The Pursuit of Happiness Essay by SBurtis

The Pursuit of Happiness
A discussion on the psychological need for happiness and the pursuit of happiness from a historical viewpoint.
# 154090 | 1,153 words | 4 sources | 2014 | US
Published on Dec 24, 2014 in Psychology (Social) , Psychology (Motivation Studies) , Psychology (General)

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From the Paper:

"Happiness is an innate need of the human psyche. We are all born ton experience happiness. We crave it, and we pursue it. That does not mean that everyone's' definition of happiness is the same, nor does it mean we pursue it in the same ways or that we all are even successful in attaining the happiness we seek. Some of us go about it in all the wrong ways and find ourselves grasping for straws just to catch a glimpse of fleeting joy. The pursuit of happiness is not only the framework for the founding of the United States, it has become as much an unalienable right as life and liberty to all Americans, thanks to Thomas Jefferson's inclusion of the clause in the Declaration of Independence (US Declaration of Independence, paragraph 2). Why was the pursuit of happiness so important to our founding fathers that it warranted inclusion in the basic precepts of our independence?
Historical Pursuit
"More than two-hundred and fifty years prior to the Revolutionary War, people from all over Europe migrated across the ocean, vying for land and territory and for many, the hope of a new life. Perhaps the most notable of these early immigrants were the British Colonists. Once loyal subjects of the British monarchy, many came to this new land to establish and further the agenda of the monarchy. Territory expansion and money were the foremost priorities. After many years of oppression under the thumb of British rule, many Colonists dreamed of a better life. They hoped distance would bring them more freedom than they had experience in England, despite technically remaining under rigid monarchy control (The History Place).
"In many ways, the Colonists were simple people who wanted nothing more than a simple family life free from British mandates. Foremost on that list was religious freedom and the ability to practice free enterprise and capitalism in order to grow their wealth without extreme taxation from the government. To the Colonists, happiness was akin to freedom from British oppression. They craved fairness and equality, and in spite of their remaining loyal patriots for more than two centuries, the Colonists could not escape the tyranny and controlled levied upon them, especially once King George III came into power."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • References
  • Baumgardner, S. R., & Crothers, M. K. (2009). Positive Psychology. Retrieved from The University of Phoenix eBook Collection database.
  • Cloud, J. (2011, May 4). Why Happiness Isn't Always Good: Asians vs. Americans | Time. Retrieved June 22, 2014, from
  • The History Place - American Revolution. (n.d.). The History Place - American Revolution. Retrieved June 23, 2014, from
  • US Declaration of Independence. Paragraph 2. Retrieved from

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