Dust Bowl Dbq

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The Black Blizzards sweeping the plains of the 1930’s, better known as the Dust Bowl contributed to the extreme economic downturn of its time. These giant dust storms were caused mainly by a combination of environmental factors and human actions. In turn, these oversized storms caused many people to suffer from loss of crop, and eventually, forced innovation of farming techniques. Back in the “dirty thirties”, years 1934 to 1937, an extreme drought and the lack of strong root systems in the soil, causing wind storms, and the loss of crops. Dirt swirled into dense dust clouds, so dark you couldn't see through them. The winds, easily picking up the loose topsoil; sweeping across the plains, causing build ups of dust and dirt everywhere. It was…show more content…
Along with this, they brought traditional farming techniques. The technique called dry farming, designed for a very different, much more wet, climate, ruined the topsoil of the land. This caused crops to easily be uprooted in the winds of the plains. The use of dry farming (using only natural precipitation) caused the land to dry further from the lack of water due to crop growth. The topsoil, now loose, was easily picked up by wind, creating large waves of dust rushing towards homes and farms. Without crops, farmers lost valuable money, leaving them with two choices, to move away in order to make a living, or continue to lose money. “60 percent of the population moved from the western area...due to the drought that was killing cattle and ruining crops”(History.com). They had “set up the region for ecological disaster” (History.com) and could no longer live in the area. John Steinbeck wrote in his 1939 novel The Grapes of Wrath: “And then the dispossessed were drawn west- from Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico; from Nevada and Arkansas, families, tribes, dusted out, tractored out. Carloads, caravans, homeless and hungry; twenty thousand and fifty thousand…show more content…
The idea of new land to be discovered, full of plentiful crops and agricultural prosperity, now crushed by the dirt and dust found around every corner was devastating to not only the environment, but the people suffering. The already stamped down spirits of the families suffering from the effects of the Great Depression were only furthered by the lack of success in the Great Plains. “There were waves of so much dirt that, at times, there was zero visibility and everything was covered in dirt.” (americaslibrary.gov) In the literal sense, the people could no longer see what lies ahead of them, but internally, many were giving up hope on more than just their crops, but this crises ever ending. Finally, FDR’s Shelter belt Project began. The project calls for large-scale planting of trees such as red cedar and green ash to protect the land from erosion. Not only this, but farmers and workers from the Civilian Conservation Corps are paid to plant and cultivate them. Eventually, as a long term project, results were not seen immediately of course, FDR gave the program to the WPA , limiting the project, causing it to become less successful. Work for re-plowing the land, planting trees, and other conservation methods eventually helped to eliminate 65 percent of the dust blowing around 1938. Eventually, the land was healed, soil
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