Official 48 Passage 1


Chinese Population Growth


According to paragraphs 1 and 2, which of the following is true of Chinese population growth between 1741and 1851?

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  • A
    It coincided with the beginning of industrialization in China.
  • B
    It prompted speculation about the actual number of people living in China in previous centuries.
  • C
    It continued the steady growth in population of previous centuries.
  • D
    It occurred in the absence of certain conditions generally associated with population growth.
正确答案: D

我的笔记 编辑笔记

  • 原文
  • 译文
  • Increases in population have usually been accompanied (indeed facilitated) by an increase in trade. In the Western experience, commerce provided the conditions that allowed industrialization to get started, which in turn led to growth in science, technology, industry, transport, communications, social change, and the like that we group under the broad term of "development". However, the massive increase in population that in Europe was at first attributed to industrialization starting in the eighteenth century occurred also and at the same period in China, even though there was no comparable industrialization.

    It is estimated that the Chinese population by 1600 was close to 150 million. The transition between the Ming and Qing dynasties (the seventeenth century) may have seen a decline, but from 1741 to 1851 the annual figures rose steadily and spectacularly, perhaps beginning with 143 million and ending with 432 million. If we accept these totals, we are confronted with a situation in which the Chinese population doubled in the 50 years from 1790 to 1840. If, with greater caution, we assume lower totals in the early eighteenth century and only 400 million in 1850, we still face a startling fact: something like a doubling of the vast Chinese population in the century before Western contact, foreign trade, and industrialization could have had much effect.

    To explain this sudden increase we cannot point to factors constant in Chinese society but must find conditions or a combination of factors that were newly effective in this period. Among these is the almost complete internal peace maintained under Manchu rule during the eighteenth century. There was also an increase in foreign trade through Guangzhou (southern China) and some improvement of transportation within the empire. Control of disease, like the checking of smallpox by variolation may have been important. But of most critical importance was the food supply.

    Confronted with a multitude of unreliable figures, economists have compared the population records with the aggregate data for cultivated land area and grain production in the six centuries since 1368. Assuming that China's population in 1400 was about 80 million, the economist Dwight Perkins concludes that its growth to 700 million or more in the 1960s was made possible by a steady increase in the grain supply, which evidently grew five or six times between 1400 and 1800 and rose another 50 percent between 1800 and 1965. This increase of food supply was due perhaps half to the increase of cultivated area, particularly by migration and settlement in the central and western provinces, and half to greater productivity-the farmers' success in raising more crops per unit of land.

    This technological advance took many forms: one was the continual introduction from the south of earlier-ripening varieties of rice, which made possible double-cropping (the production of two harvests per year from one field). New crops such as corn (maize) and sweet potatoes as well as peanuts and tobacco were introduced from the Americas. Corn, for instance, can be grown on the dry soil and marginal hill land of North China, where it is used for food, fuel, and fodder and provides something like one-seventh of the food energy available in the area. The sweet potato, growing in sandy soil and providing more food energy per unit of land than other crops, became the main food of the poor in much of the South China rice area.

    Productivity in agriculture was also improved by capital investments, first of all in irrigation. From 1400 to 1900 the total of irrigated land seems to have increased almost three times. There was also a gain in farm tools, draft animals, and fertilizer, to say nothing of the population growth itself, which increased half again as fast as cultivated land area and so increased the ratio of human hands available per unit of land. Thus the rising population was fed by a more intensive agriculture, applying more labor and fertilizer to the land.

  • 人口的增加通常伴随着(事实上是被促进)贸易的增长。根据西方的经验,商业为工业化的开始提供了条件,这反过来又导致科学、技术、工业、交通、通信、社会变化以及我们广泛定义为发展的那些群体的增长。然而,起初欧洲人口的大规模增长是由十八世纪开始的工业化引起的,在同一时期,工业化也在中国发生,虽然(中国的)工业化并不能(和欧洲)相比。





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    题干分析:关键词:1741 and 1851


    选项分析:根据定位句前后内容,并查看选项信息,得知选项A是第二段后半段的内容,时间点不对;选项B的内容原文并未提及;选项C无关信息;选项D定位到“… a doubling Chinese population before Western contact, foreign trade, and industrialization could have had much effect”,说明中国人口增长与西方接触外贸以及工业化这些普遍因素无关因此选项D正确。