Official 18 Passage 3


Industrialization in the Netherlands and Scandinavia


Paragraph 1 supports which of the following ideas about England and Germany?

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  • A
    They were completely industrialized by the start of the nineteenth century.
  • B
    They possessed plentiful supplies of coal.
  • C
    They were overtaken economically by the Netherlands and Scandinavia during the early nineteenth century.
  • D
    They succeeded for the same reasons that the Netherlands and Scandinavia did.
正确答案: B

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  • While some European countries, such as England and Germany, began to industrialize in the eighteenth century, the Netherlands and the Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden developed later. All four of these countries lagged considerably behind in the early nineteenth century. However, they industrialized rapidly in the second half of the century, especially in the last two or three decades. In view of their later start and their lack of coal-undoubtedly the main reason they were not among the early industrializers-it is important to understand the sources of their success.

    All had small populations. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, Denmark and Norway had fewer than 1 million people, while Sweden and the Netherlands had fewer than 2.5 million inhabitants. All exhibited moderate growth rates in the course of the century (Denmark the highest and Sweden the lowest), but all more than doubled in population by 1900. Density varied greatly. The Netherlands had one of the highest population densities in Europe, whereas Norway and Sweden had the lowest. Denmark was in between but closer to the Netherlands.

    Considering human capital as a characteristic of the population, however, all four countries were advantaged by the large percentages of their populations who could read and write. In both 1850 and 1914, the Scandinavian countries had the highest literacy rates in Europe, or in the world, and the Netherlands was well above the European average. This fact was of enormous value in helping the national economies find their niches in the evolving currents of the international economy.

    Location was an important factor for all four countries. All had immediate access to the sea, and this had important implications for a significant international resource, fish, as well as for cheap transport, merchant marines, and the shipbuilding industry. Each took advantage of these opportunities in its own way. The people of the Netherlands, with a long tradition of fisheries and mercantile shipping, had difficulty in developing good harbors suitable for steamships; eventually they did so at Rotterdam and Amsterdam, with exceptional results for transit trade with Germany and central Europe and for the processing of overseas foodstuffs and raw materials (sugar, tobacco, chocolate, grain, and eventually oil). Denmark also had an admirable commercial history, particularly with respect to traffic through the Sound (the strait separating Denmark and Sweden). In 1857, in return for a payment of 63 million kronor from other commercial nations, Denmark abolished the Sound toll dues, the fees it had collected since 1497 for the use of the Sound. This, along with other policy shifts toward free trade, resulted in a significant increase in traffic through the Sound and in the port of Copenhagen.

    The political institutions of the four countries posed no significant barriers to industrialization or economic growth. The nineteenth century passed relatively peacefully for these countries, with progressive democratization taking place in all of them. They were reasonably well governed, without notable corruption or grandiose state projects, although in all of them the government gave some aid to railways, and in Sweden the state built the main lines. As small countries dependent on foreign markets, they followed a liberal trade policy in the main, though a protectionist movement developed in Sweden. In Denmark and Sweden agricultural reforms took place gradually from the late eighteenth century through the first half of the nineteenth, resulting in a new class of peasant landowners with a definite market orientation.

    The key factor in the success of these countries (along with high literacy, which contributed to it) was their ability to adapt to the international division of labor determined by the early industrializers and to stake out areas of specialization in international markets for which they were especially well suited. This meant a great dependence on international commerce, which had notorious fluctuations; but it also meant high returns to those factors of production that were fortunate enough to be well placed in times of prosperity. In Sweden exports accounted for 18 percent of the national income in 1870, and in 1913, 22 percent of a much larger national income. In the early twentieth century, Denmark exported 63 percent of its agricultural production: butter, pork products, and eggs. It exported 80 percent of its butter, almost all to Great Britain, where it accounted for 40 percent of British butter imports.

  • 尽管一些欧洲国家,如英国和德国,在18世纪就开始了工业化,荷兰以及丹麦、挪威、瑞典这些斯堪的纳维亚半岛国家的工业化则发展得较晚。 这四个国家在19世纪早期工业化水平非常落后。但是在19世纪下半叶,尤其是在最后的二三十年间里,他们迅速地实现了工业化。 鉴于这几个国家的工业化起步较晚并且缺少煤炭资源——毫无疑问,这是导致他们不在早期工业化国家行列中的主要原因——了解他们成功的原因非常重要。

    这些国家的人口都很少。在19世纪初,丹麦和挪威的人口总数不到100万;而瑞典和荷兰的居民数量也少于250万。 在19世纪,这四个国家均展现出了缓和的人口增长率(丹麦最高,瑞典最低)。但是到了1900年,这些国家的人口数量翻了两倍有余。 人口密度区别很大。 荷兰是欧洲人口密度最大的国家之一,挪威和瑞典最小。 丹麦人口密度处于这四国的中游水平,但是趋近于荷兰。

    考虑到人力资本是人口的重要特征,这四个国家的优势在于受教育人口的比例非常高。 在1850年和1914年,斯堪的纳维亚半岛各国的教育普及率是全欧洲或者全世界最高的,而荷兰远高于欧洲平均水平。 如此高的比例对于帮助国内经济在世界经济的发展浪潮中找到自己的位置有着巨大价值。

    地理位置对于这四个国家来说,同样是一个非常重要的因素。 这四个国家都紧邻海洋,而且这样的地理位置对于重要的国际资源--鱼,以及价格低廉的运输、海上商运以及船舶工业有重要的影响。 这四个国家因势利导,很好地利用了各自的优势。 有着悠久渔业和航运业历史的荷兰人在建造可以停泊蒸汽轮船的港口时遇到了困难。 最终,他们在鹿特丹和阿姆斯特丹成功建造了港口,在与德国和中欧的转口贸易以及海外食品和原材料(糖、烟草、巧克力、粮食和 油)加工处理方面取得了非凡的成果。 丹麦同样有着辉煌的贸易史,特别是在松德海峡(隔开丹麦和瑞典的海峡)的海上交通上。 在1857年,一些贸易国家向丹麦支付了6 300万克朗 ,作为交换,丹麦废止了自1497年以来在松德海峡征收的通行费。这一举措与其他自由贸易政策相辅相成,使得途径松德海峡和哥本哈根港口的贸易额大增。

    这四个国家的政治体制没有对工业化和经济的增长设置过多的障碍。 而这四国不断发展的民主进程使他们相对平稳地度过了19世纪。 这些国家被治理得井井有条,尽管政府在铁路上给予了一定的扶持,比如瑞典政府修建了一些主要的铁路干线,不过在此期间,没有出现重大的腐败和不切实际的国家工程。虽然贸易保护主义在瑞典比较比较明显,但是就如同小国家依赖外国市场一般,这四个国家总体上还是以遵循自由贸易原则为主。 在丹麦和瑞典,农业改革从18世纪末逐步持续到19世纪上半叶,,这一改革导致了有着明确市场定位的农民地主阶级的出现。

    这些国家成功的关键因素(教育水平高也起了促进作用)在于它们能够适应由早期工业化国家决定的国际劳动力分配,并且拓展出非常适合他们的国际市场的专业化领域。 这意味着对波动剧烈的国际贸易市场存在着巨大的依赖。 但也意味着若有幸处于繁荣时期,一些生产要素的回报会特别高。 1870年瑞典的出口额占国民收入的18%;在1912年更是达到国民收入的22%。 在二十世纪初期,丹麦一度出口了63%的农产品:黄油、猪肉制品和蛋类等。 其中,丹麦出口了将近80%的黄油,这些几乎都销往了英国,占了英国黄油进口总量的40%。
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