This sample paper on Effects Of The Dust Bowl offers a framework of relevant facts based on the recent research in the field. Read the introductory part, body and conclusion of the paper below.
The Psychological Affects of the Dust Bowl The Dust Bowl was an added devastation accompanying the Great Depression. It lasted from 1930 to 1939 and is sometimes referred to as the “Dirty Thirties”. (Bonnifield) Lack of crop rotation and a heavy drought caused this trying time in American history.
Over one third of the United States was swallowed up by dust storms with the concentration of storms being located in northern Texas, the panhandle of Oklahoma, the entire western half of Kansas, south east Colorado, and north east New Mexico. Gazit) One psychological affect experienced as a result of this great historic disaster must have been depression. With over a decade of soil misuse and a severe drought that started in 1930 the top soil virtually turned to dust and blew away with the wind.
This catastrophe could have been adverted with the practice of crop rotation. Crop rotation is a technique that has been traced back to Roman times. This method prevents the buildup of pests and/or pathogens. A known occurrence when the same crop is used season after season.
Specifically the rotation of deep rooted and shallow rooted crops would have helped to prevent this era in American history. This grave agricultural mistake served to devastate a large population of people. Because of the lack of top soil crops could not grow therefore farmers and their families became stricken with poverty.
Soon after the dust started blowing away it created dust storms which their most fierce covered the sky and there was little to no visibility on the ground, even worse than a blizzard of today the storms were given the name “Black Blizzard” (Gazit).
Entire farm machinery virtually disappeared under a blanket of dust deposits left behind by these storms. Even with the aid of relief programs from the federal government entire families still had to pick up and leave behind their land, homes, and way of life. Most of these families were referred to as “Okies” because the majority came from Oklahoma and nearly all headed west to California to escape the storms. (Ganzel) Meeting basic human needs was a day to day struggle.
Because the vast majority of the families were poor they had little to no money for food often fought over food that they may have shared with others just years earlier. Another health concern during this time was the onset of dust pneumonia which is the disproportionate exposure to dust where as dust literally fills the lungs. (Cook) The condition was so common that several musicians wrote song with the most famous being Woody Guthrie’s “Dust Pneumonia Blues”. Lack of employment was another common trauma that could easily lead to depression.
Having previously been able to provide food and a place of warmth and wellbeing was no longer possible for males and single mothers of the day. The conditions were so extreme families were sometimes encouraged to give their children to government agencies so they could be better cared for. Not only did the Dust Bowl affect farmers but also white collar and professional workers who now had to fend for themselves in conditions and livelihoods they were not accustomed to. J. D. Bilbro, a child of the Dust Bowl recalls being trapped within a dust storm during a day known as “Black Sunday”.
He talks about how he, a friend, and their two sisters ran through the storm and it was “black as midnight, rolling and boiling along the earth like a runaway tidal wave”. (Westbrook) The Grapes of Wrath written in 1939 by John Steinbeck and published by The Viking Press is a fictional story about a family traveling across the country to California during the Dust Bowl just in hope to find jobs as fruit pickers. In preparation for writing the book Mr. Steinbeck traveled as a migrant worker for two years so that he could get a feel and understanding for how the people of this era felt and survived. Bio) In the PBS history series American Experience: Surviving the Dust Bowl in an interview conducted in 2009 with Margie Daniel-Hooker of Oklahoma, she says that even as a child she could tell her father was depressed. She says it was noticeable by the way he would just stare off into space. In the same series Mrs. Daniel-Hooker goes on to talk about her younger brother who had pneumonia three times. She speaks about how she believes her brother caught pneumonia every time due to the dust storms. Mrs.
Daniel-Hooker recalls her mother giving her little brother a spoonful of medicine each night and how the both of them sat up all night with him. Then one time as her mother was giving him a spoonful of medicine he leaned back in her arms and died. She tells how her mother screamed and held him very tightly then goes on to talk about how she had many more children but after the loss of that one child was never the same again. Mrs. Daniel-Hooker spoke about how she cried herself to sleep for an extensive period and how she will never forgive herself for bringing home the Measles and how he caught them.
