Saturday, November 13, 2010

Were Henry Ford and other 19th and 20th century Industrialists a positive influence on American society?



To all participants,

Make sure leave a comment on the previous post as well if you did not do so already. Also, try to make reference to both the readings and the speakers. If you have problems submitting a post feel free to email me.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

32 comments:

Mrs. Cone said...

Vincent and Jonathan did a great job of providing us with some background that expanded on our readings. I actually liked how they provided a lot of information but did not implicitly argue a position. I think that allowed us the opportunity to cull what we had read with what they expanded upon and formulate our arguments more uniquely. After planning and deliberating, we decided that Henry Ford and the other 19th and 20th century industrialists were mostly a positive influence on American society. Their innovations in business allowed for the production of affordable consumer goods. The fact that Henry Ford paid his workers a fair wage afforded his employees an opportunity to buy into that consumer society. The economic stimulation that Ford and others helped to create had ripple effects as well. It created more jobs and raised the overall standard of living. In addition, while some argue that the car led to an erosion of traditional family values and decreased church h attendance, we focused on the fact that the car led to increased freedom for many segments of society.

Joan said...

The presentations given by Professor Cannato and Jonathan Greiner gave a comprehensive look at the influence of Henry Ford and his Model T as well as a glimpse into what life was like during the early 20th century. Henry Ford’s vision of reducing job turnover and adopting assembly-line techniques resulted in making a car quickly and cheaply. The middle class grew as a decent salary resulted in consumers purchasing items with improved technology such as a vacuum cleaner, electric sewing machine, washing machine, or radio, to name a few.
The car was now a symbol of social equity where before the Model T, only the rich were able to own cars. The economic impact was a ripple effect: the working-man was able to buy an affordable car which could be used for transportation, life was made easier for farmers, life was improved for urban and rural citizens by providing transportation for leisure time activities, and it stimulated the economy. For people who could not afford unpaid vacations, they were able to day trip on the weekend with their families. The automobile infrastructure began to develop, which included paved roads, and eventually, one out of eight people in the country were employed in a business that included service stations, petroleum refineries, steel mills, used car sales, or motels. Other positive effects included cleaning up city streets that had previously been filled with the carcasses of dead horses and their excrement, which children would play in. The Model T offered people an alternative to public transportation and the freedom to move out of cities. This resulted in the development of suburban communities where families could enjoy living in a home with a yard for their children to play in and escape crowded tenements.
Reading John Steinbeck’s “A Model T Named ‘It’” and E.B. White’s “Farewell, My Lovely” offered entertaining glimpses into personal accounts of experiences driving the Model T. I enjoyed his story about putting oatmeal into the radiator of a later car model in an attempt to seal a leak (which was done to repair leaks in the Model T) that resulted in decorating the windshield and his mother’s hat with the oatmeal mushroom that spewed out. It was interesting that Steinbeck refers to “American restless [which] took on new force.” In Middletown, the authors referred to high school students indicating that the use of the automobile ranked fifth (with boys) and fourth (with girls) in a list of twelve possible sources of disagreement with their parents. Another account of an elderly pillar of a prominent church who missed church because he went on a day trip in his car, suggesting that church should be “interesting enough so they’ll want to come” in this excerpt indicated that the Model T was not only desirable for the younger generation.
At the end of the workshop, it was the consensus of everyone that the effect was more positive than negative. Ford’s assembly line revolutionized manufacturing, competition benefited capitalism, the affordable Model T resulted in providing jobs for one-eighth of the population, public health was improved by getting horses off the streets and speed limits evolving, a shortened day provided opportunities for leisure time activities. The three most influential inventions of the 20th century were identified as electricity, the automobile, and the computer. Henry Ford was a large part of that influence.

R. Restifo said...

I don't that there is any doubt that Ford's ability to produce an affordable car influenced American society. The socio-economic impact of the car probably has influenced society as much as the computer during more modern times. The economic impact on other industries such as the steel, glass, rubber, oil, in addition to construction industries relating to new highways to home building resulting from the suburbs spreading. The social aspect of giving more freedom of movement and the ability of people to visit family and friends.
I thought both speakers were excellent, the only thing missing was more information to assist the con side.

sryan said...

