Dust Bowl Research Paper

1374 words - 5 pages

Dust Bowl Essay“Even those who were inside felt the swirling terror of the storm. Lila Lee King […] remembered, “I was sure I was going to die…” (Yancey 10). The Dust Bowl struck terror in the hearts of many just as it did Lila Lee King. Few events in American history created as much turmoil as the Dust Bowl did. The Dust Bowl ruined the lives of many, and in some cases ended them. The Dust Bowl had a great impact on many people in the United States.The events leading up to the Dust Bowl had a great impact on many residents of the Great Plains. The problems of the Dust Bowl all began with the development of a technique called dry farming. Dry farming consisted of the cultivation of some fields “while allowing others to lie fallow, so that a field only supported crops every other year” (“Dry Farming” 1). Dry farming allowed the cultivation of crops regardless of the harsh conditions present in the prairie (1). Many settlers of the West during this time period found that dry farming worked particularly well when growing wheat (1). These dry farming techniques along with war and technology led to the destruction of the land. “During World War I, the demand for wheat […] meant plowing larger areas” (“The Dust Bowl, 1934-1938” 1). This increase in plowing caused the need for more tractors. “Ownership went from less than three hundred tractors in southwestern Kansas in 1915 to over three thousand in 1925” (Yancey 19). The farmers who utilized these tractors meant to do well, but instead their actions brought the hardship of the Dust Bowl upon themselves. “In the 1930s, the total cultivated land in the United States increased, reaching 530 million acres (215 million hectares), its highest level ever” (“Dust Bowl” 1). “Not only was there less grass to hold down the soil, [but] the constant cultivations necessary to grow crops set the stage for new problems” (Yancey 19). These problems included “drought, high winds, and the stripped land” which together created the Dust Bowl (“Dry Farming” 1). It is incredibly bizarre that these farmers who only wanted to help the war effort brought the hardship of the Dust Bowl onto themselves. The impact of World War I on the farmers led to the scramble for wheat that caused the Dust Bowl.The Dust Bowl had a terrible impact on the people living in the affected areas. The Dust Bowl had a large impact on the health of the people. “Airborne dust made travel difficult because of decreased visibility; it also impaired breathing and caused respiratory diseases” (“Dust Bowl” 1). The respiratory diseases varied, for example many “hospitals reported hundreds of patients suffering from ‘dust pneumonia’” (“Dust Bowl” 1). In some cases, people even died from the Dust Bowl. “The black blizzards struck so suddenly that many farmers became lost in their...

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