Causes of The Dust Bowl

Topics: Dust Bowl, Great Depression, Great Plains Pages: 3 (992 words) Published: March 29, 2004
Causes of the Dust Bowl

One of the most devastating environmental crises that occurred in the United States was the Dust Bowl. The Dust Bowl began shortly after the Great Depression began in 1929 and lasted throughout the 1930's. It affected everyone, farmers and consumers alike, in its path negatively. The Dust Bowl of the 1930's was caused by four major factors: drought, climate misconception, poor land management, and most importantly, wind erosion.

The first of the four major factors is drought. During the Dust Bowl and the 1930's there were four major periods of drought. The first lasted from 1930 to 1931, the second occurred in 1934, the third in 1936, and the last period of drought lasted from 1939 to 1940. The Great Plains had experienced periods of drought before and no major problems had occurred, so the main problem was that the farmers did not have enough time in between the periods of drought to recover because they were so close together. Another issue was that the droughts occurred at the same time as the economic downfall known as the Great Depression. This meant the farmers did not have the money to spend to help their crops. Also, many farmers simply believed that the droughts would end and that the rains would come soon as they had many other times in the 1900's (Drought).

Climate misconception played a large role in the creation of the Dust Bowl as well. The misconceptions about the climate and the annual rainfall in the Great Plains first began in the nineteenth century when people first began to settle in the area. Many of these settlers believed that they would always get enough rain to grow healthy crops because they settled on the land during years with abnormally high amounts of rain. Another reason people believed that the land would always be good to farm is because they were fed propaganda by railroad companies and land boosters. Even though there were several periods of drought that occurred before the 1930's and the Dust...
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