Although the focus question is quite broad, the readings and lecture basically focused in on Henry Ford. Since he was the central focus of our controversy workshop, I would have to respond in the affirmative to the proposed question. Yes indeed, Henry Ford and other 19th-20th century Industrialists were a positive influence on American society. Ford is credited to introducing the $5 work day, thus helping immigrants fulfill their “American Dream”. His constant improvements in automation, led to efficiency in the production of automobiles. This afforded the common man access to motor vehicles, at the time when cars were seen as a luxury. Once people had access to cars, this led to the development of the suburbs, lessening the overcrowding in the cities. With the increased production of automobiles, the labor force expanded. New jobs were created to service the vehicles, build roadways, and construct bridges. The modern family could now take vacations away from their hometowns. This resulted in the creation of motels and eating establishments. These were only some of the positives effects attributed to industrialists such as Ford.

Christina said...

While there were obviously negative effects of rapid industrialization, overall Ford and others facilitated American economic development, promoted a consumer culture accessible to the masses, led to new social patterns, and perhaps even saved capitalism. Ford’s assembly line production and Taylorism changed the way factories were run, and eventually made what were once luxury products available to all because their prices were lowered. Society was changed once more and more people had access to cars—everything from the creation of suburbs to dating patterns, as John Greiner outlined. In our discussion with Professor Cannato, the pro side suggested that perhaps Ford and those that followed him may have “saved” capitalism when they improved pay, such as the $5 day, and offered benefits. These new industrialists were no longer viewed as “robber barons” but rather “welfare capitalists.” They may have prevented a socialist or communist revolution.

Mr. Madeiras said...

It is difficult to argue against the positive impact Henry Ford had on America. Essentially our livelihood is tied to the innovations developed within the Ford factories. Our destiny was tied to the automobile. American infrastructure, jobs related to the automobile, and development of suburbia changed the face of America, and Fordism effectively made the car and eventually other luxury items affordable. Now many would see our reliance on consumer goods to be negative. These once luxury items (cars, dishwashers, washing machines) suddenly become necessities for the American consumer, and for many, happiness depends on our next purchase. There is little doubt that this consumer society altered traditional values, however, it did put America on a path of economic superiority in the 20th century.

Mr. Cone said...

As far as the question as to whether Ford and others were a positive influence on society, I believe that this is not so cut and dry. There are times when I believe that yes, they were positive and other times in which I believe that they anything but positive for American society.
One of the things that was a move in the right direction was to pay their workers more than the prevailing wage. Ford, through his $5 a day initiative, created a living wage in which the worker was able to afford luxury items such as a car. This came at a time when many people were struggling to make ends meet. However, this wage increase came at a price. We saw how Ford had certain expectations of his workers and would even send his inspectors to employee’s homes to ensure that they were living a “proper lifestyle.”
There were things that also disturbed me about Ford and his impact on society. One of the issues was how Ford pushed the idea of consumerism through his drive to make the car affordable to every American. By doing this, he helped to establish America’s reliance on the automobile and thus, inadvertently perhaps, stalled the establishing of a viable mass transit system throughout the U.S. The speakers discussed how Europe developed a love with the automobile, but the rate at which automobiles were sold over there was not nearly as fast as over here. Therefore, more money and effort was spent on European rail lines which helped to connect their people to one another.

Christy said...

Overall, I believe that Henry Ford was a positive influence on American society. The car itself positively changed daily life, the $5 day provided workers of the time period with more buying power, and Ford's Model T promoted the growth of other industries, thus spurring the economy.

Despite the statement in the Lynd article, that "The automobile appears to some as an "enemy" of the home and society," the article also goes on to explain how the car brought families together and revolutionized leisure time. Citizens were able to take more vacations and go on more excursions. Halberstam states that, "Near the end of this century it was clear that he (Ford) had played a major part in creating a new kind of society in which man thought as much about leisure time as about his work." Also, according to Mr. Cannato, the automobile ended the isolation that people living in rural areas experienced. The average family could now afford to have a car and interact more with the community. Mr. Greiner even explained how people could purchase parts from the Sears catalog to customize their Model Ts. Farmers could attach a plow or pretty much any other attachment that would make their work easier. It is clear that Henry Ford's Model T positively affected peoples' daily lives.

In the reading, Halberstam states that, "By 1920 the United States had been transformed from a production economy; designed to increase production as the key to increasing wealth, to a consumption economy." Ford's $5 day played a large role in this transformation. The $5 day gave Ford's workers more money to spend and thus, increased the number of consumers in society. The creation of the Model T increased consumerism because prior to this time, automobiles were only for the rich. Ford was able to provide a car that the common man could afford. Drucker states that Ford "made true the great dream of the political crusaders of 1896: the industrial production might be made to serve the common man."

