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#148: Teddy Roosevelt Leads Nation After McKinley's Murder

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A drawing of the shooting of President William McKinley on September 6, 1901
A drawing of the shooting of President William McKinley on September 6, 1901

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

In September of nineteen hundred and one, President William McKinley was assassinated. His vice president, Theodore Roosevelt, was sworn in to replace him.

1901年9月,美国总统麦金利遇刺身亡。副总统西奥多.罗斯福接替了麦金利的位置。

Roosevelt was forty-two years old -- the youngest man ever to hold the office of president of the United States.

当时罗斯福只有42岁,成了美国历史上最年轻的总统。

This week in our series, Maurice Joyce and Shep O'Neal tell the story of President Theodore Roosevelt and his administration.

MAURICE JOYCE: Theodore Roosevelt became president at the beginning of the twentieth century. It was a time of rapid changes in American society. The changes were a result of technology.

在西奥多.罗斯福就任总统的20世纪初,美国社会正经历着快速的变化,而这些变化是技术革新带来的结果。

Great progress had been made, for example, in transportation. Almost every American city had a street railroad, or trolley. These systems were powered by electricity. Thousands of Americans owned automobiles. And Henry Ford was planning a low-cost version which even more people could buy.

比如,美国的交通运输业出现了大发展,几乎每个城市都有依靠电力运转的市内电车系统。成千上万的美国人拥有自己的小汽车。而汽车大王亨利·福特正计划推出价格更低廉的汽车,以满足更多人拥有私家车的梦想。

Great progress had been made in communications. There were telephones in almost every business office in the cities and in many homes. And Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi had sent the first wireless message across the Atlantic Ocean.

电信业也经历着大发展。城市里的几乎所有办公室和许多老百姓家里都安了电话。意大利发明家马可尼成功发射了跨越大西洋的无线电报。

SHEP O'NEAL: It was clear that the United States had made great progress in technology. Yet many believed it had made little progress in social issues. These people felt America's natural resources were being mis-used. They felt America's farmers were poorer than they should be. They felt America's industries were unfair to workers.

不过,尽管美国在技术革新方面取得了极大发展,但许多人认为,美国的许多社会问题并没有得到解决。这些人觉得,美国的自然资源遭到不合理开发,农民过于贫穷,工商企业恶待工人。

Since the late eighteen hundreds, a spirit of reform had been growing in the United States. It started among farmers and led to the creation of a new political party -- the Populists. Then organized labor joined the movement. Then middle class Americans.

从19世纪晚期开始,美国兴起了一股改革之风。这股风潮始于农民,导致了新政党--人民党的诞生。随后,工会组织加入了这一运动,后来,美国中产阶级也参与进来。

Not everyone agreed on ways to solve society's problems. But they were united in the belief that social progress had to be made. The future of American democracy, they said, depended on the success of the progressive movement.

对于如何解决社会问题,改革派们并没有达成共识。不过,他们都坚信,美国必须实现社会进步。他们说,美国民主的未来走向取决于进步运动能否成功。

The man who came to represent the spirit of reform most of all was the new president, Theodore Roosevelt.

而最能代表改革精神的人就是新上任的总统西奥多.罗斯福。

MAURICE JOYCE: Roosevelt was born to a wealthy family in New York City in eighteen fifty-eight. He was a weak child with poor eyesight. He spent much of his time reading. When Theodore was thirteen years old, he got into an argument with two other boys. He tried to fight them. But he was not strong enough.

1858年,罗斯福出生在纽约市一个富有家庭。他身体不好,视力差,酷爱读书。13岁时,罗斯福和两个男孩吵架,他想去揍人家,可发现自己瘦小无力。

That incident was a turning point in Roosevelt's life. He decided to overcome his physical weaknesses through exercise and hard work. He lifted weights, ran long distances, and learned how to be a boxer. He continued these activities while he attended Harvard University.

这件事成了罗斯福一生的转折点。他决定通过锻练和努力工作来战胜身体的孱弱。他练举重、长跑、学习拳击。在哈佛大学念书期间,他也一直坚持这些运动。

Theodore Roosevelt in 1901, the year he became president
Theodore Roosevelt in 1901, the year he became president

After college, Roosevelt married Alice Lee and returned to New York. He became active in the Republican Party. When he was just twenty-three years old, he was elected to the state legislature. Roosevelt quickly became known as a reform politician. He denounced all forms of dishonesty in government.

