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17世纪,疯狂的荷兰郁金香热

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2018年09月11日

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17世纪,疯狂的荷兰郁金香热
In the 1600’s, the world experienced one of its first major financial bubbles in Tulip mania. Tulip mania took place in 17th Century Holland, starting out roughly in 1624 and hitting its peak between 1636 and 1637.

在17世纪初,全球在郁金香狂热中经历了首个重大的泡沫经济。郁金香狂热出现在17世纪的荷兰,大约开始于1624年,在1636年至1637年达到了高潮。

Although the extent of how widespread Tulip mania was is still largely debated, it’s undeniable that the price of tulip bulbs soared to ridiculous heights – with a single tulip bulb often being worth more than a skilled tradesman’s yearly wage!

虽然关于究竟郁金香狂热的影响范围有多广仍有待商榷,但不可否认的是郁金香花的售价飙升到了难以置信的高度——单独一个郁金香球茎的价格能超过一位娴熟的商人的年薪。

So why did the Dutch people lose their mind over tulips?

那么是因为什么让荷兰人对郁金香着了魔?

The coloration and varying patterns of the tulip, originally imported from the Ottoman Empire (now Turkey), was unlike anything seen by 17th Century Dutch horticulturists, being far richer and lusher in color than European flowers. The Dutch culture quickly became infatuated with tulips and the garden became a symbol and status and wealth.

不同颜色和花型的郁金香最初被从奥斯曼帝国(现土耳其)进口到了荷兰,17世纪的荷兰园艺家从未见过如此的花,它的色彩远比其他欧洲花卉要更浓郁和丰富。很快荷兰的学问就拜倒在郁金香面前,而且花园成为了地位和财富的象征。

Another factor as to why the Dutch tulip boom happened was due to the life cycle of the tulip itself. The mother bulb of a tulip only lasts a few years and can only produce two or three clones per year. It also takes roughly seven years to grow a tulip to maturity from a seed. Due to these two factors the ability to supply tulips was minimal, whilst the demand had skyrocketed, meaning that the prices of tulips had also skyrocketed due to the sharp spike in the market between the supply and demand of tulips.

另外一个荷兰郁金香繁荣的因素是由于郁金香本身的生长周期。郁金香的母球茎只能生长几年,并且每年只能分生出2-3个个体。而且郁金香从种子长成成株大约要7年时间。由于这两个因素,郁金香的供应能力很低,但是需求却在飞涨,这就意味着由于急剧供不应求导致郁金香的价格也跟着飙升。

Throughout the 1630’s, the price of tulip bulbs rose steadily as more and more people, mostly wealthy merchants and tradesmen rather than members of nobility or traditional investors, entered the flowery market. As it was a market mostly operated in by independent traders and not nobility, tulip trading typically took place in the streets or taverns, or even at auctions, rather than the Dutch stock exchange.

整个17世纪30年代,郁金香球茎的价格随着越来越多的人涌入花卉市场而稳定的上涨,这些人大多是富裕的商人和零售商,而不是贵族成员或是传统投资者。由于郁金香的市场基本由个体商户操控而不是贵族,郁金香的交易经常会在街头或者客栈中进行,乃至在拍卖所里,而不是在荷兰证券交易所内。

By 1636, even the lowest quality or most common tulip bulbs were worth a small fortune, with the average price being roughly 160 Guilders, rising to 200 Guilders at the peak of Tulipmania.

到了1636年,就算品质最次或者最常见的郁金香球茎也能值不少钱,平均价格大约在160荷兰盾,到了郁金香狂热期涨到了峰值的200荷兰盾。

Although it’s difficult to calculate how much that is, the average tradesmen would bring home about 150 Guilders a year. During the peak of Tulip mania, most bulbs would pass from buyer to buyer simply for profit without ever being planted, with some going through up to 10 different vendors a day.

虽然很难去计算在现在合多少钱,不过那时的商人的平均年收入大约150荷兰盾。在郁金香狂热的顶峰时期,大多数的郁金香在买家之间转手只为了利润,而从未被栽培到土中,有一些在一天中甚至会在不同的卖家间转手高达10次之多。

The most famous incident of the Tulipmania craze was when seven orphaned children auctioned off their inheritance from their deceased father. That inheritance was 70 tulip bulbs, including an incredibly rare Violetten Admirael van Enkuizen bulb, which sold for 5,200 Guilders on its own. The auction total was 53,000 Guilders, all for 70 bulbs.

