Automobiles Affect on Society

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Eng. 101, 41220
Essay #3 Final Draft (Cause and Effect)
Due 11/9/09
The Effect of the Automobile on American Society
When talking about the most influential inventions of the 20th century in America, the automobile immediately comes to mind. No other invention has had such a profound impact on almost every aspect of our society, and the daily lives of individuals. When one thinks of their daily life, they would be hard pressed to imagine a day going by without the use of an automobile. The first automobile produced for the masses in the U.S. was the three-horsepower, curved-dash Oldsmobile; 425 of them were sold in 1901 and 5,000 in 1904. With this success, other companies quickly followed producing automobiles. One of these was the Ford Motor Company. The company produced 1,700 cars during its first full year of business. Henry Ford produced the Model T to be an economical car for the average American. By 1920 Ford sold over a million cars. By 1924 over half of American families had automobiles, and there were 60 million cars on the road (Drake 259). In 2006 there were 500 million cars on the road (BTS). The explosive growth in popularity of the automobile in the course of the 20th century has had a dramatic impact on society. It has affected the infrastructure of cities by the creation of massive systems of roadways, the highway system, and caused city streets to be cleaner, and provided for safer communities due to police, firefighters, and ambulances use of automobiles. It has affected business by making them accessible to more people from greater distances, and tourism by allowing people to freely travel moderate distances. It also allowed the formation of suburbs, and the ability of cities to grow out instead of up.

The advent of the automobile has led to dramatic changes in city infrastructure in the U.S. The main form of transportation went from horse and carriage and railways, to the automobile seemingly overnight. The automobile completely...
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