How can we help?

You can also find more resources in our Help Center.

90 terms

dust bowl depression

the connections between the great depression and the dust bowl.
the dust bowl was caused by farmers poorly managing their crop rotations, causing the ground to dry up and turn into dust.
the dust bowl caused many who lived in rural america to move to urban areas in search of work.
the dust bowl was caused partially by the great depression, due to the depression, farmers were trying to make maximum profit, so they cut down trees to get more land, planted too much, and let cattle graze too much, and that took out all the roots holding the soil together, causing the soil to loosen into dust and blow everywhere.
the drought that helped cause the dust bowl lasted seven years, from 1933 to 1940.
The 1930s drought was the major climatic event in the nation's history
April 14, 1935, dawned clear across the plains. After weeks of dust storms, one near the end of March destroying five million acres of wheat, In mid-afternoon, the temperature dropped and birds began chattering nervously. Suddenly, a huge black cloud appeared on the horizon, approaching fast. this is black sunday.
The dust storms that terrorized the High Plains in the darkest years of the Depression were like nothing ever seen before or since.
89 million acres of land were severely damaged or destroyed.
United States formed the Soil Conservation Service in 1935.
The great depression period is marked by a massive run up in asset prices followed by a tremendous deflationary pressure that has sent both debt and equity markets into turmoil
Results of a Dust Storm, Oklahoma, 1936.
America from the Great
Depression to World War II, 1935-1945
Between 1930 and 1940, the southwestern Great Plains region of the United States suffered a severe drought. Once a semi-arid grassland, the treeless plains became home to thousands of settlers when, in 1862, Congress passed the Homestead Act. Most of the settlers farmed their land or grazed cattle. The farmers plowed the prairie grasses and planted dry land wheat. As the demand for wheat products grew, cattle grazing was reduced, and millions more acres were plowed and planted.
For eight years dust blew on the southern plains. It came in a -brown haze from the South and in rolling walls of black from the North.
The Great Depression changed forever the relationship between Americans and their government.
The Great Depression was A combination of severe drought and economic depression created destitution among farmers.
Between 1930 and 1940, the southwestern Great Plains region of the United States suffered a severe drought.
In the late 1920s, rural America was in the midst of an economic depression
A series of dust storms that hit the Great Plains over the next decade gave the era the nickname The Dirty Thirties.
The years 1934 through 1936 were marked by periods of extreme heat and drought,
The Dust Bowl drought of the 1930s was one of the worst environmental disasters of the Twentieth Century anywhere in the world. Three million people left their farms on the Great Plains during the drought and half a million migrated to other states, almost all to the West.
Dust storms were not new to the region in the 1930s, but a number of demographic and cultural factors were new. First there were a lot more people living in the region in the 1930s than there had been in the 1880s.
The Dust Bowl finally ended in 1941 with the arrival of drenching rains on the southern and central plains and with the advent of World War II.
On Sunday, April 14, 1935, called Black Sunday, a massive front moved across the Great Plains from the northwest. Packing winds of 60 miles per hour, the loose topsoil was scooped up and mounded into billowing clouds of dust hundreds of feet high.
Many factors led to the Dust Bowl. The increased demand for wheat during World War I, the development of new mechanized farm machinery along with falling wheat prices in the 1920s, led to millions of acres of native grassland being replaced by heavily disked fields of straight row crops. Four years of drought shriveled the crops and left the loose top soil to the mercy of the ever-present winds.
the driest region of the Plains - southeastern Colorado, southwest Kansas and the panhandles of Oklahoma and Texas - became known as the Dust Bowl
earlier, the Great Depression may be said to have begun with a catastrophic collapse of stock-market prices on the New York Stock Exchange in October 1929.
by 1932, U.S. manufacturing output had fallen to 54 percent of its 1929 level, and unemployment had risen to between 12 and 15 million workers, or 25-30 percent of the work force.
Many countries wanted to protect themselves from the chaos in the economy, so they decided to make more laws restricting trade and renforce the ones that were already in place.
During the next three years stock prices in the United States continued to fall, until by late 1932 they had dropped to only about 20 percent of their value in 1929.
by 1933, 11,000 of the United States' 25,000 banks had failed.
In the United States, economic distress led to the election of the Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt to the presidency in late 1932. Roosevelt introduced a number of major changes in the structure of the American economy, using increased government regulation and massive public-works projects to promote a recovery.
The Great Depression was a worldwide economic crisis that in the United States was marked by widespread unemployment, near halts in industrial production and construction, and an 89 percent decline in stock prices.
The stock market continued to decline despite brief rallies. Unemployment rose and wages fell for those who continued to work.
The Great Depression, an immense tragedy that placed millions of Americans out of work, was the beginning of government involvement in the economy and in society as a whole.
In previous depressions, farmers were usually safe from the severe effects of a depression because they could at least feed themselves. Unfortunately, during the Great Depression, the Great Plains were hit hard with both a drought and horrendous dust storms.
It was a period of protests and hunger marches — and unionism spread like wildfire — but many people suffered quietly, ashamed of their poverty. No matter what their situation, the Great Depression changed those in the generation that survived it. the great depression
The years 1934 through 1936 were marked by periods of extreme heat and drought, according to Chance Hayes, warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Wichita.
What is the Dust Bowl?
A series of storms and droughts created the dust bowl in the 1930's, across the plains of America. States included in the dust bowl were Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas
For eight years dust blew on the southern plains. It came in a yellowish-brown haze from the South and in rolling walls of black from the North
It was darkness at noon-impenetrable clouds of red, or yellow, or brown gritty dust swirling across the countryside, carrying with it topsoil, seed, and the hope of the Great Plains farmers.
Although there were sporadic bursts of dust in the spring of 1932 and 1933, it was not until 1934 that overwhelming clouds of dust blew, swirling in huge black blizzards,
