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#22: A 'Great Compromise' on State Representation 第22集 - 费城制宪大会:各州国会议员代表权“大妥协”

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ANNOUNCER:

Welcome to THE MAKING OF A NATION -- American history in VOA Special English. The history of the United States Constitution is a long and interesting story that we have been telling now for several weeks. Today w e continue with the convention in seventeen eighty-seven where it was written. Here are Frank Oliver and Richard Rael.

VOICE TWO:

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

Last week, we told about the most serious question facing the convention in Philadelphia. It was the question of state representation in the national government. Would small states and large states have an equal voice?

上一次我们谈到了费城制宪大会所面临的最严峻的问题。那就是:各州在国会里的代表权的问题。人口多少不同,在国会里的发言权是否也应该有所区别呢?

The convention could not agree on a plan. So it created a special committee to develop a compromise. The convention suspended its meetings for the July Fourth Independence Day holiday. But the special committee continued its work. When the convention re-opened, the delegates heard the committee's report. This was its proposal:

大会代表在这个问题上无法达成共识,因此成立了一个专门委员会,借着七月四号独立日其他代表休息的机会,赶制了一份妥协方案,后来被称为“大妥协”。

The national legislature would have two houses. Representation in one house would be decided by population. Each state would have one representative for every forty thousand people in that state. Representation in the second house would be equal. Each state would have the same number of representatives as the other states.

根据方案,美国的国会由两个院组成,其中一个院的代表按照各州人口数量的多少来分配。每四万名居民可以推选出一名代表;另外一个院的代表跟人口无关,每个州的议员人数一样。

It was called "The Great Compromise." Delegates knew that the success or failure of the convention depended on this agreement.

费城大会的代表们知道,这项方案能否得到采纳将决定制宪大会的成功与失败。

VOICE ONE:

The debate between large states and small states lasted for weeks.

大州和小州之间的辩论持续了好几个星期。

The small states truly believed they would lose power to the large states in a national government. Several times, they threatened to leave the convention in protest.

人口少的州担心,他们会在权力上输给人口众多的州。这些小州的代表甚至多次威胁要退出大会,以示抗议。

William Paterson of New Jersey, a small state, spoke. "Some of the assembled gentlemen have made it known that if the small states do not agree to a plan, the large states will form a union among themselves. Well, let them unite if they please! They cannot force others to unite."

新泽西州的代表威廉·佩特森说,“与会的一些人明确表示,如果小州不接受这些计划,那些大州就要自行组成联盟,如果他们愿意,就让他们去做吧,但是他们不能强迫别人加入。”

VOICE TWO:

Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, old and in poor health, sat writing quietly during the debate. Now he asked that his words be heard. Franklin asked James Wilson, also of Pennsylvania, to read his statement.

年迈多病的宾夕法尼亚州代表本杰明·富兰克林在辩论期间一直在默默地写些什么。写完后,他让宾州的另外一位代表詹姆斯·威尔逊宣读他的声明。

"Why," he asked, "do the small states think they will be swallowed if the big states have more representatives in the national legislature? There is no reason for this fear. The big states will gain nothing if they swallow up the small states. They know this. And so, I believe, they will not try."

声明中说,“如果大州在国会里有更多的代表,小州为什么会觉得自己会被吃掉呢?这种恐惧毫无道理。吃掉小州对大州来说没有任何好处,他们知道这一点,因此我觉得,他们不会这样做。”

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

For a long time, the delegates could not agree on representation in the legislature. So they debated other parts of the proposal.

与会代表在国会议员分配的问题上长时间无法达成共识,因此决定先讨论提案的其它内容。

One involved the names of the two houses of the legislature. The delegates used several names. Most, however, spoke of them simply as the First Branch and the Second Branch. We will speak of them by the names used today: the House of Representatives and the Senate.

首先是国会两院的名称。当时,大多数人都把这两院简单地称为第一院和第二院。为了方便起见,我们借用了今天的名字:参议院和众议院。

VOICE TWO:

Next came the questions: Who could be elected to the House and Senate? Who would elect them?

