Project #3499 - Discussion Question

PLEASE NO PLAGIARIZED WORK! 

250 word min.  

I would like to open this thread for the purposes of discussing technology and American History.  Please use this space to discuss any aspect of technology and the impact of technological change on American society during the period covered in this course.

In his book The Culture of Time and Space 1880-1918, historian Stephen Kern suggests that radical changes in technology changed American’s perception of temporal and spatial reality during the late 19th and early 20th century. A quick example will help: the four time zones currently deployed in the continental United States did not come into existence until the latter part of the 19th century.  The various time zones became necessary to the railroad industry, and the new ways in which technology had made transit and communication across vast spans of space possible. Technological innovation changed American’s relationship with space and time.

But Kern takes his analysis much further. Kern refers to time and space as the universal and “essential” realities and he suggests that people understand , experience and live life primarily through the interpretative lens associated with such things. Kern argues that during the four decades between 1880 and 1918 an unprecedented cultural renovation and transformation occurred regarding the way Americans perceived, interpreted, and made sense of space and time. Technological innovation broke down traditional perceptions of speed, space, form, distance, size, and conventional values and meanings associated with these entities. The telephone and the telegraph altered perceptions of time by allowing individuals in one place to experience simultaneous events in another for the first time. Advances in transportation made the country seem smaller, as railroads, automobiles, bicycles, and trams allowed people to commute imposing distances more efficiently and effectively. Basic perceptions of the physical world and the rhythm and processes intrinsic to it ---- time and space ------ changed radically, thanks to technological innovations. 

Would anybody like to comment on this? Would anybody like to comment on some other aspect of technology and the impact of technological innovation on American history during the years from 1865-1945?

Subject History
Due By (Pacific Time) 03/22/2013 01:00 pm
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