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        #17: The Founding Fathers Meet in Philadelphia to Write a Constitution

        作者:Doug Johnson and Tony Riggs 發布日期:2-6-2013

        Welcome to THE MAKING OF A NATION – American history in VOA Special English. I'm Doug Johnson. Today, Tony Riggs and I continue the story of the United States Constitution.

        (MUSIC)

        VOICE ONE:

        In May of seventeen eighty-seven, a group of America's early leaders met in Philadelphia. They planned to amend the Articles of Confederation which provided a loose union of the thirteen American states. Instead, they wrote a completely new Constitution. That political document created America's system of government and recognized the rights of its citizens. It is still the law of the land.

        1787年5月,美國早期領袖在費城開會,他們原計劃對確定了美國13個州松散體制的《邦聯條例》進行修正,但最后卻編纂了一部全新的憲法。這份政治文件創立了美國的政府體系,承認了公民享有的權利,至今依舊是美國的根本大法。

        VOICE TWO:

        James Madison
        James Madison

        James Madison of Virginia was the first delegate to arrive for the convention in Philadelphia.

        詹姆斯·麥迪遜是第一個來到費城的代表。

        Madison asked the other delegates from Virginia also to arrive early. He wanted to enter the convention with a plan for a strong central government. He was sure no other state would do this. Two Virginia delegates -- George Wythe and John Blair -- came early, as requested. Together, the three men worked on Madison's plan.

        他要求維吉尼亞州的其他代表也提前趕到,以便商討有關建立強有力的中央政府的計劃,在會議上提出來。麥迪遜相信,其他州是不會提出這種想法的。維吉尼亞的另外兩個代表喬治·威思和約翰·布萊爾按照麥迪遜的要求,提前抵達費城。他們三個人一塊兒對麥迪遜的計劃進行斟酌。

        VOICE ONE:

        The convention was to start on May fourteenth. George Washington arrived the day before. He was welcomed outside Philadelphia by a military guard and the firing of cannons. Washington was the most famous man in America. He led the forces that won the war for independence from Britain.

        會議定于5月14號召開,喬治·華盛頓提前一天來到費城。他領導美國打贏了獨立戰爭,成為美國名望最高的人。他在費城城外受到了衛兵和禮炮的歡迎。

        The first thing Washington did in Philadelphia was to visit Benjamin Franklin. Franklin was an important political leader in America. He also was chief of Pennsylvania's delegation to the convention.

        華盛頓抵達費城后,首先去拜望本杰明·富蘭克林。富蘭克林是美國重要的政治領袖,也是參加費城會議的賓夕法尼亞州首席代表。

        Franklin was then eighty-one years old. Age had weakened him. But his mind remained strong. Every important person who came to Philadelphia -- even the great General Washington – visited Benjamin Franklin.

        當時,富蘭克林已年過八旬,雖然身體虛弱,但頭腦依舊十分靈活。凡是來到費城的重要人物,都要前去看望富蘭克林,華盛頓也不例外。

        (MUSIC)

        VOICE TWO:

        A 1777 map of Philadelphia; at the bottom is Independence Hall
        A 1777 map of Philadelphia; at the bottom is Independence Hall

        On the first day of the convention, the delegates from Virginia went to the State House where the meeting would be held. They gathered in the room where America's Declaration of Independence was signed in seventeen seventy-six.

        制憲大會第一天,維吉尼亞的代表們來到州議會大樓1776年簽署美國獨立宣言的房間。

        The only other delegates there were from Pennsylvania. One was Robert Morris. He raised much of the money to fight the American Revolution. Another was Gouverneur Morris. The two men were not related.

        除他們以外,當時在場的只有賓夕法尼亞州的代表:一個是羅伯特·莫里斯,他是獨立戰爭最重要的籌款人;另一個是格瓦諾·莫里斯。他們兩個雖然都姓莫里斯,但沒有血緣關系。

        Another Pennsylvania delegate was James Wilson. He signed the Declaration of Independence and was a member of America's early Continental Congress. Like James Madison, James Wilson wanted a strong central government for the United States.

        賓夕法尼亞的另一位代表是詹姆斯·威爾遜,他是美國最早的大陸會議代表,簽署了獨立宣言。威爾遜跟麥迪遜一樣,也主張建立強有力的中央政府。

        VOICE ONE:

        The men from Pennsylvania and Virginia spent that first day talking. They agreed to meet again the next morning. Nobody seemed worried that there were no delegates from the other eleven states. After all, it took two weeks to ride a horse to Philadelphia from New Hampshire in the northeast. And it took as many as three weeks to get to Philadelphia from Georgia in the south.

