- 2017年12月12日15:31 来源：小站整理
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The Homestead Act of 1862 gave heads of families or individuals aged twenty-one or older the
right to own 160 acres of public land in the western United States after five years of residence and
improvement. This law was intended to provide land for small farmers and to prevent land from
being bought for resale at a profit or being owned by large landholders. An early amendment to
the act even prevented husbands and wives from filing separate claims. The West, land reformers
had assumed, would soon contain many 160-acre family farms.
They were doomed to disappointment. Most landless Americans were too poor to become
farmers even when they could obtain land without cost. The expense of moving a family to the
ever-receding frontier exceeded the means of many, and the cost of tools, draft animals, a wagon,
a well, fencing, and of building the simplest house, might come to $1,000 — a formidable barrier.
As for the industrial workers for whom the free land was supposed to provide a "safety valve,"
they had neither the skills nor the inclination to become farmers. Homesteaders usually came from
districts not far removed from frontier conditions. And despite the intent of the law, speculators
often managed to obtain large tracts. They hired people to stake out claims, falsely swear that they
had fulfilled the conditions laid down in the law for obtaining legal title, and then deed the land
over to their employers.
Furthermore, 160 acres were not enough for raising livestock or for the kind of commercial
agriculture that was developing west of the Mississippi. The national government made a feeble
attempt to make larger holdings available to homesteaders by passing the Timber Culture Act of
1873, which permitted individuals to claim an additional 160 acres if they would agree to plant a
quarter of it in trees within ten years. This law proved helpful to some farmers in the largely
treeless states of Kansas, Nebraska, and the Dakotas. Nevertheless, fewer than 25 percent of the
245,000 who took up land under theAct obtained final title to the property.
1. Which aspect of the Homestead Act of 1862 does the passage mainly discuss?
(A) How it transformed the western United States into a place of small farms
(B) Why it was an improvement over previous attempts at land reform
(C) Why it did not achieve its aim to provide land for small farmers
(D) How it failed in the largely treeless states of Kansas, Nebraska, and the Dakotas
2.An amendment added to the Homestead Act of 1862 specified that
(A) five years of residence was required for landownership
(B) husbands and wives could not file separate claims
(C) the price of 160 acres of land was $1,000
(D) land could not be resold for a profit
3. The word "formidable" in line 12 is closest in meaning to
4. It can be inferred that the "safety valve" in line 13 refers to
(A) a new kind of machinery
(B) an alternative for urban workers
(C) an area in a factory
(D) a procedure designed to protect workers
5. The word "intent" in line 15 is closest in meaning to
6.According to the passage , why did the government pass the Timber CultureAct of 1873?
(A) to make larger tracts of land available to small farmers
(B) to settle Kansas, Nebraska, and the Dakotas
(C) to encourage land speculation west of the Mississippi
(D) to increase the variety of trees growing in the western states
7. The word "they" in line 23 refers to
(A) larger holdings
(C) 160 acres
8. According to the passage , how many of the farmers who settled land under the Timber Culture
Act of 1873 received final title to the property?
(A) fewer than 25%
(B) more than 160
(C) 10% per year
9. The passage mentions all of the following as reasons the Homestead Act of 1862 did not
achieve its aims EXCEPT:
(A) Most landless Americans could not afford the necessary tools and provisions.
(B) Industrial workers lacked the necessary farming skills.
(C) The farms were too large for single families to operate successfully.
(D) Homesteaders usually came from areas relatively close to the frontier.
10. Which of the following can be inferred from the passage about the Timber Culture Act of
(A) It especially helped farmers with large holdings of land.
(B) It was most important to farmers living in states that had plenty of trees.
(C) The majority of farmers did not benefit significantly from it.
(D) The majority of farmers did not need the extra 160 acres it provided.