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        #24: The Signing of the Constitution in Philadelphia

        作者:Christine Johnson 發布日期:3-7-2013

        ANNOUNCER:

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

        In May of seventeen eighty-seven, a group of delegates met in Philadelphia to rewrite the Articles of Confederation. They ended up writing a new document instead -- the United States Constitution. For the past several weeks we have been telling the story of the Constitution. Here are Maurice Joyce and Shep O'Neal.

        VOICE TWO:

        George Washington watches the Constitution being signed
        George Washington watches the Constitution being signed

        Last week, we told how the convention discussed the difficult issue of slavery. Slavery affected the decision on how to count the population for purposes of representation in Congress. It also affected the powers proposed for the Congress. The convention accepted several political compromises on the issue.

        上次我們講到,費城制憲大會的代表們討論了奴隸制這個棘手的問題。奴隸制涉及到人口普查,決定各州眾議員人數的問題,同時也會影響到國會的權力。費城制憲大會就此達成了好幾項妥協。

        One compromise was the 'three-fifths' rule. The population would be counted every ten years to decide how many representatives each state would have. The delegates agreed that every five Negro slaves would be counted as three persons.

        其中之一是所謂的"五分之三"規則。大會決定,美國每十年進行一次人口普查,并以此為根據,決定各州眾議員的人數。大會代表一致同意,每五個黑奴按照三個人計算。

        Another compromise permitted states to import slaves until the year eighteen-oh-eight. After that, no new slaves could be brought into the country.

        另外一項妥協允許各州在1808年之前繼續進口奴隸,1808年過后,奴隸貿易就要終止。

        Many of the delegates in Philadelphia did not like these compromises. But they knew the compromises kept the southern states from leaving the convention. Without them, as one delegate said, no union could be formed.

        費城制憲大會的很多代表并不喜歡這些妥協,但是他們知道,要想讓南部各州留下來,就必須這樣作,否則,美國就無法形成聯盟。

        VOICE ONE:

        After all the debates, bitter arguments, and compromises, the delegates were nearing the end of their work. Four months had passed since the convention began. The weather had been hot. Emotions had been hot, too. But that was expected...for the men in Philadelphia were deciding the future of their country.

        所有的爭吵、辯論、妥協過后,大會代表們的工作接近尾聲了。費城制憲大會召開四個月來,情緒的激烈,可以跟炎熱的天氣相提并論,畢竟,費城大會代表們要決定的是自己國家的未來。

        Early in September, the convention appointed five men to a Committee of Style. It was their job to write the document containing all the convention's decisions. William Samuel Johnson of Connecticut was chairman of the committee. The other members were Alexander Hamilton of New York, Gouverneur Morris of Pennsylvania, Rufus King of Massachusetts, and James Madison of Virginia.

        九月初,大會指定了一個五人委員會,負責將大會決議寫成文件??的峡酥莸耐?middot;塞謬爾·約翰遜是委員會主席,其他四名成員分別是紐約州的亞歷山大·漢密爾頓、賓夕法尼亞州的格瓦諾·莫里斯、麻薩諸塞州的魯弗斯·金和維吉尼亞州的詹姆斯·麥迪遜。

        Of these five men, Gouverneur Morris was known for the beauty of his language. So Judge Johnson asked him to write the Constitution.

        在這五個人當中,格瓦諾·莫里斯文筆最優美,所以委員會主席約翰遜請他負責把憲法落實在文字上。

        (MUSIC)

        VOICE TWO:

        The convention approved twenty-three parts, or articles, for the Constitution. Gouverneur Morris re-wrote them in a more simple form, so there were just seven.

        制憲大會批準了憲法的23項條款后,格瓦諾·莫里斯又用更為簡單的語言進行改寫,最后縮短為7條。

        Article One describes the powers of the Congress. It explains how to count the population for purposes of representation. And it says who can become senators or representatives, and how long they can serve.

        第一條規定了國會的權力,解釋了通過人口普查決定國會代表權的問題,規定了參議員和眾議員必須具備的條件,以及他們的任期。

        Article Two describes the powers of the president. It explains who can be president. And it tells how he is to be elected.

        憲法第二條規定了總統的權力,包括總統人選的資格,以及推選方式。

        Article Three describes the powers of the federal judiciary.

        憲法第三條規定了聯邦司法權。

        The first three articles provide a system of 'checks and balances'. The purpose is to prevent any of the three branches of government -- legislative, executive, and judicial -- from becoming too powerful.

        憲法前三條確定了美國三權分立、相互制衡的體系,目的是防止立法、行政和司法這三個分支的任何一個分支變得過于強權。

        VOICE ONE:

        Article Four explains the rights and duties of the states under the new central government. Article Five provides a system for amending the Constitution. Article Six declares the Constitution to be the highest law of the land. And Article Seven simply says the Constitution will be established when nine states approve it.