接下来是国会议员的资格,以及由谁来推选的问题。

Delegates did not take long to decide the first question. Members of the House, they agreed, must be at least twenty-five years old. They must be a citizen of the United States for seven years. And, at the time of election, they must live in the state in which they are chosen.

第一个问题很简单,与会代表们一致认为,众议员的年龄必须在25岁以上;一定要是美国公民,而且至少要七年以上;此外,众议员当选的时候必须是所在州的居民。

Members of the Senate must be at least thirty years old. They must be a citizen of the United States for nine years. And, at the time of election, they must live in the state in which they are chosen.

参议员的要求更加严格,年龄至少要满30岁;一定要是美国公民,至少在九年以上;也必须是他所代表的州的居民。

VOICE ONE:

How long would lawmakers serve? Roger Sherman of Connecticut thought representatives to the House should be elected every year. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts agreed. He thought a longer term would lead to a dictatorship.

国会议员的任期长短是下一个问题。康涅迪克州的代表罗杰·谢尔曼认为,众议员任期应该是一年。麻萨诸塞州的埃里布里奇·格里表示赞成,因为他觉得,任期太久会导致独裁。

James Madison of Virginia protested. "It will take almost one year," he said, "just for lawmakers to travel to and from the seat of government!" Madison proposed a three-year term. But the delegates finally agreed on two years.

然而,维吉尼亚州的詹姆斯·麦迪逊抗议说,“当选议员从家乡到国会往返一次就要将近一年。”他建议任期三年。最后大会代表将众议员的任期定为两年。

There were many ideas about the term for senators. A few delegates thought they should be elected for life. In the end, the convention agreed on a Senate term of six years.

在参议员任期的问题上也出现了不同的看法,有些人甚至认为参议员应该定为终身制。制宪大会的代表最后将任期定为六年。

VOICE TWO:

Next came a debate about the lawmakers' pay. How much should they get? Or should they be paid at all?

接下来是议员工资的问题。他们是否应该领取报酬,报酬又该是多少呢?

Some delegates thought the states should pay their representatives to the national legislature. Others said the national legislature should decide its own pay and take it from the national treasury.

有些代表认为,议员的工资应该由其所在的州支付;另外一些代表则认为,这笔钱应该由国库出。

That idea, James Madison argued, was shameful. He thought the amount should be set by the Constitution. Again, Madison lost the argument. The Constitution says that lawmakers will be paid for their services and that the money will come from the national treasury.

美国宪法后来规定,国会议员供职,应该得到收入,这笔钱来由国库。

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

The question of who should elect the lawmakers raised an interesting issue. It concerned democracy. In seventeen eighty-seven, the word "democracy" meant something very different from what it means today. To many of the men meeting in Philadelphia, it meant mob rule. To give power to the people was an invitation to anarchy.

国会议员由谁来选举产生的问题涉及到民主,是一个很有意思的问题。1787年的时候,“民主”一词的含义跟今天不同。对很多参加费城制宪大会的人来说,民主就意味着暴民统治,把权力交给人民就会导致无政府状态。

"The people," Roger Sherman declared, "should have as little to do as possible with the government." Elbridge Gerry said, "The evils we have seen around us flow from too much democracy."

罗杰·谢尔曼说,“人民越少参政越好。”埃里布里奇·格里说,我们周围的邪恶就是源于过度的民主。

From such statements, one can see why the delegates sharply debated any proposal calling for the people to elect the national lawmakers.

从这些说法不难看出,关于由人民选举国会议员的提案为什么会引起费城制宪大会代表们的激烈争论。

VOICE TWO:

Sherman, Gerry, and others wanted the state legislatures to choose national lawmakers.

谢尔曼、格里等人希望由州议会来推选联邦议员。

George Mason of Virginia argued for popular elections. "The people will be represented," Mason said, "so they should choose their representatives." James Wilson agreed. "I wish to see the power of the government flow immediately from the lawful source of that power. . .the people."

