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Discussion #9: 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?

In order to earn the full 100 points (100%) for this assignment, you must:

  1. Directly and completely answer at least ONE question. Please make sure that you clearly indicate which question you have chosen to discuss. Clearly and accurately explain your answer based on factual information contained in the assigned readings. (80 points)
  2. Students must respond to at least one fellow student’s posting explaining the reason(s) for their agreement or disagreement, with the arguments that have been presented, in order to get full credit for the discussion. (20 points)
  3. When posting your response to a fellow student’s comment, please try whenever possible, to select the question that you did not address for your discussion.
  4. Make sure that all statements are supported with facts from the reading selection


You must proofread your paper. But do not strictly rely on your computer’s spell-checker and grammar-checker; failure to do so indicates a lack of effort on your part and you can expect your grade to suffer accordingly. Papers with numerous misspelled words and grammatical mistakes will be penalized. Read over your paper – in silence and then aloud – before handing it in and make corrections as necessary. Often it is advantageous to have a friend proofread your paper for obvious errors. Handwritten corrections are preferable to uncorrected mistakes.
Use a standard 10 to 12 point (10 to 12 characters per inch) typeface. Smaller or compressed type and papers with small margins or single-spacing are hard to read. It is better to let your essay run over the recommended number of pages than to try to compress it into fewer pages.

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