本篇介绍的托福TPO56阅读真题下载+题目+答案：Representative Government in Colonial North America为第二篇，第一篇TPO56阅读真题，查看请点击：托福TPO56阅读真题下载+题目+答案-Alfred Wegener's Theory of Continental Drift。以下是托福TPO56阅读真题第二篇原文+题目+答案。
Before 1750, colonists in North America had ittle occasion to think of themselves as a distinct people. There was no American government, no single political organization in which all the colonies joined to manage their common concerns. There was not even a wish for such an organization except among a few eccentric individuals. America, to the people who lived in it, was stilla geographic region, not a frame of mind.
Asked about nationality, the typical American colonist of 1750 would have said English or British. In spite of substantial numbers of Dutch, Germans, and Scotch-lrish, English people and English institutions prevailed in every colony, and most colonists spoke of England as home even though they had never been there. Yet no American institutions were quite like their counterparts in England; the heritage of English ideas that went with these institutions was So rich and varied that colonists were able to select and develop those that best suited their situation and forget others that meanwhile were growing prominent in the mother country. This variety sometimes led to regional differences: in some ways New Englanders were set off from Virginians even more than from people in England. But some ideas, institutions, and attitudes became common in all the colonies and remained uncommon in England. Although colonial Englishmen were not yet aware that they shared these Americanisms with one another or that English people in England did not share them, many of the characteristic ideas and attitudes that later distinguished United States nationalism were already present by the mid-eighteenth century.
English people brought with them to the New World the political ideas that still give English and American government a close resemblance. But American colonists very early developed conceptions of representative government that differed from those in England. Representative government in England originated in the Middle Ages, when the king called for men to advise him. They were chosen by their neighbors and informed the king of his subjects' wishes. Eventually, their advice became SO compelling that the king could not reject it, and the representatives of the people, organized as a legislature known as the House of Commons, became the most powerful branch of the English government.
At first, the House of Commons consisted of representatives from each county, or shire, and from selected boroughs. Over the centuries many of these boroughs became ghost towns with only a handful of inhabitants, and great towns sprang up where none had existed before. Yet the old boroughs continued to send members to the House of Commons, and the new towns sent none. Moreover, only a fraction of the English population could participate even in county elections. In order to vote, a man had to own property that would, if rented, yield him at least 40 shillings yearly. Few could meet the test. A number of English people thought the situation absurd and said so. But nothing was done to improve it; in fact, a theory was devised to justify it. A member of the House of Commons, it was said, represented not the people who chose him but the whole country, and he was not responsible for any particular constituency. Not all Englishmen could vote for representatives, but all were virtually represented by every member of the Commons.
The assemblies of American colonial representatives were more democratic. Although every colony had property qualifications for voting, probably the great majority of adult white males owned enough land to meet them. Moreover, the system for apportioning representation was more balanced. New England colonies gave every town the right to send delegates to the legislature. Outside New England, the unit of representation was usually the county. The political organization of new counties and the extension of representation seldom kept pace with the rapid advance of settlement westward, but nowhere was representation So uneven or irrational as in England.
American colonists knew nothing of virtual representation. A colonial representative was supposed to be an agent of the people who chose him. He was supposed to look after their interests first and those of the colony second. In New England, where town meetings could be called at any time, people often gathered to tell their delegate how to vote on a particular issue.
15. The word "eccentric" in the passage is closest in meaning to
16. According to paragraphs 1 and2, all of the following were true of most English people living in the American colonies in 1750 EXCEPT:
A. They did not feel the need for an American government for all the colonies.
B. They had never been to England.
C. They believed they had much in common with non-English colonists.
D. They did not think of themselves as Americans.
17.. The word "prevailed in the passage is closest in meaning to
18. The word "heritage" in the passage is closest in meaning to
19. According to paragraph 2, what is one reason that regional differences arose in the English colonies of North America?
A. Colonists selected and adapted English institutions to their particular needs.
B. Colonists in each region wanted to distinguish their institutions from those of colonists elsewhere.
C. The large number of German, Dutch, and Scotch-lrish colonists settling in some regions resisted political and social change.
D. Colonists in different regions reacted differently to developments becoming prominent in England.
20. According to paragraph 2, what two things did English people living in Americain 1750 fail to realize? To receive credit, you must select TWO answers.
A. Some of their beliefs were different from those of people in England.
B. Some regional differences had developed among the English colonies in America.
C. Some of the colonial institutions had close counterparts in England.
D. Some specifically American ideas had become commonplace in the colonies.
21. The word "compelling" in the passage is closest in meaning to
22. According to paragraph 3, how did representative government get started in England?
A. The king chose a representative group of people to inform him of his subjects' wishes.
B. The king's subjects chose a group of representatives in response to the king's request for advisors.
C. The king organized a legislature known as the House of Commons.
D. A group of representatives of the people took power from the king and passed their own laws.
23. The word "absurd” in the passage is closest in meaning to
24. According to paragraph 4, what was the response to criticisms of representative government in England?
A. Efforts were made to make the system better.
B. Criticisms of the system were completely ignored.
C. An explanation was created to defend the system.
D. Critics of the system were widely viewed as unpatriotic.
25. Why does the author mention that "The political organization of new counties and the extension of representation seldom kept pace with the rapid advance of settlement westward, but nowhere was representation So uneven or irrational as in England."?
A. To emphasize that, overall, the American colonial assemblies were more democratic than the assemblies of England
B. To explain why outside of New England the unit of political representation was the county rather than the town
C. To argue that while the political representation of the American colonies was irrational, it was still better than representation in England
D. To remind the reader that the American colonies showed the weaknesses as well as the strengths of England's system of representation
26. Look at the four squares [■] that indicate where the following sentence could be added to the passage.
This development occurred primarily for two reasons.
Where would the sentence best fit? Click on a square [■] to add the sentence to the passage.
The assemblies of American colonial representatives were more democratic. ■ Although every colony had property qualifications for voting, probably the great majority of adult white males owned enough land to meet them. ■ Moreover, the system for apportioning representation was more balanced. ■ New England colonies gave every town the right to send delegates to the legislature. ■ Outside New England, the unit of representation was usually the county. The political organization of new counties and the extension of representation seldom kept pace with the rapid advance of settlement westward, but nowhere was representation So uneven or irrational as in England.
27. Directions: Match the statements about representative government to the correct location. Two of the statements describe representative government in England ONLY, two describe representative government in the English colonies ONLY, and one describes BOTH England and the English colonies in America. One of the statements will NOT be used. This question is worth 3 points.
Drag your answer choices to the spaces where they belong. To remove an answer choice, click VIEW TEXT Answer Choices
A. Delegates to the legislature represented everyone, not just the people who elected them.
B. A person had to own property worth a certain amount to be able to elect delegates to the legislature.
C. Some large towns had no power to send delegates to the legislature.
D. A large majority of adult males in the population met the qualifications for voting.
E. Counties could generally send more delegates to the legislature than could towns.
F. In some places, citizens met to tell delegates how to vote on specific issues.
答案：27.A;C D;F B