According to answers.com, a dust bowl is a region reduced to aridity by drought and dust storms. The best-known dust bowl is doubtless the one that hit the United States between 1933 and 1939.
One major cause of that Dust Bowl was severe droughts during the 1930’s. The other cause was capitalism. Over-farming and grazing in order to achieve high profits killed of much of the plain’s grassland and when winds approached, nothing was there to hold the devastated soil on the ground.
The Dust Bowl affected the Great Plains which consist of parts of the U.S. states of Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming. Storms also reached the East Coast of the United States. The Dust Bowl especially affected Kansas and Oklahoma, where people died from dust pneumonia and starvation.
Mrs. Flora Robertson, former resident of Oklahoma, describes a Dust Bowl as a “huge black cloud”.
Bon Turner, another U.S. citizen whose life was affected by the dust storms, reports that one day he left a milk bottle on his back porch. When he came back after a while, it was two-thirds filled with dust. Bon Turner had to break dust on water like ice to water his horses.
Lawrence Svobida, a Kansas wheat farmer, speaks about farmers who decided to leave their farms; they loaded their possessions on trucks or trailers. He also mentions “endless processions” of people heading out of the Dust Bowl. Asked about the beginning of the Dust Bowl, he tells: "With the gales came the dust. Sometimes it was so thick that it completely hid the sun. Visibility ranged from nothing to fifty feet, the former when the eyes were filled with dirt which could not be avoided, even with goggles." Svobida is one of many farmers who fled the Dust Bowl: "...With my financial resources at last exhausted and my health seriously, if not permanently impaired, I am at last ready to admit defeat and leave the Dust Bowl forever. With youth and ambition ground into the very dust itself, I can only drift with the tide."
Lawrence Svobida most likely joined the Dust Bowl exodus, the largest migration in American history. By 1940, 2.5 million people had moved out of the Plains states; of those, 200,000 moved to California. Arriving in California, the migrants were faced with a life almost as difficult as the one they had left.
Many California farms were corporate-owned. They were larger, and more modernized that those of the southern plains, and the crops were unfamiliar. Many farmers from the Great Plains ended up picking cotton and grapes for wages as low as 0.75 $ a day.
Other asylums included Oregon, Washington, Arizona, and New Mexico. The vast majority of Dust Bowl migrants stayed on the West Coast permanently.
The Dust Bowl also inspired painters and other artists. One of the best-known artists in connection with the Dust Bowl is Alexandre Hogue. His...