Causes Of The Dust Bowl

1225 Words5 Pages
The dust bowl was one of the greatest agricultural disasters in American history. It directly impacted tens of thousands of farmers and indirectly affected millions across the nation. But what were the causes of the dust bowl; the policies and practices that allowed the disaster to develop? How did it affect the people, the environment, and the nation itself? And what changes to common practices and policies did it take to resolve the disaster?
One of the first causes of the dust bowl can be traced back in the 1860’s. On May 20, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln passed the Homestead Act and encouraged thousands of Americans to migrate westward into the great plains by promising settlers 160 acres of land if they could work on the land for five
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Many farmers responded to the price drop by producing even more to compensate for the lower prices so they could keep up with their debts. By the 1930’s, farmland in the great plains to become three times larger than a decade before. Copious amounts of soil has been plowed for so long that the topsoil has practically become dust. These stated events were the reasons many farmers endlessly plowed the great plains over the course of decades with little focus on land management, thus setting the stage for the dust bowl.
As said before, the great plains environment would have cycles of dry years, the drought during the 1930’s has been recorded as deficient in rainfall, extreme hot temperatures, and high winds. This spelled disaster for the 300,000 square miles of over farmed land in the great plains. The lack of rain stunted crops, the intense heat dried and withered them, and the wind would blow them away. Quite literally, farmers watched as their challenging work was withered and blown away in front of
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An estimated 2.5 million farmers migrated to other regions during the dust bowl, one of the most intense internal migration periods in US history. The dust bowl devastated the agriculture of the US; it displaced thousands of farmers and turned millions of acres of grassland as desolate dust dunes, and it was because we allowed it to. Upon seeing the crisis, President Franklin D. Roosevelt stated in one of his famous radio fireside chats, “I would not have you think for a single minute that there is permanent disaster in these drought regions, or that the picture I saw meant depopulating these areas.” FDR was committed to resolve the issues created by the dust bowl in his new
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