Dust Bowl DBQ

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The 120,000 square-mile area the Dust Bowl destroyed was Kansas, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and Colorado. The Dust Bowl was a name given to the Great Plains region that was struck with a drought in the 1930’s. Before the Depression, many of the farmers in the Great Plains were over producing wheat due to the war. Farmers plowed more land and removed grass in order to make more room for their crops. Then the Depression hit and the demand for wheat decreased. Farmers did not need as much land as before so they left a majority of it unoccupied and bare. Since there was no grass to hold all the dirt down, when winds would pick up the loose dirt it would create dense dust clouds, that were also known as “black blizzards”. These storms ruined …show more content…

In Rich Land, Poor Land, the author explains the importance of grass in the Great Plains. Grass is what held everything together and what was important in the Plains (Doc. B). Without grass in the open dirt fields could easily cause a dense dirt cloud, which could ruin communities. A common type of grass that grew in the Dust Bowl region was buffalo grass (Doc. B). Buffalo grass only grew about four inches tall, but the grass was able to hold all the dirt beneath it. When farmers need that land they would remove the grass, increasing their chances of being caught in a “black blizzard”. Grass removal in the Great Plains was also due to overproduction of wheat during World War …show more content…

In The Worst Hard Time, the author explains how new technology led to overproduction of many crops. A tractor was able to do the work of ten horses and a combine was able to thresh grain in one swoop. A farmer’s harvest could even go up by the thousands. As the farmers made more money they bought nearby land and ripped the grass out to make more space for more crops (Doc. C). With the overproduction of land came bare fields. Without grass to hold the soil down, wind could easily pick up the soil and create a dust storm. In the chart by the Great Plains Drought Area Committee Report of August 27, 1963, it shows the average amount of crops harvested in eight Great Plains states. In 1888 only 50 million acres were harvested. Then in 1929, before the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl, 150 acres were harvested (Doc. D). Since there was so much more wheat being produced at this time more land was being used and more grass was being taken away and more storms could occur.
Although there are many causes of the Dust Bowl the three most significant causes were the drought, removal of grass and the overproduction of crops in the Great Plains. The drought greatly dried out the land in the Great Plains. Removal of grass was also crucial during World War I because of the demand for wheat, but it was not during the Dust Bowl. By removing the grass it created much more room for storms to pick up the dirt and destroy

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