The Dust Bowl The early 1900's were a time of turmoil for farmers in the United States, especially in the Great Plains region. After the end of World War I, overproduction by farmers resulted in low prices for crops. When farmers first came to the Midwest, they farmed as much wheat as they could because of the high prices and demand. Of the ninety-seven acres, almost thirty-two million acres were being cultivated. The farmers were careless in their planting of the crop, caring only about profit, and they started plowing grasslands that were not made for planting.
“The dust storms that swept across the southern plains in the 1930s created the most severe environmental catastrophe in the entire history of the white man on this continent.”(Location 445.) Had the area never been over worked and farmed to produce mass quantities of wheat and other crops the dust storms would never had happened. This is much like the economical blunder that caused the stock market crash of 1929 resulting in the Great Depression. Had the banks not been so eager to grow and approve credit and loans, essentially over working the money market, at an unusually high rate the stock market most likely would not have crashed. The causes of both the dust bowl and stock market crash were caused by the American society’s greed for wanting more than what they needed to sustain their way of
As time passed, other economies grew, while the agriculture economy diminished by half in just 50 years and was overtaken by the manufacturing industry. (Doc G) Farmers struggled for success and support, but instead received very little of either. According to the Agricultural Department, the summer of 1894 brought many hardships to the crops nationwide. Crops in South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota all were damaged by droughts, while New Jersey crops suffered from an abundance of rain. Temperatures and insect also devastated the crops.
To try to help out unemployed people, mostly men, the government introduced relief camps. During the 1930's in Prairie Canada, the Great Depression created harsh conditions and it was a struggle until it ended. The event which triggered the Great Depression was the Stock Market crash of October 24, 1929 in New York. Another important cause was that: Later in the 1930's, the wide adoption of the gold exchange in many countries was widely criticized as a great mistake which greatly contributed to the severity and length of the Great Depression. 1 In Canada, wheat, the most important export, was being over-produced around the world, despite the fact that the 1928 supply of wheat was still available in 1929.
After World War I, the price of food began to drop causing some dramatic effects on the United States economy. Americans faced a big impact on the Great Depression that made millions of people lose their jobs and were forced to leave their farm land. Many people, even those who could not afford it, invest all their money in stocks. Some even borrowed money to buy stocks. Prices of farm products fell sharply economic losses were aggravated by a drought.
Mortgages and rent payments could not be met, so people were moving into 'Hoovervilles'. These were 'shanty towns', nicknamed after Herbert Hoover, who was president at the time of the Wall Street crash. Even people who had expensive cars, etc, before now had nothing, some were even unable to pay for a bus fare. People with jobs and profitable companies even lost out because 5,000 banks went bust and the financial system virtually collapsed. Farmers suffered greatly, thousands of families who farmed had to sell their farms as it became uneconomical to grow crops.
The Dust Bowl was the name given to the Great Plains area in the 1930s. Much of the region was an agricultural area and relied on it for most of their economy. Combined with The Great Depression and the dust storms, farmers in the Great Plains area were severely hurt. These farmers were seeking opportunity elsewhere near the Pacific where they were mistreated by the others already there. The mistreatment is a form of disenfranchisement, by excluding and segregating a group of people from the rest of society.
This is a big issue because on a global scale we are letting Eastern Africa’s people suffer when there is no need of it. The drought in Eastern Africa is causing many conflicts and death due to lack of food and water. Meaning of Drought “For most of the history of our species we were helpless to understand how nature works. We took every storm, drought, illness and comet personally. We created myths and spirits in an attempt to explain the patterns of nature (Druyan).” According to Fox, Drought came also be seen as a slow- motion train wreck.
This widespread state of poverty had serious social repercussions for the country. America’s agricultural economy had already been suffering for a decade when nature conspired against the country to exacerbate the Great Depression. From 1931 through 1939, severe winds tore through the Dust Bowl – the region composed of the western parts of Kansas and Oklahoma, parts of New Mexico and Colorado, and the Texas panhandle. These winds stirred up the dust of a landscape already devastated by draught and continuous, exhaustive farming practices. These dust storms threatened people’s health and destroyed whole crops (MAP).
According to answers.com, a dust bowl is a region reduced to aridity by drought and dust storms. The best-known dust bowl is doubtless the one that hit the United States between 1933 and 1939. One major cause of that Dust Bowl was severe droughts during the 1930’s. The other cause was capitalism. Over-farming and grazing in order to achieve high profits killed of much of the plain’s grassland and when winds approached, nothing was there to hold the devastated soil on the ground.