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THE DUST BOWL MIGRATION American Exodus. Theme: Migration

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Presentation on theme: "THE DUST BOWL MIGRATION American Exodus. Theme: Migration"— Presentation transcript:


2 Theme: Migration

3 Dust Bowl Ecological Effects

4 What and When Period of severe dust storms and drought  “Black Blizzards” and “Black Rollers” due to reduced visibility Major ecological and agricultural damage 1930-1936  Some areas until 1940 American and Canadian Prairie

5 Why? Agricultural practices that encouraged erosion  Bare fields in winter  Burning stubble prior to planting Severe drought coupled with extensive farming without crop rotation Deep plowing killed the natural grasses  Normally kept soil in place  Trapped moisture Topsoil grew dry and was simply carried away by the wind Dust aggregated in the air, forming immense dust clouds  Preventing further rainfall

6 Prevention Established Soil Erosion Service in 1935  Now known as the Natural Resources Conservation Service Planted a huge belt of more than 200 million trees from Canada to Texas  Act as a wind break, hold soil moisture and hold the soil itself Educate farmers on soil conservation and anti-erosion techniques  Crop rotation  Strip farming  Contour plowing  Terracing

7 Summary Conditions could occur again  Likely candidates:  China  Africa  Australia  North America Lasting consequences  Demographics and political economy fundamentally changed  Collapse of small scale farming  Families experienced permanent, significant increases in household incomes as non-farm workers Guaranteed no desire to return to farming  Advances in agriculture, transportation and business  Cost of returning lands to useful agricultural production too high  Need to protect delicate soil costly  Would have led to product prices uncompetitive with other regions in the U.S.


9 Dust Was Everywhere!

10 Timeline October 24, 1929: Stock Market Crash Starts the Great Depression In 1931: an over-abundance of wheat caused prices to crash leading to over planting of wheat and more native grasses being removed. May 9, 1934: A major dust storm starts in Montana and the Dakotas, by nightfall it had reached Chicago, by morning dust had reached Boston and New York. Street lights were on in midday and cars had to use headlights April 14, 1935: “Black Sunday” the worst of the Dust storms, five days later the dust reaches Washington D.C. blacking out the windows of congress. By 1935 an estimated 850 million tons of topsoil had blown off the southern plains 25% of the population in effected states migrated: Almost 2.5 million people.

11 An Entire Region Desolate and Empty The Great Depression increased the economic hardship of the dust bowl. Together this decimated the Mid- West Economy Farms were ruined, and jobs were scarce “Okies” had no choice but to look west toward “Californy” in hopes to find work.

12 California offered hope for a new start and new jobs Beaches, Babes and Jobs? Dust Bowl exodus was the largest migration in American History  By 1940, 2.5 million people moved  500,000+ Americans left homeless The Myth of California

13 It was a Long Rough Journey Many packed everything they had, or all they could fit on their Model T ford and headed west. Some fell ill and died Dust Bowl exodus was the largest migration in American History  By 1940, 2.5 million people moved  500,000+ Americans left homeless

14 California: Now What? There were no jobs for the millions migrating. Cities and States actively discouraged migrants. Rehabilitation Camps were set up to house the migrants

15 Where to Find Hope?

16 Art and Music: Relief from the Struggles of Migration

17 The King Family plays music in one of the migrant camps. - Robert Hemmig Folk songs about social issues originated. Woody Guthrie wrote folk songs about hard living. Jack Bryant wrote a song about his travels and struggles.

18 Arizona By Jack Bryant We were out in Arizona On the Painted Desert ground We had no place to call our own home And work could not be found.We started to California But our money, it didn't last long I want to be in Oklahoma Be back in my old home.A way out on the desert Where water is hard to find It's a hundred miles to Tempe And the wind blows all the time.You will burn up in the day time Yet you're cold when the sun goes down I wanna be in Oklahoma Be back in my home town.You people in Oklahoma If you ever come west Have your pockets full of money And you better be well dressed.If you wind up on the desert You're gonna wish that you were dead You'll be longing for Oklahoma And your good old feather bed.

19 Woody Guthrie Semi-autobiographical, chronicling Guthrie's experience as a so- called "Okie"Okie Songs contain an element of social activism ***An important influence on later musicians, including Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen. Pete SeegerBob DylanBruce Springsteen (2009). Woodie Guthrie. Retrieved Oct. 13, 2009, from Wikimedia Foundation, Inc, San Francisco, California. Web site:

20 Photographs Show Us the People’s Stories

21 Dorthea Lange's 1936 Migrant Mother Innovative photographer Pioneer in social documentation. The lives of migrant and poor people Starkly realistic artistic style. To bringing an awareness of; Conditions of people To affect change in social policies.

22 A group of children under Farm Workers Community Sign, El Rio, Calif., 1941. - Robert Hemmig

23 Dust Bowl Artist Influences  What are some effects that Woody Guthrie and Dorothea Lange have on people today?  Artists of the depression area paved the way for artists today by pioneering the use of real life issues. Opposite- subjects determined by the powerful and wealthy. Not decorative styles commissioned focus on rich lifestyle subjects. Also the creative themes do not seem anti-political such as in Modern art movements. Currently it is considered suitable to include modern realistic social issues as subject matter and an artist can become successful.

24 Art Through Construction Works Progress Administration and the Civilian Conservation Corps Built lasting architecture that still stands today. Timberline Lodge Golden Gate Bridge

25 Government Posters Had a Distinctive Style

26 Art Standards Support Integration Art Standards focus on history and social influences. CCG; Understand how the arts can reflect the environment and personal experiences within a society or culture, and apply to one's own work.  Explain how works of art reflect the artist's personal experience, environment, society and culture and apply this knowledge to one's own work.  Describe and distinguish works of art from different societies, time periods, and cultures, emphasizing their common and unique characteristics.  Explain the influence of events and conditions on an artist's work. *Students apply use of ideas to their own work. Reflection on results can lead to skill goal development. Apply the use of ideas, techniques and problem solving to the creative process and analyze the influence that choices have on the result.

27 Language Arts: A Great Compliment to Every Subject

28 Common Themes in Writings of the Time Return to traditional ideals  Traditional family and gender concepts  Small town vision of America  Interest in “the folk” or “the people” and documenting their lives and traditions: workers and everyday people are emphasized Life is a Struggle, but people and relationships endure

29 The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck Classic American Novel. Follows the Joad family from Oklahoma to California. Published in 1939. Steinbeck won both the Nobel Prize and a Pulitzer.

30 Grapes of Wrath Motifs Improvised Leadership Structures  Revolution, woman figure, traditionally powerless, has taken control. Parallels upheaval in larger world economic hierarchies. Weedpatch camp govern with their own rules fairness and equality rather than power-hungry ambition or love of authority.

31 Theme-Man’s Inhumanity to Man The privileged divided from the migrant poor and as the primary source of evil and suffering in the world.  Historical, social, and economic circumstances separate people into;  Rich and poor, landowner and tenant. People in the dominant roles in a vicious struggle to preserve their positions. Portrays the state as the product of land-hungry squatters.  Who took the land from Mexicans and, by working it and making it produce, rendered it their own. California landowners to protect themselves.  Create a system in which the migrants are treated like animals.  Shuffled from one filthy roadside camp to the next.  Denied livable wages.  Forced to turn against their brethren simply to survive.

32 To Kill a Mockingbird By Harper Lee "They're certainly entitled to think that, and they're entitled to full respect for their opinions," said Atticus, "but before I can live with other folks I've got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience." - Atticus (114)

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