How has the automobile impacted American society?

In the 1950s the United States enjoyed a broad-based, unprecedented level of prosperity. Rising purchasing power, expanding credit, and a rapidly growing advertising industry stimulated consumerism. One industry that rapidly developed and expanded was the automobile industry. During the 1950s, Americans purchased 58 million cars. By 1960, 75 percent of American families owned one. The automobile created mobility on a scale not known before, and the automobile industry became a vital element in the economy. It became one of the world’s major manufacturing industries. The automobile dramatically impacted American society, whether you owned one or not.

In order to prepare for this discussion forum: 

  • Review and identify relevant sections of Chapters 19, 20, and 28 that address support for your discussion.
  • Identify and use at least one outside source for your discussion.  Sources must be cited in your discussion.  If a link is available, please provide it.

After you have completed your readings post your response to only ONE of the following questions.

  1. Discuss how the automobile positively or negatively impacted American society.
  2. Do you agree or disagree with the the assessment that has been made on the importance of the automobile?