Ford's creation of the Model T had a positive influence on American society because it spurred the growth of other industries. Mr. Greiner's presentation notes link the sale of the Model T with the creation of motels, fast food restaurants, and more money spent on paved roads. All of these developments led to job growth and had a positive influence on American society.

Mr. DeMatteo said...

Ford’s impact on American, as well as, global society I feel is not a matter of black and white – but varying shades of grey. Ford mastered the concept of mass production. He pulled together an existing philosophy and helped innovate the technology. There were many unintended side effects to what he has done. His obsession with efficiently help made it possible for the consumer culture to exist. The sheer amount of products that were produced and made available across the consumer spectrum at the attractive prices that were set encouraged all people to believe that everything would be in reach one day. For those who could not wait – credit was established. With the onset of both World Wars and the production demands that were set and exceeded - peace time production flooded the market place. This made possible by Fords theories - innovations in the philosophy and execution of mass production. Ford did become obsessive with his search for efficiency, and as a result lost touch with the consumer. He believed that he knew best. His “generously” of the $5.00 work day – touted as a social revolution for the middle class – was done simply to keep employees from leaving the Ford workforce because the jobs became so mundane and task oriented. Skilled craftsmen were reduced to pieces of the machine. As time progressed and Fords obsession grew – his workers were dehumanized were thought of as cogs of those machines. Unions were created to protect workers from the man that Ford had become.

Ms. Stewart said...

All things considered, Henry Ford and other 19th and 20th century industrialists were a positive influence on American society. The growth of the automobile industry in the early 1900s first of all had a positive economic impact as it stimulated many other industries, from those directly related to the production of the automobile to those “accessory” industries that sprang up as a result of social changes, i.e. motels, fast-food restaurants, etc. This increased opportunity for people throughout the nation and raised the overall standard of living. Broadly speaking, some of Ford’s ideas caught on in other industries, as more employers began paying wages which allowed their workers to be consumers as well. This new generation of consumers had access to a wide range of goods, not only the automobile but many new labor-saving devices as well, all of which changed the nature of leisure time, allowing for Sunday drives and family vacations, all but unheard of before. The automobile itself provided a tremendous amount of freedom, for example, freedom from the schedules of public transportation and from the isolation of rural life. Although there were certainly downsides to the methods and results of Ford and other industrialists, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks with regard to the impact on the American economy and society.

Daniela McKee said...

This class was unique in that there was a unanimous decision that the answer to the question was yes, Henry Ford and the other industrialists were a positive influence on American society. The speakers and readings did an excellent job of presenting Henry Ford in all of his flawed glory. However, the power and influence of what he was selling was so far reaching that it is impossible to imagine today’s American society without his influence. He revolutionized production and efficiency, and the Model T paved the way for suburbs, family time, travel, creating your own schedule, personal freedom, and countless other industries. He was positive for free enterprise and stimulated many jobs. The con side was compelling but the evidence of the pro side was overwhelming.

mnolan7715 said...

I was assigned the con side in this debate and had a lot of trouble coming up with strong arguments, but I think that there are many disadvantages to living in a society today that is completely reliant on the automobile. Henry Ford made the car more accessible so that it was not just a luxury item for the wealthy but something that could be bought by the middling classes. As a result, we've turned into the society that lacks in public transportation and one that is so reliant on oil. The pro side brought up the fact that cars replaced horses which actually benefitted the environment in the short run, but you can't deny the long term environmental effects that the automobile has had and continues to have in our modern world.

stapes1976 said...

I believe that although the character of Henry Ford is very questionable, his creation of the Model T, and his idea of mass production was a positve influence on American society. Ford's creation allowed for a creation of suburban life which led to a healthier lifestyle for adults and children. The amount of business it delieverd to all industries cannot be debated. He truly helped to boost the economic situation in many areas. This invention also helped to promote socialization amongst families and friends that didn't live near one another.

AFisk said...

Overall, I think it would be hard to argue that Henry Ford was not a positive influence on American society. The access of the automobile by the common man almost single handedly gave rise to middle class consumerism that helped define the United States’ economy ever since. “Fordism” led the way to mass production of a litany of products that could now be produced in such quantities as to make the price affordable for the common man. This beginning of a new consumer middle class gave rise to the new "consumer" economy that America has since embraced. In the sense that the life style of the average American, and the quality of life he experienced, had vastly improved from that point forward is evidence enough of its positive influence. Were there drawbacks to this “new” society? Of course – with all progress comes change that may at the time seem destructive. In retrospect though, it can be viewed as advancements to many of the positive social, political as well as economic changes which occurred in society from that time period forward.

mgoldberg said...

