It often goes unnoticed in our day to day life how important cars are in the US. Think for a minute how often you’re in a car? Daily? Driving to work? Going to get something from Potsdam? How did you get to school at the beginning of the semester?
Cars have shaped how our culture interacts with American culture. How important is the ability to travel around to where ever you are? How well do you know the interstate freeways names? Cities in general have developed and faltered around the location due to major trade routes. The first cities surrounded the Mississippi River, Hudson River, Chesapeake River and all along the East coast. The next development was very dependent upon the use of railroads this allowed cities to connect to areas more inland. Buffalo, New York was a major transportation hub in the early 1900s due to the location on the Great Lakes and proximity to the North East. Grain and other supplies arrived from all over the Great Lake region to be shipped via trains to the rest of the North East. This importance made Buffalo one of the largest cities at the turn of the century. However with the introduction of major highways and ability to ship grain and other cargo to very specific locations via tractor trailers Buffalo’s location was less desirable and lead to a decline in Buffalo’s important location.
My concept for this blog is to look into the ways the automobile has intertwined itself with American culture and the implications it has caused. I want to go through a brief history of the automotive and looking at the ways it has impacted both our economy and culture. I would then like to look into specific aspects ranging from the corporate power of car companies, rural dependence on cars, suburbanization of America, environmental problems and issues, and try to guess how the car industry will influence America in the future.