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#171: Nation Grows More Conservative in '20s

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A chemist with the Internal Revenue Board inspects bottles used to illegally sell alcohol
A chemist with the Internal Revenue Board inspects bottles used to illegally sell alcohol

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

Americans experimented with many new customs and social traditions during the nineteen twenties. There were new dances, new kinds of clothes and some of the most imaginative art and writing ever produced in the United States.

20世纪二十年代,美国开始尝试许多新的风俗和社会传统,人们跳起新的舞步,穿新样式的衣服,还创作出了美国历史上最富有想像力的艺术和文学作品。

But in most ways, the nineteen twenties were a conservative time in American life. Voters elected three conservative Republican presidents: Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover. And they supported many conservative social and political policies.

但是,从大部分角度看,1920年代都是美国生活的保守时代。选民连续三届选共和党人当总统,他们分别是:哈丁、柯立芝和胡佛。选民还支持许多保守的社会和政治政策。本周,我们为您讲述20世纪20年代美国社会的保守主义。

This week in our series, Kay Gallant and Harry Monroe continue the story of American conservatism during the nineteen twenties.

KAY GALLANT: One such policy concerned immigration. Most Americans in the nineteen twenties had at least some ties through blood or marriage to the first Americans who came from Britain. Many people with these kinds of historic ties considered themselves to be real Americans, true Americans.

其中一项这样的政策涉及移民问题。20世纪20年代,大部分美国人是首批移民到美洲的英国人的后代或亲戚,许多这样的人认为自己是才真正的美国人。

Americans traditionally had welcomed newcomers from such western European countries as Britain, France, or Germany. But most of the people arriving in New York City and other harbors in the nineteen twenties were from the central, eastern and southern areas of Europe.

美国一直以来欢迎来自英国、法国和德国等欧洲国家的新移民,但是在20世纪20年代,大部分抵达纽约市和其它港口的移民来自中欧、东欧和南欧国家。

Some Americans became afraid of these millions of people arriving at their shores. They worried that the immigrant newcomers might steal their jobs. Or they feared the political beliefs of the immigrants.

看到数百万移民登陆美国,一些美国人感到害怕。他们担心新移民会偷走自己的工作,有些人还害怕移民所持的政治立场。

Calvin Coolidge
Calvin Coolidge

HARRY MONROE: Pressure to control immigration increased following the world war. Congress passed a bill that set a limit on how many people would be allowed to enter from each foreign country. And, the Congress and President Calvin Coolidge agreed to an even stronger immigration law in nineteen twenty-four.

在第一次世界大战结束后,控制移民的呼声越来越高。美国国会通过了一项议案,为每个国家可以移民美国的人数设定了上限。1924年,国会和柯立芝总统还同意建立一项更加严格的移民法律。

Under the new law, limits on the number of immigrants from each foreign country depended on the number of Americans who had families in that country. For example, the law allowed many immigrants to enter from Britain or France, because many American citizens had families in those countries. But fewer people could come from Italy or Russia, because fewer Americans had family members in those countries.

根据这个新法律,每个国家来美移民的上限数取决于在这个国家有亲属的美国人的数量。比如,这个法律允许大量英国人和法国人移民到美国,因为许多美国人在这两个国家有亲属。但是,意大利人和俄罗斯人就不能这么大量地移民到美国,因为在这两个国家有亲属的美国人比较少。

The laws were very difficult to enforce. But they did succeed in limiting the number of immigrants from certain countries.

这个法律很难执行,但在限制某些国家移民数量方面确实发挥了作用。

KAY GALLANT: A second sign of the conservative feelings in the nineteen twenties was the nation's effort to ban the sale of alcoholic drinks, or liquor. This policy was known as Prohibition, because it prohibited -- or banned -- alcoholic drinks.

20世纪20年代美国保守主义的另外一个表现是力图禁止销售酒精饮料,这个政策被称为"禁酒令"。

Many of the strongest supporters of Prohibition were conservative Americans living in rural areas. Many of them believed that liquor was evil, the product of the devil.

这个政策的铁杆支持者多是生活在乡下的保守派美国人。许多人认为,酒是罪恶,是邪恶的产物。

A number of towns and states passed laws banning alcohol sales during the first years of the twentieth century. And in nineteen nineteen, the nation passed the eighteenth amendment to the federal constitution. This amendment, and the Volstead Act, made it unlawful to make, sell or transport liquor.

