Automobiles and the American Society

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The Automobile and American Society Before the invention of the automobile, travel was a very difficult thing. Horses and carriages were needed to transport a person from one place to another. Consequently, many people lived their entire lives without travelling much further than the outskirts of the village or town in which they were born. Since there was little travel, locations which had attracted enough people grew into large metropolitan cities where anything that a person needed could be obtained within a short distance from their front doors. The large cities attracted even more people because these then became the locations where the most profitable jobs could be found. Once employment was found, the person would move into the city and raise their family who would then contribute to the growth of the city. This is how things were until the automobile was invented. Few people who first encountered the machine could know that it would forever change the geographic and sociological makeup of the United States of America, but that is what it did. Trains had already been invented and people could travel from one side of the country to the other, but they could only go to the destinations which had railroad lines. The automobile gave the individual the ability to choose their own destination both physically and metaphorically. By the end of the 1920s more than 26 million cars were produced, one for approximately every five people of the United States (Faragher 2009,
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