        憲法第四條解釋了聯邦政府下面各州的權利和義務。憲法第五條規定了通過憲法修正案的程序。憲法第六條宣布,憲法是美國的最高法律。憲法第七條表示,憲法生效需要九個州的批準。

        In addition to the seven articles, the Constitution contains an opening statement, or preamble.

        除了這七條以外,還有憲法序言。

        The convention prepared its own preamble. It began, "We the undersigned delegates of the states of New Hampshire, Massachusetts" and so on. And it listed all thirteen states by name.

        制憲大會自己編寫的序言一上來說,"我們來自新罕布什爾州、麻薩諸塞州...."把十三個州的名字依次排列。

        VOICE TWO:

        The Committee of Style did not think it was a good idea to list each state. After all, Rhode Island never sent a delegate to Philadelphia. And no one knew for sure if every state would approve the Constitution.

        憲法編寫委員會認為,羅列各州的名字不是個好辦法,因為畢竟,制憲大會里沒有來自羅德島的代表,而且沒有人知道,是不是每個州都會批準憲法。

        So, Gouverneur Morris wrote down instead, "We the People of the United States of America ... "

        因此,格瓦諾·莫里斯將序言改為,"我們美利堅合眾國的人民"。

        Those simple words solved the committee's problem. Who suspected they would cause angry debate during the fight to approve the Constitution? For they made clear that the power of the central government came not from the nation's states, but directly from its citizens.

        這一簡單明了的說法雖然解決了問題,但是又會誰會想到,在批準憲法時,這種說法會引起憤怒的辯論呢?因為這番話顯示出,聯邦政府的權力并非來自各州,而是來自人民。

        VOICE ONE:

        The rest of the preamble says why the Constitution was written: In order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, guarantee peace at home, provide for the common defense, work for the well-being of all, and hold on to the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our children.

        憲法序言接下來解釋了撰寫憲法的原因,即"為了組織一個更完善的聯邦,樹立正義,保障國內的安寧,建立共同的國防,增進全民福利和確保我們自己及我們后代能安享自由帶來的幸福。"

        The next step was to sign the document.

        下一步就是憲法的簽署了。

        (MUSIC)

        VOICE TWO:

        On September seventeenth, the delegates gathered for the last time. One might think all their business finally was done. But Nathaniel Gorham of Massachusetts rose to speak.

        1787年9月17號,費城制憲大會的代表們最后一次開會。也許有人會覺得他們終于大功告成了。但是就在這個時候,麻薩諸塞州的納撒尼爾·戈勒姆站起來發言。

        "If it is not too late," he said, "I would like to make a change. We have agreed that one congressman will represent every forty thousand persons. I think that number should be thirty thousand.

        他說,"如果不是太晚的話,我想提議,將原來確定的每四萬人出一名眾議員的規定,改成三萬人。"

        Gorham's proposal could have caused a bitter argument. Then, suddenly, George Washington stood up. The delegates were surprised, because he had said little all summer. "Now," Washington said, "I must speak out in support of the proposed change. It will guarantee a greater voice in the government for the people of the nation." General Washington's influence was strong. Every delegate agreed to accept the change.

        戈勒姆的提議本來會引起憤怒的反駁,但是就在這時候,整個夏天一直沉默寡言的喬治·華盛頓卻站了起來,代表們都感到十分驚訝。華盛頓說,"我支持這一變動,因為這樣做能保證人民在政府里有更大的聲音。"喬治·華盛頓很有影響力,因此所有代表都同意把四萬人改為三萬。

        VOICE ONE:

        Finally, it was time to sign the Constitution. It also was the last chance to speak against it. Many delegates did not like all parts of the Constitution. They stated their objections. Yet, they declared, for the good of the nation, they would sign.

        終于到了簽署憲法的時刻,這也是代表們發言的最后機會。很多代表都對憲法的某些部分感到不滿,并發表了自己的反對意見,但是他們表示,為了國家的利益,他們會在憲法上簽字。

        Several, however, refused to put their name on the Constitution.

        不過,還是有人拒絕在憲法上簽上自己的名字。

        Edmund Randolph of Virginia said he could not sign the document because he believed it would not be approved. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts did believe the Constitution would be approved. And that, he said, would lead to civil war. So he would not sign.

        維吉尼亞州的埃德蒙·倫道夫表示,他之所以不肯簽字是因為他相信這部憲法是無法得到通過的。麻薩諸塞州的埃爾布里奇·格里則認為,憲法能夠通過,但勢必引發內戰,所以他拒絕簽字。

        George Mason of Virginia also refused to sign, but he did not say why. He wrote his thoughts, instead. His chief reason for not signing: the Constitution did not directly guarantee the rights of citizens.