Severe drought hits the midwestern and southern plains. As the crops die, the 'black blizzards" begin. Dust from the over-plowed and over-grazed land begins to blow.
The number of dust storms is increasing. Fourteen are reported this year; next year there will be 38.
The extensive work re-plowing the land into furrows, planting trees in shelterbelts, and other conservation methods has resulted in a 65 percent reduction in the amount of soil blowing. However, the drought continued.
In the fall, the rain comes, finally bringing an end to the drought. During the next few years, with the coming of World War II, the country is pulled out of the Depression and the plains once again become golden with wheat.
The Dust Bowl of North America refers to a catastrophe in the early 1930's when vast areas of the Midwestern and Western farm lands of America became wastelands. This occurred due to a series of dry years which coincided with the extension of agriculture in unsuitable lands. Droughts and dust storms caused by poor tillage practices devastated farms and ranches of the Great Plains; therefore, causing a great depression.
The Great Depression and the New Deal changed forever the relationship between Americans and their government.
Between 1930 and 1940, the southwestern Great Plains region of the United States suffered a severe drought.
New York Times
In 1928, the top 1% earned 29.94% of the nation's income (about 24.5 mil.)
New York Times
From 1936 to 1945 the top marginal individual income tax rate rose to a historical high of 94% from 79%.
New York Times
in 1949, the total income of the top 1% of americans dropped to 13 mil.
New York Times
During Ronald Reagan's presidency (1981-89), the top marginal individual income tax rate fell to 28% from 70%.
New York Times
The top 1 pct. earned 23.5%
of the nation's income in 2007.
The stock market crash of October 1929 brought the economic prosperity of the 1920s to a symbolic end. For the next ten years, the United States was mired in a deep economic depression. By 1933, unemployment had soared to 25 percent, up from 3.2 percent in 1929. Industrial production declined by 50 percent, international trade plunged 30 percent, and investment fell 98 percent.
From 1934 to 1940 severe drought ravaged an area twice the size of Pennsylvania covering parts of Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Colorado. When the drought destroyed the crops, there was nothing to hold the soil of the wind-swept and treeless plains. The area became known as "The Dust Bowl."
By 1935, winds reaching 60 miles per hour whipped the dirt into gigantic clouds as high as 1,000 feet blocking the sun. Dust reached the president's desk in Washington and even reported by ships 500 miles out to sea.
By the end of the decade almost half the population, an estimated 300,000 from Oklahoma alone, migrated. Most headed to California in hopes of finding work and a better life.
The federal government moved to reclaim the land by strategically planting trees throughout the area that reduced the effect of the wind and by promoting scientific farming methods. The effort was successful. When the drought ended in 1940, the land could successfully be farmed again.
Traditional roles within the family changed during the 1930s. Men finding themselves out of work now had to rely on their wives and children in some cases to help make ends meet. Many did not take this loss of power as the primary decision maker and breadwinner very well. Many stopped looking for work, paralyzed by their bleak chances and lack of self-respect. Some became so frustrated that they just walked out on their families completely. A 1940 survey revealed that 1.5 million married women had been abandoned by their husbands.
On the other hand, women found their status enhanced by their new roles. Left with little choice, they went against the historic opposition to married women working outside the home to help support their families.
Many believe erroneously that the stock market crash that occurred on Black Tuesday, October 29, 1929 is one and the same with the Great Depression. In fact, it was one of the major causes that led to the Great Depression. Two months after the original crash in October, stockholders had lost more than $40 billion dollars. Even though the stock market began to regain some of its losses, by the end of 1930, it just was not enough and America truly entered what is called the Great Depression.
Bank Failures
Throughout the 1930s over 9,000 banks failed. Bank deposits were uninsured and thus as banks failed people simply lost their savings. Surviving banks, unsure of the economic situation and concerned for their own survival, stopped being as willing to create new loans. This exacerbated the situation leading to less and less expenditures
Reduction in Purchasing Across the Board
With the stock market crash and the fears of further economic woes, individuals from all classes stopped purchasing items. This then led to a reduction in the number of items produced and thus a reduction in the workforce. As people lost their jobs, they were unable to keep up with paying for items they had bought through installment plans and their items were repossessed. More and more inventory began to accumulate. The unemployment rate rose above 25% which meant, of course, even less spending to help alleviate the economic situation.
American Economic Policy with Europe
As businesses began failing, the government created the Smoot-Hawley Tariff in 1930 to help protect American companies. This charged a high tax for imports thereby leading to less trade between America and foreign countries along with some economic retaliation.
Drought Conditions
While not a direct cause of the Great Depression, the drought that occurred in the Mississippi Valley in 1930 was of such proportions that many could not even pay their taxes or other debts and had to sell their farms for no profit to themselves. The area was nicknamed "The Dust Bowl." This was the topic of John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath.
The Great Depression was a global economic crisis that may have been triggered by political decisions (war reparations post-World War I), protectionism (Congressional tariffs on European goods) or by speculation (the Stock Market Collapse of 1929). Worldwide, there was increased unemployment, decreased government revenue, a drop in international trade. At the height of the Great Depression in 1933, more than a quarter of the US labor force was unemployed. Some countries saw a change in leadership as a result of the economic turmoil.
In the United States, the Great Depression is associated with Black Tuesday, the stock market crash of 29 October 1929, although the country entered a recession months before the crash. Herbert Hoover was then President of the United States. The Depression continued until the onset of World War II, with Franklin D. Roosevelt following Hoover as president
During the Great Depression, banks failed because Americans panicked and withdrew all of their money, virtually overnight, after the stock market crashed in October 1929. This time around, the banks are failing again, because of their own suspect lending practices, when seemingly all credit standards were thrown out the window as lenders rode the wave of the housing market boom.

