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        #189: Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor Pulls US Into War

        作者:David Jarmul 發布日期:8-19-2013

        The USS California after being struck by a torpedo and a bomb during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941
        The USS California after being struck by a torpedo and a bomb during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941

        STEVE EMBER: Welcome to THE MAKING OF A NATION - American history in VOA Special English. I'm Steve Ember.

        (MUSIC)

        History is usually a process of slow change. However, certain events also can change the course of history. Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo was such an event. So was the first airplane flight by the Wright brothers. Or the meeting between the Spanish explorer Cortez and the Aztec king Montezuma.

        All these events were moments that changed history. And so it was, too, with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December seventh, nineteen forty-one.

        (SOUND)

        NEWS BULLETIN: "We interrupt this program to bring you a special news bulletin. The Japanese have attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, by air, President Roosevelt has just announced. The attack also was made on all naval and military facilities on the principal island of Oahu.

        "We take you now to Washington. The details are not available. They will be in a few minutes. The White house is now giving out a statement. The attack was apparently made on all naval and military activities on the principal island of Oahu.

        "The president's brief statement was read to reporters by Stephen Early, the president's secretary. A Japanese attack upon Pearl Harbor naturally would mean war. Such an attack would naturally bring a counterattack. And hostilities of this kind would naturally mean that the president would ask Congress for a declaration of war."

        (MUSIC)

        STEVE EMBER:The surprise attack on America's large naval base in Hawaii was a great military success for Japan. However, the attack on Pearl Harbor had more than a military meaning.

        The attack would force Americans to enter World War Two. More importantly, it would also make them better recognize their position as one of the most powerful nations in the world.

        In future weeks, we will discuss the military and political events of World War Two. But today, we look back at the years before the United States entered that war.

        The period between the end of World War One and the attack on Pearl Harbor lasted only twenty-three years, from nineteen eighteen to nineteen forty-one. But those years were filled with important changes in American politics, culture and traditions.

        We start our review of these years with politics.

        (MUSIC)

        In nineteen twenty, Americans elected Republican Warren Harding to the presidency. The voters were tired of the progressive policies of Democratic president Woodrow Wilson. They were especially tired of Wilson's desire for the United States to play an active role in the new League of Nations.

        Harding was a conservative Republican. And so were the two presidents who followed him, Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover.

        All three of these presidents generally followed conservative economic policies. And they did not take an active part in world affairs.

        Americans turned away from Republican rule in the election of nineteen thirty-two. They elected the Democratic presidential candidate, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. And they continued to re-elect him. In this way, the conservative Republican policies of the nineteen twenties changed to the more progressive policies of Roosevelt in the nineteen thirties.

        This change happened mainly because of economic troubles.

        (MUSIC)

        The nineteen twenties were a time of growth and business strength.

        President Calvin Coolidge said during his term that the "chief business of the American people is business." This generally was the same belief of the other Republican presidents during the period, Warren Harding and Herbert Hoover.

        There was a good reason for this. The economy expanded greatly during the nineteen twenties. Many Americans made a great deal of money on the stock market. And wages for workers increased as well.

        (MUSIC)

        However, economic growth ended suddenly with the stock market crash of October nineteen twenty-nine.

        In that month, the stocks for many leading companies fell sharply. And they continued to fall in the months that followed. Many Americans lost great amounts of money. And the public at large lost faith in the economy. Soon, the economy was in ruins, and businesses were closing their doors.

        President Hoover tried to solve the crisis. But he was not willing to take the strong actions that were needed to end it. As time passed, many Americans began to blame Hoover for the terrible economic depression.

        Democrat Franklin Roosevelt was elected mainly because he promised to try new solutions to end the Great Depression.

        FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT: "This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself - nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."

        STEVE EMBER:Soon after he was elected, Roosevelt launched a number of imaginative economic policies to solve the crisis.

        FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT: "Our greatest primary task is to put people to work. This is no unsolvable problem if we face it wisely and courageously. It can be accomplished in part by direct recruiting by the Government itself, treating the task as we would treat the emergency of a war, but at the same time, through this employment, accomplishing greatly needed projects to stimulate and reorganize the use of our great natural resources.

        "Hand in hand with that, we must frankly recognize the overbalance of population in our industrial centers. And by engaging, on a national scale, in a redistribution, endeavor to provide a better use of the land for those best fitted for the land. Yes, the task can be helped by definite efforts to raise the values of agricultural products, and with this, the power to purchase the output of our cities.

        "It can be helped by preventing realistically the tragedy of the growing loss through foreclosure of our small homes and our farms. It can be helped by insistence that the federal, the state, and the local governments act forthwith on the demands that their costs be drastically reduced."

        STEVE EMBER: Roosevelt's policies helped to reduce the amount of human suffering. But the Great Depression finally ended only with America's entry into World War Two.

        Roosevelt's victory in nineteen thirty-two also helped change the balance of power in American politics. Roosevelt brought new kinds of Americans to positions of power: Labor union leaders. Roman Catholics. Jews. Blacks. Americans from families that had come from places such as Italy, Ireland and Russia.

        These Americans repaid Roosevelt by giving the Democratic Party their votes.

        The nineteen twenties and thirties also brought basic changes in how Americans dealt with many of their social and economic problems.

        The nineteen twenties generally were a period of economic growth with little government intervention in the day-to-day lives of the people. But the terrible conditions of the Great Depression during the nineteen thirties forced Roosevelt and the federal government to experiment with new policies.

        The government began to take an active role in offering relief to the poor. It started programs to give food and money to poor people. And it created jobs for workers.

        The government grew in other ways. It created major programs for farmers. It set regulations for the stock market. It built dams, roads and airports.

        American government looked much different at the end of this period between the world wars than it did at the beginning. Government had become larger and more important. It dealt with many more issues in people's lives than it ever had before.

        (MUSIC)

        Social protest increased during the nineteen twenties and thirties. Some black Americans began to speak out more actively about unfair laws and customs. Blacks in great numbers moved from the southern part of the country to northern and central cities.

        The nineteen twenties and thirties also were a time of change for women. Women began to wear less conservative kinds of clothes. Washing machines and other inventions allowed them to spend less time doing housework. Women could smoke or drink in public, at least in large cities. And many women held jobs.

        Of course, the women's movement was not new. Long years of work by such women's leaders as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony had helped women win the constitutional right to vote in nineteen twenty.

        (MUSIC)

        The nineteen twenties and thirties also were important periods in the arts.

        George Gershwin wrote his "Rhapsody in Blue" originally for piano and jazz band. It later went on to become a symphony concert favorite.

        George Gershwin
        George Gershwin

        Writers such as Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Eugene O'Neill and others made this what many called the "Golden Age" of American writing. Frank Lloyd Wright and other architects designed great buildings. Film actors like Clark Gable, and radio entertainers like Jack Benny did more than make Americans laugh or cry. They also helped unite the country. Millions of Americans could watch or listen to the same show at the same time.

        Politics. The economy. Social traditions. Art. All these changed for Americans during the nineteen twenties and thirties. And many of these changes also had effects in countries beyond America's borders.

        However, the change that had the most meaning for the rest of the world was the change produced by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

        America's modern history as a great superpower begins with its reaction to that attack. It was a sudden event in the flow of history. It was a day on which a young land suddenly became fully grown.

        Our story continues next week.

        Our program was written by David Jarmul. You can find our series online with transcripts, MP3s, podcasts and pictures at www.squishedblueberries.com. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter at VOA Learning English. I'm Steve Ember inviting you to join us again next week for THE MAKING OF A NATION - American history in VOA Special English.

