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#166: Fear of Communism in 1920 Threatens Civil Rights

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Strikers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, around 1919
Strikers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, around 1919

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

The United States Constitution guarantees freedoms such as freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of religion. The Bill of Rights in the Constitution protects these and other individual rights. But the government has not always honored all of the rights in the Constitution.

美国宪法保护公民的自由,如言论自由、新闻自由和宗教自由。美国宪法中的权利法案保护这些和其它个人权利。然而,政府并不总是遵守宪法赋予的公民权利。

In the seventeen hundreds, for example, President John Adams supported laws to stop Thomas Jefferson and the Democratic Party from criticizing the government.

例如,在18世纪,约翰.亚当斯总统就支持出台法律,禁止托马斯.杰斐逊和民主党批评联邦政府。

During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln took strong actions to prevent newspapers from printing military news. And, during the nineteen fifties, Senator Joseph McCarthy accused innocent people of being communists and traitors.

在美国内战期间,亚伯拉罕.林肯采取强硬措施,不让报纸报道军事行动。在20世纪50年代,美国参议员约瑟夫.麦卡锡指责无辜的人为共产主义分子和叛国者。

Some of the most serious government attacks on personal rights took place in nineteen nineteen and nineteen twenty. A number of government officials took sometimes unlawful actions against labor leaders, foreigners and others.

政府针对个人的最严重指责发生在1919年和1920年之间。许多政府官员对劳工领袖、外国人和其他人采取行动,有时甚至是非法行动。

This week in our series, Kay Gallant and Harry Monroe discuss the campaign that came to be known as the "Red Scare."

KAY GALLANT: These actions took place because of American fears about the threat of communism. Those fears were tied closely to the growth of the organized labor movement during World War One. There were a number of strikes during the war. More and more often, workers were willing to risk their jobs and join together to try to improve working conditions.

之所以发生政府对个人的攻击,是因为美国人担心共产主义的威胁。这些担心同第一次世界大战期间劳工运动的发展密不可分。一战期间发生了多次罢工。工人越来越频繁地愿意冒失去工作的危险,组织起来要求改善工作条件。

President Woodrow Wilson had long supported organized labor. And he tried to get workers and business owners to negotiate peacefully.

伍德罗.威尔逊总统一直支持有组织的劳工运动,他试图让工人与企业主进行和平谈判。

But official support for organized labor ended when strikes closed factories that were important to the national war effort. President Wilson and his advisers felt workers should put the national interest before their private interest. They told workers to wait until after the war to demand more pay and better working conditions.

然而,当那些对一战中美国军事行动十分重要的工厂也因为罢工而关门时,政府不再支持劳工运动了。威尔逊总统和他的顾问们认为,工人应该把国家利益放在个人利益之上。他们让工人等战争结束后再提涨工资和改善工作条件的要求。

HARRY MONROE: In general, American workers did wait. But when the war finally ended in nineteen eighteen, American workers began to strike in large numbers for higher pay.

大多数工人们同意了。但当一战在1918年结束时,美国工人开始为了提高工资而进行数量众多的罢工。

As many as two million workers went on strike in nineteen nineteen. There were strikes by house builders, meat cutters, and train operators. And there were strikes in the shipyards, the shoe factories and the telephone companies.

1919年,多达200万工人参加了罢工,其中有建筑工人、肉类加工者、火车司机等,还有造船工人、鞋厂工人和电话公司的工人。

Most striking workers wanted the traditional goals of labor unions: more pay and shorter working hours. But a growing number of them also began to demand major changes in the economic system itself. They called for government control of certain private industries.

绝大多数罢工工人所要求的都是工会传统意义上的要求:如提高工资和缩短劳动时间。但越来越多的工人还开始要求对经济体系本身进行重大改革,呼吁联邦政府控制某些重要的私营产业。

Railroad workers, for example, wanted the national government to take permanent control of running the trains. Coal miners, too, demanded government control of their industry. And even in the conservative grain-farming states, two hundred thousand farmers joined a group that called for major economic changes.