Loss of consumer confidence: History proves, through the Great Depression, that when average Americans get scared, they stop spending money. Our parents and grandparents became frugal in the 1930s, and we're following suit today.
Drought conditions in the 1930s brought farmers in the Plains to their knees when millions of acres of farmland were rendered useless. This environmental catastrophe contributed to the failure of banks during the Great Depression (many of which had outstanding farm loans that went bad) and led to high unemployment rates as farmers lost their livelihood. So far, America hasn't experienced a comparable natural disaster.
When the Dust Bowl conditions in the 1930s led to farmers abandoning their fields, mass migration patterns emerged during the Great Depression, with populations shifting from rural areas to urban centers.
The 1920s, known as "The Roaring Twenties" marked a time when America was overdependent on production, automobiles were the leading industry, and there was a great disparity between rich and poor. More than 60% of the population was living below poverty levels, while a mere 5% of the wealthiest people in America accounted for 33% of the income, and the richest 1% owned 40% of the nation's wealth. This uneven distribution of wealth was mirrored in the unequal distribution of riches between industry and agriculture
A drought that lasted from 1930 to 1936, known as the Dust Bowl, aggravated the problems of the Great Depression. More than a million acres of farmland were rendered useless because of severe drought and years of overfarming, and hundreds of thousands of farmers joined the ranks of the unemployed.
-The "Roaring Twenties" weren't roaring for everyone. By 1929, 1% of Americans controlled 40% of the wealth in this country.
- The Great Depression began in 1929 and ended in 1941, rather like the dust bowl, when America prepared to enter World War II
Well, the Great Depression of the 1930s was one of the main factors that caused the Dust Bowl of the same period but it was not the MAIN CONTRIBUTING factor that lead to the ecological disaster. The other guilty parties like the unusually high temperatures of the environment, the lengthened droughts during the 1930s and also the poor agricultural farming practices made by the farmer, which lead to the top-soil eroding rapidly, increasing the devastation of the DB.
The impact of the Dust Bowl was felt all over the U.S. During the same April as Black Sunday, 1935, one of FDR's advisors, Hugh Hammond Bennett, was in Washington D.C. on his way to testify before Congress about the need for soil conservation legislation. A dust storm arrived in Washington all the way from the Great Plains. As a dusty gloom spread over the nation's capital and blotted out the sun, Bennett explained, "This, gentlemen, is what I have been talking about." Congress passed the Soil Conservation Act that same year.
Each winter, students all across the North secretly - or openly - hope for snowstorms so that school will be called off.

