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#27: George Washington: From Revolutionary War Hero to President

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ANNOUNCER:

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

George Washington by artist Laugier
George Washington by artist Laugier

The United States declared its independence from Britain on July fourth, seventeen seventy-six. The new nation was a loosely formed alliance governed under the Articles of Confederation. All this changed when a new plan of government, the Constitution, went into effect on March fourth, seventeen eighty-nine. There was much to be done to make it work. The machinery of government was untested. Strong leadership was needed. Today, Harry Monroe and Kay Gallant tell the story of America's first president, George Washington.

在上次的建国史话中,我们讲到,美国1776年宣布独立后,根据《邦联条例》形成了松散的联盟。1789年3月4号正式生效的宪法改变了这种状况。美国新的国家机器有待考验,重担落在了美国第一届总统乔治.华盛顿的肩上。

(MUSIC)

VOICE TWO:

Many historians believe there would never have been a United States without George Washington. He led the American people to victory in their war for independence from Britain. He kept the new nation united in the dangerous first years of its life.

很多历史学家都相信,如果没有乔治.华盛顿的话,恐怕就不会有今天的美国。他不仅率领美国人民取得了独立战争的胜利,而且在建国之初最危险的阶段,保证了国家的团结和统一。

Washington had a strange power over the American people. His name still does. During his lifetime, he was honored for his courage and wisdom. After his death in seventeen ninety-nine, he became almost god-like. People forgot that he was human, that he had faults and made mistakes.

乔治.华盛顿对美国人有一种奇怪的影响力,直到今天依然如此。他在世的时候,大家敬仰他的勇气和智慧;他1799年去世后,更成了神一样的人物。大家忘记了他也是人,也有缺点,也会犯错误。

For well over one hundred years, Americans found it difficult to criticize George Washington. He represented the spirit of America -- what was best about the country.

美国建国后的前一百多年,美国没有人敢于批评乔治.华盛顿,他成了美国精神的化身。

VOICE ONE:

Recent historians have painted a more realistic picture of Washington. They write about his weaknesses, as well as his strengths. But this has not reduced his greatness and importance in the making of the nation.

近年来,历史学家变得相对现实,开始客观评述乔治.华盛顿的优点和缺点,但这丝毫没有减少他在美国建国史上的伟大和重要。

The force of Washington's personality, and his influence, was extremely important at the Philadelphia convention that wrote the new Constitution. Had he not agreed to attend, some say, the convention would not have been held. Later, as the first president, he gave the new nation a good start in life.

乔治.华盛顿的性格及其影响力,对完成美国宪法的费城制宪大会至关重要。有人说,如果当初他不去参加的话,制宪大会根本不可能召开。后来作为美国开国总统,他又为国家奠定了一个良好的开端。

(MUSIC)

VOICE TWO:

George Washington by artist George Dunlap
George Washington by artist George Dunlap

Washington was able to control political disputes among officials of the new government. He would not let such disputes damage the nation's unity.

乔治.华盛顿能够有效地化解新政府内部的政治纠纷,不让政府官员之间的分歧破坏国家团结。

Washington often thought of the future. He wanted the first government to take the right steps.

他经常思考国家前途,希望第一届政府能迈出正确的步伐。

He said, some things may not seem important in the beginning, but later, they may have bad permanent results. It would be better, he felt, to start his administration right than to try to correct mistakes later...when it might be too late to do so. He hoped to act in such a way that future presidents could continue to build on what he began.

乔治.华盛顿曾经说过,有些事情开始的时候看起来并不重要,但后果却可能是无法更改的。他觉得,与其等到发现错误再去纠正,而且可能已经为时过晚,不如一上来就做出正确的决策。他希望能为后来者打下坚实的基础。

VOICE ONE:

Washington had clear, firm ideas about what was right and what was wrong. He loved justice. He also loved the republican form of government.

乔治.华盛顿是非分明。他热爱正义,也热爱共和体制。

Some people had difficulty seeing this part of the man. For Washington looked like an aristocrat. And, at times, he seemed to act like one. He attended many ceremonies. He often rode through the streets in a carriage pulled by six horses. His critics called him "king."

然而,很多人看不出这一点,因为从表面看来,华盛顿是个十足的贵族,表现得也很有贵族气派。他经常去参加各种仪式,外出都是坐在六匹马拉的马车上。批判人士因此称他为“国王”。

Washington opposed rule by kings and dictators. He was shocked that some good people talked of having a monarchy in America. He was even more shocked that they did not understand the harm they were doing.