        會議第一天,賓夕法尼亞州和維吉尼亞州的代表交換了看法,并決定第二天早上繼續討論。其他十一個州沒有代表在場,似乎并沒有引起他們的擔憂,畢竟,從東北部的新罕布什爾州騎馬到費城需要兩個星期的時間,從南邊的喬治亞州到費城,更是需要三個星期。

        For a while, it seemed the other delegates would never arrive. But then they started coming one or two at a time. The delegates agreed to start the convention as soon as seven states were represented.

        沒過多久,其他州的代表就開始三三兩兩陸續抵達了。大家一致同意,一旦湊足了七個州,就正式開會。

        VOICE TWO:

        New York sent three men. That was a surprise. Many people believed New York would refuse to send anyone at all. The governor of New York did not support the idea of a strong central government.

        出人意料的是,紐約州也派來了三名代表。很多人本以為紐約會拒絕出席制憲大會,因為紐約州長反對建立強大的中央政府。

        But one of the New York delegates did. He was Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton served as an assistant to General George Washington during the revolution. He firmly believed the United States needed a strong central government. In fact, some people said he wanted the country ruled by a king.

        然而,紐約代表亞歷山大·漢密爾頓卻堅持認為,美國需要一個強大的中央政府。漢密爾頓在獨立戰爭期間是喬治·華盛頓的助手。有些人甚至說,他覺得美國應該由國王統治。

        (MUSIC)

        VOICE ONE:

        Day by day, more delegates arrived in Philadelphia for the convention. They included Rufus King and Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts. John Rutledge and Charles Pinckney of South Carolina. John Lansing and Robert Yates of New York. Luther Martin and James McHenry of Maryland. Roger Sherman and Oliver Ellsworth of Connecticut.

        William Few and William Pierce of Georgia. David Brearly and Jonathan Dayton of New Jersey. John Langdon and Nicholas Gilman of New Hampshire. Gunning Bedford and George Read of Delaware. Alexander Martin and William Blount of North Carolina.

        Fifty-five men in all from twelve states. Pennsylvania sent the most delegates -- eight. Rhode Island sent none. A few of the delegates were very old. But many were in their twenties or thirties. The average age of the delegates was just forty-three years.

        VOICE TWO:

        最后,13個州里面,除了羅德島以外的12個州全都派了代表,其中賓夕法尼亞州的代表人數最多--八人。參加會議的55名代表有些已經十分年邁,但也有不少二、三十歲的青年,代表們的平均年齡是43歲。

        This respected group was missing two important persons – John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. At the time, Adams was serving as America's representative to Britain. Jefferson was serving as the representative to France.

        兩個重要人物缺席了這次會議,一個是約翰·亞當斯,另外一個是托馬斯·杰斐遜。他們兩人當時分別出任美國駐英國和法國的代表。

        Both men expected to continue their service to the new nation. So both were extremely interested in the convention in Philadelphia. They exchanged letters with friends to learn what was happening.

        他們非常關心費城制憲大會的進展,并通過書信的方式向朋友了解情況。

        (MUSIC)

        VOICE ONE:

        The convention did not have seven states represented until May twenty-fifth. On that day, it finally began its work. The delegates' first task was to name a clerk to write the reports of the meetings. They chose Major William Jackson.

        5月25號,已經有了七個州的代表,大家決定正式開始工作。代表們的第一個任務是任命一個人負責撰寫會議報告,這個工作最后交給了威廉·杰克遜少校。

        Major Jackson had asked George Washington to support him for the job. General Washington did so. But Major Jackson was not a good clerk. He wrote down few details of the convention. Luckily, however, James Madison did. From the moment the convention began, Madison kept careful records of everything everyone said. He never stopped writing. Other delegates took notes, including Alexander Hamilton and Rufus King. But their reports were short and not complete.

        不過,杰克遜少校并不是一個出色的記錄員,他沒有記下多少會議細節。幸運的是,麥迪遜從會議一開始,就手不停筆地詳細記下了所有人的發言。其他代表也記了筆記,但都很簡短,不夠完整。

        Madison's notes from the constitutional convention. Here he describes the first day's events on May 25, 1787, when George Washington was elected chairman of the convention.
        Madison's notes from the constitutional convention. Here he describes the first day's events on May 25, 1787, when George Washington was elected chairman of the convention.

