The 1920s marked a period of technological inventions in the United States. Some of the notable inventions in the 1920s included, for instance, the radio and the automobile. Further, a continued focus on technological advancement in the 1950s transformed the culture of American citizens. Among the technological inventions that emerged in the 1950s included the television, which revolutionized mass communication (Hughes, 2004). Later on, in the 2000s, advancements in technology included the advent of the internet. Over the years, technological inventions have revolutionized how the society conducts itself. For example, technology has changed how people carry out their daily activities, bringing greater efficiency both at home, workplace, and influencing the politics of the day (Brynjolfsson & McAfee, 2014). An analysis of technological advancements in the 1920s, 50s, and 2000s shows that the impact of technology on the society and politics is significant.
The Impact of Technology on The Society and Politics Since The 1920s to 2000s
After the WWI, technologic inventions took center stage as a way to improving the socio-economic and political standing of the United States. Among the significant technological innovations in the 1920s included automobile and radio respectively. The invention of the automobile by Henry Ford, for instance, made transport more comfortable for the American people during the 1920s. The establishment of an assembly line not only contributed to lowering the price of cars but also created employment opportunities in the 1920s thus improving the living standards of locals (Hughes, 2004). On the same note, the advent of production line started by Henry Ford also contributed to the emergence of new industries that manufactured, for example, electrical goods as well as man-made fibers. In essence, the establishment of new industries in the 1920s gave the United States an advantage regarding economic development compared to other industrialized countries such as Britain and Germany (Hughes, 2004).
The advent of radio in the 1920s played a significant role in disseminating information to citizens across the United States. Similarly, the radio also helped the political elite to advance their political agendas to the population. In the 1920s, radio was the primary media for broadcasting in the United States. Further, after the WW1, Americans hoped for good times moving forward and entertainment dominated everyday life during the period. The media that was used then to bring entertainment to people's everyday life was radio. The advent of radio in the 1920s also transformed American culture due to its widespread use. In addition, radio became an important part of people's lives in America during the 1920s because it provided them with a medium for news and entertainment respectively (Lewis, 1992). The introduction of radio in the 1920s also contributed to the emergence of commercial radio, which had a significant impact on United States economy. Alongside the invention of the radio, which brought entertainment to American homes, silent movies were also popular in the 1920s. As such, the film industry thrived in the 1920s becoming the 3rd ranked business in the United States economy during the period. However, radio did not have a significant influence on American politics until the 1930s during the Great Depression (Lewis, 1992). Overall, technological inventions in the 1920s contributed to the development of the United States.
In the 1950s, one of the most popular technological innovations of the period was television. Television brought about a culture of entertainment to American homes and providing American families with a means to spend their leisure. Similarly, the introduction of television after WWII brought about significant changes in the United States economy (Cohen, 2004). During the period, television played an important role in revolutionizing the entertainment industry, which helped to boost America's economy, as more people were willing to spend on entertainment. Politically, the introduction of television in the 1950s changed how American citizens perceived the political system thus transforming the country's political landscape. On another note, through the television, the political elite found a means to interact directly with constituents or the target audiences. Politicians further used television for their election campaigns as well as advancing their political agenda (Torres, 2003). Within the political landscape in the 1950s, television also played a role in creating awareness about racial justice thus influencing civil rights reforms.
In the 2000s, a critical technological invention that has changed almost all aspects of everyday life is the internet technology. In essence, the internet has created a "global village" in the sense that it has removed geographical barriers in the communication arena. For instance, family members or friends can communicate in real time using virtual platforms such as Skype. Further, the internet technology has also transformed the workplace and bringing about greater efficiency in business activities across the United States (Karoly & Panis, 2004). The technology has also enhanced interaction between people across geographical boundaries. For example, American citizens can now make friends with other people from different countries thus increasing cultural awareness among American citizens, which has improved co-existence between people from diverse ethnic and cultural background. The internet has also changed America's political landscape by providing politicians with a means to communicate and respond to constituents' problems in real time (Brynjolfsson & McAfee, 2014).
Technological inventions since the 1920s to 2000s have played a key role in transforming America's culture, economy, and political landscape. Among the influences of technological innovations on America's society and politics, including changing the daily lives of citizens through the dissemination of essential news, bringing entertainment to homes and creating employment opportunities through establishment of industries influenced by technological advancements. On the same note, technology has also ensured politicians can relate more to their constituents and understand their pressing needs.
Brynjolfsson, E., & McAfee, A. (2014). The second machine age: Work, progress, and prosperity in a time of brilliant technologies. New York, NY: WW Norton & Company.
Cohen, L. (2004). A consumers' republic: The politics of mass consumption in postwar America. Journal of Consumer Research, 31(1), 236-239 https://doi.org/10.1086/383439
Hughes, T. P. (2004). American genesis: A century of invention and technological enthusiasm, 1870-1970. Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press.
Lewis, T. (1992). " A godlike presence": The impact of radio on the 1920s and 1930s. OAH Magazine of History, 6(4), 26-33. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/25154082
Karoly, L. A., & Panis, C. W. (2004). The 21st century at work: Forces shaping the future workforce and workplace in the United States. Santa Monica, CA: Rand Corporation.
Torres, S. (2003). Black, white, and in color: Television and black civil rights. Princeton, New Jersey, NJ: Princeton University Press.
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