但事实上,乔治.华盛顿反对国王和独裁。他对有人建议在美国建立王权表示惊讶,对这些人不明白自己所造成的伤害而感到震惊。

VOICE TWO:

Washington warned that this loose talk could lead to an attempt to establish a monarchy in the United States. A monarchy, he said, would be a great victory for the enemies of the United States. It would prove that Americans could not govern themselves.

乔治.华盛顿警告说,这种轻率的说法会促使某些人试图在美国建立王权。他说,君主的出现意味着美国敌人的胜利,证明美国人民无法管理自己的事务。

As president, Washington decided to do everything in his power to prevent the country from ever being ruled by a king or dictator. He wanted the people to have as much self-government as possible. Such government, Washington felt, meant a life of personal freedom and equal justice for the people.

乔治.华盛顿出任总统后,千方百计防止美国出现国王或是独裁者,他希望人民能最大限度地实行自治。他觉得,这种政府才意味着人民能够享受个人自由和法律的公正。

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

The eighteenth century has been described as the age of reason and understanding for the rights of people. Washington was a man of his times. He said no one could feel a greater interest in the happiness of mankind than he did. He said it was his greatest hope that the policies of that time would bring to everyone those blessings which should be theirs.

十八世纪被说成是理性的时代,是理解人民权利的时代。华盛顿代表了时代潮流。他曾表示,没有人比他更关心人类福祉,他对当时政治的最大愿望就是让每个人都得到自己应得的幸福。

Washington was especially happy and proud that the United States would protect people against oppression for their religious beliefs.

让乔治.华盛顿觉得最值得高兴和骄傲的,就是美国对公民宗教信仰的保护。

He did not care which god people worshipped. He felt that religious freedom was a right of every person. Good men, he said, are found all over the world. They can be followers of any religion...or no religion at all.

乔治.华盛顿对民众信奉何方神灵并不介意。在他看来,宗教自由是每个人的权利。他说,世界上到处都有好人,他们可以是任何宗教的信徒,也可以不信仰任何宗教。

Washington's feelings about racial oppression were as strong as his feelings about religious oppression. True, he owned Negro slaves. But he hated slavery. "There is not a man alive," he once said, "who wishes more truly than I to see a plan approved to end slavery." By his order, all his slaves were freed when he died.

乔治.华盛顿对种族压迫和对宗教压迫同样深恶痛绝。不错,他本人曾是奴隶主,但他同时也憎恨奴隶制度。他曾经表示,“这个世界上没有任何人比我更真心地希望能够通过一项计划,结束奴隶制度了”。根据他的遗愿,乔治.华盛顿去世后,他的所有奴隶都获得了自由。

VOICE TWO:

George Washington at Princeton by artist Charles Willson Peale
George Washington at Princeton by artist Charles Willson Peale

From the beginning, George Washington was careful to establish a good working relationship with the Congress. He did not attempt to take away any powers given to the Congress by the Constitution. By his actions, he confirmed the separation of powers of the three branches of the government, as proposed in the Constitution.

乔治.华盛顿从一开始就努力跟国会建立良好的工作关系。他没有想方设法剥夺宪法赋予国会的权力,并以实际行动巩固了宪法中所规定的三权分立的制度。

The Congress, too, was ready to cooperate. It did not attempt to take away any powers given to the president by the Constitution. The Congress, for example, agreed that President Washington had the right to appoint his assistants. But Congress kept the right to approve them.

同时,国会也非常合作,没有夺取宪法赋予总统的权力。国会同意,乔治.华盛顿有权任命内阁,但批准权归国会所有。

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

Washington asked some of the nation's wisest and most able men to serve in the new government.

乔治.华盛顿邀请当时美国一些最有见识、最德高望重的人进入内阁。

For Secretary of State, he chose Thomas Jefferson. At the time, Jefferson was America's representative to France.

他挑选了当时担任美国驻法外交使节的托马斯.杰斐逊出任国务卿。

While Congress was considering Jefferson's nomination, Washington heard of threatening events in France. He learned that a mob had captured the old prison called the Bastille. Washington was worried. The United States had depended on France for help during its war for independence. And it still needed French help. A crisis in France could be bad for America.

就在国会讨论杰斐逊的任命的时候,法国传来了坏消息。乔治.华盛顿得知,巴士底狱被攻陷,非常着急。美国独立战争期间,得到了法国的帮助,而且仍然需要法国的帮助,因此,法国发生危机,对美国很不利。

The information Jefferson brought home would prove valuable if the situation in France got worse. Washington also thought Jefferson's advice would be useful in general, not just on French developments.

