Migrant Workersmigrant_workers.jpg

After WW1 occurred, a big drop came in the market price of farm crops, which caused Great Plain famers to increase their productivity by using mechanization and the cultivation of more land. This increase in activity caused an increase in spending that most farmers did not expect, this caused many farmers to be financially overextended. The stock market crash in 1929 did nothing but hurt this already weak economic situation. Some farmers lost their farms to banks that owned the land. Other farmers were forced to give up their land, because they could not afford to keep it.
Farmers ended up having to find jobs that weren’t agriculturally based. Most farmers were not successful in finding work, due to a 30 percent unemployment rate. These farmers had to move west to find better jobs, mainly in California. So many people moved to California for hope of a better life, because the state’s mild climate allowed for a long growing season and a diversity of crops with staggered planting and harvesting cycles.

The Dust Bowl included many Great Plains states, but the most migrants came from Oklahoma (approximately 20%) and were generically referred to as “Okies”. Other primary states the Dust Bowl brought to California were: Texas, Arkansas, and Missouri. Most families had roots in the poor, rural south.

"Okie use' ta mean you was from Oklahoma. Now it means you're a dirty son-of-a-bitch. Okie means you're a scum. Don't mean nothing itself, it's the way they say it."
Works Cited

Fanslow, Robin A. "The Migrant Experience." 6 Apr. 1998. American Folklife Center. 5 Mar. 2009 <http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/afctshtml/tsme.html>.

Walsh, John. "Migrant Workers." Suite101.com. 14 Feb. 2008. 8 Mar. 2009 <http://asianhistory.suite101.com/article.cfm/migrant_workers>.

"Desperation Road." Red River Historian. Library of Congress. 10 Mar. 2009 <http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://redriverhistorian.com/images/gr_dep_migrant_car_muskogee_lee.GIF&