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Essay on Okies and the Hardships of the Dust Bowl

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The Dust Bowl was the name given to the Great Plains area in the 1930s. Much of the region was an agricultural area and relied on it for most of their economy. Combined with The Great Depression and the dust storms, farmers in the Great Plains area were severely hurt. These farmers were seeking opportunity elsewhere near the Pacific where they were mistreated by the others already there. The mistreatment is a form of disenfranchisement, by excluding and segregating a group of people from the rest of society. The disenfranchisement of the Oklahoma farmers during the 1930s was caused by a combination of the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression which led to the farmers being forced to move west where they were mistreated because there were not enough jobs.
In the 1930's, farmers in the Great Plains region began deep plowing and destroyed the top soil and natural grasses so that they would be picked up in the wind (Boundless.com 1) The Great Plains area consists of parts of Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming. Also a combination of a long drought and high winds led to dust storms creating the dust bowl that affected many people. Dust storms are giant clouds of dust that are thrown into the air and gathered into clouds that flew violently across the Great Plains. One expert describes one of these dust storms saying, “One of the most frightening days during the decade of the Dust Bowl is referred to as Black Sunday. On April 14, 1935, what started out as a clear sunny day suddenly transformed into a giant black cloud on the horizon — a huge dust storm. Residents fled their morning chores and sought cover in cars, houses, and shelters before they would be blinded and en...


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...e to the effects of the Great Depression and a widespread drought which killed their crops. The people of the western states feared losing their own jobs to the large amount of people moving west and they tried to stop them. It is not something that only happens in a foreign country; disenfranchisement has happened in America as well. By studying the history of the Dust Bowl, Americans can learn from the past and work to eliminate such suffering in the future by trying to ensure that all people are treated fairly and with respect no matter their race or social class.


Works Cited

Boone, Lynette. "Dust Bowl and the Great Depression." Roll On Columbia the Documentary. UO Media Services, n.d. Web. 09 Dec. 2013.
"Dust Bowl Migrants." Boundless. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Dec. 2013.
Gregory, James N. "Dust Bowl Legacies." University of Washington. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2013.


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