The early colonists took religion very seriously and believed it defined their individuality. The Puritans along with the Pilgrims and Quakers all wanted to leave England to re-establish their religious practice. England and the Puritans had different beliefs about how Christianity should be practiced and this difference of opinion is what drove the Puritans to head for America. England wanted to make changes and give a new lease of life to Christianity. The Puritans perceived things entirely differently and believed that the modifications England wanted to make to their religion would bring about great misfortune. The New World would bring great blessings from God to the Puritans if they dug their heels into the American soil.
One of the things that is not made known by many history books is that a lot of people that came to America eventually went back to their homeland. "Given that people generally came to this country because of intolerable conditions in Europe, this implies that they found life here, whether in the teeming slums of New York or the freezing prairies of North Dakota, even worse" (Locke, 2002).
The American dream has not changed significantly in view of the fact that, everyone is still seeking that perfect life. Although, since the early 1900's there have been many alterations to the American dream.