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#179: A Long Conservative Period Ends With Election of 1932

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Members of a poor family of nine on a New Mexico highway during the early 1930s.
Members of a poor family of nine on a New Mexico highway during the early 1930s.

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

I'm Bob Doughty with Steve Ember. This week in our series, we continue the story of the administration of Herbert Hoover. And we talk about the election of nineteen thirty-two.

本周,我们继续向您讲述休伯特.胡佛在这一时期艰难执政的故事,同时,我们也将把目光转向1932年的美国大选。

(MUSIC)

STEVE EMBER: President Herbert Hoover worked hard to rescue the American economy following the crash of the stock market. It happened in October of nineteen twenty-nine. Within a month, Hoover called the nation's business leaders to the White House. "Don't lower wages," the president told them.

1929年10月美国股市崩盘之后,胡佛总统全力挽救美国经济 。一个月内,胡佛把国内经济界领袖们召集到白宫,告诉他们"绝不能降低工资"。

Hoover called on the bankers at the Federal Reserve to make it easier for businesses to borrow money. He tried to provide funds to help farmers get fair prices for their crops. He pushed Congress to lower personal taxes. And above all, the president urged Americans not to lose hope in their economy or in themselves.

胡佛在实行一系列政治政策的同时,还呼吁美国联邦储备局的银行家们为工商企业贷款提供方便。同时,他试图提供资金以保证农产品价格公正。他推动国会降低个人所得税。 最重要的是,他大力呼吁美国人不要对美国的经济和他们自己失去信心。

BOB DOUGHTY: But the economy was in ruins, falling faster with each passing day of the crisis that grew into the Great Depression. The value of stocks had collapsed. Millions of workers lost their jobs. The level of industrial production in the country was less than half of what it had been before the stock market crash.

但美国经济形势不断下滑,日趋恶化,最终演变成了美国有史以来最严重的经济大萧条。股票市值彻底崩溃,数百万人失去工作,工业生产水平还不到股票市场崩溃前的一半。

Hoover's efforts were not enough to stop the growing crisis. In ever greater numbers, people called on the president to increase federal spending and provide jobs for people out of work.

胡佛的努力没能阻止经济形势的进一步恶化。越来越多的人呼吁总统增加联邦政府开支,为人们提供就业,以此解决经济危机。

But the president was a conservative Republican. He did not think it was the responsibility of the federal government to provide relief for poor Americans. And he thought it was wrong to increase spending above the amount of money that the government received in taxes.

然而,胡佛是保守派共和党人,他认为,为贫穷的美国人提供救济不是联邦政府的责任,他同时也认为,让联邦政府的开支大于税收是错误的。

STEVE EMBER: The situation seemed out of control. The nation's government and business leaders appeared to have no idea how to save the dollar and put people back to work.

形势似乎已经失去控制。美国政府和工商界领袖们对如何挽救美元以及让工人重返工作岗位表现得手足无措。

Hoover was willing to take steps like spending government money to help farmers buy seeds and fertilizer. But he was not willing to give wheat to unemployed workers who were hungry.

胡佛愿意让政府出钱,帮助农民购买种子和化肥,但他不愿意向饥饿的失业者提供粮食。

He created an emergency committee to study the unemployment problem. But he would not launch government programs to create jobs. Hoover called on Americans to help their friends in need. But he resisted calls to spend federal funds for major relief programs to help the millions of Americans facing disaster.

他成立了一个紧急委员会来研究解决就业问题,但他不愿启动创造就业的政府计划。胡佛呼吁美国人尽可能帮助需要帮助的朋友,但他反对拿出联邦资金为数百万灾难之中的美国人提供救济项目。

BOB DOUGHTY: Leaders of the Democratic Party made the most of the situation. They accused the president of not caring about the common man. They said Hoover was willing to spend money to feed starving cattle for businessmen, but not willing to feed poor children.

民主党领导人充分利用这一局势。他们指责胡佛总统不关心普通民众。他们说,胡佛宁愿花钱喂商人的牛,也不把钱用来帮助穷人的孩子。

Hoover tried to show the nation that he was dealing with the crisis. He worked with Congress to try to save the banks and to keep the dollar tied to the value of gold. He tried hard to balance the federal budget. And he told Americans that it was not the responsibility of the national government to solve all their problems.