Ford had a positive influence on American society due to his efficiency, commitment, passion, and a vision of the Modern Age. Affordability, the assembly line, mass production, and consumerism changed the standard of living for the masses. The automobile was no longer only a “want” for the rich but it became a “need” the everyday man. Ford did not invent the car or the concepts but he perfected them and created an industry that would change our lives in so many ways. The 1920’s was the Age of Consumerism and Ford played an integral part that enabled the common man to afford a luxury-“Fordized” through mass production. The automobile not only provided a mode of transportation but it also gave the working man hope, motivation and dreams for all of their hard labor. His vision gave people a reason to wake up every morning and go to work in hopes of getting the “big prize”…capitalism working. He helped to incorporate the $5 wage, the 8 hour work day, and welfare capitalism which believed in the common man to rise above and hoped to receive loyalty in return. Suburbs grew, working opportunities expanded, it united families, leisure time through vacations, industries blossomed, and infrastructures were created which united our nation through convenient and cheaper transportation. Ford was the creative force behind an industry of unprecedented size and wealth that in only a few decades permanently changed the economic and social character of the United States.

bkilkenny said...

It would be difficult to argue that Henry Ford and the other Industrialists did not have a positive influence on American society. The country certainly went through growing pains as it adjusted to new social and economic conditions caused by the rapid industrialization of the early 20th Century, but the long term effects led the US toward economic and industrial leadership in the world economy.
Ford and his car made America an automobile centered society. This popularity of the car also enabled other industries, such as rubber, glass, steel, petroleum, etc. to grow rapidly. His ability to combine mass production with a former novelty like the automobile created an American culture that is, still today, dominated by personal transportation.
There are certainly draw backs to Ford’s influence but they were significantly more positive than negative.

vwpaullos said...

Henry Ford and other 19th & 20th century Industrialists were a positive force on American society for many reasons. For instance, Ford's five dollar work day forced his competitors to increase their pay rates and his very affordable Model T ensured that all "diligent" Americans could have a car in his/her driveway. During this period the overall standard of living increased, so judging by this standard life was getting better in the U.S. However the car's gift of individuality, as Vincent and Jonathan pointed out, also led to the erosion of traditional family values. Overall 19th & 20th century Industrialists stimulated the economy, according to the reading, which had a positive influence. As far as the presenters were concerned, it would have been more helpful as a learning experience if they would have taken sides and had a debate. Overall though this was another productive Saturday session and I was happy to have been a part of it.

Sahmedani said...

Athough there were negative effects of industrialization, I feel that the positive effects outweigh the negative. Henry Ford is a key player in industrialization in the early
20th century. His Model T, to a certain degree, helped to create a middle class America. Ford wasn't just catering to the upper echelons of society- he was creating a mass market for his automobile. His success led to changes in the workplace, an assembly line with skilled workers, and a five dollar day helped to move wage laws in the right direction. For the first time leisure became a business. People were able to branch out and go places that formerly would be unreachable. The entertainment industry would focus on the middle class now, rather than just entertaining the wealthy. I believe that the industrialists were important to starting a middle class America.

pcostell said...

The American industrial machine had its birth with Henry Ford and the other industrialists and they clearly "made" modern America. While our wealth, power and influence are admirable, ninty years or so later we can see the cracks in that machine: too reliant on autos, the consumer culture that developed etc...The positive would have to be Ford's 5 dollar day and the growth of the middle class. Ford was brilliant; make sure your workers have enough money to buy your products!

TAH said...

Maureen S. While initially it seems that Henry Ford was a positive influence on American society because of the many innovations derived from his single-mindedness and the consequent availability of a better life for “average” Americans, closer analysis reveals a host of negatives as well. The implications of manufacturing an automobile that was produced both quickly and cheaply for the masses came at a high price. The readings and the presentations by Professor Cannato and Jonathan Greiner illustrate how Ford’s dogged determination and the economic and social conditions in the United States in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century coalesced to make the automobile an integral part of American life and a symbol for the modern age loaded with a mixed bag plusses and minuses. Americans’ views on personal finance, the workplace, social arrangements and expectations were profoundly affected in ways that Ford and his contemporaries could not have imagined.

