Dust Bowl Migration

Submitted By waynefindley
Words: 1117
Pages: 5

Dust Bowl Migration Wayne Findley HIS/145 August 13, 2013 Allan Fifield Dust Bowl Migration Even though farmers need to keep up their production with the population, farmers need to take measures to protect farm soil. If the farm soil is not protected humanity will have another dust bowl. For farmers to make more profit back in the 1920s, the use of mechanical devices, such as plows and other farming equipment were used by people to farm more in the Heartland of the United States. Farmers were over producing and coupled with the Great Depression the market prices were plummeting. People could not afford to buy the produce, therefore farmers could not make back the money that was put into farming. To make up for this loss farmers were expanding their fields to sell more to make up the loss. Top-soil started blow away in the winds, leaving their fields baron and un-farmable. The rains stopped and the dust storms began. This started to drive millions of people west to California. California was not welcoming to these newcomers (Bidwell, 2008). The newcomers consisted of a variety of people from the mid-west. The people who were hurt the most from the droughts and windstorms were people from the Oklahoma panhandle, western Kansas, eastern Colorado, northern Texas, and northeast New Mexico. Even though Oklahoman’s only made up a small percentage of the people who were migrating to California, welcoming residents labeled migrants as “Oakies.” There were so many people migrating to California, the state decided to close the borders down and try to slow the wave of people. A few migrants had some money and were allowed to pass yet most were turned away be the not so welcoming state. The California Legislature had passed a law to punish anyone who was helping any Okie migrate. This law was later found unconstitutional but people were still subjective to it. There was approximately 2.9 million migrants that entered California. There were so many that they had to start making camps to live in (Ed. Richard, 2013). The State of California was being overwhelmed with migrants. The residents of California were meeting the migrants with roadblocks and hostility. There were signs posted by the residents along the highways into the state that warned migrants to turn around that there was no work for them. The migrants were not used to be being treated in this manner by other people. Many of them came from middle to upper class homes and are very hardworking people. These hardworking people were used to possessing money and not accompanied to the belittling that was in store for them. Most were farmers that lost their houses and farms because of the dust bowl, so there was nothing left to do but move. There were many jobs in California but not near enough to sustain the millions of migrants. California residents were growing very angry with the flood of migrants because they believed their jobs were being taken from them by the migrants. The State also suffered because of the increase in welfare that was being given by the State to the migrants. The story was similar for most migrants, they entered California with little or no money. The migrants made their way through southern, central, and northern California, only stopping if they ran out of money or could find work. Once the migrants got settled, as best they could and could sustain themselves by getting jobs in shipyards and factories during the war. Some also joined the military and left for war, which was better than starving to death (Jones, 1989). Some migrants could assimilate into California but not all. Dealing with the prejudicial treatment and hostile environment of California at the time was tough. Those who were lucky, could find steady work and started saving their money,