Presentation on theme: "Looking at The Dust Bowl as a Social Scientist (Historian, Geographer, and Political Scientist) By Gale Olp Ekiss."— Presentation transcript:
1 Looking at The Dust Bowl as a Social Scientist (Historian, Geographer, and Political Scientist) ByGale Olp Ekiss
2 What was the Dust Bowl? A geographic disaster? An economic disaster? A human disaster?A political disaster?The Dust Bowl occurs during the time of the Great Depression. It refers to a part of America that experiences a geographic disaster. Its impact results in further setbacks to the U.S. economy and results in humans migrating to seek a better life in other areas of the U.S. And some claim that the Dust Bowl and the Depression created a new way to view government.
3 Why was there the Dust Bowl? Poor agricultural practicesSustained droughtGeographers and historians agree that the Dust Bowl was caused by deeply plowing up the land to plant crops. When there was adequate rainfall, it was fine. But when a drought began in the 1930s and continued for much of the decade, the crops were not able to grow. This meant that the ground cover that held the soil in place was gone. Grazing animals on the land only compounded the problems with top soil being loose. And when winds came, there were large dust storms.
4 Where did the Dust Bowl occur? Here are some statistics for Nebraska:Normally, the state of Nebraska averages around 20 inches of rainfall a year.In 1930, Nebraska got 22 inches of rain, and the state's corn crop averaged 25 bushels per acre.In 1934, Nebraska saw the driest year on record with only 14.5 inches of rainfall. The state's corn crop dropped even more to only 6.2 bushels per acre.In other words, between 1930 and 1934 rainfall dropped 27.5 percent, and as a result corn crop yields dropped over 75 percent.By analyzing the map, it is noted that 5 states (NM, TX, OK, KS, and CO) were severely affected by the dust storms. Nine states were affected by the blowing dust. The statistics for Nebraska show how drought can impact humans ability to live on the land and also depresses our food supply and economy.The effects of the Dust Bowl were severe in some locations
5 When did the Dust Bowl occur? 1931--crops died and “black blizzards” begin.dust stormsdust storms1934--dust storms spread to a larger area and the drought covers 27 states1939--rain finally comesThe most severe part of the drought extended from 1931 to 1939 in the Dust Bowl area. The first dust storms called “Black Blizzards” because the day turned to night when the severe sand storms occurred. This drought meant that many farmers were unsuccessful as shown by the photo of a farm in Idaho by 1937.
6 Who was affected by the Dust Bowl? The people who lived in the areaApproximately 200,000 migrants moved to California during the Great Depression, most arriving destitute.About 25% of the population left the affected states and by 1940, 2.5 million people had moved out of the Plains states.One of the most obvious answers as to who was affected by the Dust Bowl is the people who lived in the area. Seeking a better life, they migrated, and many traveled to California.
7 Who was affected by the Dust Bowl? The farmers of the Dust Bowl area received help in these programs:Emergency Farm Mortgage Act (1933) allots $200 million for refinancing mortgages to help farmers facing foreclosure.Frazier-Lemke Farm Bankruptcy Act (1934) is approved. This act restricted the ability of banks to dispossess farmersDrought Relief Service (1935) to coordinate relief effortsEmergency Relief Appropriation Act (1935)provides $525 million for drought reliefSoil Conservation Service (1935) in the Department of Agriculture develops extensive conservation programs that retained topsoil and prevented irreparable damage to theShelterbelt Project (1937)begins. The project called for large-scale planting of trees across the Great Plains, stretching in a 100-mile wide zone from Canada to northern Texas, to protect the land from erosion.Farmers and their families were the people most affected by the Dust Bowl. Through programs that become associated with the New Deal, farmers gain protection from losing their farms and they help in saving their land.
8 So What?As John Steinbeck wrote in his 1939 novel The Grapes of Wrath:"And then the dispossessed were drawn west- from Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico; from Nevada and Arkansas, families, tribes, dusted out, tractored out. Car-loads, caravans, homeless and hungry; twenty thousand and fifty thousand and a hundred thousand and two hundred thousand. They streamed over the mountains, hungry and restless - restless as ants, scurrying to find work to do - to lift, to push, to pull, to pick, to cut - anything, any burden to bear, for food. The kids are hungry. We got no place to live. Like ants scurrying for work, for food, and most of all for land."Seeking a better life, they migrated, and many traveled to California. This was a huge internal migration caused by an economic and geographical disaster. The Dust Bowl will not only impact real life but the arts. Throughout this power point the viewer has seen photographs which give an enduring legacy of the era but in the Dust Bowl also is remembered through literature and art.
