The Dust Bowl Effect On The Great Depression

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The Dust Bowl’s Effect on the Great Depression The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck, pays homage to the critical impact the Great Depression had on dust bowl farmers. The growing demand for wheat products forced farmers to overgraze their property. This reduced the overall usefulness and biodiversity of the land, and attributed to the desertification of their establishments. With this, the once lush fields turned to dust, which blew away with the commencement of the severe drought in the early 1930s. Steinbeck utilizes the lives of the Joad family to depict how farmers were often forced to flee their homes in search of better jobs during this time period. Because of the stock market’s demise, no one was purchasing their crops. Banks were required to drive farmers out of their homes, as they could not afford to keep supporting them without profit. The agricultural devastation of the Dust Bowl intensified the economical impact of the Great Depression and added to the misery of the migrant workers. The wrath of nature unleashed itself on the migrant farmers during the 1930s. During this time period, the entirety of the Midwest was plagued with drought. In fact, new scientific studies found that “the drought of the 1930s was the worst in North America in the last 300 years” (The National Drought Mitigation Center). The Earth’s surface became “a thin hard crust” (Steinbeck 1). The Great Plains were noted for their fertile soils until this ten year dry spell cursed the

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