2015年7月5日托福阅读真题+题目+答案：Agriculture in the Late Ottoman Empire
1. Throughout its history, agriculture was the economic mainstay of the Ottoman Empire, which dominated North Africa, the Middle East, Turkey, and southeastern Europe for over 600 years until the early twentieth century. Most cultivators possessed small landholdings, engaging in a host of tasks, with their crops and animal products mainly dedicated to self-consumption. But enormous changes over time prevailed in the agrarian sector. Beginning in the late eighteenth century, agriculture became more and more commercialized, with increasing amounts of produce going to sale to domestic and international consumers.
2. At least three major engines increased this agricultural production devoted to the market, the first being rising demand, both international and domestic. Abroad, especially after 1840, the living standards and buying power of many Europeans improved substantially, permitting them to buy a wider choice and quantity of goods. Rising domestic markets within the empire were also important, thanks to increased urbanization as well as mounting personal consumption. In the late nineteenth century, newly opened railroad districts brought a flow of domestic wheat and other cereals to major coastal cities. Railroads also attracted market gardeners who now could grow and ship fruits and vegetables to the expanding and newly accessible markets of these cities.
3. The second engine driving agricultural output concerns cultivators' increasing payment of their taxes in cash rather than in kind (that is, in agricultural or other products). Some historians have asserted that the increasing commitment to market agriculture was a product both of a mounting per capita tax burden and the state's growing preference for tax payments in cash rather than in kind. In this view, such government decisions forced cultivators to grow crops for sale in order to pay their taxes. Thus, state policy is seen as the most important factor influencing the cultivators' shift from subsistence farming to market agriculture.
4. However, cultivators' rising involvement in the market was not simply a reactive response to the state's demands for cash taxes; other factors were at work. There was a third engine driving increased agricultural productioncultivators' own desires for consumer goods. Among Ottoman consumers, increasingly frequent changes in taste, along with the rising availability of cheap imported goods, stimulated a rising consumption of goods. This pattern of rising consumption began in the eighteenth century, as seen by the urban phenomenon of the Tulip Period (1718¨C1730)a time of urban revival and orientation toward the Westand accelerated subsequently. Wanting more consumer goods, cultivators needed more cash. Thus, rural families worked harder than they had previously, not merely because of cash taxes. In such circumstances, leisure time diminished, cash incomes rose, and the flow of consumer goods into the countryside accelerated.
5. Increases in agricultural production both promoted and accompanied a vast expansion of the area of land under cultivation. At the beginning of the eighteenth century and indeed until the end of the empire, there remained vast stretches of uncultivated, sometimes nearly empty, land on every side. These spaces began to fill in, a process finally completed only in the 1950s in most areas of the former empire. Many factors were involved. In many cases, families increased the amount of time at work, bringing into cultivation uncultivated land already under their control. They also engaged in sharecroppingagreeing to work another's land and paying that person a share of the output. Often such acreage had been pastureland for animals but now was given over to crop production. The extraordinarily fertile lands of Moldavia and Wallachia (modern Romania), for example, had been among the least populated lands of the Ottoman empire in the eighteenth century, but now saw large amounts of land brought under the plow. Significant concentrations of commercial agriculture first formed in areas easily accessible by water, such as the Danube River basin. During the nineteenth century, expansion in such areas continued, and interior regions joined the list as well. There were also some increases in productivity. Irrigation projects, one form of intensive agriculture, developed in some areas, and the use of modern agricultural tools increased. But more intensive exploitation of existing resources remained comparatively unusual, and most increases in production derived from placing additional land under cultivation.
1..According to paragraph 1, in which of the following ways did agricultural production in the Ottoman empire begin to change at end of the eighteenth century
A. Agricultural products no longer contributed as much to the Ottoman economy.
B. Agricultural workers left their farms to work in commercial industries in the cities.
C. Farmers with small landholdings began to focus on a single task rather than on many tasks.
D. Farm products were sold commercially instead of being kept for personal use.
2..The word substantially in the passage is closest in meaning to
A. without interruption
3..The word accessible in the passage is closest in meaning to
4..According to paragraph 2, all of the following contributed to a rising demand for the agricultural products of the Ottoman empire during the nineteenth century EXCEPT
A. the sale of domestic wheat in place of other cereals in coastal cities
B. the development of railroad systems leading to coastal cities
C. the rise in living standards and buying power among Europeans
D. the emergence of new domestic markets in the Ottoman Empire
5..Which of the sentences below best expresses the essential information in the highlighted sentence in the passage Incorrect choices change the meaning in important ways or leave out essential information.
A. Some historians have asserted that the increasing commitment to market agriculture allowed the government to raise taxes and have them paid in cash.
B. The government raised taxes and required they be paid in cash, so farmers had to use the cash they obtained from selling their farm products in the market to pay their taxes
C. Some historians have asserted that the increasing commitment to market agriculture was a product of the state's growing preference for tax payments in cash rather than kind.
D. According to some historians, the growth of market agriculture was the result of mounting taxes which the government wanted individuals to pay in cash.
6..Which of the following best represents the explanation for the change in agricultural production mentioned in paragraph 3
A. The state allowed cultivators to pay their taxes in crops as well as in cash.
B. Cultivators needed crops they could sell to pay taxes in cash.
C. State policies began favoring farmers who shifted to market agriculture by lowering those farmers' taxes.
D. Cultivators had more money to invest in crops because of a lower tax burden.
7..The word stimulated in the passage is closest in meaning to
8..According to paragraph 4, the increasing desire of Ottoman cultivators to purchase consumer goods led to all of the following changes EXCEPT:
A. Cultivators worked harder and for longer hours.
B. Cultivators had less cash available to use for tax payments.
C. Cultivators succeeded in increasing the amount of cash income they earned.
D. More consumer goods became available in rural areas.
9..The word engaged in the passage is closest in meaning to
10..The word exploitation in the passage is closest in meaning to
11..According to paragraph 5, which of the following was true of the process of bringing new land under cultivation
A. It began in interior areas and quickly spread to areas near water.
B. It was completed near the end of the eighteenth century.
C. It occurred slowly because most uncultivated land was not very fertile.
D. It often occurred as a result of farming families working longer hours.
12..What can be inferred from paragraph 5 about agricultural production during the nineteenth century
A. Irrigation and the use of modern tools contributed little to increased production in comparison with other factors.
B. Interior regions increased their agricultural production much more than regions near river basins did.
C. Agricultural production was aided by using less-productive land for animal pasture instead of for growing crops.
D. Agricultural production increased in some areas but decreased in others during the nineteenth century.
13..Look at the four squares that indicate where the following sentence could be added to the passage.
These increases resulted from using technology to improve yields on existing farmland, a system known as intensive agriculture.
Where would the sentence best fit Click on a square to add the sentence to the passage.
14..Drag your choices to the spaces where they belong. To review the passage, click on View Text.
A. Until the late eighteenth century, farmers were limited to selling their crops and animal products for cash in nearby towns.
B. Starting in the late eighteenth century, farmers increasingly produced crops for sale in domestic and international markets.
C. Many farmers sold their products in order to be able to pay their taxes in cash and buy consumer goods for themselves.
D. Railroads changed the way farming was done, since they brought modern tools from towns to the agricultural areas.
E. Increased productivity resulted more from the cultivation of additional land than from the use of new tools and intensive agricultural processes.
F. Farming was concentrated in river basins throughout the nineteenth century, while interior areas were devoted to pastureland for animals.