Several factors contributed to Ford’s impact on America. Ford’s interest in machines, a desire to leave the drudgery of the farm, his overarching anti-intellectualism and an obsession with increasing production rather than improving the product to gain the largest market share made him unique. But it was an America that was ready for him, that made Ford successful. Late nineteenth and early twentieth century America was the home to millions of new immigrants looking for work, mechanization was coming to its farms and a transportation system consisting of waterways and railroads was expanding. Added to this were the abundant natural resources especially the discovery of oil in Beaumont, Texas in 1901 and Ford’s rise was as inevitable as the development of a “consumption economy”.

To be fair in examining the positives, by 1920 with workers were “…able to consume the fruits of their labor…” (Halberstrom p.71) due to Ford’s mass produced Model T and his introduction of the five dollar a day scheme. With the birth of the assembly line in 1913 and the automatic conveyer belt in 1914, production was speeded up as every task was “…timed, rationalized, broken down into smaller pieces and speeded up.” Halberstrom, p. 78). So now the workers could own the cars they made as the price of a Model T went from $780 in 1910-1911 to $360 in 1913. But the cost was high when one considers the dehumanizing conditions under which the workers had to perform. Workers lost their autonomy and became slaves to the machines of production, performing the same monotonous tasks day in and day out. Since skilled labor was no longer required, one’s satisfaction in life no longer came from work but with what they could do and buy outside of the workplace and hey with an eight-hour work day; life was good said Ford and his contemporaries. However, the advancement of the consumer economy by Ford had a negative impact on American habits and spending. As the Lynds noted in Middletown, many Americans were willing to go into debt in order to have a car, establishing as a habit of spending money that they did not have. Borrowing was encouraged by all of the major automobile manufacturers and banks and quickly the idea of buying on credit became acceptable. Fueled by the growth of advertising consumers began to see thrift as less of a virtue and debt as good. More and more, people came to define themselves by what they purchased, rather than by what they did. The result of this train of thought taken to its illogical conclusion of course can be seen as the genesis of the mortgage collapse of our recent past.

Yet by reexamining Ford’s contributions to manufacturing and their applications in various areas such as consumer products and the defense industry, it would be difficult to assert that we would have been better off without him (his craziness and Sociological Department, not included) Most Americans have a relatively decent standard of living with a wide range of products that we may or may not need.

Greg said...

Did Henry Ford have a positive influence on American Society? YES! No matter what his own twisted beliefs may have been, his creation of an affordable car, the mass production of that car, and the increased pay for his workers helped to create a society with a very high standard of living. Ford and other 20th century industrialists helped to create a consumer culture of constant technological innovations with sprawling suburbs connected by an elaborate network of roads. The car is the perfect symbol of American culture! It represents capitalism, individual freedom and control of one's destiny! Unfortunately, the government has controlled fuel production and is trying to get Americans out of their cars and into social mass transit - where we don't have any control over when or where it goes!

erica said...

I found this question to be the most difficult one of all to argue against. Although there were some obvious negative aspects of Henry Ford, it is hard to dispute the positive impact he did have on American Society. By streamlining production, Ford was able to keep costs down for his product. The mass production of his model T was also able to increase demand for related industries. I was unaware prior to the session how reluctant Ford was to change after his initial successes.

kevallo said...

If I was from the upper wealthy echelon of society, the easy answer to this question would be simple; yes. However, Henry Ford’s impact on the rest of the American world is questionable. For instance, the car provided freedom, jobs, and allowed us to turn our industry over to win World War II. However, looking at Ford’s legacy from the working man’s perspective he was just another greedy capitalist. It is also hard with Ford to overlook his anti-semitism, and the fact that he was sympathetic to the Nazis. However, we also have to give him credit for shaping modern America. Without the car, the country that we live would be a totally different place.

Thone said...

Henry Ford was a positive influence on American society. Even though he may have been an anti-semite, it’s hard to argue the economic and social contributions his automobile had on this country. His use of the assembly line helped to bring the automobile to the masses. Not only did the automobile spur economic growth, every industry connected to the automobile also saw growth. For most of the 20th century, the automobile industry was the backbone of the American economy. Henry Ford definitely deserves some credit for his contributions.

Robin J said...