杰斐逊回国,能带来有关法国局势的宝贵消息。乔治.华盛顿同时觉得,杰斐逊很有见解,不光是在法国的问题上。

VOICE TWO:

For Secretary of the Treasury, Washington chose Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton had served as one of Washington's assistants during the Revolutionary War.

财政部长一职,华盛顿决定任命亚历山大.汉密尔顿。独立战争期间,汉密尔顿就是华盛顿的部下。

For Chief Justice of the United States, he chose John Jay. Jay helped write the Federalist Papers, which are considered the best explanation of the Constitution ever written. Two delegates to the Constitutional convention were named associate justices of the Supreme Court: James Wilson and John Rutledge.

联邦最高法院首席大法官,华盛顿选择了约翰.杰伊。杰伊参与了联邦主义文集的撰写,对美国宪法做出了最透彻的解释。参加制宪大会的另外两名代表詹姆斯.威尔逊和约翰.拉特利奇也被任命为联邦最高法院的法官。

For Attorney General, Washington wanted a good lawyer and someone who supported the Constitution. He chose Edmund Randolph of Virginia. It was Randolph who proposed the Virginia Plan to the Philadelphia convention. The plan became the basis for the national Constitution. Randolph refused to sign the document, because he did not believe it could be approved. But he worked later to help win Virginia's approval of the Constitution.

乔治.华盛顿希望能找一名出色的律师来担任司法部长,这个人还必须是宪法的支持者。他选中了维吉尼亚州的埃蒙德.伦道夫。当初,在费城制宪大会上提出维吉尼亚州提案的,就是伦道夫,这一提案成了宪法的基础。后来,伦道夫拒绝在宪法上签字,因为他认为宪法不会通过,但他还是推动了维吉尼亚州对宪法的审议和批准。

VOICE ONE:

President Washington named his assistants, and the Congress approved them. The president was ready to begin work on the nation's urgent problems. And there were many.

内阁人选得到国会的批准后,乔治.华盛顿准备开始工作。新政府面对一系列棘手的问题:

One problem was Spain's control of the lower part of the Mississippi River. American farmers needed to use the river to transport their crops to market. But the Spanish governor in Louisiana closed the Mississippi to American boats.

其中之一是西班牙人对密西西比河下游的控制。美国农民要靠这条河把粮食运往市场,但是路易斯安那的西班牙总督却下令对美国船只关闭密西西比河道。

There also were problems with Britain. The United States had no commercial treaty with Britain. And Britain had sent no representative to the new American government.

美国跟英国也存在矛盾。美国跟英国没有商业条约,英国也没向美国新政府派遣使节。

Equally urgent were the new nation's economic problems. Two major issues had to be settled. One was repayment of loans made to support the American army in the war for independence. The other was creation of a national money system. Both issues needed quick action.

除此之外,乔治.华盛顿领导的新政府还面临着经济方面的难题。迫在眉睫的两大问题是:偿还美国独立战争的贷款;以及建立一个全国统一的货币系统。乔治.华盛顿的财政部长亚历山大.汉密尔顿需要找到解决这两大问题的答案。

Finding solutions would be the job of President Washington's treasury secretary, Alexander Hamilton. Alexander Hamilton will be our story next week.

(MUSIC)

ANNOUNCER:

Our program was written by Harold Braverman. The narrators were Harry Monroe and Kay Gallant. Join us again next week for THE MAKING OF A NATION, an American history series in VOA Special English. Our programs are online with transcripts, MP3s and podcasts at www.unsv.com. You can also learn about the history of the series itself. THE MAKING OF A NATION was first broadcast in nineteen sixty-nine, ten years after VOA started Special English.

网友的学习评论(4条):
作者:xuding45
George Washington was the fist president in the new nation. He led American to win the independent war and then he attended the meeting for writing the constitution. George Washington gave a good start for the new nation.
作者:Alumni
'Washington had a strange power over the American people. His name still does. During his lifetime, he was honored for his courage and wisdom.' as well as all the founding fathers in the world. They all made a nation with their courage and wisdom. Washington was one of the most great one.
作者:郑烈波
hard on begin
作者:hliu
Like Franklin, Washington seems contradictory on the issue of slavery. He hated slavery, but also had slaves work on his own farm. By the way, where is James Madison?
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