ef=”http://www.huishangxue.com/yy-tfpx.html” target=”_blank” >托福阅读中有些话题属于大部分考生都鲜少涉足较为冷门生僻的领,，但不巧的是这类话题却偏偏是ETS最喜欢出的内容，所以总有一些同学因为不熟悉这类话题而看不懂文章做不好题目，下面小编就来为大家补充这类托福阅读高频易错话题的背景知识，也就是中世纪农业改革的那些事儿。
The Plow and the Horse in Medieval Europe 2019.9.7;
The Medieval Agricultural Revolution 2019.8.25;
New Sources of Power for Agriculture 2019.7.6;
中世纪的农业改革重点体现在3个方面：三田制(three-field system)，重型犁(heavy plow)和马在畜力上的使用(plow horse)。
1. three-field system(三田制)
For much of the early Middle Ages, peasants continued the Roman practice of dividing their fields in two leaving one fallow, or uncultivated, for a year, and planting their crops in the other half. Fallow land restored its nutrients, but the practice meant that half the land produced nothing every year. In southern Europe with its drier climate this system of two-field crop rotation continued, but in northern Europe, peasants improved on this system by dividing their land into three parts. One they left fallow, another they planted in the spring, and the third they planted with winter crops. This three-field crop rotation, dependent on more rainfall than southern Europe received, meant that two-thirds instead of one-half of a peasant’s land was under production in one year.
2. heavy plow(重型犁)
这个时期的人们把罗马时代的犁(scratch plow)进行了改造，使它更锋利，能够穿透北欧沉重潮湿的泥土，给土地充气，并且将底层的矿物质翻倒地表，有助于庄稼生长，另一方面，重型犁留下犁纹(furrow)，有利于疏通泥土排水，减少洪涝。但新犁很重，需要八匹马/八头牛去拉，个体农民无法负担如此多牲畜，促使农民合作结成马队或者牛队，且为了减少犁地时拐弯，将农田变成长条形(long strips)。
A major development in farming was the heavy plow that could cut through the deep, wet, and heavy soils of Northern Europe much better than the light scratch plow. It had three basic parts: the coulter or heavy knife that cut through the soil vertically, the plowshare that cut through the soil horizontally, and the mouldboard, which turned the soil to one side.
There were two advantages to this kind of plow. First, it cut the soil so violently that there was no need for cross plowing as there was with the scratch plow. This saved time, which could be used for, among other things, clearing more land and producing more food. Second, the heavy plow created furrows, little ridges and valleys in each plowed row. In times of drought, water would drain into the valleys and ensure some crops would survive. In times of heavy rains, the crops on top of the ridges would not get flooded out. As a result, peasants could usually look forward to at least some crops to harvest even in bad years. The furrows the heavy plow created also meant that the rich alluvial bottomlands by rivers could be farmed without their frequent floods doing too much damage. The heavy plow also fed into the feedback cycle of more food, population growth, etc.
3. plow horse(马的使用)
Oxen are slow and unintelligent compared to horses, but peasants could not use horses to pull plows until they devised a different kind of harnessing than the strap that circled an ox’s neck. With a harness resting on its shoulders instead of its neck, a horse could be used to plow, and horses could walk more quickly and work longer hours than oxen. They also required less guidance, since they understood verbal signals to turn or to stop. Heavier, wheeled plows pulled by suitably harnessed horses meant that peasants could work more land in a day than ever before. Whether an increase in population across western Europe, but particularly in the north, stimulated innovations or whether such innovations contributed to a rise in population, the cumulative effect of these changes in agriculture was apparent in the tenth century. Conditions in Europe were ripe for an economic and cultural upswing.
这三大改革，大大促进了农业的发展，也使得中世纪进入了它发展的繁盛期，历史上称之为The High Middle Ages。