Soal Latihan dan Jawaban Reading Comprehension 04
Overland transport in the United States was still extremely primitive in 1790. Roads were
few and short, usually extending from inland communities to the nearest river town or
seaport. Nearly all interstate commerce was carried out by sailing ships that served the
bays and harbors of the seaboard. Yet, in 1790 the nation was on the threshold of a new
(5) era of road development. Unable to finance road construction, states turned for help to
private companies, organized by merchants and land speculators who had a personal
interest in improved communications with the interior. The pioneer in this move was the
state of Pennsylvania, which chartered a company in 1792 to construct a turnpike, a road
for the use of which a toll, or payment, is collected, from Philadelphia to Lancaster. The
(10) legislature gave the company the authority to erect tollgates at points along the road
where payment would be collected, though it carefully regulated the rates. (The states had
unquestioned authority to regulate private business in this period.)
The company built a gravel road within two years, and the success of the Lancaster Pike
encouraged imitation. Northern states generally relied on private companies to build their
(15) toll roads, but Virginia constructed a network at public expense. Such was the road
building fever that by 1810 New York alone had some 1,500 miles of turnpikes extending
from the Atlantic to Lake Erie.
Transportation on these early turnpikes consisted of freight carrier wagons and passenger
stagecoaches. The most common road freight carrier was the Conestoga wagon, a vehicle
(20) developed in the mid-eighteenth century by German immigrants in the area around
Lancaster, Pennsylvania. It featured large, broad wheels able to negotiate all but the
deepest ruts and holes, and its round bottom prevented the freight from shifting on a hill.
Covered with canvas and drawn by four to six horses, the Conestoga wagon rivaled the log
cabin as the primary symbol of the frontier. Passengers traveled in a variety of
(25) stagecoaches, the most common of which had four benches, each holding three persons.
It was only a platform on wheels, with no springs; slender poles held up the top, and
leather curtains kept out dust and rain.
Reading Comprehension 04
popularity of turnpikes
development of the interior
financing of new roads
laws governing road use
other inland communities
river towns or seaports
towns in other states
in need of
at the start of
in place of
with the purpose of
The states could not afford to build roads themselves.
The states were not as well equipped as private companies.
Private companies could complete roads faster than the states.
Private companies had greater knowledge of the interior.
built roads without tollgates
built roads with government money
completed 1,500 miles of turnpikes in one year
introduced new law restricting road use
unusual in mid-eighteenth century vehicles
first found in Germany
effective on roads with uneven surfaces
responsible for frequent damage to freight