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托福听力短文 II-05-3

时间:2009-01-13 00:22来源:互联网 提供网友:lanmengxue98   字体: [ ]
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    (单词翻译:双击或拖选)
(WA) One of the most popular myths about the United States in the nineteenth century was that of the free and simple life of the farmer. It was said that farmers worked hard on their own land to produce whatever their families needed. They might sometimes trade with neighbors; but in general they could get along just fine by relying on themselves, not on commercial ties with others.

This is how Thomas Jefferson idealized the farmer at the beginning of the nineteenth century, and, at that time, this may have been close to the truth --- especially on the frontier. But by mid-century, sweeping1 changes in agriculture were well under way as farmers began to specialize in the raising of crops such as cotton or corn or wheat.

By late in the century, revolutionary advances in farm machinery2 had vastly increased production of specialized3 crops. And the extensive network of railroads had linked farmers throughout the country to markets in the East and even overseas. By raising and selling specialized crops, farmers could afford more and finer goods and achieve a much higher standard of living --- but at a price.

Now, farmers were no longer dependent just on the weather and their own efforts. Their lives were increasingly controlled by banks, which had power to grant or deny loans for new machinery, and by the railroads, which set the rates for shipping4 their crops to market. As businessmen, farmers now had to worry about national economic depressions and the influence of world supply and demand on, for example, the price of wheat in Kansas.

And so, by the end of the nineteenth century, the era of Jefferson's independent farmer had come to a close.

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1 sweeping ihCzZ4     
adj.范围广大的,一扫无遗的
参考例句:
  • The citizens voted for sweeping reforms.公民投票支持全面的改革。
  • Can you hear the wind sweeping through the branches?你能听到风掠过树枝的声音吗?
2 machinery CAdxb     
n.(总称)机械,机器;机构
参考例句:
  • Has the machinery been put up ready for the broadcast?广播器材安装完毕了吗?
  • Machinery ought to be well maintained all the time.机器应该随时注意维护。
3 specialized Chuzwe     
adj.专门的,专业化的
参考例句:
  • There are many specialized agencies in the United Nations.联合国有许多专门机构。
  • These tools are very specialized.这些是专用工具。
4 shipping WESyg     
n.船运(发货,运输,乘船)
参考例句:
  • We struck a bargain with an American shipping firm.我们和一家美国船运公司谈成了一笔生意。
  • There's a shipping charge of £5 added to the price.价格之外另加五英镑运输费。
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TAG标签:   托福听力  托福短文
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