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#28: The Imagination of Alexander Hamilton

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ANNOUNCER:

Welcome to THE MAKING OF A NATION – American history in VOA Special English. Today we begin the story of Alexander Hamilton, one of the nation's most important early policy makers.

在上次的建国史话中,我们讲到,亚历山大.汉密尔顿出任美国第一届财政部长。不过,除了担任财政部长外,汉密尔顿还是美国早期最重要的决策者之一,我们今天就来讲讲他的故事。

The first government of the United States was weak. It had many debts and an empty treasury. Its support from the people was not firm. There was some question about its future. Many wondered if it would last.

美国第一届政府力量薄弱。建国之初,外债累累,国库空虚,人民对政府的支持并不牢固,国家前途充满疑问,很多人担心国家存亡旦夕。

In a few years, however, there was a change. This change was produced in large part by the energy and imagination of one man, Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton wanted to make the United States a strong and important nation. He wanted it to become the equal of the powerful nations of Europe. Here are Shirley Griffith and Frank Oliver with our story.

然而,局面在短短几年内就得到了改观,这种变化主要归功于一个人的活力和创造力,这个人就是亚历山大.汉密尔顿。汉密尔顿希望让美国强大昌盛,跟欧洲强国平起平坐。

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton firmly believed that no country could become a modern nation without industry. So, he carefully developed a program that would make the United States an industrial nation. He also organized the nation's finances. This was done by establishing government credit and a national bank.

汉密尔顿坚信,任何现代化国家都不能没有工业。因此,他仔细制定了发展工业的计划,并建立政府信贷和中央银行,筹划国家财政。

The bank increased the flow of money needed for investment. It fed the needs of business and commercial activity. The need for money had brought much of this activity to a stop.

中央银行增加了投资需要的资金流动,满足了因为资金短缺而陷入停顿的商业活动的需要。

Finally, Hamilton took steps to protect American manufacturers from foreign competition. He did this by establishing a system of import taxes -- tariffs -- on some foreign goods brought into American ports. These import taxes forced foreign manufacturers to raise their prices. As a result, American manufacturers had much less competition in selling their products.

汉密尔顿还采取措施,对某些进入美国港口的外国产品征收关税,以此保护美国制造商不受外来竞争的压抑。关税的实行,使外国制造商不得不提高产品价格,从而减少了美国制造商的产品所面对的竞争。

VOICE TWO:

Such a tariff system, Hamilton hoped, would strengthen American industry. He thought the United States should not have to depend on other nations for the things it needed. Such a system, he believed, would create a demand for all kinds of workers. It would increase immigration from other countries. And it would bring a new and greater demand for American farm products.

汉密尔顿希望关税制度能增强美国工业的实力。他认为,美国无须依靠别国产品来满足自身的需求。他相信,这一系统能为各行各业创造就业机会,增加来自其它国家的移民,创造并提高对美国农产品的需求。

Hamilton's financial program helped manufacturers. But it did not seem to do much for farmers.

There was a loud protest, especially among farmers in the south. Everything he did, they said, helped the industrial and banking interests of the north. Yet the farmers had to pay more for the manufactured goods they needed. At the same time, they had to sell their crops at lower prices.

亚历山大.汉密尔顿的财政计划确实帮助了美国制造商,但是对农民帮助不大,并因此引起了农民,特别是南方农民的强烈抗议。他们指责汉密尔顿的所作所为,完全出于北方工业和银行业的利益,农民购买制造业产品,要加倍付钱,但是出售粮食的时候,又要降低价格。

VOICE ONE:

Hamilton succeeded in getting Congress to approve his financial proposals. Yet his political victories brought him many enemies. And they started a Constitutional debate that continued throughout American history. The dispute involved this question: What exact powers do the government and the Congress have under the Constitution?

汉密尔顿成功说服国会,通过了他的财政提案,但政治上的胜利也给他树立了很多敌人。这些人围绕宪法到底赋予政府和国会哪些权力的问题展开了辩论,辩论一直延续到今天。

VOICE TWO:

Alexander Hamilton believed the Constitution gave the government a number of powers besides those written down. Otherwise, he said, the government could not work. For example, he believed that under the Constitution, the government had the right to start a national bank. It also had the right to put a tax on imported goods.

