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        #12: A Declaration for Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

        作者:Nancy Steinbach 發布日期:1-30-2013

        VOICE ONE:

        This is Rich Kleinfeldt.

        VOICE TWO:

        And this is Sarah Long with THE MAKING OF A NATION, a VOA Special English program about the history of the United States. Today, we continue the story of the American Revolution against Britain in the late seventeen hundreds.

        (SOUND)

        VOICE ONE:

        Battles had been fought between Massachusetts soldiers and British military forces in the towns of Lexington and Concord. Yet, war had not been declared. Even so, citizen soldiers in each of the thirteen American colonies were ready to fight.

        上次我們講到麻薩諸塞殖民地的民兵和英國部隊在列克星敦和康科德交戰。那時候,雙方還沒有正式宣戰,但是十三個殖民地的民兵們都已經做好了征戰的準備。

        George Washington's commission as commander-in-chief, signed by John Hancock and Charles Thompson
        George Washington's commission as commander-in-chief, signed by John Hancock and Charles Thompson

        This was the first question faced by the Second Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Who was going to organize these men into an army? Delegates to the Congress decided that the man for the job was George Washington. He had experience fighting in the French and Indian War. He was thought to know more than any other colonist about being a military commander. Washington accepted the position. But he said he would not take any money for leading the new Continental Army. Washington left Philadelphia for Boston to take command of the soldiers there.

        在賓夕法尼亞殖民地的費城召開的第二屆大陸會議面臨的第一個問題就是,應該由誰出面把這些民兵組織成一支部隊。最后,會議代表一直推選參加過法印戰爭的喬治.華盛頓。大家覺得,他是殖民地里最適合擔任軍事統帥的人。華盛頓欣然接過了這一重擔,但堅持要求無償服務,并立即動身趕赴波士頓。

        VOICE TWO:

        Delegates to the Second Continental Congress made one more attempt to prevent war with Britain. They sent another message to King George. They asked him to consider their problems and try to find a solution. The king would not even read the message.

        參加第二屆大陸會議的代表們為防止跟英國交戰而做出最后的努力。他們致信喬治國王,向他陳情,要求尋找解決的辦法,但是喬治國王連信都不肯看。

        You may wonder: Why would the delegates try to prevent war if the people were ready to fight? The answer is that most members of the Congress -- and most of the colonists -- were not yet ready to break away from Britain. They continued to believe they could have greater self-government and still be part of the British Empire. But that was not to be.

        大家也許覺得奇怪,既然殖民地的民兵都已經摩拳擦掌,大陸會議的代表為什么還要盡量避免跟英國交戰呢?答案很簡單,當時大陸會議的成員,乃至大多數殖民者,并不想徹底脫離英國。他們仍然相信,不用宣布獨立,也可以享受更多的自治。事實證明,情況并非如此。

        VOICE ONE:

        Detail from a drawing made shortly after the Battle of Bunker Hill by British Lieutenant Thomas Page
        Detail from a drawing made shortly after the Battle of Bunker Hill by British Lieutenant Thomas Page

        Two days after the Congress appointed George Washington as army commander, colonists and British troops fought the first major battle of the American Revolution. It was called the Battle of Bunker Hill, although it really involved two hills: Bunker and Breed's. Both are just across the Charles River from the city of Boston.

        大陸會議任命喬治.華盛頓擔任大陸軍統帥的兩天后,殖民者和英國部隊打響了美國獨立戰爭第一場重大戰役--邦克山戰役。邦克山戰役其實包括兩座山,一個是邦克山,另一個是布里德山,兩座山都座落在波士頓對面,中間隔著查爾斯河。

        Massachusetts soldiers dug positions on Breed's Hill one night in June, seventeen seventy-five. By morning, the hill was filled with troops. The British started to attack from across the river. The Americans had very little gunpowder. They were forced to wait until the British had crossed the river and were almost on top of them before they fired their guns. Their commander reportedly told them: Do not fire until you see the whites of the British soldiers' eyes.

        1775年6月的一個晚上,麻薩諸塞殖民地的士兵在布里德山連夜挖戰壕,修工事,到凌晨的時候,山上已經布滿了士兵。英國人從河對岸發起進攻。殖民地的士兵因為缺少彈藥,所以不得不等英國人跨過查爾斯河,快攻到跟前的時候再開火。據說,當時指揮官的命令是,一直要等看見英軍士兵的眼白,才能開槍。

        VOICE TWO:

        The British climbed the hill. The Americans fired. A second group climbed the hill. The Americans fired again. The third time, the British reached the top, but the Americans were gone. They had left because they had no more gunpowder. The British captured Breed's Hill. More than one thousand had been killed or wounded in the attempt. The Americans lost about four hundred.