在郁金香狂热中最著名的事件是有7个孤儿拍卖从他们离世的父亲手中继承来的遗产。遗产是70个郁金香球茎,其中包括一个非常稀有的Violetten Admirael van Enkhuizen(恩克赫伊曾的紫色海军上将)球茎,单这一个球茎就卖出了5200荷兰盾。全部70个郁金香球茎的拍卖所得一共53000荷兰盾。

In 1635, 40 bulbs sold at a different auction for 100,000 Guilders. Just to reiterate a typical skilled tradesman would have been earning roughly 150 Guilders a year.

1635年的时候,有40个球茎在另外一个拍卖会拍出了10万荷兰盾的高价。需要重申一下的是通常一个经验丰富的商人在当时一年大约只能赚到150荷兰盾

Tulip bulbs were also known during this time to be traded for goods rather than outright sold, and there’s one specific instance of a very rare tulip bulb being traded for four fat oxen, eight fat pigs, twelve fat sheep, two hogsheads of wine, four turns of beer, one thousand pounds of cheese, two tons of butter, a bed, a silver cup, a set of fine clothes, two lasts of wheat, and four lasts of rye. All of this was valued in cost at roughly 1,500 – 2,000 Guilders!

在这期间郁金香球茎还会用于交换其他货物,而不是只是当做商品卖出,而且有一个很详细的例子,一株非常稀有的郁金香球茎可以交换4头肥牛、8头肥猪、12头肥羊、2大桶红酒、4桶啤酒、1000磅的芝士、2吨的黄油、1张床、1个银制杯子、1套做工精细的衣服、2 lasts(2.5吨)的麦子和4 lasts(5吨)的黑麦。(last是荷兰计重单位,在17世纪的时候,一last相当于1250公斤。)所有这些加起来一共价值大约1500-2000荷兰盾。

There were also many abundant cases of tulip bulbs being used to purchase houses, land or farms, with one case of a Semper Augustus bulb being traded for 12 acres of farmland.

用郁金香球茎购买房屋、土地或者农场这样的例子不胜枚举,其中有一个例子只用了一个Semper Augustus(永恒奥古都斯)球茎就购买到了12公顷的农田。

However, as all financial bubbles grow, so do they pop. And the Tulipmania bubble popped hard. It all started in the city of Haarlem at a routine tulip bulb auction when an investor didn’t show up to pay for his tulip purchase. This sent the market into a worried frenzy over the fact that there no longer seemed to be anybody buying tulip bulbs to actually obtain tulip flowers, but rather that everyone was simply buying them to turn them around and sell them.

不过,随着整体经济泡沫的增长,最终气泡破裂了。郁金香的泡沫破裂的很利害。一切始于在哈勒姆一个例行的郁金香球茎拍卖会上,一位投资者没有现身来为购买的郁金香付款。人们认为所有人买郁金香只是为了转售它们,而似乎不再是为了真正拥有它们,这使得市场陷入了担忧的恐慌之中。

Within days the panic had become widespread and the tulip market started to collapse in on itself. Within weeks tulips were now worth less than the 1% of the prices they had once been worth.

几天内这个恐慌就传播开来了,郁金香市场开始自行崩塌。几周内,郁金香的售价就跌到了不足原先价格的1%。

Despite the hard crash of the tulip market, the fallout wasn’t too major. As most of the trading had taken place at Main Street and not at the stock exchange or between nobility, the overall Dutch economy wasn’t too affected by the bursting of the tulip bubble.

尽管郁金香市场遭遇了猛击,但是附带影响并没有很重大。由于大部分的交易都在Main Street进行而不是在证券交易所或是贵族间进行的,因此郁金香泡沫的破裂对荷兰经济影响并不是很大。

Tulips are still synonymous with Dutch culture, and in the Netherlands the third Saturday of every January is “Nationale Tulpendag,” or National Tulip Day for English speakers. To mark this day, Dam Square in Amsterdam is filled with approximately 200,000 tulips in an extravagant display and people travel from all over the Netherlands, and the world, to see it and queue up so they can pick some to take with them.

郁金香仍是荷兰学问的代名词,并且荷兰每年1月份的第三个星期六都被定为了国家郁金香日。为了庆祝这一天,阿姆斯特丹的水坝广场会豪侈的陈列出大约20万株郁金香,全荷兰乃至全世界的人都会前来观赏,并排队等候希翼能采几只带走。


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