汉密尔顿认为,除了白纸黑字规定的以外,宪法还赋予了政府其他一些权力,否则政府是无法工作的。比如说,汉密尔顿认为,根据宪法,政府有权建立中央银行,也有权对进口商品征收关税。

Hamilton's opponents disagreed sharply. They did not give the words of the Constitution such a wide meaning. They said the government had just those powers that were clearly spelled out in the Constitution, and nothing more. If not, they said, the government could become dangerously powerful.

然而,汉密尔顿的对立派完全不同意这种看法。他们认为,不能如此广义地理解宪法,政府根据宪法享有的权力都白纸黑字地写在上面,不能随意扩大。否则政府的权力就可能太大。

VOICE ONE:

These disputes, and others, helped shape the new United States. In future programs, we will tell more about Alexander Hamilton's influence on political developments. Now, however, we will tell a little about his private life. What kind of man was he? Where did he come from? How did his political and economic beliefs develop?

那么,汉密尔顿是一个什么样的人?是哪里人?他的政治和经济理念又是从何而来的?

There is much mystery about the early days of Alexander Hamilton. Some facts about his childhood and youth have been clearly established. Others have not.

VOICE TWO:

亚历山大.汉密尔顿早年历史有很多谜团。

His mother was the daughter of French Huguenots who had settled in the West Indies. Her name was Rachel Lavien. Historians are not sure who his father was. One story says he may have been James Hamilton, a poor businessman from Scotland. Rachel Lavien lived with him after she left her husband.

他外公是法国胡格诺派教徒,在西印度群岛定居。亚历山大.汉密尔顿的母亲名叫雷切尔.莱温。但是,历史学家始终无法确定他的父亲到底是谁。有一种说法认为,他父亲名叫詹姆斯.汉密尔顿,是一个来自苏格兰的穷商人。雷切尔.莱温离开自己的丈夫后,跟他住在一起。

One thing is certain. His mother died when he was eleven years old. When she died, friends of the family found work for the boy on the island of Saint Croix -- then called Santa Cruz -- in the Virgin Islands. He was to be an assistant bookkeeper. He would learn how to keep financial records.

不过,有一件事情可以肯定,那就是,小汉密尔顿只有11岁的时候,母亲就去世了,家里的朋友帮他在圣克罗伊岛上找了个活儿,给会计当助手,学记帐。圣克罗伊岛当时叫圣克鲁斯,是维尔京群岛的一部分。

VOICE ONE:

Young Alexander was considered an unusual child. Other children played games. He talked about becoming a political leader in the North American colonies.

小汉密尔顿从小就与众不同,其他孩子还在玩游戏的时候,他已经立志,长大要做北美殖民地的政治领袖。

He read every book that was given to him -- in English, Latin and Greek. At a young age, he learned a great deal about business and economics. And he developed an ability to use words to communicate ideas clearly and powerfully. This ability to write started him on the path to a new life.

他阅读了每一本能够得到的书籍,不管是英语的、拉丁语的,还是希腊语的。他在很小的时候就学习了不少商业和经济知识,能清楚、有力地表达自己的主张。这种表达能力给他的新生活奠定了基础。

VOICE TWO:

A severe ocean storm hit the West Indies. Hamilton wrote a report about the storm for a newspaper called the Royal Danish American Gazette. His story was so good that some of his friends decided to help him get a good education. They gave him money so he could attend a college in New York City.

The boy's plan was to study medicine and return to Saint Croix as a doctor.

当时,一场海上风暴袭击了西印度群岛。小汉密尔顿给一个叫皇家丹麦美国公报的报纸写了一篇相关报导,文章引人入胜,他的一些朋友因此决定帮助他去接受良好的教育。小汉密尔顿拿着他们的钱,到纽约去上学,他打算读医学院,毕业后回到圣克罗伊岛,报效乡亲。

VOICE ONE:

When Hamilton arrived in New York, he tried to enter King's College, which would later be known as Columbia University. However, he did not have enough education to enter King's College. So he went to a lower school at Elizabethtown, in New Jersey.

汉密尔顿到了纽约后,申请到国王学院学习,也就是如今的哥伦比亚大学,但是因为他的教育水平不够,所以没有被录取。所以他决定先到新泽西伊丽莎白镇的一所学校去。

He was one of the most serious students at the school. He read his books until midnight. Then he got up early and went to a cemetery to continue reading where it was quiet. He wrote many papers. Each time, he tried to improve his style. After a year at Elizabethtown, he was accepted at King's College.

