Title：Agricultural Society in Eighteenth-Century British America
参考阅读In the northern American colonies, especially New England, tight-knit farming families, organized in communities of several thousand people, dotted the landscape by the mid-eighteenth century. New Englanders staked their future on a mixed economy. They cleared forests for timber used in barrels, ships, houses, and barns. They plumbed the offshore waters for fish to feed local populations. And they cultivated and grazed as much of the thin-soiled, rocky hills and bottomlands as they could recover from the forest.
The farmers of the middle colonies-Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, and New York-set their wooden plows to much richer soils than New Englanders did. They enjoyed the additional advantage of setting an area already partly cleared by Native Americans who had relied more on agriculture than had New England tribes. Thus favored, mid-Atlantic farm families produced modest surpluses of corn, wheat, beef, and pork. By the mid-eighteenth century, ships from New York and Philadelphia were carrying these foodstuffs not only to the West Indies, always a primary market, but also to areas that could no longer feed themselves-England, Spain, Portugal, and even New England.
类别：农业类 真题 140412CN-P2
Title：Water Management in Early Agriculture
As the first cities formed in Mesopotamia in the Middle East, probably around 3000 B.C., it became necessarily to provide food for larger populations, and thus to find ways of increasing agricultural production. This, in turn, led to the problem of obtaining sufficient water.
Irrigation must have started on a small scale with rather simple constructions, but as its value became apparent, more effort was invested in new construction to divert more water into the canals and to extend the canal system to reach greater areas of potential farmland. Because of changing water levels and clogging by waterborne particles, canals and their intakes required additional labor to maintain, besides the normal labor required to guide water from field to field. Beyond this,some personnel had to be devoted to making decisions about the allocation of available water among the users and ensuring that these directions were carried out. With irrigation water also came potential problems, the most obvious being the susceptibility of low-lying farmlands to disastrous flooding and the longer-term problem of salinization (elevated levels of salt in the soil). To combat flooding from rivers, people from early historic times until today have constructed protective levees (raised barriers of earth) between the river and the settlement or fields to be protected. This, of course, is effective up to a certain level of flooding but changes the basic water patterns of the area and can multiply the damage when the flood level exceeds the height of the levee.
类别：社会类 真题 140816CN-P1
Title：Hunting and the Setting of Inner Eurasia
参考阅读：Inner Eurasia refers to the large continental area extending from Russia in the west to the Pacific Ocean, and to the north of Iran, India, and most of China. The first systematic colonization of parts of Inner Eurasia occurred about 80,000 to 90,000 years ago, which is relatively late in human history compared with Africa, Europe, and southern Asia. Why was it difficult to settle?
The long, cold, arid winters of this region’s steppes (grass covered plains) poised two distinctive problems for human settlers. The first was hot to keep warm. Humans may have used fire even a million years ago. Presumably their ability to scavenge animal carcasses meant that they could use skins or furs for warmth. However, there are no signs of hearths before about 200,000 years ago. This suggests that humans used fire opportunistically and had not yet domesticated it enough to survive the harsh winters of Ice Age InnerEurasia.