Q:

Could the Dust Bowl have been prevented?

A:

Quick Answer

While this was a sensitive topic in its day, many scholars agree that the Dust Bowl could largely have been prevented from happening. Scholars from the University of Illinois agree with the idea that the Dust Bowl tragedy occurred due to a combination of human and ecological factors, meaning it might not have been 100 percent preventable, but its effects could have been less severe with better farming practices.

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Could the Dust Bowl have been prevented?
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Full Answer

The Dust Bowl refers to a period during the 1930s during which drought and persistent dust storms (high winds carrying massive clouds of dusts) impacted agriculture and commerce in the American plains states. Much of the area that was impacted by the Dust Bowl was once grassland that had been converted into agricultural space, leading to ecological and landscape changes that, when combined with a prolonged period of severe drought in the region, led to the perfect mix of conditions for widespread, devastating dust storms. The drought was, of course, not in human control, but hindsight on the issue indicates that better farming practices could have dramatically lessened the scale of the disaster.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How did the Dust Bowl impact the economy?

    A:

    The Dust Bowl was both a geographical location in the Midwest and a series of devastating droughts that crippled the economy in the 1930s by shutting down many farms and forcing farmers to leave in search of jobs that did not exist. The first of the droughts occurred when the Great Depression was underway, which meant work was scarce. Many former farmers ended up homeless.

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  • Q:

    What are interesting facts about the Dust Bowl?

    A:

    The Dust Bowl was the name of the Great Plains region of the United States during the Great Depression. The region went through a harsh drought that turned the land into a dusty, dry and cracked landscape. The drought lasted for three years and forced many residents to move.

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  • Q:

    What did the U.S. government do about the Dust Bowl?

    A:

    Franklin Roosevelt and the U.S. government had two responses to the Dust Bowl: creating agencies and laws to help alleviate financial burdens of migrants and farmers affected by the Dust Bowl; and addressing the environmental issues that created the Dust Bowl. Through the Resettlement Administration and the Farm Security Administration, they provided subsidies and purchased sub-prime land to give money to the farmers and restore grasslands to over-farmed wheat fields.

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  • Q:

    Why did Great Plains farmers migrate to California in the 1930s?

    A:

    Great Plains farmers migrated to California in the 1930s because drought conditions and erosion-producing agricultural methods created the decade-long phenomenon known as the Dust Bowl. Because they were unable to survive in such an arid, hostile environment, many farmers left the region and journeyed to California to look for work.

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