As with many historical figures, when asked about their influnce and importance, one must weigh the good with the bad. Henry Ford revolutionized the automobile industry by making a the Model T more affordable for all. Yet, even though the car became more affordable, and Ford paid his workers fairly, there are also some aspects of Ford that don't mesh with him being a true vangard of the times. Ford refused to listen to the opinion of others, and refused to further modernize with the times. He also ruined his son finicially and mentally,and his anti-semitic feelings have been well documented. But, although Ford's visionary ideas did not grow to meet the times, orignally he was the man who helped the average american afford a former luxury item. Because of Ford, roads changed and were created, thus more jobs were created. Also due to his use of the assembly line, men like Gilbreath (Cheaper by the Dozen) used it in other factories and industries which stimulated our economy. Whatever our personal opinions on Ford might be, or even if we'd rather "push a Chevy than drive a Ford", we can't deny that Henry Ford had a positve influence on American society in the 20th century.

HSEMINTY said...

Before reading the book, I would have had a visceral reation to this question and replied with a negative. When we think of American industrialists our mind draws images of 'how the Other Half Lives' and pictures of filthy tenaments and ten year old fish cutters with mangled hands working ten hour day sint he factor. However, while these ills certainly had to be fought against, I think I am convinced that in the long run Ford and others were a mostly positive influence on American society. Henry Ford was one person in a long chain of entrepreneurs, industrialists, and other individuals who pushed the world towards a modern age. Their innovations led to an eventualy rise in living standard and wages for the average American, created more jobs and industry, and enabled America to become an industrial powerhouse. I think that it is intersting to ponder how America would have done in both of the World Wars without the influence of industrialists like Ford

cmverycute said...

They were leaders who shaped our country and gave the frameowrk for what we do today. The impact Henry Ford had on the US gave more opportunity to the American people. Jobs were offered, consumers were able to purchase a car for a reasonable amount of money. It kept the economy turning. I think without a big business leader like Henry Ford, we wouldn't be like we are today.

Brian said...

I think you have to agree that Henry Ford and other Captains of Industry were pivotal in the creation of the United States as an economic power. Even though there is a huge focus on the negative, they brought about a major economic change within the United States.

Mr. Toth said...

I was on the con side for this argument and remember having a lack of information to head into the controversy with a solid argument. The information for the pro side was strong and that made the debate process a little lopsided. Ford and the other industrial giants of the 19th and 20th century helped make the American economy the economy that it became famous for. While the methods of these men are often debated, the impact that had was great. The numbers that stuck with me the most from this session was the fact that Ford was able to create the firs t 5 dollar day, which gave his men a decent living. I also thought it was clever business, knowing that the men would in turn purchase a car since they would have the means to do so. I could not imagine what life would be like without an automobile, and it was the process that Ford used that allowed common folk to afford such a luxury of the time.

Mr. Karmin said...

While Ford and the other 19th and 20th century Industrialists may have been capitalists only seeking to make money by any means necessary, it is clear that their contributions had far reaching positive effects. Ford's automobile became the symbol of consumerism. It was both a sign of luxury and a necessity. It allowed for the expansion of the suburbs which provided many with a better life outside of the city. The jobs and infrastructure that were created provided a means of making money for countless people. The progress that the automobile brought about literally changed the landscape of America. Few inventions of modern times have had such positive and long lasting effects as the automobile.

CTator said...

Ford's business model and his "got to get one" automobile certainly influenced american society. His ability to produce a product that almost all americans can afford and almost every american owned one. Over 15 million Ford Model T's were produced which created new found opportunities that urban folk never had. The ability to travel farther and longer was now available to the masses. Not to mention his assembly line created well paid jobs and new labor practices. Ford was doing something that no other titan was doing, treating their workforce well and paying them top dollar.
The automobile became a means of culture blending where one's standard of living was increased and one's ability to enjoy the great life was now attainable.

Mr. Cummings said...

I thought our speakers did a very nice job presenting the opposing viewpoints on this question.
Using Henry Ford as the main focus of this argument, I would have to say that th influence of 19th &
20th century Industrialists on society was primarily positive. Most major changes in society will at first have some negative side affects, but in the case of Henry Ford I feel that the effects are predominantly positive. He revolutionized the way that products are manufactured with his assembly line. He treated his workers with respect, although he may have become too involved in their private lives. He also hired minorities.
His production process helped to make products that once could only be afforded by the wealthy accessible by the masses. The production of the automobile also created jobs, not just in manufacturing, but in the development of an infrastructure to support this new mode of transportation. This also spurred on the suburbanization of America.
I did find interesting the negative effects of the automobile including;the deterioration of the American family, decrease in church worship and the creative ways young adults utilized the automobile other than just a mode of transportation.