Dust Bowl: The Destruction Of The American Dream

1912 Words8 Pages
For eight years dust blew in the Great Plains, it was one of the worst environmental disasters in American history. Due to drought, poor farming techniques, and massive dust storms, the Great Plains region (Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas) soon became to be known as the “Dust Bowl.” This environmental disaster happened in the 1930s, which helped it earn the name “Dirty Thirties.” The majority of the people in this region had come in search for land and money that would be produced from their newly found land. For Americans living through the Dust Bowl, the American Dream had been seriously undermined. The Dust Bowl overruled the concept/ideals of the American Dream of prosperity, freedom and equality, in that many people died from the…show more content…
For example, harsh conditions of the dust storms “struck so suddenly that many farmers” got “lost in their own fields and suffocated, some literally within yards of shelter” (“Dust Bowl.” Gale Encyclopedia of U.S. Economic History). Many people who worked day and night in their fields to earn money, died before they could reach prosperity and achieve the American Dream. Even the animals were not safe, some farmers “cattle tried to eat the dust-laden grass and filled their stomachs with fatal ‘mud balls’”(“Dust Bowl.” Gale Encyclopedia U.S. Economic History); people and animals were dying from the killer “black blizzards”. Unexpectedly citizens of the Great Plains regions food sources were dying as well. During the 1930s in the Great Plains region, the dust storm caused a major disease to break out called the “brown plague,” which is also known as brown pneumonia. Inhabitants of the Great Plains region tried to take precautions against the harsh dust storms. Some people would “wear dust masks to protect their lungs from the excessive airborne dust” that flew in the atmosphere. (“Dust Bowl.” Gale Encyclopedia U.S. Economic History). To preserve their lungs, people would wear these masks to prevent coughing up dust. Anne Marie Low, a young woman who lived with her family in the Great Plains during the 1930s, wrote in her diary about her days…show more content…
When the Dust Bowl arrived, the United States was already in an economic turmoil known as the Great Depression. Dust storms only strengthened the depression, “in southwestern Kansas, the number of farmers actually increased” in 1930 to 1935, as people from other states were “seeking refuge from the economic hard times of the Great Depression,” (Hurt). People wanted refugee from the Great Depression, and sought opportunity in the Great Plains region. But in 1935 to 1940 “the population of southwestern Kansas dropped dramatically” (Hurt). During that time the “farm population decreased, the number of farms declined and farm sizes increased … due to the consolidation of farms” (Hurt). But they only found that the Great Plains region was having a turbulence as well, farms were disappearing from those looking for hope as well. Farmers were hit the hardest once the drought began. Multiple farmers were forced out of their land by the dust storms, covering their crops with dust. They loss their only source of income to the dust. In fact, the Dust Bowl was caused “by environmentally devastating farming techniques that were intensified by drought, the Dust Bowl made agricultural production nearly impossible” (“Dust Bowl.” Gale Encyclopedia of U.S. Economic History) it contributed to an extended economic decline in America during

More about Dust Bowl: The Destruction Of The American Dream

Open Document