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#164: The United States Turns Inward After World War One

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A group of people listening to the radio at the Hamilton Hotel in Washington D.C.
A group of people listening to the radio at the Hamilton Hotel in Washington D.C.

MARIO RITTER: Welcome to THE MAKING OF A NATION -- American history in VOA Special English.

The years after World War One were an important turning point in the making of the American nation. The country turned away from the problems of Europe. Now it would deal with problems of its own.

第一次世界大战结束后的几年是美国历史上重要的转折点。美国不再热心欧洲事务,而是开始解决国内的问题。

This week in our series, Kay Gallant and MAURICE JOYCE: tell about the many changes in America during the early nineteen twenties.

KAY GALLANT: There was a presidential election in America in nineteen twenty. President Woodrow Wilson was not a candidate. He had suffered a stroke and was too sick. The two major candidates were Democrat James Cox and Republican Warren Harding. Voters had a clear choice between the two candidates.

1920年,美国举行总统选举。威尔逊因中风而身体虚弱,已经无法参选。两位主要候选人是民主党的詹姆斯.考克斯和共和党的沃仑.哈丁。这两人给了选民非常不同的选择。

Cox supported the ideas of President Wilson. He believed the United States should take an active part in world affairs. Harding opposed the idea of internationalism. He believed the United States should worry only about events within its own borders.

考克斯赞同威尔逊的理念,认为美国应该在世界事务中发挥积极作用。哈丁则反对国际主义理念,他认为美国人应该只关心国内事务。

Warren Harding won the election. By their votes, Americans made clear they were tired of sacrificing lives and money to solve other people's problems. They just wanted to live their own lives and make their own country a better place.

哈丁赢得了选举。美国人民通过自己的选票清楚地表明,他们已经厌倦了牺牲自己的生命和财产来解决其他国家的问题。他们只想过自己的日子,让美国变得更好。

MAURICE JOYCE: This was a great change in the nation's thinking. For twenty years, since the beginning of the century, the United States had become more involved in international events.

这是国家思维方式的重大改变。此前20世纪的头20年里,美国一直逐渐卷入国际事务。

Young Americans had grown up with presidents like Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt. Both Wilson and Roosevelt had active foreign policies. Both helped start the nation on the road to becoming a major world power.

美国年轻人在威尔逊和罗斯福总统执政的年代长大,而这两位总统都在外交领域非常活跃,都帮助美国走上了成为世界主要大国的道路。

Then came World War One. It was like a sharp needle that bursts a balloon. The United States and the Allies won the war against Germany and the Central Powers. But thousands of American troops had died in the European conflict. And many months were taken up by the bitter debate over the peace treaty and the League of Nations.

然后第一次世界大战爆发了,这就像一根针扎破了一个气球。美国及其盟国打败了德国和轴心国,但是数千美国军人死在了欧洲战场。然后,美国又花了数月的时间,激烈辩论凡尔赛条约和国联的问题。

Most Americans did not want to hear about Europe and international peace organizations any more.

结果,大多数美国人厌倦了,再也不想听到有关欧洲和国际和平组织的任何事情了。

KAY GALLANT: Instead, Americans became more concerned with material things. During World War One, they had lived under many kinds of restrictions. The federal government had controlled railroads, shipping, and industrial production. At the end of the war, these controls were lifted. Industries that had been making war supplies began making products for a peacetime economy.

相反,他们开始关心现实生活中的物质问题。一战期间,美国人的生活受到了很多限制。联邦政府控制了铁路、运输和工业生产。战后,这些控制被解除了,以前生产战争物资的工厂开始为和平年代的经济生产产品。

Wages for most workers in the United States were higher than ever at the beginning of the nineteen twenties. Men and women had enough money to enjoy life more than they had in the past.

1920年代初,大部分美国工人的工资达到了前所未有的高水平,人们手里有钱了,足够他们去追求比以往都好的生活。

(MUSIC)

MAURICE JOYCE: Technology made it possible for millions of people to improve their lives. It also caused great changes in American society. Two of the most important new technologies were automobiles and radio.