        英軍第一次進攻,被殖民地的民兵擊退,第二次進攻,又被擊退,第三次她們順利攻上了山頭,但是殖民地的民兵已經杳無蹤影,因為他們沒有彈藥了。英軍部隊因此占領了布里德山。在邦克山戰役中,英軍被打死一千多人,殖民地的民兵損失了大約四百人。

        That battle greatly reduced whatever hope was left for a negotiated settlement. King George declared the colonies to be in open rebellion. And the Continental Congress approved a declaration condemning everything the British had done since seventeen sixty-three.

        這場戰役打消了和解的任何希望。英國國王喬治宣布殖民地反叛,北美殖民地則發表宣言,譴責英國1763年以來的所作所為。

        (MUSIC)

        VOICE ONE:

        General George Washington in 'The Prayer at Valley Forge,' painted by H. Brueckner
        General George Washington in 'The Prayer at Valley Forge,' painted by H. Brueckner

        The American colonists fought several battles against British troops during seventeen seventy-five. Yet the colonies were still not ready to declare war. Then, the following year, the British decided to use Hessian soldiers to fight against the colonists. Hessians were mostly German mercenaries who fought for anyone who paid them. The colonists feared these soldiers and hated Britain for using them.

        1775年,北美殖民地跟英國軍隊打了好幾場戰役,但是殖民地依舊沒有正式宣戰。次年,英國決定花錢招募德國的黑森雇傭兵來對付北美殖民地。北美殖民地很害怕黑森雇傭兵,對英國人的這種做法深惡痛絕。

        At about the same time, Thomas Paine published a little document that had a great effect on the citizens of America. He named it, "Common Sense." It attacked King George, as well as the idea of government by kings. It called for independence.

        大約同一時間,托馬斯.潘恩發表了一份對北美殖民地人民產生了巨大影響的文件,叫《常識》(Common Sense)。 這份文件抨擊喬治國王和王權統治,號召人們爭取獨立。

        About one hundred fifty thousand copies of "Common Sense" were sold in America. Everyone talked about it. As a result, the Continental Congress began to act. It opened American ports to foreign shipping. It urged colonists to establish state governments and to write constitutions. On June seventh, delegate Richard Henry Lee of Virginia proposed a resolution for independence.

        Common Sense 在美洲熱銷十五萬份,成了街頭巷尾議論的話題。大陸會議因此開始行動,向外國航運開放美洲港口,并敦促殖民地建立州政府,擬訂憲法。參加大陸會議的維吉尼亞代表理查德.亨利.李提出了獨立的議案。

        VOICE TWO:

        The resolution was not approved immediately. Declaring independence was an extremely serious step. Signing such a document would make delegates to the Continental Congress traitors to Britain. They would be killed if captured by the British.

        這項議案沒有立即得到通過。宣布獨立是極其重大的決定,在這種文件上簽字的大陸會議代表都將被英國視為叛徒,如果被俘,就是死罪。

        The delegates wanted the world to understand what they were doing, and why. So they appointed a committee to write a document giving the reasons for their actions.

        大陸會議的代表們希望讓全世界都知道,他們為什么要宣布獨立,因此專門指定了一個委員會去撰寫一份文件,說明他們選擇獨立的原因。

        One member of the committee was the Virginian, Thomas Jefferson. He had already written a report criticizing the British form of government. So the other committee members asked him to prepare the new document. They said he was the best writer in the group. They were right. It took him seventeen days to complete the document that the delegates approved on July fourth, seventeen seventy-six. It was America's Declaration of Independence.