比如,铁路工人要求联邦政府永久性地接过铁路运营的控制权。煤矿工人也要求联邦政府控制他们的产业,甚至在保守的谷物种植州,20万农民加入了一个团体,要求进行重要的经济改革。

KAY GALLANT: All these protests came as a shock to traditional Americans who considered their country to be the home of free business. They saw little need for labor unions. And they feared that the growing wave of strikes meant the United States faced the same revolution that had just taken place in Russia. After all, Lenin himself had warned that the Bolshevik Revolution would spread to workers in other countries.

所有这些抗议震惊了传统的美国人,因为他们认为美国是自由经济的天堂,不需要工会。他们担心,日益加剧的罢工潮意味着美国将发生不久前俄罗斯那样的革命。毕竟,列宁自己曾经警告说,布尔什维克革命将在世界其他国家的工人中传播开来。

Several events in nineteen nineteen only increased this fear of violent revolution. A bomb exploded in the home of a senator from the southeastern state of Georgia. And someone even exploded a bomb in front of the home of Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer, the nation's chief law officer.

1919年发生的几起事件加剧了人们对暴力革命的担忧。一件事是一枚炸弹在乔治亚州参议员家里爆炸。另外,甚至还有人在美国司法部长米切尔.帕尔默的家门口引爆了一枚炸弹。

However, the most frightening event was a strike by police in Boston, Massachusetts.

然而,最恐怖的是麻萨诸塞州波士顿的警察举行了罢工。

The policemen demanded higher wages. But the police chief refused to negotiate with them. As a result, the policemen went on strike. When they did, thieves began to break into unprotected homes and shops. Massachusetts Governor Calvin Coolidge finally had to call out state troops to protect the people. His action defeated the strike. Most of the policemen lost their jobs.

警察要求提高工资,但警察署长拒绝与警察谈判,结果警察举行罢工。警察一罢工,小偷就开始肆无忌惮地闯入家庭和商店。麻萨诸塞州州长加尔文.柯立芝最终不得不要求州武装部队介入,保护民众。他的行动打败了罢工的警察,绝大多数警察失去了工作。

HARRY MONROE: All this was too much for many Americans. They began to accuse labor unions and others of planning a revolution. And they launched a forceful campaign to protect the country from these suspected extremists.

对于许多美国人来说,这些行为已经太过份了。他们开始指责工会和其他一些人计划进行革命,他们还发起强有力的运动,保护国家免遭这些可能是极端分子的人的伤害。

Leaders of this campaign accused thousands of people of being communists, or "reds." The campaign became known as the Red Scare.

这些运动的领导人指责成千上万人为共产主义分子或"红色分子",这个运动也就被称为"红色恐怖"。

Of course, most people were honestly afraid of revolution. They did not trust the many foreigners who were active in unions. And they were tired of change and social unrest after the bloody world war.

当然,绝大多数人是真的害怕美国发生革命。他们不信任那许多积极参与工会活动的外国人,而且他们在经过血腥的一战后已经厌烦了社会变革和动荡。

A number of these Americans in different cities began to take violent actions against people and groups that they suspected of being communist extremists.

因此,来自不同城市的许多美国人开始针对那些他们怀疑是共产主义极端者的个人和组织采取暴力行动。

In New York, a crowd of men in military uniforms attacked the office of a socialist newspaper. They beat the people working there and destroyed the equipment. In the western city of Centralia, Washington, four people were killed in a violent fight between union members and their opponents.

例如,在纽约,一群身穿军装的人袭击了一家社会主义报纸的办公室。他们殴打在那里工作的人,捣毁办公设备。在西部华盛顿州的森特勒利亚市,有4个人在工会和其反对者的冲突中死亡。

Riot police
Riot police

Public feeling was against the labor unions and political leftists. Many people considered anyone with leftist views to be a revolutionary trying to overthrow democracy. Many state and local governments passed laws making it a crime to belong to organizations that supported revolution. Twenty-eight states passed laws making it a crime to wave red flags.

美国公众普遍反对工会和政治左派人士。许多人认为,任何持左派观点的人都是试图推翻民主政治的革命分子。许多州和地方政府通过法律,将参加支持革命的组织列为犯罪,有28个州还通过法律,规定挥舞红旗就是犯罪。

KAY GALLANT: People also demanded action from the national government. President Wilson was sick and unable to see the situation clearly. He cared about little except his dream of the United States joining the new League of Nations.

