How did the Dust Bowl in the 1930s contribute to the development of the United States?

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We do not typically talk about the Dust Bowl helping the country, but it is possible to argue that it did.  However, I would argue that much of the contribution that the Dust Bowl made was really made possible/necessary by WWII.

During the Dust Bowl, many "Okies" left the area and moved West -- particularly to California, Oregon and Washington.  This movement helped develop those areas.  This became especially true as WWII started and the West Coast became an important region for things like the building of ships and airplanes.

So one can argue that the movement of the Okies helped to develop agriculture and later industry in California and the Pacific Northwest.

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