Soal Latihan dan Jawaban Reading Comprehension 06

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012 - reading comprehension

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

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Question 1
The main point of the passage is that the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were a time when
A
cotton became a profitable crop but was still time-consuming to process
B
the European textile industry increased its demand for American export products
C
mechanization of spinning and weaving dramatically changed the textile industry
D
cotton became the most important American export product
Question 2
The word "favored" in line 2 is closest in meaning to
A
preferred
B
imported
C
recommended
D
included
Question 3
All of the following are mentioned in the passage as reasons for the increased demand for cotton EXCEPT
A
the growth that occurred in the textile industry
B
cotton's softness
C
a shortage of flax and wool
D
cotton's ease of processing
Question 4
The word "laborious" in line 8 is closest in meaning to
A
primitive
B
unfamiliar
C
difficult
D
skilled
Question 5
According to the passage, one advantage of sea island cotton was its
A
long fibers
B
long growing season
C
abundance of seeds
D
adaptability to different climates
Question 6
Which of the following can be inferred from the passage about cotton production in the United States after the introduction of Whitney's cotton gin?
A
Most cotton produced was exported to England.
B
More cotton came from sea island cotton plants than before.
C
Most cotton produced was sold domestically.
D
More cotton came from short-staple cotton plants than before.
Question 7
The word "surge" in line 18 is closest in meaning to
A
excess amount
B
important change
C
sudden stop
D
sharp increase
Question 8
The author mentions "wheat and wheat flour" in line 22 in order to
A
show the increase in the amount of wheat products exported.
B
demonstrate the importance of cotton among American export products.
C
demonstrate that wheat farming was becoming more profitable.
D
show that Americans exported more agricultural products than they imported.
Question 9
The word "unprecedented" in line 25 is closest in meaning to
A
slow
B
never explained
C
profitable
D
not seen before
Question 10
According to the passage, the Mississippi River was
A
a major source of water for agricultural crops
B
a main source of power for most agricultural machinery
C
the primary route by which agricultural crops were transported
D
one of the boundaries of a region where new agricultural settlement took place
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