TOEFL Reading: ETS-TOEFL阅读机经 - A3L18144XE763DMQL$

European artisans experienced a decline during the sixteenth century as result of a number of developments. A. Artisans' ability to earn profits was restricted by their dependence on creditors, to whom they were forced to sell their goods, and by competition from rural areas. B. As industries came under the control of merchants, artisans lost access to cheap raw materials, and they had to borrow money to buy the materials they needed from merchant suppliers. C. In the new industrial system from which skilled artisans were progressively excluded, the quality of manufactured items gradually declined. D. Advances in technology in some industries increased the cost of the equipment, buildings, and facilities that artisans needed for producing and selling their goods. E. Iron production in the sixteenth century depended on new inventions such as blast furnaces, tilt hammers, wire-drawing machines, and stamping, rolling, and silting mills. F. The rising prices of food and other necessities often left artisans without enough money to pay their taxes and other business expenses.