        維吉尼亞州的喬治·梅森也拒絕簽名,他雖然沒有解釋原因,但是把自己的想法寫了下來,那就是,憲法沒有直接保證公民的權利。

        The country would hear this argument again later. Many people agreed with Mason. The results were the first ten amendments to the Constitution. Those amendments became known as the Bill of Rights.

        美國的很多人都同意他的看法,后來大家圍繞公民權利的問題展開了辯論,其結果就是憲法的前十個修正案,也就是大家常說的"權利法案"。

        VOICE TWO:

        The Rotunda at the National Archives in Washington houses the Constitution
        The Rotunda at the National Archives in Washington houses the Constitution

        Randolph, Gerry, and Mason were the only delegates in Philadelphia who did not sign the Constitution. Four other delegates who opposed went home before the signing. They were Luther Martin and John Mercer of Maryland. And Robert Yates and John Lansing of New York.

        倫道夫、格里和梅森是費城制憲大會唯一沒有在憲法上簽字的三個代表,還有四個持反對意見的代表在憲法簽署前就回家了。他們是:馬里蘭州的盧瑟·馬丁和約翰·默瑟,以及紐約州的羅伯特·耶茨和約翰·蘭辛。

        Nine men who supported the Constitution also went home early and did not sign. Oliver Ellsworth of Connecticut. Caleb Strong of Massachusetts. William Houstoun and William Pierce of Georgia. Alexander Martin and William Davie of North Carolina. William Houston of New Jersey. George Wythe and James McClurg of Virginia.

        除了他們以外,還有九個支持憲法的人由于提前退席,因此沒有簽字。他們分別是:康涅迪克州的奧利弗·埃爾斯沃思、麻薩諸塞州的凱萊布·阿姆斯特朗、喬治亞州的威廉·胡斯頓和威廉·皮爾斯、北卡羅來納州的亞歷山大·馬丁和威廉·戴維、新澤西州的威廉·休斯頓、還有維吉尼亞州的喬治·威思和詹姆斯·麥克勒格。

        VOICE ONE:

        Few of the delegates in Philadelphia could be sure that enough states would approve the Constitution to make it the law of the land. And few could know then that Americans of the future would honor them as fathers of the nation. But, as several said later, they wrote the best Constitution they could. Without it, the young nation would break apart. The United States of America would disappear before it had a chance to succeed.

        費城制憲大會沒有多少代表能肯定憲法草案會被接受,成為法律,也沒有多少人知道自己會被子孫后代尊為國父。但是有些代表后來說,為寫這部憲法,他們花費了最大的努力。如果沒有這部憲法,年輕的美國就會土崩瓦解,沒有任何成功的機會。

        VOICE TWO:

        As the last delegates moved to the table to sign the Constitution, Benjamin Franklin looked at a painting behind the president's chair. He spoke softly to the men around him. Franklin noted that it is difficult to paint a morning sun that appears different from an evening sun. "During the past four months of this convention," he said, "I have often looked at that painting. And I was never able to know if the picture showed a morning sun or an evening sun. But now, at last, I know. I am happy to say it is a morning sun, the beginning of a new day."

        最后幾名代表在憲法上簽字的時候,本杰明·富蘭克林注視著大會主席座位背后的一幅畫輕聲對周圍的人說,畫畫的時候,很難把朝霞跟夕陽區分開來。他說,"過去四個月里,我常??粗@幅畫,從來不知道畫上畫的是日出還是夕陽。但是現在我終于知道了。我很高興地說,畫上畫的是初升的太陽,是新的一天的開始。"

        (MUSIC)

        ANNOUNCER:

        Our program was written by Christine Johnson. The narrators were Maurice Joyce and Shep O'Neal. Transcripts, MP3s and podcasts of our programs are at www.squishedblueberries.com. Join us again next week for THE MAKING OF A NATION, an American history series in VOA Special English.

        網友的學習評論(3條):
        作者:xuding45
        4-3-2013 10:12:25
        The signing of the constitution in Philadelphia in the end. Though some delegates didn't signed in the constitution. The new nation was built in the continuent.
        作者:hliu
        7-25-2015 21:5:1
        Why a constitution is needed? Why a united states is needed? Why did they not just build some kind of allies relationship? I think maybe it's because each state has similar culture especially in terms of freedom and human rights and has similar interests (i.e. all of them were ruled by the king of Britian and have to pay the same irrational taxes) and each seperate state is not sronger enough to fight for and protect themselves individually.
        作者:hliu
        7-25-2015 21:5:11
        A constitution builds an unvisual but deeply firm tie between them. It makes a permanant confederation possible. I am wonderring what could happen if America native tribes signed such a official document.
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