Presentation on theme: " Post WWI - Recession led to a drop in the market price of farm crops Great Plains farmers increased productivity through mechanization and cultivation."— Presentation transcript:
Post WWI - Recession led to a drop in the market price of farm crops Great Plains farmers increased productivity through mechanization and cultivation of more land This required an increase in spending that caused many farmers to become in debt. 1929 stock market crash- exacerbated the situation, and many farmers lost their farms
Tenant farmers were turned out when economic pressure was put on large landholders. The displaced agricultural workers, both private farmers and tenant farmers, had a hard time finding work, due to the 30% unemployment rate.
The grasslands of the Great Plains were replaced with cultivated fields when the farmers had tried to increase productivity. The soil lost its ability to retain moisture and nutrients and began to erode. A seven-year drought began in 1931 was followed by dust storms in 1932 and many of the farms literally dried up creating what became known as the "Dust Bowl."
Recession leads to increased mechanization. Increased mechanization leads to debt and strain on the land (The Dust Bowl). Debt causes loss of farms and leads to farmers looking for work.
Driven by the Great Depression, drought, and dust storms, thousands of farmers packed up their families and made the difficult journey to California where they hoped to find work.
Mild climate allowed for a long growing season and a diversity of crops. Popular songs and stories exaggerated California as the “promised land.” Flyers advertising a need for farm workers in California were distributed in areas hard hit by unemployment.
Although the Dust Bowl included many Great Plains States (including parts of Missouri), the migrants were known as "Okies." 20 percent of the workers were from Oklahoma.
Local and state infrastructures were already overburdened, and newly arriving migrants were too much. Found themselves turned away at its borders Those who were able to cross the border found that the available labor pool was disproportionate to the number of job openings that could be filled, which lead to lower wages.
Even with an entire family working, migrants could not support themselves on the low wages. They set up camps along irrigation ditches in the farmers' fields. poor sanitary conditions and public health problem.
Migrants followed the harvest around the state. Potatoes, cotton, lemons, oranges, peas, and other crops Tramps Hoboes
Dorothea Lange photographic images taken from: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/amstudies/resou rces/dorothea_lange.html Migrant Worker Information taken from The Library Congress American Memory: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/afctshtml/tsm e.html