2021年3月13日托福阅读真题+题目+答案：The Importance of Mail Service to the Early United States
After the formation of the United States as a republic in the late eighteenth century,a series of interlocking improvements increased the circulation of information,in velocity and volume,in ways that encouraged and facilitated social mobility,economic ambition,and the willingness of persons to do business with strangers at a distance.
The first piece of this new communications network was the United States Post Office,which had been launched back in 1792 on an explicit mission to make the circulation of news and information as free and easy as possible all across the United States.Two early decisions helped make the postal system an extraordinary force for national integration:First,newspapers-all newspapers-were granted ready access to the post at trivial expense;and second, Congress (the law-making branch of the national government) adopted the habit of never turning down citizen petitions for new routes and post offices.Although it clearly benefited business,this early support for an expansive postal system did not spring from commercial considerations;in fact,private letters (mostly business communications)paid very high postage to subsidize the comparatively free flow of newspapers.It was the widespread republican suspicion of elected politicians,gathered in the nation's far-off capital in Washington,that fostered the popular conviction that liberty itself depended on cheaply spreading the news.Political rivals on the national stage required information about their enemies and their enemies'constituents all over the nation;state and local officials demanded frequent communications from their representatives in Congress;and common voters-especially as the right to vote expanded to include all adult white males-had to be informed and inflamed about their favorite candidates and political parties.As a result,by the early 1830s the post office employed 8,700 individuals (three-fourths of all federal employees)and delivered 16 million newspapers a year;this number doubled by 1840.Current newspapers could be found in the farthest corners of the wilderness practically from the first days of settlement.The touring French aristocrat Alexis de Tocqueville found that the residents of frontier Michigan Territory were better informed than the common people of northern France,which had been settled since time immemorial.
1.The word"explicit"in the passage is closest in meaning to
B clearly stated
C well designed
2.What is the author's purpose in mentioning that "private letters(mostly business communications)paid very high postage to subsidize the comparatively free flow of newspapers"?
A To identify a factor that contributed to the growth of citizen petitions
B To provide evidence that benefiting businesses was not one of the primary goals of expanding the postal system
C To establish the importance of newspapers as advertising tools for businesses
D To imply that many businesses could not afford to use the early postal system
3.In paragraph 2,which of the following is mentioned as a government decision that contributed to the success of the United States Postal Service?
A The government paid newspapers to advertise the postal system to citizens.
B The government granted all requests it received for new routes and post offices.
C The government allowed local areas to control their own mail delivery.
D The government set high postage fees to help pay for new postal routes to business locations.
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