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The Great Depression
Transcript of The Great Depression
Photography "Migrant Mother" Dust Bowl
1930 to 1936 The Dust Bowl was a series of severe dust storms rolling through
the Great Plains. The dust storms were caused by severe drought
and poor farming practices which ruined the top soil, turning it into
dust. The dust storms created terrible problems economically and agriculturally for the Great Plains area. Thousands of people lost their source of income and had to abandon their homes. Many of them moved to California. The land of the Great Plains was completely ruined for long time and the value of the land decreased significantly. Migrant Workers
of California Due to the Dust Bowl in the Plains, many people migrated to Cali-
fornia for work. The economic conditions in California were just as
poor due to The Great Depression. Conditions for migrant workers were terrible. The wages were usually below the poverty level, the housing was abysmal, and they had no voice to protect their rights as workers. It was also difficult for migrant workers to participate in programs such as welfare and Social Security. Thankfully, a workers' rights activist, Cesar Chavez, set up the United Farm Workers of America organization, which created a union and rights for migrant farm workers. One person, Dorothea Lange, took special interest in the migrant
workers of California. As a photographer/photojournalist, she
took compelling photos of the families devastated by the Dust
Bowl. The strength of her photography was that it showed the
American public the great need of the migrant farm workers of
California. John Steinbeck also took special interest in the migrant workers of
California, having grown up in California during the Great Depression. His books typically criticize capitalism and show the plights of migratory farm workers. Of Mice and Men is one of his most famous works of literature. It portrays two characters, George and Lennie, who are migrant farm workers in California during the Great Depression.