胡佛设法向民众证明他正在解决经济危机。他与国会合作试图挽救银行,确保美元对黄金的比值。他千方百计地平衡联邦政府预算,并告诉民众说,联邦政府没有责任来解决民众的所有问题。

(MUSIC)

STEVE EMBER: Late in nineteen thirty-one, President Hoover appointed a new committee on unemployment. He named Walter Gifford to head this committee. Gifford was chief of a big company, American Telephone and Telegraph.

But Gifford did Hoover more harm than good.

1931年年底,胡佛总统指定成立了一个新的就业委员会,并任命美国电话电报公司的总裁沃尔特.吉福德为该委员会主席。结果吉福德给胡佛帮了倒忙。

When he appeared before Congress, Gifford was unable to defend Hoover's position that relief was the responsibility of local governments and private giving. He admitted that he did not know how many people were out of work. He did not know how many of them needed help. Or how much help they needed. Or how much money local governments could raise.

他在国会没能为胡佛有关失业救济是地方政府和私人部门责任的观点加以辩护。 他承认,他不知道有多少人失业,有多少人需要帮助,需要多少帮助,甚至地方政府需要筹集多少资金。

Walter Gifford
Walter Gifford

BOB DOUGHTY: The situation grew worse. Some Americans began to completely lose faith in their government. They looked to groups with extreme political ideas to provide answers.

局势进一步恶化。一些美国人对政府完全失去信任,他们把目光转向了一些极端团体寻求答案。

Some Americans joined the Communist Party. Others helped elect state leaders with extreme political ideas. And in growing numbers, people began to turn to hatred and violence.

有些人加入共产党,有些人支持拥有极端政治思想的人当选州内领导人,越来越多的人转向仇恨和暴力。

However, most Americans remained loyal to traditional values even as conditions grew steadily worse. They looked ahead to nineteen thirty-two, when they would have a chance to vote for a new president.

尽管局势不断恶化, 大多数美国人还是忠诚于传统的价值观。他们把目光转向1932年,等待新总统的出现。

STEVE EMBER: Leaders of the Democratic Party felt they had an excellent chance to capture the White House in the election. And their hopes increased when the Republicans re-nominated President Hoover and Vice President Charles Curtis in the summer of nineteen thirty-two.

1932年的总统选举给美国人带来了一线希望。当共和党再次提名现任总统和副总统为候选人时,民主党领导人认为这次选举是他们入主白宫的好时机。

For this reason, competition was fierce for the Democratic presidential nomination. The top candidate was Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the governor of New York state.

正因为这个原因,民主党在总统候选人提名上的竞争异常激烈。最有实力的竞争者是纽约州州长富兰克林.罗斯福。

Roosevelt had been re-elected to that office by a large majority just two years earlier. He came from a rich and famous family, but he was seen as a friend of the common man. Roosevelt was conservative in his economic thinking. But he was a progressive in his opinion that government should be active in helping people.

两年前他以绝对优势当选连任。罗斯福出身显赫,但被认为平易近人,能跟普通人做朋友。罗斯福的经济思想保守,但他认为政府应当采取行动,帮助那些需要帮助的人。

Roosevelt had suffered from polio and could not walk. He used a wheelchair, although it was rarely shown in news pictures.

罗斯福因为得过小儿麻痹,所以不能行走,只能坐轮椅。这在新闻图片上很少出现。

Franklin Roosevelt in 1932
Franklin Roosevelt in 1932

BOB DOUGHTY: Franklin Delano Roosevelt's two main opponents were Al Smith and John Garner. Smith had been the governor of New York before Roosevelt. Garner, a Texan, was the speaker of the House of Representatives.

罗斯福的两个主要竞争对手是阿尔.史密斯和约翰.加纳。史密斯是罗斯福之前一任的纽约州州长,而加纳来自德克萨斯,是国会众议院议长。

Together, they hoped to block Roosevelt's nomination. And they succeeded the first three times that delegates voted at the Democratic nominating convention in Chicago.

这两人联合起来阻止罗斯福的提名。他们在芝加哥举行的民主党总统候选人提名大会上连续三次阻止了对罗斯福的提名。

Roosevelt's chief political adviser, James Farley, worked hard to find Roosevelt the votes he needed at the convention. Finally, Farley found a solution.

然而罗斯福的首席竞选顾问詹姆士.法利千方百计为罗斯福获得提名寻求支持。最后,法利找到了解决办法。

He made a deal with supporters of John Garner. Roosevelt would make Garner the vice presidential nominee if Garner's forces voted to make Roosevelt the presidential nominee. Garner agreed. And on the next vote, the Democratic delegates nominated Franklin Roosevelt to be their presidential candidate. Al Smith was so angry about the deal that he left Chicago without congratulating Roosevelt.

