来源：沪江听写酷 2011-11-15 12:05
One of the most popular myths about the United States in the 19th century was that of the free and simple life of the farmer. It was said that farmers worked hard on their own land to produce whatever their families needed. They might sometimes trade with neighbors; but in general they could get along just fine by relying on themselves, not on commercial ties with others. This is how Thomas Jefferson idealized the farmer at the beginning of the 19th century, and, at that time, this may have been close to the truth - especially on the frontier. But by mid-century, sweeping changes in agriculture were well under way as farmers began to specialize in the raising of crops such as cotton or corn or wheat. By late in the century, revolutionary advances in farm machinery had vastly increased production of specialized crops. And the extensive network of railroads had linked farmers throughout the country to markets in the East and even overseas. By raising and selling specialized crops, farmers could afford more and finer goods and achieve a much higher standard of living - but at a price. Now, farmers were no longer dependent just on the weather and their own efforts. Their lives were increasingly controlled by banks, which had power to grant or deny loans for new machinery, and by the railroads, which set the rates for shipping their crops to market. As businessmen, farmers now had to worry about national economic depressions and the influence of world supply and demand on, for example, the price of wheat in Kansas. And so, by the end of 19th century, the era of Jefferson's independent farmer had come to a close.
美国19世纪最流行的美谈之一是农夫简单自足的生活。传闻农夫在他们自己的土地上辛勤的劳动供给家庭所需。有时会跟邻居进行贸易，但是一般来说他们相处的良好终归咎于他们自己所得，而不是和别人的供应链关系。 在19世纪初，这是托马森对农夫的理想化，同时这也是最接近事实的，尤其对偏远地区来讲。但是到了19世纪中旬，农夫开始研究如何增加庄稼的收成，比如棉花，谷物或小麦，这给农业带来了良好的，广泛的变化 19世纪晚，农场机械化的革命大大增加了庄稼的收成。互联网通过城镇已经连接到农夫的每家每户，通过互联网市场已经扩展至东方甚至海外。随着谷物的增产和销售，农夫们可以提供更多的家庭所需，并且谷物质量的提高，价格优势使他们获得了更高的生活质量。 现在，农夫们不再单单依靠天气和他们自己自身的努力，他们的生活越来越由银行操控着，同意或取消他们购买新机械的资金贷款，谷物运往市场的运输费率。作为一名商人，现在农夫们必须担心国际金融压力，世界供应的影响，例如在堪萨斯州的小麦价格。 在19世纪末，杰弗斯农夫自给的年代告于结束 ——译文来自: ZHM_May