大学毕业后,罗斯福和爱丽斯.李结婚,并回到了纽约。他成为共和党的积极分子。23岁时他当选州议员,并迅速向人们展示了他改革派的立场,并抨击政府中一切弄虚作假的行为。

SHEP O'NEAL: Roosevelt's first political career did not last long. He withdrew after four years, following the deaths of his wife and mother. His sadness was so great that he could not continue.

不过,他的这一段政治生涯并没有持续多久。4年之后,他的妻子和母亲相继去世,这让他大受打击,悲痛之下,他决定告别政坛。

Roosevelt moved to a ranch in the Dakota territory of the American West. He began to raise beef cattle. At first, the local cowboys laughed at him. They called him "four eyes," because he wore eyeglasses. They stopped laughing when they found he could do the hard work of a cowboy as well as any of them.

罗斯福搬到了西部现在达科他州境内的一个农场,开始养牛。起初,那里的牛仔们都笑话他,因为他带眼镜,所以人们都叫他"四眼"。可人们后来发现,罗斯福做起辛苦的牛仔工作来不输给他们任何一个。所以,他们不再嘲笑他了。

MAURICE JOYCE: Roosevelt spent two years in the West. Then he returned to New York and a life in politics.

罗斯福在西部待了两年。然后他返回纽约,再次进入政坛。

He became the Republican candidate for mayor of New York City, but lost the election. Then he campaigned for Republican Benjamin Harrison in the presidential election of eighteen eighty-eight. Harrison won. And he named Roosevelt head of the federal Civil Service Commission. Roosevelt fought hard to keep politics out of the civil service.

罗斯福作为共和党候选人竞选纽约市长,但没有成功。后来,他帮助1888年共和党总统候选人哈里森竞选总统。哈里森当选后,任命罗斯福为联邦公务员叙用委员会的负责人。罗斯福排除种种阻力,力图使公务员队伍不受政治权力的影响。

Democrat Grover Cleveland was elected president four years later. He approved of Roosevelt's civil service reforms. He asked him to remain in the job. Roosevelt did so for another two years. Then he became Commissioner of Police in New York City. Once again, he pushed for reforms. He removed policemen found guilty of receiving illegal payments.

四年后,民主党人克利夫兰当选总统。他认可罗斯福对公务员用人制度进行的改革,并请他留任。罗斯福又干了两年,然后他当上了纽约市警务处处长。他再次推行改革,把那些非法收受钱财的警察革职。

SHEP O'NEAL: In eighteen ninety-seven, President William McKinley named Theodore Roosevelt Assistant Secretary of the Navy. The United States went to war against Spain a year later.

1897年,麦金利总统任命罗斯福为海军部长助理。一年后,美西战争爆发。

Roosevelt wanted an active part in the war. So, he resigned and joined the army. He organized a force of horse soldiers known as the "Rough Riders." They were honored for bravery in the Battle of San Juan Hill in Cuba.

罗斯福希望能亲临战场,因此他辞去海军部长助理的职务,加入了陆军。他组建了一支骑兵队,名叫"勇猛骑士"。这支队伍的战士因在古巴圣胡安山战役中作战英勇而受到嘉奖。

Roosevelt was now a war hero. Republican Party leaders in New York thought he would be the perfect candidate for governor. Teddy, as the public called him, won a close election. He soon made clear he would not take orders from party leaders.

罗斯福成了英雄。纽约的共和党大佬们觉得,他是竞选纽约州长的不二人选。罗斯福也不负众望,在激烈的竞选中赢得了胜利。不过,他很快就让共和党大佬们明白,自己不会听命于他们。

The new governor proposed controls on businesses. His main targets were companies that supplied the public with water, electricity, and natural gas. He demanded changes in the food and drug industries. And he shortened the work day for women and children.

罗斯福当上州长后,提议政府对公司企业进行控制。他主要针对的是为公众提供水、电和天然气的公司。他还要求对食品和药品公司进行改革,并缩短了妇女和儿童的工作时间。

MAURICE JOYCE: The public praised Roosevelt's reform efforts. Local party leaders did not. As one said: "I do not want him raising hell in my state any longer." Local leaders decided the best way to get him out of New York politics was to support him for vice president of the United States. The office gave a man very little voice or power in politics.

