Automotive/American History

How the Automobile Both Paralleled History As Well As Shaped Society
As American Culture has evolved, inventions have paralleled its alterations. From the automobile's humble beginnings as a "horseless carriage" in the late 1800's, Henry Ford made the coach for the everyday man (Tshimanga).Because of this invention, the generations in the 20th century were put into motion, literally.Through the years, the automobile has evolved to become what we know today. From designing the Model T, to the Thunderbird and the Tiburon, the automobile industry has responded to meet cultural trends as well as to meet cutting edge technologies.Some examples of the trends that the industry paralleled are: the Art Deco movement during the American Great Depression, America's space program in the 1960's, the gas crisis in the 1970's, and the growing computer world in the present day.The car also has shaped society through associations such as NASCAR (National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing), NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) drag racing, and the loyal following of car collectors and enthusiasts.For the more popular music has used cars as a symbol, and marketers have fueled the influence cars have on pop culture.
Cars define the character of an American more than that of any other country in the world.From the massive tail-wings of the Cadillacs, borrowed from the space program, to the massive size and intimidation of the SUV's of today, cars also lend in the development of Americans' personalities.A person who wants to display power or to intimidate may drive a Ford Excursion or a Suburban because of its grandeur.The automobile reflects fame, fortune, power, and who we are.The automobile plays a prominent role in American media; the automobile is on TV in races, in movies, in advertisements, and in general programming.Many celebrities are defined or recognized by the cars they d…


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