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HIST 177 Week 8 Notes

by: Rachel Sung

HIST 177 Week 8 Notes HIST 177

Rachel Sung
GPA 3.51
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Notes for Week 8 - "The Grapes of Wrath Myths and Realities" & "Oil and Highways"
California History
Gregory Graves
Class Notes
hist, hist 177, history, history 177




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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Rachel Sung on Sunday February 28, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HIST 177 at University of California Santa Barbara taught by Gregory Graves in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 154 views. For similar materials see California History in History at University of California Santa Barbara.


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Date Created: 02/28/16
The Grapes of Wrath Myths and Realities Sunday, February 21, 201611:11 PM Midterm #3 - Part 1: Agribusiness, the Grapes of Wrath, and Agricultural, Immigration - Part 2: Big Businesses, Big Events, and Growth to the Present Grapes of Wrath: Professor likes it, but since from OK, has many problems with it because of its inaccuracy 1840s-1850s during Gold Rush - Food shortage, a lot of it had to be imported and very expensive - Not much crops - First thing that was organized was cattle grazing ○ Beginning of CA's beef industry - But population was growing so needed another solution… - A lot of people knew how to farm so why not grow crops! ○ Happened under big corporate farms though - These farmers organized into irrigation districts ○ Govt. would tax the people who lived there and used the tax money to bring in water ○ Now there was lots of improved land (lots of cultivation & irrigation) ○ People started to realize that they could grow specialty crops (fruits, grapes, date palms, olives, avocados) 1870s - Started growing citrus fruits, becoming major cash crop for CA - With the long growing seasons & mild weather, CA became huge agricultural state ○ Mostly corporate owned tho! By 1900 - 23% of nations canned fruit came from CA - Produced 80% of nations wine California agribusiness - Moving into 20th cen, CA became huge large scale agribusiness California Fruit Growers' Exchange AKA Sunkist - They organized into cooperatives like CA Fruit Growers' Exchange - Farmers belong to cooperatives that help to keep and maintain the price of produce But then, agricultural prices began to fall in 1920s & 30s - Farmers were looking to cut costs - One way was to bring in cheap labor SOOOO that's the idea behind Grapes of Wrath… Dry cotton farming - Dry farming = done without irrigation ○ The old way of farming, just plant a seed & hope for the best - During 1900's, Texas and OK were the #1 production cotton states & used dry farming method ○ Majority of farmers were tenant farmers (rent the land, not own the land) ○ Sharecroppers = cotton farmers who have the least means of all the tenant farmers  They basically share the crops with the people who own the land  They basically share the crops with the people who own the land Mechanized agriculture - When tractors were invented, it started to take the jobs of human workers - CA agriculture had ALWAYS been mechanized, but now that it was coming to the places with old farming, like OK, it left a lot of people jobless During WW, the govt. encouraged agriculture production to support the Allies - But after the war was over, agriculture continued to produce at great rates but it wasn't needed! (over production) - By 1920's agricultural sector was going down leading to Great Depression Franklin Roosevelt - Elected in 1932, wants to get nation out of Great Depression - New Deal = economist portion ○ Wanted to bring agriculture out of depression ○ Called the Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA) ○ The problem was over production, so using laws of supply and demand, they thought that reducing the supply would encourage prices to go up which would help farmers out ○ SO they paid farmers to destroy parts of their already existing crops ○ Began the tradition of paying farmers not to grow crops (which still exists today) ○ 1st year, Sharecroppers and tenant farmers were allowed to participant in the program ○ But in 1934, owners of the land realized that they would make more money if there were no tenant farmers  Tenant farmers didn't really make them any money, would be more profitable to get rid of them and get money for govt. for not growing crops on that land  So the first people to lose their jobs were cotton sharecroppers in OK (became known as Okies/Arkies) So around 250,000 Okies/Arkies migrated to CA - This was the beginning of the end of small farming John Steinbeck - He kinda pokes around this history but it's not accurate, probably because the lack of understanding - Didn't really talk about impact of AAA and migration - He mixes the impact of AAA and agricultural crisis with the Dust Bowl ○ YES, it did happen at the same time, BUT in a completely different place..  