During the Depression, schools across the Plains sent students home because of the dust storms. Some school administrators were worried about what might happen to the students' health. There had been cases of "dust pneumonia" where dust clogged up the lungs just like the disease. Other administrators and teachers, especially in the southern Plains, knew that people had gotten lost in dust storms when visibility went to zero.
there are new dangers stalking the Southern Plains. Agribusiness is draining the Ogallala Aquifer—the United States' largest source of groundwater, which stretches from South Dakota to Texas and supplies about 30 percent of the nation's irrigation water—and pumping water from the aquifer eight times faster than rain and other natural forces can refill it.
freedom from fear
Herbert Hoover needed no comprehensive study to know that the farm issue was urgent. Virtually his first act as president, even before he commissioned his wide-ranging examination of recent social trends, was to convene a special congressional session to resolve the farm crisis. It produced the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1929, which created several government-sponsored "stabilization corporations" authorized to buy surpluses and hold them off the market in order to maintain price levels.

Kennedy, David M. (1999-03-18). Freedom from Fear : The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945 (Kindle Locations 464-468). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.
freedom from fear
He reassured the devotees of the McNary-Haugen scheme by indicating that he would reassured the devotees of the McNary-Haugen scheme by indicating that he would appoint McNary-Haugenism's principal architect, Moline Plow Company president George Peek, as head of the new Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA).

Kennedy, David M. (1999-03-18). Freedom from Fear : The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945 (Kindle Locations 2613-2615). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.
Freedom from Fear
"To implement the key acreage-reduction feature of the legislation. . . the AAA could not simply pay for fallow fields to remain unseeded."

Kennedy, David M. (1999-03-18). Freedom from Fear : The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945 (Kindle Locations 2645-2646). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.
Chuck Koeber on 7:15 on Nov. 28 after dinner
Contrary to popular belief, the Dust Bowl wasn't a New Year's Day football game between the Arizona State Sun Devils and Nebraska Cornhuskers
Freedom from Fear
Gold buying also reflected the spirit of beggar-thy-neighbor economic isolationism that informed the early New Deal and indeed infested virtually all the globe's chancellories in the depths of the Depression. When pugnaciously nationalistic AAA administrator George Peek advocated dumping America's mounting agricultural surpluses abroad, the otherwise internationally minded secretary of agriculture, Henry A. Wallace, cut him off with a scarcely less nationalistic retort: "We ought to act for the moment," Wallace explained, "as if we were a self-contained agricultural economy."19

Kennedy, David M. (1999-03-18). Freedom from Fear : The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945 (Kindle Locations 3608-3612). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.
Freedom from Fear
"That we should have idle and hungry and ill-clad millions on the one hand, and so much food and wool and cotton upon the other that we don't know what to do with it, this is an utterly idiotic situation, and one which makes a laughing stock of our genius as a people."

