The first participant Spike Lee argued that for many of the original colonists, the guarantee of financial opening was the major encouraging part in immigrating to the British territories in North America. This promise of a better life was represented by the potential to gain land. In an effort to encourage emigration the head right system of the mid-Atlantic colonies offered individuals as much as 50 acres (20 ha) of land for either coming to the colony or for paying the transport costs of a family member or an indentured servant (who would then be free to obtain land after a seven-year period of servitude). The head right system remained the most common manner to gain land in many of the colonies throughout the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.
He further said that the significance of property and the right of citizens to possess and get hold of property were integrated in the Declaration of Independence and shaped a characteristic of U.S. political customs. In an effort to secure the frontier, successive administrations in Washington encouraged resettlement in the West by opening territory to settlers, often granting land rights for minimal costs or even for free. Following the War of 1812 westward expansion greatly accelerated, and after the acquisition of California in the 1840s, the movement to fill in the interior of the nation was accelerated both by the economic promises of the California gold rush and by encouragement in the popular media, where prominent newspapermen such as Horace Greeley urged Easterners to “Go West” to seek their fortunes and the promise of a better life. Migration was encouraged by events such as the Oklahoma land rush. The government opened up some 3 million acres (1.2 million ha) of land to settlers in 160-acre (65-ha) plots for whites at the expense of the Native American tribes living in the territory.
His point of view was further continued by the second participant John Ford by saying that concurrent with the movement West there began to emerge a significant leisure class in the settled East. The dramatic growth in wages and increased urban services created improvements in the quality of life. The materialism of the period had a significant impact on literature and art. Social Darwinism and the traditional American emphasis on individualism reinforced class stereotypes. Quality of life was defined by wealth. While works such as Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner’s The Gilded Age (1873) criticized the unbridled greed of the time, popular magazines such as the Saturday Evening Post and McClure’s expounded on the virtues of economic success. Meanwhile the publications of Horatio Alger (who wrote 130 works and sold millions of novels) made the “rags to riches” theme one of the central components of American culture.