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        #25: The Constitution Goes to the States for Approval

        作者:Christine Johnson 發布日期:3-8-2013

        ANNOUNCER:

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

        In recent weeks, we told the story of how the United States Constitution was written. In seventeen eighty-seven, a group of delegates gathered for a convention in Philadelphia. Their plan was to rewrite the Articles of Confederation. Those articles created a weak union of the thirteen states.

        Instead of rewriting the articles, however, they spent that summer writing a completely new plan of government. On September seventeenth, after four months of often bitter debate, the delegates finally signed the new document. Now, they had to get at least nine of the thirteen states to approve it. Today, Kay Gallant and Harry Monroe tell the story of ratifying the Constitution.

        在上次的建國史話中,我們講到,1787年夏天,各州的代表在費城開會,計劃改寫將美國當時的十三個州聯系在一起的《邦聯條例》,但是結果,他們卻另起爐灶,制定了一份全新的政府規劃。1787年9月17號,經過四個月的激烈辯論,代表們終于在憲法上簽了字。他們接下來的任務,就是要讓13個州里的至少9個州批準這部憲法。

        (MUSIC)

        VOICE TWO:

        Delegates to the Philadelphia convention had met in secret. They wanted to be able to debate proposals, and change their minds, without worrying about public reaction. Now, they were free to speak openly. Each had a copy of the new Constitution.

        費城制憲大會是秘密進行的,因為大會代表們希望能夠自由地討論提案、隨時改變主張,而不必擔心公眾的反應。憲法簽署后,他們終于可以暢所欲言了,每個人手里都有一份憲法的文本。

        Newspapers also got copies. They printed every word. Public reaction was great indeed. Arguments 'for' and 'against' were the same as those voiced by delegates to the convention:

        The Constitution would save the United States! The Constitution would create a dictator!

        各大報社也得到了憲法的副本,他們一字不差地發表出來,引起了公眾的強烈反響。普通百姓跟大會代表一樣,分為支持和反對兩大陣營。支持者說,這部憲法能拯救美國。反對者說,這部憲法會創造獨裁。

        VOICE ONE:

        The Federalist Papers were a series of 85 essays published in newspapers in 1787 and 1788. They were written by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay to urge citizens of New York to approve the Constitution.
        The Federalist Papers were a series of 85 essays published in newspapers in 1787 and 1788. They were written by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay to urge citizens of New York to approve the Constitution.

        The leaders who supported the new Constitution understood quickly that to win ratification, they must speak out. So, just a few weeks after the document was signed, they began writing statements supporting the proposed Constitution.

        支持新憲法的領導人物知道,如果想讓憲法獲得通過,他們就必須站出來說話。因此,制憲大會的代表們在憲法上簽字的短短幾周后,一些支持憲法的與會代表們就開始發表聲明。

        Their statements appeared first in newspapers in New York. They were called the Federalist Papers. They were printed under the name of 'Publius'. But they were really written by three men: Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay.

        他們的聲明最早出現在紐約的報紙上,這些聲明被統稱做聯邦主義者文集。文章署名 Publius, 但實際上,撰稿人有三個,他們分別是:亞歷山大·漢密爾頓、詹姆斯·麥迪遜和約翰·杰伊。

        Years later, historians said the Federalist Papers were the greatest explanation of the Constitution ever written. But in seventeen eighty-seven, they had little effect on public opinion.

        很多年后,歷史學家說,聯邦主義者文集是對美國憲法最好的解釋,但是1787年的時候,這些文章并沒有對公眾輿論產生多大的影響。

        (MUSIC)

        VOICE TWO:

        The debate over the Constitution divided Americans into two groups. Those who supported it were known as Federalists. Those who opposed it were known as anti-Federalists.

        圍繞憲法的辯論將美國民眾分成了兩大陣營,支持者被稱為聯邦主義者,反對者被稱為反聯邦主義者。

        The anti-Federalists were not anti-American. They were important leaders who loved their country. They were governors, heroes of the Revolutionary War, and even a future president. Yet they distrusted the idea of a strong central government.

        反聯邦主義者并不反對美國,他們都是非常愛國的領導人物,但是他們認為,建立一個強有力的中央政府不是個好主意。

        Give too much power to the president, the Congress and the courts, they said, and citizens would no longer be free. They would lose the liberties gained in the war for independence from Britain.

        他們指出,如果讓總統、國會和法院享有太多的權力,那人民就喪失了自由,會失去獨立戰爭中爭取到的自由。

        VOICE ONE:

        Patrick Henry
        Patrick Henry

        One anti-Federalist was Patrick Henry of Virginia. James Madison called him the most dangerous enemy of the Constitution.

        維吉尼亞州的帕特里克·亨利是反聯邦主義者的代表人物之一。詹姆斯·麥迪遜稱他是憲法最危險的敵人。

        Patrick Henry and other anti-Federalists tried to create distrust and fear about the new plan of government. Farmers against city people. North against South. Small states against big states.

