Dust Bowl

December 8, 2017 General Studies

The Dust Bowl was caused by farmers over-plowing. Once farmers began to use tractors the amount of crops that were harvested was incredible. “A tractor did the work of ten horses. With his new combine, Folders could cut and thresh the grain in one swoop, using Just a fraction of the labor…. ” (Document C). Lots of crops were being harvested and much more easily too, but it wasn’t doing any good to the land, because soon it Just became too much. After awhile, no plants or trees were able to old the soil, which led to a depletion of the soils nutrients.

Continuous plowing to the land created the dust accumulation to increase therefore only causing the Dust Bowl to worsen. Because of over-plowing, none of the crops were growing, meaning no food. This later brought on a famine. A famine during the Great Depression only made matters worse. It was bad enough that people were Just barely getting by with the little food and money that they had, but for the states that bought crops from these regions affected by the Dust Bowl, it meant no food at all.

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Also, the prolonged drought during this time period, played a big role in causing the Dust Bowl. The drought didn’t allow for any crops in the arid regions to grow. “John Wesley Powell, the great Western explorer, determined that 20 inches of rain annually was the minimum for successful farming on the Plains” (Document E), except during this time, the amount of annual rainfall only ranged from about 16-18 inches, which clearly wasn’t enough. No rain, no crops, no food. Without the rain, the land was only getting more and more dry, day by day, which had an affect on more Han Just the crops. Livestock and wildlife did not have even…. Crude defenses” (Document A). The drought only helped make this time period worse. Because there was nothing getting rid of all the dust accumulations, they only increased. So when the heavy and severe dust storms came around, more dust was available to only make the storms worse. Lastly, depopulation of the Dust Bowl towns was another cause of the Dust Bowl. Since many people fled the towns that were being affected by the dust storms, a lot f land was Just left alone to accumulate more dust.

Depopulation also greatly affected the Great Depression. If people were leaving their hometowns, it meant they were off to other states in search of Jobs, money, and a better life. Many fled to California with high hopes of finding something better than what they had before, but because of the Great Depression that was very unlikely. There weren’t many Jobs available at the time and having more people in search of Jobs, money, and a better life, only added on to the bad economy.

The more Jobless people that came about from the Dust Bowl made the economy go from bad to worse. The Dust Bowl, “the story of the southern plains in the sass is essentially about dust storms, when the earth ran amok”, (Document A), that in addition, also affected the Great Depression. The over-plowing, prolonged drought, and depopulation was all apart of what caused the devastation, that we call the Dust Bowl. And what came out of it, only helped make things worse during the Great Depression, making the economy worse and the famine come about.


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