20世纪初,美国许多城镇和州都通过了禁止卖酒的法律。1919年,美国通过宪法第18修正案,这个修正案和禁酒法案一起使制造、销售和运输酒成为违法行为。

HARRY MONROE: Prohibition laws failed terribly from the start. There was only a small force of police to enforce the new laws. And millions of Americans still wanted to drink liquor. It was not possible for the police to watch every American who wanted to buy a drink secretly or make liquor in his own home.

然而,禁酒法从一开始实施就毛病百出。首先,只有很少的警力负责执行这个新法律;另外,数百万美国人依然想喝酒。警察不可能看着每一个想偷偷喝酒或者自己在家酿酒的人。

Not surprisingly, thousands of Americans soon saw a chance to make profits from the new laws. They began to import liquor illegally to sell for high prices.

不出意料,成千上万的美国人很快就发现了一个利用禁酒法发财的良机。他们开始非法进口酒,然后以高价出售。

Criminals began to bring liquor across the long, unprotected border with Canada or on fast boats from the Caribbean islands. At the same time, private manufacturers in both cities and rural areas began to produce liquor. And shop owners in cities across the country sold liquor with little interference from local police.

犯罪份子开始跨越美国和加拿大之间广阔松懈的边境运酒,或者从加勒比海各岛国上弄到酒后乘快艇运进美国。同时,美国城市和乡村里的私人酿酒作坊开始造酒,城市里的商店也开始卖酒,而地方上的警察对此也不怎么追究。

By the middle of the nineteen twenties, it was clear to most Americans that Prohibition laws were a failure. But the laws were not changed until the election of President Franklin Roosevelt in nineteen thirty-two.

到20世纪20年代中期,大部分美国人已经很明白,禁酒令失败了。但是,这个法律直到1932年罗斯福当上总统后才被改变。

KAY GALLANT: A third sign of conservatism in the nineteen twenties was the effort by some Americans to ban schoolbooks on modern science. Most of the Americans who supported these efforts were conservative rural Americans who believed in the traditional ideas of the Protestant Christian church. Many of them were fearful of the many changes that had taken place in American society.

20世纪20年代美国保守主义的第三个例子是一些美国人试图禁止学校教科书讲授现代科学。支持这种做法的大部分是乡村地区的保守派人士,他们相信基督教新教教堂的传统理念。他们中的许多人对美国社会发生的种种变化感到害怕。

Science became an enemy to many of these traditional, religious Americans. Science seemed to challenge the most basic ideas taught in the Bible. The conflict burst into a major public debate in nineteen twenty-five in a trial over Charles Darwin's idea of evolution.

对许多思想传统、笃信宗教的美国人来说,科学成了他们的敌人。宗教和科学的冲突在1925年爆发成了一场针对达尔文进化论的公众大辩论。

HARRY MONROE: British scientist Charles Darwin published his books "The Origin of the Species" and "The Descent of Man" in the nineteenth century. The books explained Darwin's idea that humans developed over millions of years from apes and other animals.

英国科学家查尔斯.达尔文在19世纪发表了"物种起源"和"人类的起源"两本书,详细阐述了人类是猿和其它动物经过数百万年进化演变而来的观点。

Most Europeans and educated people accepted Darwin's theory by the end of the nineteenth century. But the book had little effect in rural parts of the United States until the nineteen twenties.

到19世纪末时,大部分欧洲人和受过教育的人都接受了达尔文的理论,但是这本书直到20世纪20年代才在美国农村引起了一些反响。

William Jennings Bryan led the attack on Darwin's ideas. Bryan was a rural Democrat who ran twice for president. He lost both times. But Bryan remained popular among many traditional Americans.

对达尔文观点进行攻击的领头人是来自乡村地区的民主党人威廉.布赖恩,他曾经两次参加过总统竞选,都以失败告终。不过,在许多思想传统的美国人中,他还是很有威信的。

Bryan told his followers that the theory of evolution was evil, because it challenged the traditional idea that God created the world in six days. He accused scientists of violating God's words in the Bible.