9 So What? Farming Practices Changed: seeding areas with grass rotating cropsusing contour plowingplanting “shelter belts” of trees to break the windAs historian Robert Worster wrote, “The ultimate meaning of the dust storms of the 1930s was that America as a whole, not just the plains, was badly out of balance with its natural environment. Unbounded optimism about the future, careless disregard of nature’s limits and uncertainties, uncritical faith in Providence, devotion to self-aggrandizement – all these were national as well as regional characteristics.”Eventually the drought ended and through better farming techniques, the Plains area of the Dust Bowl became an agricultural center again. However, droughts can still impact this area and their effects can still create geographic and economic hardships on the United States.Photo--Tertiary SourceMicrosoft. Rows of agricultural crops on a farm. Microsoft Office Great Britain. Retrieved on August 9, 2012 fromInformation--Secondary SourceWGBH Corporation for Public Broadcasting. (2010). The drought. American Experience: Surviving the Dust Bowl. Retrieved on August 9, 2012 from
10 So What? Role of Federal Government Changed Through New Deal Programs: President Herbert Hoover, underestimated the seriousness of the crisis, called it “a passing incident in our national lives,” and assured Americans that it would be over in 60 days.Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected in a landslide victory in During the first 100 days of his administration, Roosevelt laid the groundwork for his New Deal programs that would save the country.The Great Depression and the New Deal changed forever the relationship between Americans and their government. Government involvement and responsibility in caring for the needy and regulating the economy came to be expected.The role of the federal government changed from economic and social hardships are NOT the concern of government to the executive branch would spearhead social and economic changes. This assumption of more federal power and debt is still debated today as a great step for American society or the downfall of American society.Photo--Primary SourceDepts.Washington.edu. Roosevelt and the New Deal.Google Images . Retrieved on August 9, 2012 fromInformation--Secondary SourceWGBH Corporation for Public Broadcasting. (2010). The Great Depression. American Experience: Surviving the Dust Bowl. Retrieved on August 9, 2012 from
11 So What?Congress passed many programs to assist the public. These New Deal programs still exist today in some form:Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation--insures that customers are compensated against loss if the bank should fail.Federal Housing Administration--provides loans for home construction.Securities and Exchange Commission--protects investors from stock market fraud.Social Security Administration--created a pension fund and provides unemployment insurance, and public assistance programsTennessee Valley Authority--built dams, increased agricultural production and revitalized the Tennessee Valley region.The role of the federal government changed when the legislative branch approved money and legislation for social and economic changes. While some may argue that spending large sums of money to provide for the public welfare, few can argue that they don’t benefit in some way from the programs listed above.Political Cartoon--Primary SourceBerryman, Clifford. (1934). Of course we may have to change remedies. Library of Congress American Memory. Retrieved August 8, 2012 from (too small a graphic to use in power point)CQ Press. (2003) Roosevelt and the New Deal.CQ Press in Context . Retrieved on August 9, 2012 from (used in power point)Information--Secondary SourceTaylor, Quintard, Jr. (2010). New Deal Agencies. History 101: Survey of the United States. Retrieved on August 9, 2012 from
12 Bibliography of Slides Primary SourcesSlide 2 PhotoLange, Dorothea. (1938). Dust bowl farm. Library of Congress American Memory. Retrieved August 8, 2012 fromSlide 3 PhotosRothstein, Arthur. (1936). Cattle in cornfield ruined by drought and grasshoppers. Library of Congress American Memory. Retrieved August 8, 2012 fromLange, Dorothea. (1935). Dust storm. Library of Congress American Memory. Retrieved August 8, 2012 fromSlide 5 PhotoStaats, Wilbur. (1937). Wind erosion is covering remains of unsuccessful farm in Idaho. Library of Congress American Memory. Retrieved August 8, 2012 fromSlide 6 PhotoLange, Dorothea. (1937). Four families, three of them related with fifteen children. Library of Congress American Memory. Retrieved August 8, 2012 from
13 Bibliography of Slides Primary SourcesSlide 7 PhotoLange, Dorothea. (1937). Dust Bowl farmers in west Texas town. Library of Congress American Memory. Retrieved August 8, 2012 fromSlide 10 NewspaperDepts.Washington.edu. Roosevelt and the New Deal. Labor Press Project. Retrieved on August 9, 2012 fromSlide 11 Political CartoonBerryman, Clifford. (1934). Of course we may have to change remedies. Library of Congress American Memory. Retrieved August 8, 2012 from (too small a graphic to use in power point)CQ Press. (2003) Roosevelt and the New Deal.CQ Press in Context . Retrieved on August 9, 2012 from (used in power point)
14 Bibliography of Slides Secondary SourcesSlide 2 InformationCroft Communications, Inc. (2012). Effects of the Great Depression. Great Depression: What happened and how it compares with today. Retrieved August 8, 2012 fromSlide 3 InformationIllinois.edu. About the Dust Bowl. Modern American Poetry. Retrieved August 8, 2012 fromSlide 4 MapSussex County Technical High School. (2011). Map of the Dust Bowl. Out of the Dust. Retrieved August 8, 2012 fromSlide 4 InformationWessels Living History Farm. No water, no crops. Wessels Living History Farm York, Nebraska. Retrieved August 8, 2012 from
15 Annotated Bibliography of Slides Secondary SourcesSlide 5 InformationIllinois.edu. About the Dust Bowl. Modern American Poetry. Retrieved August 8, 2012 fromThis site gave me the historical timeline for the drought events. This completes the stage for how Dust Bowl happened and when it happened.Slide 6 InformationCroft Communications, Inc. (2012). Effects of the Great Depression. Great Depression: What happened and how it compares with today. Retrieved August 8, 2012 fromMontana, Sam. (2009). Facts about the Dust Bowl. Knoji Consumer Knowledge. Retrieved August 8, 2012 from
16 Bibliography of Slides Secondary SourcesSlide 7 InformationIllinois.edu. Timeline of Dust Bowl. Modern American Poetry. Retrieved August 8, 2012 fromSlide 8 MapSkittlisous. Dust Bowl. Glogster.com. Retrieved August 8, 2012 fromSlide 11 InformationTaylor, Quintard, Jr. (2010). New Deal Agencies. History 101: Survey of the United States. Retrieved on August 9, 2012 from
17 Bibliography of Slides Tertiary SourcesSlide 9 Image of CropsMicrosoft. Rows of agricultural crops on a farm. Microsoft Office Great Britain. Retrieved on August 9, 2012, from