美国民众还要求联邦政府采取行动。当时的总统威尔逊身患重病,他只关心让美国加入新成立的国际联盟的梦想。

But Attorney General Palmer heard the calls for action. Palmer hoped to be elected president the next year. He decided to take strong actions to gain the attention of voters.

但司法部长帕尔默听到了民众要求采取行动的呼声。他希望自己在次年的总统大选中能够获胜。于是,他决定采取强有力的行动,来获得选民的注意。

One of Palmer's first actions as Attorney General was to prevent coal miners from going on strike. Next, he ordered a series of raids to arrest leftist leaders. A number of these arrested people were innocent of any crime. But officials kept many of them in jail, without charges, for weeks.

帕尔默的第一个行动就是阻止煤矿工人罢工,随后他又命令对左派领导人展开一系列的突袭和抓捕。被捕的人中有许多是无辜的,但官方仍然将他们在未经审判的情况下关进监狱里了几个星期。

Palmer expelled from the country a number of foreigners suspected of revolutionary activity. He told reporters that communists were criminals who planned to overthrow everything that was good in life.

帕尔默还将许多被怀疑参与所谓革命行动的外国人驱逐出境。他对记者们说,共产主义分子是罪犯,他们计划破坏生活中一切美好的东西。

Strike leader in Gary, Indiana, advising demonstrators around 1919
Strike leader in Gary, Indiana, advising demonstrators around 1919

HARRY MONROE: Feelings of fear and suspicion extended to other parts of American life. Many persons and groups were accused of supporting communism. Such famous Americans as actor Charlie Chaplin, educator John Dewey, and law professor Felix Frankfurter were among those accused.

恐惧和猜疑也蔓延到了美国人生活的其他方面,许多个人和社会团体被指控为支持共产主义。电影演员查理.卓别林、教育家约翰.杜威、法学教授费利克斯.法兰克福等名人也在被指控之列。

The Red Scare caused many innocent people to be afraid to express their ideas. They feared they might be accused of being a communist.

这场红色恐怖使许多无辜的人不敢表达自己的想法,他们担心会因此而被指控为共产主义分子。

But as quickly as the Red Scare swept across the country so, too, did it end in nineteen twenty. In just a few months, people began to lose trust in Attorney General Palmer. They became tired of his extreme actions. Republican leader Charles Evans Hughes and other leading Americans called for the Justice Department to obey the law in arresting and charging people.

但是,正如事情发生来势汹汹一样,红色恐怖很快在1920年进入尾声。只有短短几个月时间,人们就开始不信任司法部长帕尔默了。人们厌烦了他的极端行为。共和党领导人查尔斯.埃文斯.休斯和其他领导人要求司法部在逮捕和指控人时必须依法行事。

KAY GALLANT: By the summer of nineteen twenty, the Red Scare was over. Even a large bomb explosion in New York in September did not change the opinion of most Americans that the nation should return to free speech and the rule of law.

到1920年夏天,红色恐怖结束了。虽然9月在纽约发生了一次较大规模的炸弹爆炸,但大部分美国人没有再次回到这种恐怖中。他们相信,美国应该恢复言论自由和回归法治。

The Red Scare did not last long. But it was an important event. It showed that many Americans after World War One were tired of social changes. They wanted peace and business growth.

红色恐怖并没有持续多长时间,但它是一个重要事件。它表明,在一战后,许多美国人厌烦了社会变革,他们需要的是和平和经济发展。

Of course, the traditional way for Americans to show their feelings is through elections. And this growing conservatism of the nation showed itself clearly in the presidential election of nineteen twenty. That election will be the subject of our next program.

当然,对于美国人来说,表达情绪的传统方式是选举。在1920年的总统选举中,美国人清楚地展示了这种日益保守的态度。

(MUSIC)

BOB DOUGHTY: Our program was written by David Jarmul. The narrators were Kay Gallant and Harry Monroe.

You can find our series online with transcripts, MP3s, podcasts and 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.

网友的学习评论(4条):
作者:Lovehistory
Very good, I enjoy the history of USA so much!
作者:read11111
盼更新!
作者:perfect100
I never imagine I could read the 166Th passage from the making of nation.
update pls!
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