What are Okies in the Great Depression?

“Okies,” as Californians labeled them, were refugee farm families from the Southern Plains who migrated to California in the 1930s to escape the ruin of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl.

As the “double whammy” of drought and depression deepened on the Great Plains, more and more farmers gave up or were forced off of their land. In fact, during the 30s hundreds of thousands left the plains for the West Coast. So many migrated from Oklahoma that they were dubbed “Okies” in the popular press.

One may also ask, how did the Okies affect California? Living conditions in California during the Great Depression Once the Okie families migrated from Oklahoma to California, they often were forced to work on large farms to support their families. Due to this lack of sanitation in these camps, disease ran rampant among the migrant workers and their families.

Hereof, why did Californians hate Okies?

Because they arrived impoverished and because wages were low, many lived in filth and squalor in tents and shantytowns along the irrigation ditches. Consequently, they were despised as “Okies,” a term of disdain, even hate, pinned on economically degraded farm laborers no matter their state of origin.

Where did most Okies migrate to?

Explanation: California was the destination to which most Okies(as they were pictured in Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath)migrated in order to find jobs. They were not necessarily from Oklahoma, some were from Kansas, Texas, Missouri or Arkansas. They fled after the famous Dust Bowl had ravaged their crops.

Is Okie a derogatory term?

“Okie” is defined as “a migrant agricultural worker; esp: such a worker from Oklahoma” (Webster’s Third New International Dictionary). The term became derogatory in the 1930s when massive migration westward occurred.

Why did so many people go to California during the Great Depression?

Migration Out of the Plains during the Depression. During the Dust Bowl years, the weather destroyed nearly all the crops farmers tried to grow on the Great Plains. Many once-proud farmers packed up their families and moved to California hoping to find work as day laborers on huge farms.

Can the Dust Bowl happen again?

The Dust Bowl is a distant memory, but the odds of such a drought happening again are increasing. The impacts on agriculture could be dire, but fortunately, the next major drought will not cause a second dust bowl, as we are now better able to prevent soil erosion.

How many people left Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl?

2.5 million people

How did people travel during the Dust Bowl?

Dust Bowl migrants squeezed into trucks and jalopies—beat-up old cars—laden with their meager possessions and headed west, many taking the old U.S. Highway 66. “Dad bought a truck to bring what we could,” recalled one former migrant, Byrd Monford Morgan, in a 1981 oral history interview.

How were farmers affected in the Dust Bowl?

The massive dust storms caused farmers to lose their livelihoods and their homes. Deflation from the Depression aggravated the plight of Dust Bowl farmers. Prices for the crops they could grow fell below subsistence levels. In 1932, the federal government sent aid to the drought-affected states.

How many Okies moved to California?

Historians aren’t sure just how many Okies poured into California in that turbulent decade. Keeping tidy records of so many people on the move was chancy. It was by all accounts the last great migration of a nation moving west and may have numbered as many as 500,000. Even the term Okie is imprecise.

What are Okies in Grapes of Wrath?

In his novel The Grapes of Wrath, he made the town famous depicting the plight of “Okies.” These were Oklahomans who headed west to escape the Dust Bowl during the Great Depression. They landed in California. There they worked in the fields harvesting crops.

Why did the Dust Bowl happen?

The Dust Bowl was a period of severe dust storms that greatly damaged the ecology and agriculture of the American and Canadian prairies during the 1930s; severe drought and a failure to apply dryland farming methods to prevent the aeolian processes (wind erosion) caused the phenomenon.

Did California end up being the promised land Why or why not?

California was emphatically not the promised land of the migrants’ dreams. Arrival in California did not put an end to the migrants’ travels. Their lives were characterized by transience. In an attempt to maintain a steady income, workers had to follow the harvest around the state.

Who built the Arvin farm labor camp?

Weedpatch Camp (also known as the Arvin Federal Government Camp and the Sunset Labor Camp) was built by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) south of Bakersfield, California in 1936 to house migrant workers during the Great Depression.

Where were hoovervilles located?

Riverside Park, New York City: A shantytown occupied Riverside Park at 72nd Street during the depression. Seattle had eight Hoovervilles during the 1930s. Its largest Hooverville on the tidal flats adjacent to the Port of Seattle lasted from 1932 to 1941.

What caused the Great Depression?

It began after the stock market crash of October 1929, which sent Wall Street into a panic and wiped out millions of investors. Over the next several years, consumer spending and investment dropped, causing steep declines in industrial output and employment as failing companies laid off workers.

What was Hoover’s response to the Depression?

However, Hoover’s response to the crisis was constrained by his conservative political philosophy. He believed in a limited role for government and worried that excessive federal intervention posed a threat to capitalism and individualism. He felt that assistance should be handled on a local, voluntary basis.