他与加纳的支持者达成交易。如果加纳的支持者投票给罗斯福的话,那么罗斯福就让加纳做副总统候选人。加纳表示同意。于是在第四轮投票中,民主党代表们提名富兰克林.罗斯福为他们的总统候选人。阿尔.史密斯火冒三丈,没向罗斯福表示祝贺,就匆匆离开了芝加哥。

Roosevelt wanted to show the nation that he was the kind of man to take action -- that he had more imagination than Hoover. So he broke tradition and flew to Chicago. It was the first time a candidate had ever appeared at a convention to accept a nomination. And Roosevelt told the cheering crowd that together they would defeat Hoover.

罗斯福想向民众证明,他是个干实事的人,他的想象力要远远超过胡佛。所以他打破常规,飞抵芝加哥。总统候选人亲自到提名大会上接受提名,以前从来没有过。罗斯福告诉欢呼的人群,团结起来共同击败胡佛。

STEVE EMBER: The main issue in the campaign of nineteen thirty-two was the economy. President Hoover defended his policies. Roosevelt and the Democrats attacked the administration for not taking enough action.

1932年总统大选的主要议题是经济。胡佛总统千方百计为他的政策辩护。罗斯福和民主党则攻击胡佛政府没有采取足够行动来应对经济危机。

Roosevelt knew that most Americans were unhappy with the Hoover administration. So his plan during the campaign was to let Hoover defeat himself. He avoided saying anything that might make groups of voters think he was too extreme.

罗斯福知道大多数美国人对胡佛政府不满意,所以他的策略是让胡佛自己击败自己。他尽可能少说话,以免选民认为他是极端的人。

But Roosevelt did make clear that he would move the federal government into action to help people suffering from the economic crisis.

不过,罗斯福也清楚地向人们表明,他会采取行动,让联邦政府帮助人们摆脱经济危机。

He said he was for a balanced federal budget. But he also said the government must be willing to spend extra money to prevent people from starving.

他赞成联邦预算平衡,但也表示,联邦政府应该拿出额外的钱来确保大家有饭吃。

BOB DOUGHTY: Americans liked what they heard from Franklin Roosevelt. He seemed strong. He enjoyed life. And Roosevelt seemed willing to try new ideas, to experiment with government.

美国人拥护罗斯福的想法。罗斯福似乎是个意志坚强,懂得享受生活的人,而且他愿意尝试新的思想,在政府中推行新举措。

Hoover attacked Roosevelt bitterly during the campaign. He warned that Roosevelt and the Democrats would destroy the American system.

胡佛在竞选期间猛烈攻击罗斯福,他警告说,罗斯福会摧毁美国的体制。

But Americans were tired of Hoover. They thought he was too serious, too afraid of change, too friendly with business leaders instead of the working man. Most of all, they blamed Hoover for the hard times of the Depression.

但是美国人已经厌倦了胡佛,他们认为胡佛太过严肃,惧怕改变,与工商界人士太友好,对普通劳动者则没那么友善。更关键的是,人们因经济大萧条而指责他。

On election day, Americans voted in huge numbers for Franklin Roosevelt and the Democrats. Roosevelt won forty-two of the forty-eight states at that time. The Democrats also gained a large majority in both houses of Congress.

在选举中,大多数人都把票投给了罗斯福和民主党。这次选举,在四十八个州中,罗斯福获得了四十二个州的选举人票。同时,民主党也在参众两院大获全胜,控制了多数席位。

STEVE EMBER: The election ended twelve years of Republican rule in the White House. It also marked the passing of a long conservative period in American political life.

这次总统大选终结了共和党把持白宫十二年的状况,也标志着美国政治生活长期保守思想的结束。

Franklin Delano Roosevelt would become one of the strongest and most progressive presidents in the nation's history. He would serve longer than any other president, changing the face of America's political and economic systems.

富兰克林.罗斯福将成为美国有史以来最为强势和最激进的总统之一,他担任总统的时间最长,改变了美国的政治面貌和经济体制。

In our next program, we take a look at the beginning of his administration.

(MUSIC)

BOB DOUGHTY: Our program was written by David Jarmul. I'm Bob Doughty with Steve Ember.

You can find our series online with pictures, transcripts, MP3s and podcasts at www.unsv.com. You can also follow our series 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 #179

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