他对支持者们说,进化论是邪恶的,因为它挑战了传统的关于上帝在六天内创造世间万物的观点,他指责科学家们违反上帝在圣经中的旨意。

Bryan and his supporters called on local school officials to ban the teaching of evolution. Some state legislatures in the more conservative southeastern part of the country passed laws making it a crime to teach evolution theory.

布赖恩和他的支持者们呼吁地方上的学校官员禁止在课堂上教进化论,美国东南部一些比较保守的州的议会通过法律,把教授进化论列为犯罪。

KAY GALLANT: In nineteen twenty-five, a young science teacher in the southern state of Tennessee challenged the state's new teaching law. The teacher -- John Scopes -- taught Darwin's evolution ideas. Officials arrested scopes and put him on trial.

1925年,美国南部田纳西州的一个年轻科学教师对州里的这个新法提出挑战。这位名叫约翰. 斯考普斯的教师给学生们讲了进化论,而因此被当局抓起来受审。

Some of the nation's greatest lawyers rushed to Tennessee to defend the young teacher. They believed the state had violated his right to free speech. And they thought Tennessee's law againt teaching evolution was foolish in a modern, scientific society. America's most famous lawyer, Clarence Darrow, became the leader of Scopes' defense team.

美国一些最棒的律师纷纷赶到田纳西州为这位年轻教师辩护。他们认为,州政府侵犯了斯考普斯的言论自由权,还认为在现代、科学的美国社会,田纳西的这个法律是愚蠢的。美国最有名的律师克莱伦斯.丹诺担任斯考普斯辩护团队的领头人。

Bryan and other religious conservatives also rushed to the trial. They supported the right of the state of Tennessee to ban the teaching of evolution.

布赖恩和其他宗教保守派人士也赶到法庭,他们支持田纳西政府禁止教授进化论的权利。

The trial was held in the small town of Dayton, Tennessee. Hundreds of people came to watch: religious conservatives, free speech supporters, newsmen and others.

审判在田纳西的小镇戴顿举行,数百人赶去听审,包括宗教保守派人士、言论自由权的支持者、记者等等。

The high point of the trial came when Bryan himself sat before the court. Lawyer Clarence Darrow asked Bryan question after question about the bible and about science. How did Bryan know the Bible is true. Did God really create the earth in a single day. Is a day in the Bible twenty-four hours. Or can it mean a million years.

庭审最精彩的时刻是布赖恩亲自出庭时,丹诺律师就圣经和科学不停地向他发问。比如,布赖恩怎么知道圣经说的就是真的?上帝真的在一天内创造出了地球吗?圣经中说的一天是24小时还是指100万年呢?

HARRY MONROE: Bryan answered the questions. But he showed a great lack of knowledge about modern science.

布赖恩回答了这些问题,但暴露出自己对现代科学知之甚少。。

The judge found Scopes guilty of breaking the law. But in the battle of ideas, science defeated conservatism. And a higher court later ruled that Scopes was not guilty.

结果,法官判斯考普斯有罪。然而,在思想的较量上,科学战胜了保守观点。后来,更高一级的法院又裁定斯考普斯无罪。

The Scopes evolution trial captured the imagination of Americans. The issue was not really whether one young teacher was innocent or guilty of breaking a law. The real question was the struggle for America's spirit between the forces of modern ideas and those of traditional rural conservatism. The trial represented this larger conflict.

斯考普斯进化论案引起了美国人的极大兴趣。这个案子的关键不在于一个年轻教师是否违法,而在于现代观念和传统乡村保守主义哪一方能得到美国人的认同。这次审判是这种较量的一个缩影。

KAY GALLANT: American society was changing in many important ways during the early part of the twentieth century. It was not yet the world superpower that it would become after World War Two. But neither was it a traditional rural society of conservative farmers and clergy. The nineteen twenties were a period of growth, of change and of struggle between the old and new values.

20世纪20年代初,美国社会在很多重要领域发生变化,美国还没有成为二战后的那个超级大国,但它也不再是以前的那个由保守的农民和牧师组成的传统乡村国家。20世纪20年代是发展、变化和新旧思想交战的年代。

(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.

This is program #171

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Nation Grows More Conservative in '20s
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