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Dust Bowl

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Dust Bowl 1930 s The Promise Land When pioneers migrated west in the middle of the 19th century they found promising land in the Midwest They found a land covered ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Dust Bowl


1
Dust Bowl
  • 1930s

2
The Promise Land
  • When pioneers migrated west in the middle of the
    19th century they found promising land in the
    Midwest
  • They found a land covered in prairie grasses that
    reached 6 feet tall!
  • Homesteaders flocked to the grasslands, certain
    that they had found the richest soil in the world
    and the ideal place to settle down

3
Oops
  • Settlers began to clear the land
  • They used the trees to build homes, barns, and
    outbuildings
  • The endless prairie was used to grow wheat
  • What was unknown to these early pioneers was that
    the grass and trees of the plains essentially
    nourished and held the soil in place with their
    tough roots
  • The natural grasses that normally kept the soil
    in place and trapped moisture even during periods
    of drought and high winds were all killed

4
Rain, Rain Go Away
  • Unfortunately, a drought started in the early
    1930s and persisted for several years
  • The farmers kept plowing and planting with
    increasingly dismal results-the crops just
    wouldnt grow without water

5
Effects
  • The water level of lakes dropped by five feet or
    more.
  • The wind picked up the dry soil that had turned
    to dust without rain and it had nothing to hold
    it down, so
  • Great black clouds of dust began to blot out the
    sun. In some places, the dust drifted like snow,
    darkening the sky for days, covering even
    well-sealed homes with a thick layer of dust on
    everything
  • Dust storms engulfed entire towns

6
Daily Life
  • Children word dust masks to and from school
  • Women hung wet sheets over windows in a futile
    attempt to stop the dirt from coming in
  • Farmers watched helplessly as their crops blew
    away
  • Letter from a survivor http//www.npenn.org/55777
    011985858/lib/55777011985858/ch2014/sec20220PS
    20Dust20Bowl20Survivors.pdf

7
The Governments Response
  • Under Franklin Roosevelts administration, the
    Resettlement Administration (RA), which
    eventually became the Farm Security
    Administration (FSA), stressed "rural
    rehabilitation" efforts to improve the lifestyle
    of sharecroppers, tenants, and very poor
    landowning farmers, and a program to purchase
    submarginal land owned by poor farmers and
    resettle them in group farms on land more
    suitable for efficient farming

8
The Governments Response
  • The Soil Conservation Service (SCS) encouraged
    cultivation techniques which would prevent
    further soil erosion. Finally, the Agricultural
    Adjustment Administration (AAA) restricted
    production by paying farmers to reduce crop area
  • The farmers were paid subsidies by the federal
    government for leaving some of their fields unused

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