        這個委員會的成員之一就是維吉尼亞州的托馬斯.杰斐遜,他曾經發表過一篇批判英國統治制度的報告,所以委員會的其他成員要求他來準備這份新文件,說他是委員會里文筆最好的作家。杰斐遜不負眾望,僅僅用了17天的時間就完成了任務。這份文件1776年7月4號得到大陸委員會代表的批準,這就是美國的《獨立宣言》。

        (MUSIC)

        VOICE ONE:

        From Thomas Jefferson's first attempt at writing the Declaration of Independence
        From Thomas Jefferson's first attempt at writing the Declaration of Independence

        Jefferson's document was divided into two parts. The first part explained the right of any people to revolt. It also described the ideas the Americans used to create a new, republican form of government. The Declaration of Independence begins this way:

        杰斐遜撰寫的獨立宣言分為兩部分,第一部分解釋說,人人都有反叛的權利,并描述了北美殖民地創建一個新的、共和體制的理念。獨立宣言一上來說:

        ANNOUNCER:

        When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them to another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

        "在人類事務的發展過程中,當一個民族必須解除同另一個民族的關系,并按照自然法則和上帝的旨意,以獨立平等的身份立于世界列國之林時,出于對人類輿論的尊重,必須把驅使他們獨立的原因予以宣布。"

        VOICE ONE:

        Jefferson continued by saying that all people are equal in the eyes of God. Therefore, governments can exist only by permission of the people they govern. He wrote:

        ANNOUNCER:

        We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

        "我們認為下述真理是不言而喻的:人人生而平等,造物主賦予他們若干不可讓與的權利,其中包括生存權、自由權和追求幸福的權利。為了保障這些權利,人類才在他們中間建立政府,而政府的正當權力,則是經被統治者同意所授予的。"

        VOICE ONE:

        The next part states why the American colonies decided to separate from Britain:

        獨立宣言接下來闡述了北美殖民地決定獨立的原因。

        ANNOUNCER:

        That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it.

        那就是,任何形式的政府一旦對這些目標的實現起破壞作用時,人民便有權予以更換或廢除。

        VOICE ONE:

        This is why the Americans were rebelling against England. The British believed the Americans were violating their law. Jefferson rejected this idea. He claimed that the British treatment of the American colonies violated the natural laws of God. He and others believed a natural law exists that is more powerful than a king.

        這就是美洲殖民地反叛的原因。英國認為殖民地違反了英國的法律。杰斐遜駁回了這種指控。他宣稱,英國對待美洲殖民地的做法違背了自然規則。杰斐遜等人相信,自然法規高于王權。

        The idea of a natural law had been developed by British and French philosophers more than one hundred years earlier. Jefferson had studied these philosophers in school. In later years, however, he said he did not re-read these ideas while he was writing the Declaration. He said the words came straight from his heart.

        英國和法國哲學家一百年前提出了自然法的概念,杰斐遜上學時就曾研習過。但是他后來表示,他撰寫獨立宣言時并沒有回去溫習這些概念,獨立宣言里的話都是他的肺腑之言。

        (MUSIC)

        VOICE TWO:

        The second part of the Declaration lists twenty-seven complaints by the American colonies against the British government. The major ones concerned British taxes on Americans and the presence of British troops in the colonies. After the list of complaints, Jefferson wrote this strong statement of independence:

        獨立宣言的第二部分列舉了美洲殖民地對英國政府的27條控訴,重要內容涉及英國對美洲征稅和英國軍隊在殖民地的駐扎。杰斐遜在宣言最后寫道:

        ANNOUNCER:

        That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States they have the full Power to levy War, conduct Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do.

        "我們這些聯合起來的殖民地現在是,而且按公理也應該是,獨立自由的國家。我們取消對英國王室效忠的一切義務,我們與大不列顛王國之間的一切政治聯系從此全部斷絕,而且必須斷絕;作為一個獨立自由的國家,我們完全有權宣戰、締和、結盟、通商和采取獨立國家有權采取的一切行動。

        VOICE TWO:

        The last statement of the Declaration of Independence was meant to influence the delegates into giving strong support for that most serious step -- revolution:

        ANNOUNCER:

        And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

        我們堅定地信賴神明上帝的保佑,同時以我們的生命、財產和神圣的名譽彼此宣誓來支援這一宣言。"

        (MUSIC)

        VOICE ONE:

        Today's MAKING OF A NATION program was written by Nancy Steinbach. Shep O'Neal read the Declaration of Independence. This is Rich Kleinfeldt.

        VOICE TWO:

        And this is Sarah Long. Join us again next week for another VOA Special English program about the history of the United States.

        網友的學習評論(3條):
        作者:華晨
        2-10-2013 11:1:56
        The Declaration of Independence : we hold these truths to be self-evident , that all men are created equal and they are endowed by the Creator with certain Rights , that among these are Life ,Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness. These ideas and issues have shpaed the United States .
        作者:Melody
        1-5-2015 16:20:12
        We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
        作者:朱宏文
        8-15-2016 21:58:50
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