        ___

        This was program #189

        歷史通常是一個緩慢變化的過程,然而,一些特殊事件的發生卻能急速改變歷史。拿破侖兵敗滑鐵盧,懷特兄弟駕駛第一架飛機上天,西班牙探險家卡爾特斯與蒙特祖瑪國王阿茲特克的會面都是這樣的歷史事件,都是改變歷史的時刻。同樣,當日本于1941年12月7日偷襲珍珠港時,歷史的進程也被驟然改變了。

        美國的新聞廣播說:"我們打斷正在播放的節目,向您插播一條特別新聞。羅斯??偨y剛剛宣布,日本空襲了夏威夷的珍珠港。日本還向夏威夷另一個大島──瓦胡島的海軍和軍事設施發動了攻擊。我們現在看看華盛頓的情況。關于此次攻擊的細節還不清楚,要過幾分鐘才能知道。白宮正在發表聲明。這次空襲可能意在摧毀瓦胡島的海軍基地和軍事設施。"

        廣播還說:"總統秘書斯蒂芬.厄爾利向媒體宣讀了總統聲明。日本對夏威夷珍珠港的進攻,很自然意味著戰爭的開始,很自然會遭到反擊。這種敵對行動一定會使總統要求國會對日宣戰。"

        對美國夏威夷珍珠港重要海軍基地的突襲是日本一次重大的軍事勝利,然而,這一突襲的意義并不僅僅局限于軍事方面。它還將迫使美國投入第二次世界大戰。更為重要的是,這次突襲還將使美國人對世界最強大國家這個地位有更深刻的了解。

        從一戰結束到1941年日本偷襲珍珠港只間隔了23年,但在這段時間里,美國的政治、文化和傳統都發生了重要變化。上個世紀二十年代,美國人民選擇共和黨人沃倫.哈丁為總統,因為他們厭倦了民主黨總統伍德羅.威爾遜的激進政策,他們尤其厭倦了威爾遜希望美國在新成立的國際組織──國聯中擔當重要角色的想法。

        哈丁是一位保守派共和黨人,在他之后的兩任總統加爾文.柯立芝和休伯特.胡佛也都是保守派共和黨人。這三位總統基本采取保守的經濟政策,在國際事務上也不積極。1930年,美國人拋棄了共和黨,轉而將選票投給民主黨,他們選舉富蘭克林.羅斯福為總統,四年后,羅斯福當選連任。因此,二十年代共和黨保守的經濟政策到了三十年代羅斯福當總統時被積極進取型政策所取代,造成這一變化的主要原因是經濟困難。

        上個世紀二十年代是美國經濟實力增長,商業發展的年代,柯立芝總統曾說"美國人的首要任務是發展經濟。"這同樣代表了這一時期其他兩位共和黨總統,沃倫.哈丁和休伯特.胡佛的觀點。這是有充分理由的。上個世紀二十年代,美國經濟迅速發展,許多美國人從股票市場上賺到了好多錢,而且工人們的工資也持續上漲。

        然而,美國經濟的快速發展在1929年10月因股票市場的崩盤而突然終結,一個月內,許多大公司股票狂跌,并在此后的幾個月里持續下跌。許多美國人因此損失了大量財富,大部分公眾對經濟失去信心,不久,美國經濟崩潰,企業關門。

        胡佛總統試圖解決經濟危機,但他又不愿意采取結束危機所需的強有力措施。隨著時間的流逝,許多美國人開始認為,胡佛總統要為經濟大蕭條負責。民主黨人富蘭克林.羅斯福后來當選,主要是因為他承諾采用新辦法,結束經濟蕭條。

        羅斯福說:"我們這個偉大的國度曾經歷經磨難,今后仍將經受考驗,但必將恢復,會再次繁榮。所以,首先請允許我堅定我的信念:我們惟一該恐懼的就是恐懼本身,是那種難以名狀的、盲目的、和毫無根據的恐懼,這種恐懼阻礙了我們前進的努力。"

