MIGRANT lABOR IN THE 1930'S A Presentation by McKenna, Carly, and Josh

What is It?

As the value of crops went down, farmers expand production, but over extended their bank accounts. Many people lost their land and had to move in search of work.

"farmers to increase their productivity through mechanization and the cultivation of more land. This increase in farming activity required an increase in spending that caused many farmers to become financially overextended" (Fanslow 1).

When Did it Happen?

The stock market crashed in 1929 dropped the value of crops. in 1937 the federal government began to open Labor camps intended to resolve poor sanitation and public health problems. As WWII began and continued, ecomomy improved with the need of more workers.

"The camps were intended to resolve poor sanitation and public health problems, as well as to mitigate the burden placed on state and local infrastructures... As World War II wore on, the state of the economy, both in California and across the nation, improved dramatically as the defense industry geared up to meet the needs of the war effort. Many of the migrants went off to fight in the war" (Fanslow 1).

Why it Applies to Of Mice and Men?

It's during the same time period and it's hard to find a job and many people in farming have trouble keeping finacial health. Lennie and George have to travel a great distance after losing their jobs to get a new one.

What Did it Look Like?

Even though California called the the promised land, the infrastructure was overburdened and steady stream of migrants didn’t help, many people were turned away at the border and left in labor pool larger than the number of jobs available, with an entire family working, migrants couldn’t support their families because of low wage.

"Local and state infrastructures were already overburdened, and the steady stream of newly arriving migrants was more than the system could bear. After struggling to make it to California, many found themselves turned away at its borders...Many set up camps along irrigation ditches in the farmers' fields. These "ditchbank" camps fostered poor sanitary conditions and created a public health problem." (Fanslow 1).

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