技术进步也使数百万人过上了更好的日子,并给美国社会带来了巨大的变化。两项最重要的新技术就是汽车和无线电广播。

In the early years of the twentieth century, automobiles were very costly. Each one was built separately by a small team of skilled workers. Most Americans did not have the money to own an automobile.

在1920年代初,汽车还非常昂贵,每辆车都是由一个小型专业技工队伍制造。大部分美国人买不起车。

Then Henry Ford decided to make cars everyone could buy. He built them on an assembly line. Cars were put together, or assembled, as they moved slowly through the factory. Each worker did just one thing to the car before it moved on to the next worker. In this way, the Ford Motor Company could build cars more quickly and easily. And it could sell them for much less money.

美国人亨利.福特决定制造出所有人都买得起的汽车。他用流水线生产汽车,汽车零件通过工厂里的生产流水线被组装到一起,每个工人只干一个环节的工作,然后产品就进入下一个环节,由另外的工人负责。这样,福特汽车公司就能更快更容易地生产汽车,并且以便宜很多的价格销售汽车。

Cranking a Model
Cranking a Model "T" Ford

KAY GALLANT: Before long, there were cars everywhere. All these cars created a need for better roads. Outside cities, most roads were made just of dirt. They were chokingly dusty in dry weather and impassably muddy in the rain.

福特汽车公司发明流水线后,汽车生产得更多,价钱也更便宜。不久,美国到处都跑满了汽车,而这就要求全国的道路状况得到改善。当时,在乡村地区,很多地方只有土路,晴天时暴土扬长,雨天则泥泞不堪。

They were rough and full of holes. Few bridges connected roads across rivers and streams. America's new drivers demanded that these problems be fixed. So, local and state governments began building and improving roads as they had never done before.

这些路还坑坑洼洼。跨越溪流连接道路的桥梁更是几乎没有。刚刚买上车的车主们要求解决这些问题。于是,地方和州政府开始以前所未有的力度修建和改善道路。

As new roads were built, many new businesses opened along them. There were gasoline stations and auto repair shops, of course. But soon there were eating places and hotels where travelers could eat and sleep.  In the nineteen-twenties, the United States was becoming a nation of car-lovers.

新的道路修好了,路的两侧又开了很多新的买卖,比如加油站、修车厂。很快又出现了饭馆、旅店,供旅行的人们休息。1920年代,美国成了汽车爱好者的国度。

MAURICE JOYCE: Cars changed more than the way Americans traveled. They changed the way Americans lived. They removed some of the limitations of living conditions.

汽车改变的不仅仅是美国人的出行方式,它还改变了美国人的生活方式,消除了一些生活上原有的制约。

For example, families with cars no longer had to live in noisy, crowded cities. They could live in suburbs -- the wide-open areas outside cities. They could use their car to drive to work in the city.

比如,有车的家庭不必再生活在拥挤吵闹的城市,而是可以住到空旷的郊区。人们可以开车进城上班。

Businesses moved, too. No longer did they have to be close to railroad lines. With new cars and trucks, they could transport their goods where they wanted, when they wanted. They were no longer limited by train times.

企业也动起来了。他们不必再靠近铁路线。随着汽车和卡车的普及,他们可以随时把货物运往各处,不必再受列车运行时间的限制。

Cars also made life on farms less lonely. It became much easier for farm families to go to town on business or to visit friends.

汽车还让农村生活热闹起来,农户们可以更容易地进城做买卖或探亲访友。

KAY GALLANT: Cars helped Americans learn more about their nation. In the nineteen twenties, people could drive all across the land for not much money. Places that used to be days apart now seemed suddenly closer.

汽车让美国人更加了解自己的国家。1920年代,人们可以不必花很多钱就开车横跨美国,以前要走好几天才能到的地方现在忽然间近了许多。

Families that normally stayed home on weekends and holidays began to explore the country. They drove to the seashores and lakeshores. To the mountains and forests. To places of historical importance or natural beauty.

