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#21: Struggle to Balance Power Between Big States and Small States 第21集 - 费城制宪大会:艰难平衡大小州之间的权力

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ANNOUNCER:

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

Detail from Washington as Statesman at the Constitutional Convention by Junius Brutus Stearns, 1856
Detail from ''Washington as Statesman at the Constitutional Convention,'' by Junius Brutus Stearns, 1856

In May of seventeen eighty-seven, a group of America's early leaders met in Philadelphia. They planned to make changes in the Articles of Confederation, which created a weak union of the thirteen states. But instead of changes, the convention produced a new document.

This week in our series, Frank Oliver and Richard Rael continue the story of the United States Constitution.

(MUSIC)

VOICE TWO:

Last week, we told how the convention reached agreement on a national judiciary. Delegates approved a Supreme Court. And they agreed that the national legislature should establish a system of lower national courts.

上次我们谈到了费城制宪大会在司法体制的问题上达成了共识。代表们同意建立一个联邦最高法院,并由国会负责设立联邦下级法院系统。

The national executive -- or president -- would appoint the judges. These courts would hear cases involving national laws, the rights of American citizens, and wrongdoing by foreign citizens in the United States.

法官由总统任命。这些法院负责受理涉及联邦法律、公民权利和外国人在美国境内犯罪的案件。

The existing system of state courts would continue to hear cases involving state laws.

现存的州级法院则继续受理涉及州一级法律的案子。

We also told how the convention heard different proposals for a national government. Virginia and New Jersey offered their plans. Alexander Hamilton of New York presented a third proposal. It would give the national government almost unlimited powers.

制宪大会还就联邦政府的机制听取了不同的建议。主要建议有三个,分别由维吉尼亚、新泽西州的代表,以及纽约州的亚历山大·汉密尔顿提出。汉密尔顿主张,联邦政府应该享有无限的权力。

Hamilton's ideas were not popular. After Hamiliton's five-hour speech, one delegate said, "Hamilton is praised by everybody. He is supported by no one."

这种主张在大会代表里没有任何市场。他长达五个小时的讲话结束后,一名代表说,“每个人都赞扬汉密尔顿,但是没有一个人支持他。”

Delegates voted to reject the New Jersey Plan. They did not even vote on Hamilton's plan. From that time, all their discussions were about the plan presented by Virginia.

与会代表投票否决了新泽西州的提案,对汉密尔顿的提议索性连票都没有投,剩下的时间完全用来讨论维吉尼亚州代表们提出的计划。

VOICE ONE:

Detail from 'The United States Senate in Session'; the artist is unidentified
Detail from 'The United States Senate in Session'; the artist is unidentified

The delegates began to discuss creation of a national legislature. This would be the most hotly debated issue of the convention. It forced out into the open the question of equal representation. Would small states and large states have an equal voice in the central government?

与会代表们接下来讨论建立国会的问题,这可是最棘手的,涉及到每个州的人口多少与其在国会里的发言权之间的关系。

One delegate described the situation this way. "Let us see the truth," he said. "This is a fight for power, not for liberty. Small states may lose power to big states in a national legislature. But men living in small states will have just as much freedom as men living in big states."

有一个代表说,“说白了,这是争夺权力,而不是争取自由。人口少的州在国会里的权利可能会输给人口多的州,但是各州居民享受的自由都是一样的。”

The issue brought the deepest emotions to the surface. One day, Gunning Bedford of Delaware looked straight at the delegates from the largest states.

"Gentlemen!" he shouted. "I do not trust you. If you try to crush the small states, you will destroy the confederation. And if you do, the small states will find some foreign ally of more honor and good faith who will take them by the hand and give them justice."

与会代表们围绕这个问题展开唇枪舌战。来自德拉瓦州的冈宁·贝德福德在一次辩论中瞪着那些人口多的州的代表,大吼道,“先生们!我不信任你们。如果你们要压制我们这些小州,你们就会毁掉整个邦联。如果是这样的话,我们就要去找那些更有信誉和诚意的外国盟友,从他们那里得到公正。”

(MUSIC)

VOICE TWO:

The debate on legislative representation -- big states against small states -- lasted for weeks that summer in Philadelphia. Delegates voted on proposals, then discussed other proposals, then voted again.

