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History: Dust Bowl, Dirty Thirties, 1930s, Great Plains, American and Canadian prairies

History: Dust Bowl, Dirty Thirties, 1930s, Great Plains, American And Canadian Prairies

• U.S.
In 1935, many families were forced to leave their farms and travel to other areas seeking work because of the drought (which at that time had lasted four years). Dust Bowl conditions fomented an exodus of the displaced from Texas, Oklahoma, and the surrounding Great Plains to adjacent regions. More than 500,000 Americans were left homeless. Over 350 houses had to be torn down after one storm alone. The severe drought and dust storms had left many homeless, others had their mortgages foreclosed by banks, and others felt they were left no choice but to abandon their farms in search of work. Many Americans migrated west looking for work. Parents were forced to pack up "jalopies" with their families and a few personal belongings, and head west in search of work. Some residents of the Plains, especially in Kansas and Oklahoma, fell ill and died of dust pneumonia or malnutrition.
The Dust Bowl exodus was the largest migration in American history within a short period of time. By 1940, 2.5 million people had moved out of the Plains states; of those, 200,000 moved to California. In just over a year, over 86,000 people migrated to California. This number is more than the number of migrants to that area during the 1849 Gold Rush. With their land barren and homes seized in foreclosure, many farm families were forced to leave. Migrants left farms in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Texas, Colorado, and New Mexico, but were often generally referred to as "Okies", "Arkies", or "Texies". Terms such as "Okies" and "Arkies" came to be known in the 1930s as the standard terms for those who had lost everything and were struggling the most during the Great Depression.
However, migrants did not always travel long distances; many would simply travel to the next town or county. No matter the distance, the Dust Bowl caused the proportion between migrants and residents to be nearly equal in the Great Plains states because of the high number of families that left their farms.

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Keywords:#history #dust #bowl #dirty #thirties #great #plains #american #canadian #prairies
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Date added:Oct 18, 2013
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