        If it were not for James Madison, we would know little of what happened at that historic meeting in Philadelphia in seventeen eighty-seven.

        如果不是麥迪遜的話,我們對1787年在費城召開的那次歷史性會議上發生的一切,恐怕根本無從知曉。

        VOICE TWO:

        Later, Madison explained how he did it.

        "I sat in front of the president of the convention. All the other delegates were on my right and on my left. I could hear everything the president said. I could hear all the words of every delegate. I made notes only I could understand. Then, at night in my room, I wrote out completely all the speeches and acts. I attended the convention every day. I was there as long as the delegates were meeting and talking."

        麥迪遜后來解釋了他是如何記錄會議進程的。他說,“我坐在大會主席前面,所有代表都坐在我的左右。我能聽見大會主席說的所有話,也能聽見代表們發言的每一個字。我用只有我能看懂的符號記下所有內容,晚上回到房間,再把代表們的講話和行動完整地整理記錄下來。每天的會議我都要參加,只要有人開會和討論,我一定在場。

        In his reports, Madison called himself "Mister M." He wrote down everything that was said, even the unfriendly things said by others about "Mister M."

        James Madison's full records of the convention were not published until thirty years later.

        ”麥迪遜在報告中自稱 Mr. M. 他記下了制憲大會中每個人說的每一句話,攻擊 Mr. M 的話也不例外。麥迪遜對制憲大會的完整記錄直到30年后才發表。

        (MUSIC)

        VOICE ONE:

        The first important decision by the delegates was choosing a president for the convention. Several urged the others to name George Washington. The delegates agreed. Washington was their choice.

        與會代表們的第一個重要決定是推舉大會主席。有人提名喬治·華盛頓,代表們欣然接受。

        George Washington then officially opened the convention with a short speech. He thanked the delegates for naming him president. But he said the honor was too great. He asked the delegates to forgive him if he made mistakes. After all, he said, he had never been chairman of a meeting before.

        喬治·華盛頓發表簡短講話,宣布大會正式開幕。他感謝與會代表推舉他出任會議主席,說這是一個極大的榮譽,但華盛頓同時表示,他從沒當過會議主席,所以如果犯什么錯誤,請代表們原諒。

        With those words, George Washington sat down. And for the next four months, he spoke only when necessary.

        說完這番話,華盛頓就入座了,在接下來的四個月里,他只要在必要的時候才會起身發言。

        VOICE TWO:

        The first day of the convention ended well. The delegates agreed to name a small committee to write rules for the meetings. They quickly appointed three men: George Wythe of Virginia, Alexander Hamilton of New York, and Charles Pinckney of South Carolina.

        會議第一天進展得十分順利,代表們同意組成一個小組委員會,制定會議細則。他們很快決定,由維吉尼亞州的喬治·威思、紐約州的亞歷山大·漢密爾頓和南卡羅來納州的查爾斯·平克尼來擔此重任。

        So far, the business of the convention was easy. The work was done in a friendly way. It was not long, however, before a serious dispute developed.

        The dispute was between the large states and the small states. How would they share power in a government of United States? Should states with bigger populations have more power than states with smaller populations?

        The dispute would sharply divide the delegates for the next four months. That will be our story next week.

        會議進行到這一步,一切都風平浪靜,氣氛也十分友好,但是用不了多久,與會代表中間就出現了嚴重分歧。分歧重點是大州和小州的權力分享。人口多的州是不是應該比人口少的州享有更多的權力呢?這一爭議是如何解決的?我們下次介紹。

        (MUSIC)

        VOICE TWO:

        Join us again next week for THE MAKING OF A NATION, an American history series in VOA Special English. I'm Doug Johnson with Tony Riggs. Transcripts and MP3 files of our series are online at www.squishedblueberries.com.

        網友的學習評論(4條):
        作者:小丑魚
        3-3-2013 19:24:24
        怎么沒有后續的了呢
        作者:xuding45
        3-25-2013 9:42:3
        Many delegates came to Philadelphia, and they wanted to make a new constitution for U.S.A. It was adifficult task, the delegates got together to do this for four months. During the meeting they had a serious dispute about the sharing of power among states.
        作者:資文杰
        3-24-2014 15:47:9
        stronge certal goverment
        作者:hliu
        7-17-2015 8:54:26
        Four months, it's the longest meeting I've ever heard. I am curious of how these delegates were chosed.
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