Story takes place in Sallisaw, but there was no Dust Bowl there for most years, there's a lot of rain ○ Dust Bowl was a severe drought during the 1920s and 30s IN THE HIGH PLAINS  It put farmers off the land BUT there were very few compared to the farmers who were put off land because of the AAA ○ Tom Joad, Ma Joad, Casey  Characters of the story, are kicked off their lands  So they migrate to CA People who migrated to CA expected much better economy, but TBH not really that much better cuz Great Depression - Agricultural revenue dropped 750 in 1920 and 350 in 1922 - No one bought specialty crops, causing damage to agriculture - Things got so bad and got a Socialist, Upton Sinclair, for governor ○ Started a campaign called End Poverty in California (EPIC)  It was much more radical than the New Deal  It was much more radical than the New Deal ○ Ran against Frank Merriam, but because many were scared of Sinclair's radical changes, they voted for Merriam (even tho Democrats weren't doing that great at the time) - There was lots of conflict with Filipino workers ○ In 1920's there were a lot of Asian exclusion laws, but didn't include the Filipinos ○ So many of the workers were Filipino ○ Kinda the context for how Steinbeck talks about the ruthlessness of the owners By the time Grapes of Wrath was published, it was basically historical Bracero program - Fed. Govt contractors went to Mexico to hire workers to work in fields - The fulfilled some of the labor shortage during WWII - But many started to come into country without contract (undocumented workers), driving the price of labor down - Leading to terrible working conditions and exploitation of workers - The cause was taken up by Cesar Chavez ○ Born in Arizona  Family loses their farm, becomes migrant farm workers  Attended over 60 elementary schools  Then WWII, enlists in Navy  After war, started organizing farm workers in to the United Farm Workers (UFW) in ~1966 □ Wanted to boycott CA grape growers  Growers signed contract with UFW aimed at improving the plight for farm workers □ Basically what he does for rest of life  Dolores Huerta cofounder of UFW □ Born in Stockton, became elementary school teacher  Her students would be malnutrition and missing clothes  Wanted to do something more to help so joined Chavez in UFW □ Very powerful force in UFW movement Chicano Movement Oil and Highways Wednesday, February 24, 20163:26 PM - New kind of mining for Black Gold (oil) ○ Brings in lots of money for CA ○ People knew about existence of oil for a long time (ex. Chumash used it to waterproof their baskets) ○ Wasn't really considered valuable material until they found out that its refined form (kerosene ) could be used to for lamp oil (before, people used whale oil)  Discovered in late 1850s John D. Rockefeller - Started to monopolize all the oil mining areas - Established the company, Standard Oil Co. ○ By 1880s, owned about 90% of oil companies In late 1800s uses for oil started to expand - The first big 3 oil companies in CA: Unocal, Arco, Chevron ○ Ex. lubricate, heat source for steam engines - People knew that there was lots of oil in CA, but it took to much work so didn't really start there - But ~1890, first oil well was drilled in CA ○ The people who drilled it formed the company, Unocal - 1892: Edward Doheny , who lived in LA area, found out that the tar pits meant that there was oil ○ Started drilling around La Brea Tar Pits and struck rich $$$ ○ By 1895, pumped out 700k barrels of oil/day ○ Company eventually became Arco - 1895: Standard Oil Co. comes out to CA ○ Standard Oil was broken up into 4 parts  Standard Oil of CA is known as Chevron ○ Drilled first off shore oil wells off coast of Summerland - 1900: CA produced 4.3 billion barrels - 1910: 78 million barrels - 1920: 105 million barrels ○ CA was #1 oil producing state ○ Oil business was #1 business in CA ○ The value of oil that was found in 1920s alone, exceeded the value of the gold found in all of CA history  One of the places that big oil was being produced was Signal Hill  Oil dereks literally in your backyard ○ Gasoline was being produced - 1930s: found better ways to get oil offshore to onshore, lots of coastal developments occur ○ Used the idea of diagonal drilling ○ They did this SO MUCH in Long Beach that LB started to sink lol ○ Also build islands so that drilling rigs could be there ○ In order to meet demand of gas, tons of oil refineries started to spring up - Post WWII, technology is developed for offshore drilling further away from land ○ Tech allowed for deeper drilling - Oil was and is very important big business in CA Rincon Deepwater Platforms How does it go hand in glove… with gas & highway growth/boom - Turn of 20th C, only 4k cars ○ By 1920, 1 million cars ○ By 1930, 24 million cars - Henry Ford invents the "horseless carriage" (car) ○ Wanted to produce car that everyone in America could afford ○ By 1910s, very successful so by 1920s, 1 out of 2 cars was a Ford ○ He started the nation on wheels - Very important particularly for cities growing in the West ○ In West, cars were much more acceptable & useful (East already had trains/subways/etc.) ○ In LA, there was 1 car for every 3 people  Became one of the most car based cities in the nation - Henry Huntington starts thePacific Electric Railway(AKA Red Cars ) ○ Series of trolley systems that literally went everywhere in LA ○ Very efficient ○ Actually, the freeways pretty much overlap where the railways used to be ○ Conspiracy theory:  It was bought by GM, Good Year, and Standard Oil and shut down the Red Car system, so that they could force people to buy cars  Probs not true tho… □ Cars probably just became more dominate and LA decided that cars was a better form of transportation History of highways in CA - Begins with the CA State Bureau of Highways est. 1895 ○ Created to battle Southern Pacific RR (who dominated CA RR) ○ They wanted to break the grip of the RR by creating highways - First CA state highway construction begins in 19?? (02?) ○ Problem: not much money ):  Could only afford highways made with wood (plank highways) Week 8 Page 4  Could only afford highways made with wood (plank highways) - 1909: CA issues firsState highway bonds ○ $18 million for building highways, encouraging better highways :D ○ Investors buy bonds - 1916: fed govt. gets involved and passes Federal Highway Aid Act ○ Set up a system of fed. Highways ○ Started national program to connect every major city in the U.S. by highways ○ Ex. US 101, Route 66, & bridges like Golden Gate ○ Helped to give lots of people jobs too - These projects showed that CA was really important ○ Population was growing really fast and needed to do something about it! ○ CA had huge traffic problems and highways weren't good enough  So got together with fed. Govt. and created "superhighways" (AKA freeways) □ First one was thePasadena Freeway - After WWII, fed. Govt. comes back again ○ 1950s, Congress passes National Defense Highway Act  It was called that cuz it would cost LOTS of money & the only way to get it passed was it to sound good  The idea was that in case of national security, civilians would be restricted and used for military purposes □ Also used so that they could land planes Gasoline tax  Lead to huge boom in car transportation  Lead to huge advances in CA & the construction of first 4-level interchange □ 4 layers of highways □ Better signs, better highway system - 1972: CA created Caltrans AKA CA DOT ○ Replaces old bureau of highways and expanded to include trains SigAlert - You hear on the radio "we just got a SigAlert" - A place that on the freeway you want to avoid - A guy named Sig used to report problems on freeway, so they named it after him Botts Dots - The dots that are on the lanes - When you drive over them, makes a sound - Named after a CalTrans guy named Botts Highway statistics - By 2015, CA had more than 50k miles of highways ○ 37 million registered motor vehicles ○ CA has more than 15k miles of freeway & more than 15k miles of state highways - We are STILL trying to make highways better though ○ Ex. Smart highway = magnetic strip added to one of the lanes & it basically takes you at about 100 mph but you don't have to drive Week 8 Page 5


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