The 1930s are a decade marked by devastation; the nation was in an economic crisis, millions of people were going hungry, and jobless. America was going through some dark times. But if you were living in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas (or any of those surrounding states) you had bigger things on your mind than being denied the money in your bank account. From 1935-1939 Winds and dust storms had left a good portion of our country desolate; however our author takes a slightly different, though no less valid, opinion on the matter. In his book Dust Bowl: The Southern Plains in the 1930s Donald Worster blames mans inappropriate interference with nature that allowed these massive storms of dust that happen. "My argument, however, is that there was a in fact a close link between the Dust Bowl and the Depression -- that the same society produced them both, and for similar reasons. Both events revealed fundamental weaknesses in the traditional culture of America, the one in ecological terms, the other in economic. Both offered a reason, and an opportunity, for substantial reform of that culture…Capitalism, it is my contention, has been decisive in this nation's use of nature." (Worster pg 5).
The 1920s were a time of prosperity for most Americans, but most farmers didn’t prosper. The price of farm produce fell below 40% and many farmers were struggling to keep their land, so as an alternative they moved. “During the 1920s there had been a net migration of 6 million people, most of them young or black, from farm and small village cities…and in 1932 the flow was actually reversed, as urban unemployment peaked.” (Worster pg 47). As a consequence of the depression, there were more people on farms than had ever been in the nation’s history; more people were affected by the Dust Bowl than otherwise would have been.
So what caused the Dust Bowl? The textbook answer is a combination of dry soil and massive winds, but like I’ve stated...
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