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Hist 367 - Schepers 1 The Forgotten Small Farmer of the...

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Schepers 1 -1 The Forgotten Small Farmer of the Dust Bowl HIST 367 Dr. McDonald Heather Schepers 6 April 2008
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Schepers 2 The Dust Bowl of the 1930s resulted in the migration and the destruction of the traditional small farm families. Many factors contributed to the ecological and economic disaster, but the U.S. Government facilitated conditions that led to the disaster and was slow to respond to the plight of the farmers, while encouraging the emerence of large farms. In an effort to change what was called the "Great American Desert" into the Great Plains; immigrants and the poor were encouraged to buy land as a means of gaining wealth. In order to sell the semi-arid land, investors and the Department of Agriculture (USDA) teamed up to demonstrate to potential buyers that the land could be farmed (Egan, 22-24). However, the effects of such drastic destruction of the natural grasslands were not the concern of the investors or the USDA. Once the soil was loosened and the drought struck, beginning in 1930, every storm became a deadly "Black Blizzard" (Bonnifield, 3). While the farmers were not hit hard by the Stock Market Crash of 1929, the drought that began in the following year was much more devastating to the small farmers. Not until Roosevelt took office, in 1933, was anything done to aid the desperate farmers
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