Soal Latihan dan Jawaban Reading Comprehension 77
Both the number and the percentage of people in the United States involved in
nonagricultural pursuits expanded rapidly during the half century following the Civil War,
with some of the most dramatic increases occurring in the domains of transportation,
manufacturing, and trade and distribution. The development of the railroad and telegraph
(5) systems during the middle third of the nineteenth century led to significant improvements
in the speed, volume, and regularity of shipments and communications, making possible
a fundamental transformation in the production and distribution of goods.
In agriculture, the transformation was marked by the emergence of the grain elevators,
the cotton presses, the warehouses, and the commodity exchanges that seemed to so many
(10) of the nation’s farmers the visible sign of a vast conspiracy against them. In
manufacturing, the transformation was marked by the emergence of a “new factory
system” in which plants became larger, more complex, and more systematically organized
and managed. And in distribution, the transformation was marked by the emergence of
the jobber, the wholesaler, and the mass retailer. These changes radically altered the
(15) nature of work during the half century between 1870 and 1920.
To be sure, there were still small workshops, where skilled craftspeople manufactured
products ranging from newspapers to cabinets to plumbing fixtures. There were the
sweatshops in city tenements, where groups of men and women in household settings
manufactured clothing or cigars on a piecework basis. And there were factories in
(20) occupations such as metalwork where individual contractors presided over what were
essentially handicraft proprietorships that coexisted within a single building. But as the
number of wage earners in manufacturing rose from 2.7 million in 1880 to 4.5 million
in 1900 to 8.4 million in 1920, the number of huge plants like the Baldwin Locomotive
Works in Philadelphia burgeoned, as did the size of the average plant. (The Baldwin
(25) Works had 600 employees in 1855, 3,000 in 1875, and 8,000 in 1900.) By 1920, at
least in the northeastern United States where most of the nation’s manufacturing wage
earners were concentrated, three-quarters of those worked in factories with more than
100 employees and 30 percent worked in factories with more than 1,000 employees.
Reading Comprehension 77
New technological developments had little effect on farmers.
Many farms destroyed in the war were rebuilt after the war.
Farmers achieved new prosperity because of better rural transportation.
The percentage of the total population working in agriculture declined.
A growth in the complexity of factories.
An increase in the cost of manufacturing industrial products.
An increase in the size of factories.
A change in the organization of factories.
Most manufacturing activity was highly organized.
Most manufacturing occurred in relatively small plants.
The most commonly manufactured goods were cotton presses.
Manufacturing and agriculture each made up about half of the nation's economy.
typical of the large factories that were becoming more common
the first plant of its kind in Philadelphia
a well-known metal-works
typical of factories that consisted of a single building