汉密尔顿是学校里最认真的学生之一,每天看书到午夜,早上又很早起床,到一个安静的墓园去继续读书。他写了很多文章,每次都努力改进自己的风格。在伊丽莎白镇待了一年后,汉密尔顿被国王学院录取了。

VOICE TWO:

At King's College, both teachers and students were surprised by Hamilton's intelligence and his clear way of writing and speaking. The problems of the American colonies were very much on the young man's mind.

汉密尔顿敏捷的才智,清晰的思维和表达能力都让国王学院的老师和同学们感到惊讶。汉密尔顿非常关心美国殖民地所面临的问题。

Hamilton protested against British rule. When colonists in the city of Boston seized a British ship and threw its cargo of tea into the water, Hamilton wrote a paper defending them. Then came the year seventeen seventy-six. The thirteen American colonies declared their independence from Britain. The declaration meant war.

他参加了抗议英国统治的活动,并发表文章,为“波士顿倾茶事件”提出辩护。1776年,北美13个殖民地宣布独立,这就意味着战争。

VOICE ONE:

In this letter, George Washington thanks Alexander Hamilton for sending a copy of the pamphlet written by 'Publius'
In this letter, George Washington thanks Alexander Hamilton for sending a copy of the pamphlet written by 'Publius'

As a boy, Alexander Hamilton had written, "I want success. I would put my life in danger to win success, but not my character. I wish there were a war where I could show my strength." Now, war had come.

亚历山大.汉密尔顿还是孩子的时候曾写下这样一段话:“我渴望成功,为了成功,可以去冒生命危险,但是不能牺牲人格。我希望能发生一场战争,让我展现自己的能力。”美国独立战争就给了汉密尔顿施展才略的机会。

The American Revolution gave Hamilton the chance to show his abilities. He wanted to be a great military leader. Instead, he became a valuable assistant to the commanding general, George Washington. In this job, he had to use all his political and communication skills to get money and supplies for the Revolutionary Army.

汉密尔顿本来希望成为一名伟大的军事指挥官,但最后却成了大陆军统帅乔治.华盛顿宝贵的助手。汉密尔顿施展了自己的全部政治和沟通技巧,为大陆军争取资助和供给。

Hamilton also would become an influential thinker, writer, and journalist. For many years, he wrote editorials for the newspaper he established, the New York Evening Post. He also helped write the Federalist Papers with James Madison and John Jay. The Federalist Papers are considered the greatest explanation of the United States Constitution ever written.

汉密尔顿最终成了一个颇具影响力的思想家、作家和新闻工作者。他给自己创办的纽约晚间邮报写了很多年的社论,还跟詹姆斯.麦迪逊和约翰.杰伊一起撰写了联邦主义者文集,里面的文章被认为是对美国宪法最好的解释。

VOICE TWO:

In addition to being a fine writer, Hamilton was a fine speaker, but only to small groups. He spoke the same way that he wrote: clearly, forcefully, and with knowledge. It was this ability that he used so well in the New York state convention that approved the Constitution.

More than any other man, it was Alexander Hamilton who made the delegates to that convention change their minds and accept the document.

汉密尔顿还很擅长演讲,但只限於小规模演讲。他的演说跟他的文字一样,思路清晰、强劲有力,旁征博引。他的这种能力促成了纽约大会对宪法的批准,是他让大会代表们改变看法,最终接受了宪法。新政府成立后,汉密尔顿继续在国家政治中发挥重要的作用。

After the new government was formed under the Constitution, Hamilton continued to play an important part in national politics. That will be our story next week.

(MUSIC)

ANNOUNCER:

Our program was written by Harold Braverman. Shirley Griffith and Frank Oliver were the narrators. For transcripts, podcasts and MP3s of our programs, go to www.unsv.com. And 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
Alexander Hamilton played a important role in the United State. He serviced George Washington as a assistant in the independent war, after that he was elected as a first finance leader. In few years the nation had a large change.
作者:Alumni
this section it talked about a person, another leader of American early history, Alexander Hamilton. How winsome his personal glamour is! He spoke the same way that he wrote: clearly, forcefully and with knowledge. Admirable!
作者:郑烈波
after the new government was formed under the constitution,hamilton continued to play an important part in national politics.
作者:hliu
For the first time I know being capable of writing and speaking can give a much power.
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