Kennedy, David M. (1999-03-18). Freedom from Fear : The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945 (Kindle Locations 3721-3723). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.
Freedom from Fear
To implement its novel policies with maximum speed, AAA turned to the network of Extension Service agents already in place in virtually every rural county in America. The county agents, in turn, arranged for the formation of local production-control committees in whom effective administrative authority over AAA programs came to reside.

Kennedy, David M. (1999-03-18). Freedom from Fear : The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945 (Kindle Locations 3738-3740). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.
Freedom from Fear
"most of the withdrawn acreage was worked by tenants and croppers, AAA at a stroke deprived them of their already meager means of earning their daily bread. . . .The planters pocketed 90 percent of the AAA benefit payments in 1933 and left their hapless croppers to shift for themselves."

Kennedy, David M. (1999-03-18). Freedom from Fear : The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945 (Kindle Locations 3781-3784). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.
Freedom from Fear
THE PATTERN of agricultural policy that the New Deal bequeathed to later generations owed much to the peculiar conjunction in the 1930s of the history of Populist agitation, the urgent economic crisis, an aggressive agricultural constituency—and a singularly preexisting federal institutional framework.

Kennedy, David M. (1999-03-18). Freedom from Fear : The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945 (Kindle Locations 3666-3669). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.
Freedom from Fear
Historically, the Department of Agriculture had exercised itself to help farmers increase production. Researchers at the land-grant colleges developed more fruitful strains of wheat and corn, more bug-resistant cotton plants and grapevines, more prolific breeds of pigs and cows; the Extension Service's county agents promulgated these discoveries across the land.

Kennedy, David M. (1999-03-18). Freedom from Fear : The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945 (Kindle Locations 3685-3687). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.
Freedom from Fear
But in the agriculturally bountiful yet stubbornly depressed 1920s some agrarian economists, notably M. L. Wilson of Montana State College, began to rethink the wisdom of the gospel of bounty. A visit to Russia's "virgin-soil" wheat lands, where oceanic expanses of grainfields undulated from horizon to horizon, deeply impressed upon Wilson the burgeoning capacity of the planet's agricultural producers. If American farmers were to survive, he concluded, they must protect their own domestic market, then adjust production to consumption. These were the basic premises on which the idea of AAA rested.

Kennedy, David M. (1999-03-18). Freedom from Fear : The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945 (Kindle Locations 3687-3691). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.
Freedom from Fear
The plight of the southern sharecroppers, blacks especially, became the sharpest point of contention between two factions that struggled in the Department of Agriculture for control of the New Deal's agricultural policies and, through those policies, for the power to shape the future of rural American life.

Kennedy, David M. (1999-03-18). Freedom from Fear : The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945 (Kindle Locations 3816-3818). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.
Freedom from Fear
Farther west, in the region at whose center the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles touched, nature and man had conspired by the 1930s to breed an ecological and human catastrophe called the Dust Bowl. The pioneers who first ventured out onto the high southern plains had called themselves "sod-busters," and they had proceeded to break the very back of the land. By the 1920s, their tractors were clawing the skin off the earth, scratching at its fragile face to plant ever larger crops, more cotton and wheat to carry to market as prices per bale and bushel steadily fell.

Kennedy, David M. (1999-03-18). Freedom from Fear : The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945 (Kindle Locations 3528-3532). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.
Freedom from Fear
On the far western edge of the cotton belt, in the sere wasteland of the Oklahoma-Texas-Kansas Dust Bowl, stark necessity had already put thousands of these pioneers of misfortune into motion. For the remainder of the 1930s millions of others continued to languish hopelessly in the old Southeast. It would take a war, in the next decade, to shake them loose.

Kennedy, David M. (1999-03-18). Freedom from Fear : The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945 (Kindle Locations 3862-3864). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.
Freedom from Fear
Among the last outposts of the American frontier, California held a disproportionate share of the frontier's usual assortment of rootless, restless souls, including sun-seekers from the Midwest, refugees from the Dust Bowl, immigrants from Mexico and the far shores of the Pacific, and drifters of every purpose and credo.

Kennedy, David M. (1999-03-18). Freedom from Fear : The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945 (Kindle Locations 4038-4041). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.