Planter-legislators of the post-Civil War southern United States enacted crop lien laws stipulating that those who advanced cash or supplies necessary to plant a crop would receive, as security, a claim, or lien, on the crop produced. In doing so, planters, most of whom were former slaveholders, sought access to credit from merchants and control over nominally free laborers--former slaves freed by the victory of the northern Union over the southern Confederacy in the United States Civil War. They hoped to reassure merchants that despite the emancipation of the slaves, planters would produce crops and pay debts. Planters planned to use their supply credit to control their workers, former slaves who were without money to rent land or buy supplies. Planters imagined continuation of the pre-Civil War economic hierarchy: merchants supplying landlords, landlords supplying laborers, and laborers producing crops from which their scant wages and planters' profits would come, allowing planters to repay advances. Lien laws frequently had unintended consequences, however, thwarting the planter fantasy of mastery without slavery. The newly freed workers, seeking to become self-employed tenant farmers rather than wage laborers, made direct arrangements with merchants for supplies. Lien laws, the centerpiece of a system designed to create a dependent labor force, became the means for workers, with alternative means of supply advances, to escape that dependence.
The passage suggests which of the following about merchants in the post-Civil War southern United States?
They sought to preserve pre-Civil War social conditions.
Their numbers in the legislatures had been diminished.
Their businesses had suffered from a loss of collateral.
They were willing to make business arrangements with former slaves.
Their profits had declined because planters defaulted on debts for supply advances.
这道题目比较难，文章没有直接指出商人会怎么样。其实整篇文章提到最多的是农场主和从前的奴隶的关系。我们可以从两个方面来推断，第一，在“The newly freed workers, seeking to become self-employed tenant farmers rather than wage laborers, made direct arrangements with merchants for supplies”，如果商人不愿意和农民们直接交易，那么可以说农场主用留置权法的目的就会达到了。第二，因为文中提到“merchants supplying landlords, landlords supplying laborers, and laborers producing crops from which their scant wages and planters' profits would come”。如果商人和农民直接交易，那么可以省下农场主的利益，这样商人本身的利益也会增大。由此可见，商人是会喜欢现在的情况的。下面的选项分析只做翻译选项，不需另加解释。