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.
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). The first cause is the drought.
The Dust Bowl by Kevin Burns, is a documentary on what the narrator describes as, “the worst man-made disaster in history” or the severe dust storms that took place in the South in the 1930’s. Burns crafts a non-biased account of the Dust Bowl by providing the viewer with firsthand accounts from people who lived through the Dust Bowl, readings of letters sent during the storms, and in-depth explanations of the events from historians. The documentary begins by showing life in the South before the Dust Bowl and explaining the factors that led to the Dust Bowl. The first description of life before the Dust Bowl follows the life of young woman, Caroline Boa Henderson, who moved to the South to follow her dream of owning her own land. She met a man named Will Henderson and they soon got married and began having children.
People that lived in that area could not step outside or they would get dust in their lungs. Livestock could not breath or find food sources. Thousands of people lost their homes due to the storm. Changes in farming and agriculture in the early 1900s altered the landscape and soil creating the perfect environment for the Dust Bowl and impacted living conditions and economic policy. First, changes in farming and agriculture over the years led to the conditions that caused the Dust Bowl and impacted the Great Plains.
One of those farmland problems was “over managing” of the farmland and fields. This was a major cause of the Dust Bowl because it is what loosened up the soil. For example, farmers over-plowed the fields and as a result, pulled up the native grasses that had previously held the soil in place. They exchanged planting the prairie grass for instead attempting to harvest wheat, which they were unable to do because of external/natural factors. Turning to some effects of the farmland, the land was completely smothered in dust.
To start, these were the conditions of the dust bowl. The dust from the storm would cover your eyes so you couldn’t see a thing. Here’s some insight from document A, “Small town printer Nate White was at the picture show when the dust reached Smith Center: as he walked out the exit, it was as if someone had put a blindfold over his eyes; he bumped into telephone poles, skinned his shins on boxes and cans in the alleyway, fell to his hands and knees, and crawled along the curbing to a dim houselight…” Wildlife was greatly affected as well. They
These people also had to face the realization of the declining fortunes. Section three, “Blowup”, describes the struggles of the people on the southern plains. Dust storms have been worsening and have gained the east’s attention. People were contracting “dust pneumonia”, an infection of the lungs that causes fever, chest pain, difficulty breathing, and coughing, birth rates declined, and Roosevelt made new programs to help the southerners. These programs were known as the Soil Conservation Districts and the Farm Security Administration.
Dust storms wrecked havoc and choked cattle. Farmers couldn’t make money because their crops were destroyed. The rains of dust were called “Black Blizzards.” The Dust Bowl drove 60% population out of the region. By 1940 2.5 million people fled the region. Farmers by then lost all their crops and all money they could have made.
The Dust Bowl describes an area in the Great Plains that was devastated by drought during the Great Depression. The area stretched from western Arkansas to the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles to New Mexico, Kansas, North Dakota, South Dakota and Colorado and into Missouri. The term “dust bowl” originally meant a geographical area in the Great Plains but is now referred to the time setting for when the storms occurred. The storms came in three waves, 1934, 1936, and 1939-40. Some of the affected regions experienced drought-like conditions for period as long as eight years.
The drought lasted 8 long years. (Burns) The drought lasted 8 years and it caused many families to go thirsty. The black blizzard was so strong with electricity people could even touch each other without a shock.“Men avoided shaking hands for fear of shocks that could knock a person to the ground.” (Burns)The Dust Storms were so large and full of electricity that it caused men to get a serious shock by only touching each other. The environment was hard to live in.Proof that the environment was hard is “Gradually, the land was laid bare, and significant environmental damage began to occur.” ("The Dust Bowl") After a period of time in the Dust Bowl the land was bare and could no longer be used for planting or farming and it was just sand. People’s personal lives were affected dreadfully.