制宪大会的代表们整个夏天都在没完没了地围绕国会代表权的问题进行辩论、表决、再辩论、再表决。

By the beginning of July, they were no closer to agreement than they had been in May. As one delegate said: "It seems we are at the point where we cannot move one way or another."

从五月到七月,没有任何进展。一名代表说,“看起来我们现在是寸步难行。”

So the delegates did what large groups often do when they cannot reach agreement. They voted to create a committee. The purpose of the committee was to develop a compromise on representation in the national legislature. The so-called "Grand Committee" would work by itself for the next several days. The rest of the delegates would rest and enjoy themselves during the July Fourth holiday.

因此,代表们决定建立一个委员会,就国会代表权问题提出一份大家都能接受的意见。在接下来的几天里,这个委员会的成员埋头苦干,而其他人则放假,庆祝七月四号的独立日。

VOICE ONE:

July Fourth -- Independence Day. It was a national holiday in the United States. It marked the eleventh anniversary of America's Declaration of Independence from British rule. It was a day for parades, fireworks, and patriotic speeches.

七月四号是美国的法定假日。1787年七月四号是美国宣布脱离英国独立建国十一周年。独立日这天,美国到处都有游行、烟火表演和爱国演说。

The celebration was especially important in Philadelphia. It was the city where the Declaration of Independence was signed. Now it was the city where a new nation was being created.

费城是独立宣言签署的地方,又是新国家的诞生地,因此庆祝活动尤其热烈。

Convention president George Washington led a group of delegates to a ceremony at a Philadelphia church. They heard a speech written especially for them.

制宪大会主席乔治·华盛顿带着一些代表到费城一家教堂参加活动,听取了一篇专门写给他们的演讲。

"Your country looks to you with both worry and hope," the speaker said. "Your country depends on your decisions. Your country believes that men such as you -- who led us in our war for independence -- will know how to plan a government that will be good for all Americans.

演讲者说,“你们的国家怀着忧虑和希望的心情关注着你们,你们的国家要靠你们做出的决定。你们的国家相信,你们这些独立战争中的领袖,知道如果规划一个对所有美国人都有利的政府。”

"Surely," the speaker continued, "we have among us men who understand the science of government and who can find the answers to all our problems. Surely we have the ability to design a government that will protect the liberties we have won."

他接着又说,“我们中间肯定有了解政府体制的人才,有解决困境的人才,我们肯定能够规划出一个政府,保护我们来之不易的自由。”

VOICE TWO:

The delegates needed to hear such words. Just a few days before, Benjamin Franklin had expressed his thoughts about the convention. He was not hopeful.

费城大会代表们需要这些鼓励之词。就在几天前,本杰明·富兰克林曾表达了对制宪大会前景的悲观。

Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin

Franklin said: "We seem to feel our own lack of political wisdom, since we have been running around in search of it. We went back to ancient history for examples of government. We examined different forms of republics which no longer exist. We also examined modern states all around Europe. But none of these constitutions, we found, work in our situation."

他说,“我们感觉自己缺乏政治智慧,我们上溯远古,研究早已不复存在的政治体制,也放眼今天,参考欧洲各地的现行制度,最后发现,没有任何一种宪法适合我们的需要。”

Franklin urged the convention to ask for God's help. He said each meeting should begin with a prayer.

富兰克林要求制宪大会寻求上帝的帮助,每次开会前先要祈祷。

Hugh Williamson of North Carolina quickly ended any discussion of Franklin's idea. His words were simple. The convention, he said, had no money to pay a minister to lead the delegates in prayer.

北卡罗来纳州的休·威廉森立即对富兰克林的建议提出了反驳。他的理由很简单,制宪大会没钱请牧师带领大家进行祷告。

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

The convention returned to its work on July fifth. Delegates heard the report of the Grand Committee about representation in the national legislature. The report had two proposals. The Grand Committee said both must be accepted or both rejected.