She explains how one could overcome pneumonia but never pneumonia and measles coupled together. Both Mrs. Daniel-Hooker, and her mother suffered long term from these experiences. As with the beginning of national media photography showed and still shows today the affects the Dust Bowl had on America. Dorothea Lange was a photographer who worked for the Farm Security Administration to document the plight of the Dust Bowl and was made famous for six pictures (one in particular) she took of Florence Owens-Thompson. (Dunn) Although the pictures accurately depicted life during this era Mrs.
Thompson said she was told the pictures that were taken of her would not be published. But Ms. Lange sent the pictures to the San Francisco News and the Resettlement Administration in the nation’s capital. The most well known was entitled “The Migrant Mother”. Over forty years later the nation was enlightened as to whom the Migrant Mother was. In December 2008 Mrs. Owens-Thompson’s daughter, Katherine who was also seen in the picture at an early age publicly said the picture shamed the family because it pointed out just how poor they were. Gutierrez) Although the famous photos did much for public awareness and government change, they disturbed the family members depicted for a lifetime. As a result of the Dust Bowl and complications of the Great Depression large numbers of families lives were drastically changed. Loss of homes, jobs, and poor healthcare would have encouraged psychological complications such as depression. The day to day struggle to meet basic family needs and difficulties arising from trying to accomplish these tasks led many Dust Bowl sufferers to develop and suffer with this depraved mental state. Works Cited About The Dust Bowl. ” Welcome to English « Department of English, College of LAS, University of Illinois. N. p. , n. d. Web. 28 Nov. 2010. . “Biography Page. ” Welcome to the Official Woody Guthrie Website. N. p. , n. d. Web. 28 Nov. 2010. . Bonnifield, Paul. “May, it seemed like the wind, and dirt had been blowing for an. “1930′ Dust Bowl. ” cimarron county chamber of commerce. N. p. , n. d. Web. 28 Nov. 2010. . Cook, Ben, Ron Miller, and Richard Seager. “Dust storms in the 1930s Dust Bowl. ” Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory | . N. p. , n. d. Web. 28 Nov. 2010. . “Drought in the Dust Bowl Years. Welcome to the National Drought Mitigation Center website!. N. p. , n. d. Web. 28 Nov. 2010. . Dunn, Geoffrey. “New Times – San Luis Obispo – Cover Story – Photographic license. ” Internet Archive: Wayback Machine. N. p. , n. d. Web. 28 Nov. 2010. . Freedman, Russell. Children of the Great Depression . New York: Clarion Books, 2005. Print. Ganzel, Bill. “The Dust Bowl of the 1930s. ” The Wessels Living History Farm, the Story of Agricultural Innovation. N. p. , n. d. Web. 28 Nov. 2010. . Gazit, Chana. ” WGBH American Experience . Surviving the Dust Bowl . Complete Program Transcript | PBS. PBS: Public Broadcasting Service. N. p. , n. d. Web. 28 Nov. 2010. . Gerrig, Richard J. , and Philip G. Zimbardo. Psychology and life . 19th ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 2010. Print. Gutierrez, Thelma, and Wayne Drash CNN. “Girl from iconic Great Depression photo: ‘We were ashamed’ – CNN. com. ” CNN. com – Breaking News, U. S. , World, Weather, Entertainment & Video News. N. p. , n. d. Web. 28 Nov. 2010. . Hariman, Robert, and John Louis Lucaites. No caption needed: iconic photographs, public culture, and liberal democracy. Chicago: University Of Chicago Press, 2007. Print. “John Steinbeck Biography – Biography. om. ” Biography. com. N. p. , n. d. Web. 28 Nov. 2010. . Popper, Deborah Epstein, and Frank J. Popper. “Outstanding Articles. ” Internet Archive: Wayback Machine. N. p. , n. d. Web. 28 Nov. 2010. . RuneHQVideos. “YouTube-Woody Guthrie – Dust Bowl Blues . ” YouTube. N. p. , n. d. Web. 28 Nov. 2010. . Steinbeck, John. The grapes of wrath . New York: Viking Press, 1939. Print. s “The Dust Bowl. ” United States History. N. p. , n. d. Web. 28 Nov. 2010. . ” WGBH American Experience . Surviving the Dust Bowl . Timeline | PBS. ” PBS: Public Broadcasting Service. N. p. , n. d. Web. 28 Nov. 2010. .