Official 49 Passage 3

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Background for the Industrial Revolution

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The word “potential” in the passage is closet in meaning to

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  • A
    Rate
  • B
    Dominance
  • C
    Capacity
  • D
    Method
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正确答案: C

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  • The Industrial Revolution had several roots, one of which was a commercial revolution that, beginning as far back as the sixteenth century, accompanied Europe`s expansion overseas. Both exports and imports showed spectacular growth, particularly in England and France. An increasingly larger portion of the stepped-up commercial activity was the result of trade with overseas colonies. Imports included a variety of new beverages, spices, and ship`s goods around the world and brought money flowing back. Europe's economic institutions, particularly those in England, were strong, had wealth available for new investment, and seemed almost to be waiting for some technological breakthrough that would expand their profit-making potential even more.



    The breakthrough came in Great Britain, where several economic advantages created a climate especially favorable to the encouragement of new technology. One was its geographic location at the crossroads of international trade. Internally, Britain was endowed with easily navigable natural waterway, which helped its trade and communication with the world. Beginning in the 1770's, it enjoyed a boom in canal building, which helped make its domestic market more accessible. Because water transportation was the cheapest means of carrying goods to market, canals reduced prices and thus increased consumer demand. Great Britain also had rich deposits of coal that fed the factories springing up in industrial and consumer goods.



    Another advantage was Britain`s large population of rural, agricultural wage earners,as well as cottage workers, who had the potential of being more mobile than peasants of some other countries. Eventually they found their way to the cities or mining communities and provided the human power upon which the Industrial Revolution was built. The British people were also consumers; the absence of internal tariffs, such as those that existed in France or Italy or between the German states, made Britain the largest free-trade area in Europe. Britain's relatively stable government also helped create an atmosphere conducive to industrial progress.



    Great Britain`s better-developed banking and credit system also helped speed the industrial progress, as did the fact that it was the home of an impressive array of entrepreneurs and inventors. Among them were a large number of nonconformists whose religious principles encouraged thrift and industry rather than luxurious living and who tended to pour their profits back into their business, thus providing the basis for continued expansion.



    A precursor to the Industrial Revolution was a revolution in agricultural techniques. Ideas about agricultural reform developed first in Holland, where as early as the mid-seventeenth century, such modern methods as crop rotation, heavy fertilization, and diversification were all in use. Dutch peasant farmers were known throughout Europe for their agricultural innovations, but as British markets and opportunities grew, the English quickly learned from them. As early as the seventeenth century the Dutch were helping them drain marshes and fens where, with the help of advanced techniques, they grew new crops. By the mid-eighteenth century new agricultural methods as well as selective breeding of livestock had caught on throughout the country.



    Much of the increased production was consumed by Great Britain`s burgeoning population. At the same time, people were moving to the city, partly because of the enclosure movement; that is, the fencing of common fields and pastures in order to provide more compact, efficient privately held agricultural parcels that would produce more goods and greater profits. In the sixteenth century enclosures were usually used for creating sheep pastures, but by the eighteenth century new farming techniques made it advantageous for large landowners to seek enclosures in order to improve agricultural production. Between 1714 and 1820 over 6 million acres of English land were enclosed. As a result, many small, independent farmers were forced to sell out simply because they could not compete. Non-landholding peasants and cottage workers, who worked for wages and grazed cows or pigs on the village common, were also hurt when the common was no longer available. It was such people who began to flock to the cities seeking employment and who found work in the factories that would transform the nation and, the world.


  • 工业革命有几个根源,其中之一就是商业革命,商业革命早在十六世纪就已经发起,它伴随着欧洲在海外的扩张。 出口和进口都表现出惊人的增长,特别是在英国和法国。 在强化的商业活动中,越来越多的活动开展是由于与海外殖民地进行贸易而发生的。 进口的商品包括世界各地的多种新款饮料、香料和船舶物资,并带来资金回流。 欧洲的经济机构,尤其那些在英国的(机构),都很强大,对于新的投资有着足够的资金,似乎在等待一些技术上的突破,从而进一步扩大其可获得的利益。

    这一突破出现在英国,在那里有一些经济上的有利条件,营造了有益于新科技发展的氛围。 第一个有利条件是:它地处国际贸易中关键的地理位置。 从内部来说,英国有着易于航行的自然水道,这有助于它与世界各地进行贸易和沟通。 从18世纪70年代开始,英国迎来了运河建设的繁荣时期,这使得它的国内市场更加便利。 由于水路运输是运送货物到市场的最廉价的途径,运河降低了商品价格,从而增加了消费者的需求。 英国还拥有丰富的煤炭储量,这些滋养了在工业和消费品行业中涌现的工厂。

    另一个优势是:英国有着大量的以务农为生的工薪阶层以及农业工人,他们比其他国家的农民更具有流动性。 最终,他们找到了通往城市或采矿社区的道路,并为工业革命建设提供了人力。 英国人也是消费者;没有关税(比如在法国或是在意大利,亦或是在德国各州之间存在的关税)使其成为了欧洲最大的自由贸易区。 英国相对稳定的政府也有助于创造一个有利于工业进步的氛围。

    英国发达的银行和信贷体系也促进了工业的进步,事实上,这是一个杰出企业家和发明家的发源地。 其中,有大量的异教徒,他们的宗教原则鼓励节俭和勤勉,而不是奢侈的生活,他们往往把利润回流到他们的业务中,从而为持续扩展提供基础。

    工业革命的先驱是农业技术革命。 早在十七世纪中叶,农业改革的思想首先在荷兰发展起来,轮作、重施肥法以及农作物多样化等现代方法都被使用。 荷兰农民在欧洲以农业创新而闻名,但随着英国市场的发展和机会的增长,英国人很快就学会了他们的技术。 早在十七世纪,荷兰人就帮助英国人排干沼泽,在这里,他们利用先进的技术种植新作物。 到十八世纪中叶,全国各地开始流行新的农业方法和家畜的选择性育种。

    大部分增加的产量被英国增长的人口所消耗。 同时,人们搬到城市,这在一定程度上是因为圈地运动造成的;(圈地运动)所指的就是,将公共耕地和牧场圈起,以提供更紧凑、更高效率的私人持有的农业土地,这将有利于生产更多的商品,并创造更大的利润。 在十六世纪的圈地通常用于创建绵羊牧场,但到了十八世纪,新的农业技术有利于大地主通过圈地来提高农业生产。 在1714年和1820年之间,超过600万英亩的英国土地被圈起。 结果,许多小的独立农民被迫出让土地,因为他们无法(与大地主)竞争。 未持有土地的农民和工人,依靠在农村公共土地上养牛养猪来获得收入,当公共土地不再可以使用时,他们的利益也受到了损害。 正是这些开始涌向城市找工作的人,在工厂找到工作的人,将会改变国家和世界。
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    题型分类:词汇题

    原文定位:词汇所在句Europes economic institutions, particularly those in England, were strong, had wealth available for new investment, and seemed almost to be waiting for some technological breakthrough that would expand their profit-making potential even more.”即“欧洲的经济机构,尤其是英国的经济机构,都很强大,他们的财富可以用于新投资,而且似乎还在等待一些技术突破,这将进一步扩大他们的盈利潜力。potential:潜

    选项分析: rate:比率;dominance:统治;capacity:能力;method:方法。因此选项C符合题干词意。

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