独立日过后,制宪大会的代表们7月5号复会,听取了国会代表权委员会的报告。报告包括两项提案。委员会成员说,要么两项议案全都接受,要么全都拒绝。

The report described a national legislature with two houses. The first proposal said representation in one house would be based on population. Each state would have one representative for every forty thousand people in that state. The second proposal said representation in the second house would be equal. Each state would have the same number of votes as the other states.

报告说,美国国会应该包括两院,其中一院的代表人数根据各州人口决定,每四万人出一名代表;另外一院里各州的代表人数相同。

VOICE TWO:

The convention already had voted for a national legislature of two houses. It had not agreed, however, on the number of representatives each state would have in each house. Nor had it agreed on how those representatives would be elected.

其实,制宪大会早就投票同意建立国会参众两院,只是在各州议员人数和议员的产生方式上存在分歧。

The proposals made by the Grand Committee on July fifth were the same as those made by Roger Sherman of Connecticut a month earlier. In the future, they would be known as the "Great Compromise."

国会代表权委员会7月5号提出的议案完全是照搬了康涅迪克州代表罗杰·谢尔曼一个月前提出的方案,这一方案后来被成为“大妥协”。

Delegates debated the compromise for many days. They knew if they did not reach agreement, the convention would fail. Those were dark days in Philadelphia.

与会代表就此进行了很多天的辩论。他们明白,如果不能达成协议,就是宣告制宪大会的失败。这是费城制宪大会最黑暗的一段日子。

VOICE ONE:

Later, Luther Martin of Maryland noted that the newspapers reported how much the delegates agreed. But that was not the truth. "We were on the edge of breaking up," Martin said. "We were held together only by the strength of a hair."

马里兰州的代表路德·马丁后来曾谈起,当时的报道都说大会代表在多少问题上达成了一致,但这并非事实。他说,“当时的情况千钧一发,大会险些陷入破裂。”

Delegates Robert Yates and John Lansing of New York had left the convention in protest. But George Mason of Virginia declared he would bury his bones in Philadelphia before he would leave without an agreement.

纽约州的代表罗伯特·耶茨和约翰·兰辛退出大会,以示抗议。但是维吉尼亚州的代表乔治·梅森则宣布,达不成协议,他誓死也不离开费城。

Even George Washington was depressed. He wrote to Alexander Hamilton, who had returned to New York temporarily.

"I am sorry you went away," Washington said. "Our discussions are now, if possible, worse than ever. There is little agreement on which a good government can be formed. I have lost almost all hope of seeing a successful end to the convention. And so I regret that I agreed to take part."

当时,就连乔治·华盛顿也感到十分沮丧。他在写给临时回纽约的亚历山大·汉密尔顿的信中说,“眼下的辩论比以往任何时候都要糟糕,在组建一个有效政府的问题上,大家的看法南辕北辙。我几乎丧失了对大会成功的所有希望,真后悔当初同意来参加。”

(MUSIC)

VOICE TWO:

During the summer of seventeen eighty-seven, the delegates argued long and hard about how much power to give a central government. But that question was not the most serious issue facing the convention.

1787年夏天,费城制宪大会的代表们就联邦政府的权限展开了持久和激烈的辩论。然而,这个问题并不是代表们面临的最严重的问题。

Many years later, James Madison explained. He said the most serious issue was deciding how the states would be represented and would vote in a national government. That question, he said, was the one which most threatened the writing of the Constitution.

很多年后,詹姆斯·麦迪逊解释说,当时最棘手的问题是各州在国会里的代表权问题,这才是对美国宪法的产生构成了最大威胁的问题。

That will be our story next week.

(MUSIC)

ANNOUNCER:

Our program was written by Christine Johnson and read by Frank Oliver and Richard Rael. 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:xuding45
Big states and small states argued their power in the convention. It was on during a month. Many people lost their hope and contained the president George Washington. The meeting had came to a dangerous cliff.
作者:Freychan
actually, the delegates are great persons, they find a good way to establish their government and balance their power
作者:hliu
"Let us see the truth. This is a fight for power, not for liberty. Small states may lose power to big states in legislature. But men living in small states will have just as much freedom as men living in big states." How nice are those words! and how sneaky is the one who give them! Without equal power, how come each one has the same liberty?
作者:karen
the most serious issue was deciding how the states would be represented and would vote in a national government.
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