Dust Bowl, The Southern Plains in the 30’s written by Donald Worster and published in 1979, is an informative text on the Great Plains during the Great Depression. Donald Worster is a credible author because he not only earned a Ph.D. from Yale in environmental history, but he also had previously written a book on the environment and the economy. This book was written well and Worster did a good job of revealing how people and how they live have effected the areas environment. He spoke of places including, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas and many more.
Also known as the dirty thirties, The dust bowl years were the years that dust storms greatly damaged thousands of homes, lives, and the economy. Originally the Dust Bowl was the name given from the Great Plains region, consumed by the so called drought in the 1930’s. Many who had gone through the Dust Bowl; pointed fingers at the dought, little did they know that The Dust Bowl originally was caused by heavy mechanism, and heavy mechanism came from farmers over doing farms. The Dust Bowl was held responsible for the dust storms in parts of Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Colorado, and New Mexico.
The dust bowl was caused by severe drought,bad farming and change of weather. During the 1930’s,severe drought,failure to know how to farm and to prevent wind erosions,the aeolian processes. The impact this disaster had on the society was scared,because people didn’t know if they were going to make it. Another impact this horrific disaster had on the society was all of their crops were destroyed.
Darkness at noon, plagues of dirt and dust battering you in your home. When you wake up, fine dust cakes everything you own. This was the reality for so many in the Great Plains region of the United States during the Dust Bowl. In the 1930s, the Dust Bowl was extensively immense and overbearing for many. Resulting in a decade of bitter darkness at midday, a surplus of casualties in both livestock and humans, and the destruction of agricultural systems, the Dust Bowl caused extensive damage and hardship in a time of ongoing uncertainty and despair.
During the Dust Bowl some people made the decision to stay at their farms. Huge drifts of dirt piled up on homesteaders’ doors, came in the cracks of windows and came down from the ceilings. Barnyards and pastures were buried in dirt. After about 850 million tons of topsoil was blown away in 1935 alone. The government responded to this by saying “Unless something is done, the western plains will be as arid as the Arabian desert.”
During the 1930s, however, this climate became even more extreme due to a prolonged drought that lasted nearly a decade. This lack of rainfall caused crops to wither and die, leaving soil exposed and vulnerable to erosion. In addition to the drought, high winds were also common in the Great Plains region. These winds picked up loose soil and created massive dust storms that could last for days at a time. The combination of drought and wind made it nearly impossible for farmers to grow crops or maintain healthy soil.
Dust Bowl and Economics of the 1930s The Dust Bowl was a very desperate and troublesome time for America. The southwestern territories were in turmoil due to the arid effect of the drought causing no fertile soils. As the rest of America was being dragged along with the stock market crash and higher prices of wheat and crops since the producing areas couldn't produce. This was a streak of bad luck for the Americans as they were in a deep despair for a quite some time.
In 1934, it was estimated that over 260 million acres of farmland had been damaged because of erosion and water and around 50 million acres of land were no longer fertile to grow crops. Because of that, the Soil Conservation Service, “used carefully planned conservation methods and wiser farming techniques to restore prairie grasses, develop crop-rotation practices, and enable farmers to live off the land without ruining it” (“Dust Bowl Devastates the Great Plains” 3). The SCS worked with landowners, talked about conservation and helped the landowners with soil conservation, and “In exchange for the landowner's agreement to cooperate for a five-year period
The Historical Significance of the Dust Bowl In one of the most fertile places in the United States, one of the nation's worst disasters occurred, the Dust Bowl. It began when an area in the Midwest was severely affected by an intense drought throughout the 1930s or what proceeded to be called the Dirty Thirties. The drought killed crops that had kept the rich soil in place, and when the strong root system was not there the soil was not kept grounded. Due to the soil left with no crops, the high and strong winds blew the topsoil away.
Firstly, drought has always been a serious problem for the Great Plains region of the US for many years before the first Dust Bowl. During the movie and same scenes in the novel, it is considered that severe dust storms greatly damaged the ecology and agriculture of the U.S. big time. Meanwhile, the audience can feel the economic pressure during a quarter of the movie.
The dust bowl was considered the “Worst hard time” in american history. The Dust Bowl was a big cloud of dust that took place during the 1930’s in the middle of the Great Depression. The dust bowl was located in the southern great plains as it affected states like Kansas, Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado. The three main causes of the Dust Bowl were drought (Doc E), amount of land being harvest (Doc D), and the death shortgrass prairie (Doc C).
Nature’s delicate balance of wind, rain, and grass had been disturbed by human settlement. Fifty years earlier, a strong protective carpet of grass had covered the Great Plains. The grass held moisture in the soil and kept the soil from blowing away (Holley).” Before the Great Plains were settled, its geography was covered in lush grasses that made it perfect for farming and raising livestock. As the population grew and more and more people settled there, the grass was removed so that they could farm the land.
The dust bowl is very serious. “But in the summer of 1931, the rains disappeared. Crops withered and died. There had always been strong winds and dust on the Plains, but now over plowing created conditions for disaster. There was dust everywhere, because the people couldve worried about others than themselves.
Within a decade, the farmer have been through the hopeful moments of prosperity and the hopeless times of hunger. Other migrating families kept traveling to find jobs. The leading historian of the Dust Bowl, Donald Worster, described it in the following way: “In no other instance was there greater or more sustained damage to the American land, and there have been few times when so much tragedy was visited on its inhabitants. Not even the Depression was more devastating, economically” .