        當選總統后不久,羅斯福就發起了一系列具有創造性的解決經濟危機的經濟政策。他說:"我們的首要任務是給人們工作。只要我們明智而勇敢地對待它,這就不是無法解決的問題。通過政府直接征募人員可以部分實現這個目標,就像我們應付戰時緊急狀態那樣,但同時,通過政府雇人興建急需的大型工程,我們可以刺激經濟,重新配置和利用我們豐富的自然資源。"

        他說:"與此同時,我們必須坦率地承認,我們的那些工業中心已經出現人口失衡;應在全國范圍調整人口布局,盡力把土地提供給最善于耕種的人,使土地得到更好的利用。為了幫助這項任務的完成,要采取具體措施提高農產品價格,從而提高對城市產品的購買力。"

        他說:"要從現實出發,制止對小房產和農場取消抵押品贖回權所造成的日趨嚴重的悲慘損失。一定要讓聯邦、各州和地方政府立即按大幅度削減政府經費的要求采取行動。"

        1932年羅斯福當選總統還改變了美國的政治平衡,他把一些新面孔帶進了權力機器:如工會領導人、天主教徒、猶太人和黑人,還有從意大利、愛爾蘭和俄羅斯移民來美國的人。這些人把票投給民主黨,以此來回報羅斯福的政策。

        20世紀二、三十年代,美國人解決許多社會和經濟問題的方式也發生了根本性改變。二十年代的美國,經濟快速發展,政府基本上不干預人們的日常生活。但到三十年代,經濟大蕭條導致的慘況使羅斯福和聯邦政府嘗試采取一些新政策。

        政府開始在幫助窮人方面發揮積極作用。政府開始設立向窮人提供食品和補助金的項目,并為失業者提供就業崗位。政府還通過其它方式擴 大自己的影響力。比如在農業方面推出許多重點項目,為股票市場建立規章制度,修建大壩、道路和飛機場。

        美國政府在二戰開始前已經變得同一戰結束時很不一樣了,變得更龐大,更重要。在人們的生活中,政府承擔的責任比以往任何時候都要多。20世紀二、三十年代,美國社會的抗議聲日益高漲。一些黑人開始對不公平的法律和社會待遇積極地發出不滿的聲音。許許多多的黑人從南方向北部和中部城市轉移。

        20世紀二、三十年代也是美國婦女地位發生變化的時期。婦女們開始穿一些不太保守的衣服。洗衣機和其它的一些發明減少了婦女做家務的時間。至少在大城市,婦女可以在公共場合抽煙喝酒,而且還有許多婦女有了工作。當然,婦女運動并不是從那時才開始的。伊麗莎白.卡蒂.斯坦頓和蘇珊.安東尼等一些婦女運動領導人多年的努力已經幫助美國婦女在1920年贏得了憲法賦予的選舉權。

        20世紀二、三十年代還是美國藝術發展的重要時期,喬治.格什溫創作了"藍色狂想曲",這起初是為鋼琴和爵士樂隊所作的,后來成了交響樂的經典。在文學創作方面出現了像海明威、??思{和尤金.奧尼爾等著名作家,使這一時期被很多人稱為美國文學創作的"黃金時期"。而弗蘭克.勞埃德.賴特和其他著名的建筑師也設計出許多偉大的作品??死?蓋博等電影明星和杰克.班尼等廣播藝人則賺取了許多美國人的歡笑和眼淚。這些名人使美國人更加團結,千百萬美國人可以在同一時間,收聽或觀看同樣的節目。

        20世紀二、三十年代,美國無論是政治、經濟,還是社會傳統和藝術都發生了很大的變化。然而,對于世界其它地方而言,美國最重要的變化是日本偷襲珍珠港帶來的變化。美國作為超級大國的現代史就始于珍珠港事件之后它所做出的反應。在歷史長河中,偷襲珍珠港只是一個突發事件,但對美國這個年輕的國家來說,這次事件卻標志著它突然長大成人。

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