a dime?

    Once in khaki suits, gee we looked swellFull of that yankee doodle dee dum.Half a million boots went sloggin' through hellAnd I was the kid with the drum!

    Say don't you remember? You called me Al.It was Al all the time.Why don't you remember? I was your pal.Buddy, can you spare a dime?Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?

  • Jobs Bureau, L.A.

  • The Story of PerseveranceThe Great DepressionThe Retreat of national economyThe three misplaced menThe misevaluated horseThe unfailing perseverance

  • Once the owner of a bicycle shop, Charles Howard became the most successful Buick dealer in the West. But cars that brought him success and fortune ended up stealing the thing he loved most.

  • A cowboyTom Smith has great insights in horse-raising and horse training. In love with riding, He seemed obsolete and a walking relic in the New World.

  • Born in a previously lively and prosperous family, he was not spared during the harsh time of the country. Beaten down and determined, Johnny learned to look out for himself and to trust no one.

  • Considered as a lazy, under-weighted and untalented loser, Seabiscuit was beaten up and down and had became stubborn and reckless and he was on his way to be discarded.

  • This is a famous horse, which was seabiscuits rival in the famous match race.

  • The match race became much more than a competition between two champion animals and their riders --- it grew into a contest of two worlds: the east coast establishment of bankers and their beautiful horses versus a nation of downtrodden but spirited have-nots who championed a ragtag team of three displaced men and their unlikely challenger.

  • Reds friend and fellow jockey, who rode Seabiscuit after Reds injury. He was called Iceman.

  • Charles second wife and she was the one who started Charles interest in horse-riding and horse-racing.

  • New Words jockey breeze hole border town break lead pony

  • New Words extra colt furlong cart horse draw


  • More than 1.2 million immigrants had come to the U.S. in 1914. But once the immigration restrictions of the 1920s took effect, the overall total was fixed at only 160,000 or so immigrants a year. Moreover, different nations had different quotas. The quotas for immigrants from northern and western Europe were more than ample for the demand. The quotas for immigrants from southern and eastern Europe were very small.

    The United States tried to pretend that the rest of the world did not really exist. Its people turned inward, and they found that they had plenty to do. For in the 1920s the United States became a modern middle-class economy of radios, consumer appliances, automobiles and suburbs. Nearly thirty million motor vehicles were on the road in 1929, one for every five residents of the country. Mass production had made the post-World War I United States the richest society the world had ever seen. - 1939 half of american households had refrigerators and washing machines.