Official 10 Passage 3

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Seventeenth - Century European Economic Growth

纠错

According to paragraph 1, what was true of Europe during the medieval period?

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  • A
    Agricultural productivity declined.
  • B
    There was relatively little economic growth.
  • C
    The general level of prosperity declined.
  • D
    Foreign trade began to play an important role in the economy.
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正确答案: B

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  • 原文
  • 译文
  • In the late sixteenth century and into the seventeenth, Europe continued the growth that had lifted it out of the relatively less prosperous medieval period (from the mid 400s to the late 1400s). Among the key factors behind this growth were increased agricultural productivity and an expansion of trade.



    Populations cannot grow unless the rural economy can produce enough additional food to feed more people. During the sixteenth century, farmers brought more land into cultivation at the expense of forests and fens (low-lying wetlands). Dutch land reclamation in the Netherlands in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries provides the most spectacular example of the expansion of farmland: the Dutch reclaimed more than 36,000 acres from 1590 to 1615 alone.



    Much of the potential for European economic development lay in what at first glance would seem to have been only sleepy villages. Such villages, however, generally lay in regions of relatively advanced agricultural production, permitting not only the survival of peasants but also the accumulation of an agricultural surplus for investment. They had access to urban merchants, markets, and trade routes.



    Increased agricultural production in turn facilitated rural industry, an intrinsic part of the expansion of industry. Woolens and textile manufacturers, in particular, utilized rural cottage (in-home) production, which took advantage of cheap and plentiful rural labor. In the German states, the ravages of the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) further moved textile production into the countryside. Members of poor peasant families spun or wove cloth and linens at home for scant remuneration in an attempt to supplement meager family income.



    More extended trading networks also helped develop Europe's economy in this period. "English and Dutch ships carrying rye from the Baltic states reached Spain and Portugal. " Population growth generated an expansion of small-scale manufacturing, particularly of handicrafts, textiles, and metal production in England, Flanders, parts of northern Italy, the southwestern German states, and parts of Spain. Only iron smelting and mining required marshaling a significant amount of capital (wealth invested to create more wealth).



    The development of banking and other financial services contributed to the expansion of trade. By the middle of the sixteenth century, financiers and traders commonly accepted bills of exchange in place of gold or silver for other goods. Bills of exchange, which had their origins in medieval Italy, were promissory notes (written promises to pay a specified amount of money by a certain date) that could be sold to third parties. In this way, they provided credit. At mid-century, an Antwerp financier only slightly exaggerated when he claimed, "One can no more trade without bills of exchange than sail without water." Merchants no longer had to carry gold and silver over long, dangerous journeys. An Amsterdam merchant purchasing soap from a merchant in Marseille could go to an exchanger and pay the exchanger the equivalent sum in guilders, the Dutch currency. The exchanger would then send a bill of exchange to a colleague in Marseille, authorizing the colleague to pay the Marseille merchant in the merchant's own currency after the actual exchange of goods had taken place.



    Bills of exchange contributed to the development of banks, as exchangers began to provide loans. Not until the eighteenth century, however, did such banks as the Bank of Amsterdam and the Bank of England begin to provide capital for business investment. Their principal function was to provide funds for the state.



    The rapid expansion in international trade also benefitted from an infusion of capital, stemming largely from gold and silver brought by Spanish vessels from the Americas. This capital financed the production of goods, storage, trade, and even credit across Europe and overseas. Moreover an increased credit supply was generated by investments and loans by bankers and wealthy merchants to states and by joint-stock partnerships- an English innovation (the first major company began in 1600). Unlike short-term financial cooperation between investors for a single commercial undertaking, joint-stock companies provided permanent funding of capital by drawing on the investments of merchants and other investors who purchased shares in the company.


  • 在16世纪末至17世纪初,欧洲经济度过了低迷发展的中世纪(公元5世纪中至公元15世纪末),继续保持增长拉动经济增长最关键的因素是农业生产力的提高和贸易规模的扩大。

    如果农村经济不能生产足够的粮食,人口增长就不可能实现。在16世纪,农民们以伐木开荒为代价,不断开垦耕地。荷兰的土地复垦无疑是16到17世纪中最引人注目的:单单是在1590年到1615年间,荷兰就开垦了36 000多英亩土地。

    欧洲经济增长的巨大潜力存在于那些第一眼看上去默默无闻的小镇。然而,这些乡镇大多地处农业相对发达的地区,不仅农民赖此生存,用于投资的富余农产品也得以积累。这些乡镇位置得天独厚,毗邻城市商人,市场以及贸易线路。

    农业生产的发展反过来又促进了工业中的部分——农村工业的发展。尤其是羊毛和纺织制造商们,他们利用农村大量廉价的劳动力来进行农舍家庭式生产。在德国,“三十年战争 ”造成严重破坏进一步促使纺织业向乡村迁移。为了贴补本已经微薄的家庭收入,贫困潦倒的农民们通过在家纺织衣料或亚麻来换取少量报酬。

    不断扩大的贸易网络也促进了这段时期欧洲经济的增长。英国和荷兰的商船从波罗的海各国运载着黑麦到西班牙和葡萄牙来售卖。在英国、佛南德斯、意大利北部、德国西南部以及西班牙部分地区,人口的增长促进了小规模制造业的发展,尤其是手工艺品、纺织品和金属制品。只有炼铁和采矿业需要投入大量资本(投资财富以创造更多财富)。

    银行和其他金融服务的发展促进了贸易增长。到16世纪中叶,从事金融和贸易的人员已经基本接受了使用汇票代替金银来进行交易。汇票始于中世纪意大利,,是一种可以和第三方进行交易的期票(其上注明在约定时间内支付特定数额的钱)。就这样,这些汇票具有了信贷功能。在该世纪中期,一位安特卫普的金融家夸张地说:“没有汇票,贸易就无法进行,就像没有根本无法航行。”商人再也不用携带金银踏上漫长危险的旅途了。阿姆斯特丹商人要在马赛购买肥皂,,可以去找到货币兑换商用等值的荷兰货币——荷兰盾去兑换。然后货币兑换商会将汇票给马赛的同事,授权他凭此汇票在实体交易完成之后以当地货币支付给马赛人。

    随着货币兑换商开始提供贷款服务,汇票促进了银行业的发展。然而,直到十八世纪,诸如阿姆斯特丹银行和英格兰银行才开始提供商业投资贷款业务。它们的首要功能是为政府提供资金。

    西班牙商船从美洲带来大量金银,资本的注入促进国际贸易快速发展。这些资本为商品的生产、存储、交易提供了资金甚至向是全欧洲乃至海外提供贷款。此外,银行和富商向政府提供投资和接待加上英国的一项革新——股份制公司(第一家主要的股份制公司始于1600年)都增加了贷款的供应。与由投资家组成的以单个商业项目为目的的短期财团不同,股份制公司通过商人和其他投资者购买公司股份所带来的投资提供长期的投资。
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    解析

    题型分类:事实信息题

    题干分析:通过关键词“medieval period”定位到第一段首句

    原文定位:首句“In the sixteenth century and into the seventeenth, Europe continued the growth that had lifted it out of the relatively less prosperous medieval period.”意思是:16世纪到17世纪之间,欧洲持续增长将其从中世纪相对不繁荣的时期拖了出来。

    选项分析:

    B选项是原文同义改写,正确;

    A选项原文未提及;

    C选项原文未提及;

    D选项原文未提及。



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