维吉尼亚州的代表乔治·梅森则主张由人民投票选举。他说,“国会议员代表的是人民,当然应该由人民选举产生。”詹姆斯·威尔逊表示赞成。他说,“我希望看到政府的权力来源于合法的渠道--那就是人民。”

James Madison stated firmly that the people must elect at least one branch of the national legislature. That, he said, was a basic condition for free government. The majority of the convention agreed with Mason, Wilson, and Madison. The delegates agreed that members of the House of Representatives should be elected directly by the people.

詹姆斯·麦迪森很坚决地表示,国会两院至少要有一个院的成员由人民选举产生,这是一个自由政府最基本的要求。制宪大会的大多数代表都同意梅森、威尔逊和麦迪森的意见,决定国会众议院成员由人民直接选举产生。

VOICE ONE:

The convention now considered the method of choosing senators. Four ideas were proposed. Senators could be elected by the House, by the president, by the state legislatures, or by the people. Arguments for and against were similar to those for choosing representatives for the House.

与会代表继续讨论参议员的产生。代表们一共提出了四种提案。根据提案,参议员可以由众议院、总统、州议会、或是由人民选举产生。

In the end, a majority of the delegates agreed that the state legislatures would choose the senators. And that is what the Constitution says. It remained that way for more than one hundred years. In nineteen thirteen, the states approved the Seventeenth Amendment to the Constitution. This amendment permits the people to vote directly to elect the senators.

最后,大多数代表决定,参议员由州议会推举产生,并将此写入了宪法。这种做法一直延续了一百多年。直到1913年,各州才通过了宪法第17修正案,规定参议员也由人民选举产生。

(MUSIC)

VOICE TWO:

The convention voting record. This page shows the final vote on the draft Constitution, September 15, 1787
The convention voting record. This page shows the final vote on the draft Constitution, September 15, 1787

Finally, the time came for the convention to face the issue of representation in the House and Senate. The large states wanted representation based on population. The small states wanted equal representation.

制宪大会代表最后又回到了国会议员分配的问题。大州希望议员人数按人口多少分配,小州则主张不问人口多少,议员人数一样。

The delegates had voted on the issue several times since the convention began. But both sides stood firm. Yet they knew they could not continue to vote forever, day after day.

费城大会代表们先后多次就此进行表决,但双方互不相让。与此同时,他们也清楚地知道,不能这样没完没了地僵持下去。

On July fifth, the Grand Committee presented a two-part compromise based on Roger Sherman's ideas. The compromise provided something for large states and something for small states. It called for representation based on population in the House and equal representation in the Senate.

费城大会的特别委员会7月5号提出了一份妥协方案,建议众议院议员的分配按照人口决定,参议院议员,各州人数一样。

The committee said both parts of the compromise must be accepted or both rejected. On July sixteenth, the convention voted on the issue for the last time. It accepted the Great Compromise.

1787年7月16号,费城大会就此议题进行了最后一次投票表决,接受了这个被称为“大妥协”的方案。

(MUSIC)

ANNOUNCER:

Our program was written by Christine Johnson. The narrators were Frank Oliver and Richard Rael.

We have more to come in the story of the Constitution. Then, in the weeks ahead, we introduce you to some of America's early presidents. And we tell the story of the Civil War.

If American history interests you, then join us here each week for THE MAKING OF A NATION in VOA Special English. More than two hundred programs are in our series. This was number twenty-two.

THE MAKING OF A NATION has its own history. The series was first heard on radio in nineteen sixty-nine. New programs have continually been added, but many that were recorded long ago are still replayed.

And now, thanks to the Internet, we can offer transcripts, MP3s and podcasts of our programs, at www.unsv.com.

网友的学习评论(3条):
作者:xuding45
A 'Great Compromise' on state representations. The state legislature was designed to two houses. Representation in one house would designed by population. The other one would designed by equal in every state.
作者:郑烈波
it accepted the great compromise.
作者:karen
The committee said both parts of the compromise must be accepted or both rejected. On July sixteenth, the convention voted on the issue for the last time. It accepted the Great Compromise.
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