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Assess the significance of Henry Ford in shaping modern America

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Assess the significance of Henry Ford in shaping modern America Out of all the people associated with the American boom, Henry Ford is amongst the most well known. It was due to his work ethic; aim to make an affordable car for all Americans, and his invention of the assembly line that improved America's infrastructure and made personal mobility easier and more affordable. In this essay, I will explore the changes that occurred in America due to Henry Ford, and weigh up their significance to modern America today. I will compare modern America with America in the 1920's and will look at the significance of Henry ford in the changes between them. Henry Ford wanted to make a car that was cheap enough for all American families to afford. Although this was a near impossible dream, it did result in Henry Ford trying to reduce the cost of cars, and therefore ending up with the idea for the 'Model T'. A great fan of 'Taylorism', Ford wanted to make the production of his cars faster and more efficient. Workers were timed and they were then given tasks that required less time and effort in order to speed up the process of making the 'Model T'. ...read more.


This was useful, as in order to stop workers leaving the factories to work elsewhere (due to their repetitive and tedious jobs on the assembly line) he could increase their wages. Ford increased his workers wages from $2.50 to $5, twice the average pay per day. This also created a ready market for the 'Model T' car, as workers were offered the chance to save their extra money in order to buy a car. Because Ford increased his workers wages, he brought up the average wage for workers in America, which meant more people had more disposable income, creating a market for buying cars. It also meant more people could afford to buy more in general, especially as they could buy with credit as well. This meant that people were spending their extra money, and in some cases (because they used credit) money they hadn't got, which meant the American economy was booming with the extra amount of money being spent on goods within the country. The increase in the workers wage, and the ease at which people were allowed to use credit to buy goods, meant that more and more people were buying cars. ...read more.


This meant that more roads had to be built around America, linking major cities, and improving communications. The car also meant that people could carry out daily tasks, such as shopping, with more efficiency, and because they were able to buy larger things, or produce in bulk, they spent more money which went into America's economy. Because businesses emulated Fords idea of an assembly line, mass production of goods such as the radio came about. This meant more advertising, and so the advertising industry was born. Ford's aim of making an affordable car for average American citizens meant that more people lived away from work, hence the growth of suburbs which are now spread across America, and are seen as desirable places to live. Ford had a lot of significance in shaping modern America, as his ideas and business ethic meant that cars became a necessity. Americans could live and travel wherever they wanted in the country. Because so many people were buying cars due to the 'Model T', roads had to be improved, and the infrastructure of America grew and vastly improved. Workers were paid more on average due to Ford raising his workers salaries, and due to the increase in disposable income and credit, more money was constantly being paid into the economy. ...read more.

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