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The American Dream is a concept that is basically older than america, dating back to the seventeenth century. It was then when folks started to produce hopes and ambitions for the recently discovered, unexplored continent. The "American Dream" is in essence the concept because puts forward the belief that all individuals can succeed through hard work, that all individuals possess the right to the pursuit of happiness, and be successful. The definition of the American Dream was enlarged upon and redefined over time. The concept of the American Dream has always been debated and set beneath criticism. There are many that believe the construction of American Society belies the idealistic objective of the American Dream. It points out cases of profoundly rooted inequality based on class, race, and cultural origin. This notion is the base which puts in question the attainability of this American Dream for everyone. Generation after generation, people have ardently had a belief that with the right mix of grit, guts, and personality, an individual could attain new heights of achievement for them and their families. Implied within this amalgamation would be the concepts of hard work, and a determination to overcome adversity. That, in my belief, is the definition of the American Dream; having enough toil along with a strong backbone, an individual can make the most of whatever natural strengths one has and control them to make success. As Americans we have always thought there was someplace to proceed, something to overcome, so as to improve our lot in life and raise ourselves up. According to the article on "Economic Recession" in the Issues and Controversies, a panel of economists determined that the U.S. was at a downturn by December 2007 to June 2009, making it the longest.