原本在周末和节日通常待在家里的一家人现在有机会去旅游,了解远处的美国是什么样子。他们开车去海边、湖边,走进大山和森林,游览名胜古迹和天然美景。

MAURICE JOYCE: Not all the changes linked to the car were good, of course.

当然,汽车带来的改变并不都是好的。

Automobile accidents became more common and deadly. Other forms of transportation, such as railroads, began to suffer from the competition. Some railroads had to close down. Horses and wagons -- once the most common form of transportation -- began to disappear from city streets.

比如,车祸多了,死于车祸的人也多了。而铁路等其它交通方式开始在竞争中陷入困境,一些铁路不得不关闭了事。原来最常用的交通方式─马和马车─也开始从城市的道路上消失。

There were not enough cars in the nineteen-twenties to cause severe air pollution. But the air was becoming less pure every year. And the roads were becoming more crowded and noisy.

在1920年代,汽车的数量还不足以造成严重的空气污染,但是空气的纯净度每年都在下降,道路也变得越来越拥挤和喧闹。

(MUSIC)

KAY GALLANT: While the automobile greatly changed America's transportation, radio greatly changed its communication.

就在汽车极大地改变了美国人交通方式的同时,无线电广播给美国人的通讯方式带来了革命。

The first radio station opened in the state of Pennsylvania in nineteen-twenty. Within ten years, there were hundreds of others. There were more than thirteen million radio receivers. Most of the radio stations were owned by large broadcasting networks. These networks were able to broadcast the same program to stations all over the country.

1920年,美国第一家电台在宾夕法尼亚成立,10年后,全美就出现了数百家电台,听众超过1300万。 大部分电台的所有者是大型广播网,这些公司可以对全国各地的电台播出同样的节目。

MAURICE JOYCE: Most programs were simple and entertaining. There were radio plays, comedy shows, and music programs. But there also were news reports and political events. Millions of people who never read newspapers now heard the news on radio. Citizens everywhere could hear the president's voice.

广播节目大多内容简单,具有娱乐性,有广播剧、喜剧和音乐节目,同时也报导新闻和政治事件。数百万从来不看报的人现在从广播中听到了新闻。各地的美国人都能听到总统的声音了。

Like the automobile, radio helped bring Americans together. They were able to share many of the same events and experiences.

和汽车一样,广播把美国人带到了一起。他们可以一起见证许多活动,有共同的经历。

KAY GALLANT: Radio also was a great help to companies. Businesses could buy time on radio programs for advertisements. In these 'ads', they told listeners about their products. They urged them to buy the products: cars. Electric refrigerators. Foods. Medicines. In this way, companies quickly and easily created a nationwide demand for their goods.

广播也帮了公司企业的大忙。企业可以购买广播时间播放广告,向听众介绍自己的产品。在广告中,他们告诉人们去消费,去购买汽车、电冰箱、食品和药物。这些公司快速而简单地创造出了全国性的消费者需求。

Automobiles and radios were not the only new technologies to change American life in the days after World War One. Still one more invention would have a great effect on how Americans spent their time and money. That was the motion picture.

一战后改变美国人生活的新技术不仅仅是汽车和广播。另外一项发明也将极大地影响美国人的消费习惯和娱乐方式,那就是电影。

It will be our story next week.

(MUSIC)

MARIO RITTER: Our program was written by Frank Beardsley. The narrators were Kay Gallant and MAURICE JOYCE. You can find our series online with transcripts, MP3s, podcasts and historic images at www.unsv.com. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter at VOA Learning English. Join us again next week for THE MAKING OF A NATION -- an American history series in VOA Special English.

http://usa.unsv.com/docs/voanews/english/2011/04/21/7962/voachinese201104217962.mp3
网友的学习评论(1条):
作者:郑烈波
most americans did not want to hear about europe and international peace organizations any more.
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