First, Egan believes that the Chicago Syndicate, as well as the government, took part in causing the Dust Bowl. The Worst Hard Time began with an explanation of how the land was inhabited after the Comanche were kicked off. Texas wanted an extravagant state capitol building after the Civil War. In order to fund this building, Texas agreed to give land to whoever would take on the endeavor of building the structure. The Chicago Syndicate decided to take on the project. The Chicago Syndicate also attracted some British investors. Now that the investors had so much land in exchange for agreeing to build the state capitol, the dilemma arose about what to do with the vacant, flat, and grassy land. Through the syndicate, this land developed into a huge ranch equipped with cattle, windmills, fences, and eventually barbed wire. Even though all of those ranch commodities took over the huge expanse of land, there was not enough profit. Since the investors were not receiving their desired return on the land they invested in, they decided to turn to selling the land. Egan said that the investors saw the land as “unloved” and “inhabited,” but Egan goes on to give multiple examples of how the syndicate still tried to sell the land. For example, Egan explains that the investors sent out brochures playing up this land in order to get people to buy it, thus giving the investors the profit they desired. To do this, “twice a month, agents for the ...
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...of the Dust Bowl.
Finally, the lack of rain was another cause of the Dust Bowl. While giving further information about the overproduction of the Great Plains, Egan mentions the drought. Egan mentions that the farmers “needed the moisture of spring, but they got noting from the sky. The soil turned to fine particles and started to roll, stir, and take flight” (Egan 103). The lack of rain kept the land parched. The dry land then began to be lifted without the indigenous grasses in place. The dry land was lifted into the air creating the giant dust storms that would dump tons of the particles elsewhere.
In his book The Worst Hard Time, Timothy Egan points to the syndicate and government, overproduction of the land, and the drought as causes of the Dust Bowl. Not one unique problem, but a combination of problems turned once thriving and grassy lands to wither away.
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