How Did the Automobile Change the World?

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The invention of the automobile provided a means of easy transportation to much farther distances than were previously possible. It was purchased primarily by the rich until improvements in production allowed it to become accessible to the middle class.

The widespread availability and usage of the automobile in countries around the world allowed for expansion of cities and increased the amount of suburbs surrounding the city. The distance from an individual's home to their place of employment was no longer an issue, as many workers purchased automobiles, which gave them the ability to travel much farther and in a shorter amount of time than had been previously possible. Before the automobile, transportation was limited to public transit systems and horse-drawn carriages.

After roads were constructed and improved to facilitate the automobile, gas stations, roadside stores and other attractions between the suburbs and the city became common, creating new jobs. The restrictions between residence and profession were dissolved by automobile usage, allowing those who worked in the cities or suburbs to freely reside in areas at distance from their profession, while simply commuting to their jobs. Shipping from farms to cities became easier, which boosted the agrarian economy and helped bring large quantities of food supplies into cities.