This article was originally published in Fortune.

The Declaration of Independence, adopted on this day 247 years ago, expressed inalienable rights to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Although the nation initially fell short of recognizing these rights for all persons, we can today see how the same ideals contributed to the foundation that built the American Dream.

James Truslow Adams wrote that the American Dream is “that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for every man, with opportunity for each according to his ability or achievement.” For me, the American Dream is central to the pursuit of happiness. It recognizes the value of life, and it partners with liberty to open opportunities for all persons, regardless of their starting point.

But do Americans still believe in the American Dream? 

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