What Caused The Dust Bowl? Essay

2374 Words 10 Pages
What Caused the Dust Bowl?
One of America’s most beloved books is John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. The book portrays a family, the Joads, who leave Oklahoma and move to California in search of a more prosperous life. Steinbeck’s book garnered acclaim both from critics and from the American public. The story struck a chord with the American people because Steinbeck truly captured the angst and heartbreak of those directly impacted by the Dust Bowl disaster. To truly comprehend the havoc the Dust Bowl wreaked, one must first understand how and why the Dust Bowl took place and who it affected the most. The Dust Bowl was the result of a conglomeration of weather, falling crop prices, and government policies.
The Dust Bowl, a tragic era
…show more content…
For example, in February much of the United States had recorded frigid temperatures and North Dakota hit an all-time extreme record low of minus sixty degrees (Hutchinson, 35) . In contrast to the high temperatures, in the summer of 1936 strong upper-atmosphere high pressure systems locked over North America which caused very high temperatures. All but two states experienced protracted temperatures in excess of 100 degrees. Seventy-five percent of those states experienced temperatures that exceeded 110. The high for Kansas in 1936 was in Alton which reached 121 degrees in July. Conditions were so severe that federal officials warned that America’s agricultural belt was in real danger of being transformed into a desert. The heat wave cost $1 billion in crop and livestock losses. On July 15th of 1936, the Chicago Tribune estimated that 1,000 people a day were dying and continued at that pace for several days.
In addition to the extreme temperatures, lack of rain was also a major factor in the Dust Bowl. The 1934 drought was the most devastating in American history. In 1934, twenty-four states suffered sufficiently from the drought. There was no significant amount of rain from 1930 to 1939. The drought was so bad people started to believe they could produce rain. Tex Thorton, in Delhart Texas, believed that if he set off explosions on the ground it would rattle the atmosphere and cause it to rain. He was paid three hundred dollars to set off explosions, but

More about What Caused The Dust Bowl? Essay

Open Document