Chicago's Realization of the American Dream:

The World's Columbian Exposition

Thesis: The 1893 Columbian Exposition and the American Dream

The World's Columbian Exposition collected the world's treasures in some of the most beautiful buildings built in Chicago, Illinois, organized by Daniel Burnham and General Davis, before the Chicago Fire. The exhibits ranged from displays of interactive advancements in technology and the culinary arts, cultural diversity in artwork and cultures, and accounts of diplomatic prosperity from all around the world. In relation to the American Dream, which is an integrated goal of Americans to be able to provide steady flow of income for survival and luxury on occasion, the World's Columbian Exposition was a luxury that was worth necessary life items to go see, according to Hamlin Garland in 1893, who stated, "Sell the cookstove if necessary and come. You must see the fair."

Thoughts on World Fair in 1893

"This exposition is not the conception of any single mind; It is not the
result of any single effort, but it is the grandest conception of all the
minds and the best obtainable results of all the efforts put forth by all
the people who have in any manner contributed to its consideration."
-Fair Director General Davis May 1, 1893 excerpt, fair opening speech.

"In many respects I think the Paris Exposition was superior.
It certainly was in the showing of products not American."
-Dr. C. H. Thomas of Baltimore June 19, 1893.

The World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, Illinois, United States.

Monday, May 1st 1893 at 8am to Monday, Oct. 30th 1893 at 10pm

Jackson Park, Chicago, IL, United States

Chicago, IL

RSVPs are enabled for this event.


The American Dream used to be a comfortable retirement, but after the recent inflammatory money situation, the American Dream has changed into possessing the capability of maintaining a home. This is the American Dream of the previous generation (my parents), who were more affected than their children (me). This generation's American Dream is best defined by the Facebook comment of Jan Smith on July 9th, 2013: "I think at one time the American dream meant having a place to call your own, get a house paid for, have a job you liked, transportation, take a vacation now and then. Those things didn't seem so out of reach. Now it's about survival. I worry constantly the car will break down or anything at all will go wrong to prevent me paying the bills. And many people worry if they will eat or have a roof over their head at all. The American dream has been stolen."

Thoughts on World Fair Today

" The World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 was an event of immense cultural importance to an America nearing the turn of the century... To understand their importance and draw in modern terms, they could be seen as a combination of the Olympics, DisneyWorld, the Superbowl, and the National Gallery--an international entertainment and cultural event with lasting social importance." -Julie K Rose of University of Virginia.

"Although the fair was lauded by critics of the day as a wonder of urban planning and architecture, in retrospect it can be seen as halting the development of modern and functional American architecture." - author Andrea Oppenheimer Dean.


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  3. Meehan, Patrick. "Chicago's Great Ferris Wheel of 1893." Hyde Park Historical Society, Mar.-Apr. 2000. Web. 08 Jan. 2014.
  4. "Portrait of Madame Gauthereau." World's Columbian Exposition of 1893. Paul V. Galvin Library, 18 Mar. 1999. Web. 08 Jan. 2014.
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  6. "The Japanese Ho-o-den." The World at the Fair. N. D. Publishing Company, n.d. Web. 08 Jan. 2014.
  7. Tobey, Nathan. "What Does the American Dream Mean to You?" Public Broadcasting Service, 12 July 2013. Web. 09 Jan. 2014.
  8. Voice, Erich. "Voices From The 1893 Chicago World's Fair." N.p., 1996. Web. 08 Jan. 2014.