公众称赞罗斯福的改革努力,但纽约的共和党领袖们却并不高兴。其中一人说:"我不想再让罗斯福在我的州里捣乱了。"这些共和党大佬们决定,把罗斯福踢出纽约政界的最好办法就是支持他竞选美国副总统。副总统是个虚职,没有什么发言权和权力。

Roosevelt did not want the job, for that reason. By then he wanted just one thing: to be president of the United States. He was sure being vice president would ruin his chances. But he accepted the nomination at the national convention. He would run on the ticket with William McKinley. Sadly he said: "I do not expect to go any further in politics."

为此,罗斯福对这个职位并不感兴趣。那时,他眼里的目标只有一个:成为美国总统。他确信,当副总统只会断送自己的前途。不过,在共和党全国大会上,他还是接受了副总统候选人的提名,同意和麦金利一起竞选。他难过地说:"我的政治生涯这就走到头儿了,我再也不奢望能取得什么更大的成就了。"

Several months after he was sworn-in as vice president, he was sworn-in as President. William McKinley was dead. Theodore Roosevelt became president as the result of an assassin's bullet.

然而,罗斯福就任副总统才几个月,就宣誓就任美国总统了。刺客的子弹要了麦金利总统的命,却把罗斯福送上了总统宝座。

SHEP O'NEAL: Roosevelt promised party leaders that he would continue McKinley's policies. He said he would move slowly in making any changes.

罗斯福向共和党领袖们承诺,他将继续执行麦金利的各项政策。他说,他不会急于改革。

In his first message to Congress, President Roosevelt offered a few new proposals. He asked for a Department of Commerce and Labor to deal with industrial problems. He called for a stronger Navy and for limits on immigration. And he proposed building a canal in central America to link the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

罗斯福在对国会发表的首次演讲中提出了几项新建议。他要求成立商务和劳工部,专门处理工商界的问题。他要求增强海军力量,并限制移民。此外,他还提出在中美洲修建一条运河,把大西洋和太平洋连接起来。

MAURICE JOYCE: Businessmen who feared the worse when Roosevelt became president began to breathe easier. It seemed he was not going to push for reforms after all. But Roosevelt was only following an old hunting rule of African tribesmen. "Speak softly," the rule said, "and carry a big stick."

商人们发现,罗斯福的当选并没有使事情变得像他们预想的那样糟糕,于是他们松了口气。罗斯福似乎根本不会推行什么改革。其实,罗斯福用的正是非洲土著们打猎时的老招数,那就是:"轻声说话,但手持大棒。"

Roosevelt spoke softly during his first months as president. He would use the big stick later. When the blow came, it was against big business.

在罗斯福当总统后的头几个月,他说话的口气温和。他把大棒留在了后面。他要等到对付大企业的时候才挥起大棒。

"Taking the Bull by the Horns," a cartoon showing President Roosevelt trying to control the railroad trusts represented by a bull

A group of wealthy railroad owners had agreed to join their railroads into one. They formed a company to control it. The new company would have complete control of railroad transportation in the American West. There would be no competition.

当时,几个富有的铁路公司老板决定把自己手中的铁路合并为一,建立一个公司,控制合并后的铁路。新的公司将掌控美国西部所有的铁路线,完全杜绝竞争的可能。

SHEP O'NEAL: President Roosevelt believed the company violated the Sherman Anti-Trust Law. The law said it was illegal for businesses to interfere with trade among the states. The law also said it was illegal for any person or group to get control of a whole industry. Since the anti-trust law had been passed in eighteen ninety, few companies had been found guilty of violating it.

罗斯福总统认为,这个公司违犯了谢尔曼反托拉斯法。这个法律规定,企业不得干预州际商贸活动,还规定,个人或团体不能控制某个行业。不过,自从这项法律在1890年获得通过以来,并没有什么人被裁定违犯该法。

So, many people were shocked when Roosevelt announced he was taking action under the law against the railroad trust. He said there could be no compromise in how the law was enforced.

正因为如此,当罗斯福宣布他要根据谢尔曼反托拉斯法采取行动,整治铁路托拉斯的时候,许多人都感到震惊。罗斯福说,在执行这项法律的问题上,他决不妥协。

That will be our story next week.

(MUSIC)

BOB DOUGHTY: Our program was written by Frank Beardsley. The narrators were Maurice Joyce and Shep O'Neal. 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.

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