Soal Latihan dan Jawaban Reading Comprehension 06
By far the most important United States export product in the eighteenth and
nineteenth centuries was cotton, favored by the European textile industry over flax or
wool because it was easy to process and soft to tile touch. Mechanization of spinning
and weaving allowed significant centralization and expansion in the textile industry during
(5) this period, and at the same time the demand for cotton increased dramatically. American
producers were able to meet this demand largely because of tile invention of the cotton gin
by Eli Whitney in 1793. Cotton could be grown throughout the South, but separating the
fiber – or lint – from the seed was a laborious process. Sea island cotton was relatively
easy to process by hand, because its fibers were long and seeds were concentrated at the
(10) base of the flower, but it demanded a long growing season, available only along the
nation’s eastern seacoast. Short-staple cotton required a much shorter growing season,
but the shortness of the fibers and their mixture with seeds meant that a worker could
hand-process only about one pound per day. Whitney’s gin was a hand-powered machine
with revolving drums and metal teeth to pull cotton fibers away from seeds. Using the gin,
(15) a worker could produce up to 50 pounds of lint a day. The later development of larger
gins, powered by horses, water, or steam, multiplied productivity further.
The interaction of improved processing and high demand led to the rapid spread of
the cultivation of cotton and to a surge in production. It became the main American
export, dwarfing all others. In 1802, cotton composed 14 percent of total American
(20) exports by value. Cotton had a 36 percent share by 1810 and over a 50 percent share
in 1830. In 1860, 61 percent of the value of American exports was represented by cotton.
In contrast, wheat and wheat flour composed only 6 percent of the value of American
exports in that year. Clearly, cotton was king in the trade of the young republic. The
growing market for cotton and other American agricultural products led to an
(25) unprecedented expansion of agricultural settlement, mostly in the eastern half of the
United States—west of the Appalachian Mountains and east of the Mississippi River.
Reading Comprehension 06
cotton became a profitable crop but was still time-consuming to process
the European textile industry increased its demand for American export products
mechanization of spinning and weaving dramatically changed the textile industry
cotton became the most important American export product
the growth that occurred in the textile industry
a shortage of flax and wool
cotton's ease of processing
long growing season
abundance of seeds
adaptability to different climates
Most cotton produced was exported to England.
More cotton came from sea island cotton plants than before.
Most cotton produced was sold domestically.
More cotton came from short-staple cotton plants than before.
show the increase in the amount of wheat products exported.
demonstrate the importance of cotton among American export products.
demonstrate that wheat farming was becoming more profitable.
show that Americans exported more agricultural products than they imported.
not seen before
a major source of water for agricultural crops
a main source of power for most agricultural machinery
the primary route by which agricultural crops were transported
one of the boundaries of a region where new agricultural settlement took place