Dust Bowl of the 1930s

Topics: Dust Bowl, Great Depression, Great Plains Pages: 3 (911 words) Published: April 1, 2010
The Dust Bowl of the 1930’s had such an antagonistic effect on the United States economy that was already plummeting. The Dust Bowl affected the U.S economy in just about every way possible ranging from agriculture to finances including government expenses to population changes. This phenomena can be considered as one of the worst natural disasters that has affected the United States.

The “Dust Bowl” was the name given to the Great Plains region that was greatly affected by drought in the 1930’s during the Great Depression. The major contribution that led to the Dust Bowl was overproduction of crops however there were some natural causes. “Much of the soil there had been damaged by wind and rain. The soil in this area was subjected to water and wind damage because the protective cover of vegetation was impaired through poor farming and the grazing of too many animals” (World Book Encyclopedia). The overproduction was due in part to the fact that the country was in the midst of World War I. “During World War I international demand for food crops like wheat and corn soared. Because of this farmers planted more crops and took out loans to buy land and equipment. But after the war demand for farm products declined and crop prices fell by fifty percent” (Danzer 651-652). In and effort to make up for the falling prices, farmers tried to plant even more crops, but this only caused lower prices. As a result of these poor land management practices and lack of precipitation the land became arid. There was little grass and few trees to hold the soil down. When the wind storms hit, dust was blown all over, making it virtually impossible for farming.

When farming in the Great Plains was no longer a way of making a living many of the inhabitants left the land behind and moved west to California in search of work. “Plagued by dust storms and evictions, thousands of farmers and sharecroppers left their land behind. They packed up their families and their few belongings and...

Cited: Danzer, Gerald A, et al. "The Depression." The Americans. Boston: McDougal
Littell, 2000. 642-676. Print.
"Dust Bowl." The World Book Encyclopedia. Vol. 4. N.p.: Field Enterprises, 1958.
Print. 18 vols.
Drought in the Dust Bowl Years. National Drought Mitigation Center, 2006. Web.
14 Nov. 2009. .
Cunfer, Geoff. EH.Net Encyclopedia: The Dust Bowl. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Nov. 2009.
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