        帕特里克·亨利和其他反聯邦主義者試圖制造對新政府體系的不信任和恐懼,讓務農者和城市人、讓北方和南方、讓人口少的小州和人口多的大州之間形成對立。

        An anti-Federalist newspaper in Philadelphia carried this commentary: "Citizens! You are lucky to live in Pennsylvania, where we have the best government in the world. Do not let this government be destroyed by the new Constitution. Do not let a few men -- men with great names -- seize control of your lives."

        當時費城的一份反聯邦主義者的報紙曾發表了一篇評論文章。文章說,“公民們!你們能住在賓夕法尼亞州,簡直是太幸運了,因為這里有世界上最好的政府。不要讓新憲法把我們的政府摧毀掉,不要讓幾個人,幾個聲名顯赫的人控制了你們的生活。

        One Federalist noted that it was easier to frighten the people than to teach them.

        ”一名聯邦主義者曾指出,恐嚇人民要比教育人民容易得多。

        VOICE TWO:

        There were both Federalists and anti-Federalists in the Continental Congress. The Congress had few powers. But it was the only central government the thirteen states had at that time. It met in New York City.

        大陸會議里既有聯邦主義者,也有反聯邦主義者。大陸會議雖然權力有限,但它卻是當時13個州唯一認可的中央政府。大陸會議在紐約市開會。

        The convention in Philadelphia had sent the Continental Congress a copy of the new Constitution. Within eight days, the Congress agreed that each state should organize a convention to discuss ratification. One by one, the states held their conventions.

        費城制憲大會向大陸會議提交了一份憲法草案,短短八天后,大陸會議就決定,由每個州分別召開憲法會議,討論是否批準這部憲法。

        VOICE ONE:

        Delaware was the first state to ratify, early in December, seventeen eighty-seven. All the delegates voted to approve it. Pennsylvania was the next to ratify, also in December.

        德拉華州率先于1787年12月初批準了憲法,所有代表都投票贊成。賓夕法尼亞州緊隨其后,也于12月批準了新憲法。

        New Jersey ratified the Constitution in December, followed by Georgia and Connecticut in January. That made five states. The Federalists needed just four more to win ratification.

        接下來是新澤西州,同樣是在12月份。再后來是喬治亞州和康涅迪克州,它們于次年元月批準了憲法。至此,共有五個州批準了憲法,離憲法成為法律需要的九個州還差四個。

        Massachusetts voted in early February. Delegates to the state convention wanted the Constitution amended to include guarantees to protect citizens' rights. They agreed to ratify if these guarantees were added later.

        麻薩諸塞州的代表們2月初投票表決。他們認為,憲法需要補充修正案,保證公民的權利。與會代表一致決定,增加這些修正案后,就會批準憲法。

        VOICE TWO:

        Maryland ratified the Constitution at the end of April. There, a number of delegates included a letter of protest with their vote. They said if the proposed plan of government were not amended, the liberty and happiness of the people would be threatened.

        馬里蘭州4月底批準了新憲法。馬里蘭州的一些代表投票時附加了一封抗議信。他們在信中說,如果現版的政府規劃不進行修正,人民的自由和幸福就會受到威脅。

        South Carolina became the eighth state to ratify, at the end of May. Just one more state and the new Constitution would become the law of the land. All eyes turned to Virginia.

        接下來,南卡羅來納州5月底成為批準新憲法的第八個州,這就是說,再有一個州,憲法就能生效,大家的目光都在注視著維吉尼亞。

        In this letter to Alexander Hamilton, George Washington thanks Hamilton for sending a copy of the Federalist Papers written by
        In this letter to Alexander Hamilton, George Washington thanks Hamilton for sending a copy of the Federalist Papers written by "Publius"

        (MUSIC)

        VOICE ONE:

        Virginia was the biggest of the thirteen states. At that time, its western border stretched all the way to the Mississippi River. One-fifth of all the people in America lived in Virginia. The men who attended the ratifying convention were among the most famous names in the nation: James Madison, Patrick Henry, George Mason, James Monroe, Edmund Randolph and John Marshall.

        維吉尼亞州是13個州里最大的一個州。當時,維吉尼亞州的西部邊界一直延伸到密西西比河畔,人口占美國總人口的五分之一。參加憲法批準大會的很多人都是當時的著名人物,包括詹姆斯·麥迪遜、帕克里克·亨利、喬治·梅森、詹姆斯·門羅、埃德蒙·倫道夫和約翰·馬歇爾。

        Thomas Jefferson was still in Paris, serving as America's representative to France. But others kept him informed of everything that happened at home. Jefferson wrote back that he liked most of the Constitution. But, he said, I do not like the fact that it does not contain a declaration of the rights of citizens.

        那個時候,托馬斯·杰斐遜還是美國駐法國巴黎的外交使節,但他通過別人,關心著美國國內的事態發展。杰斐遜寫信說,他對憲法的大部分內容都很欣賞,但是憲法沒有宣示公民的權利,這一點他并不贊同。

        The most famous Virginian, George Washington, stayed at his farm, Mount Vernon. All during the month of June, however, riders brought him messages from the convention and carried messages back.

        維吉尼亞州最有名的人物喬治·華盛頓6月份一直待在自己的農場弗農山莊里,信使把會議消息帶給他,再把他的信件帶走。

        VOICE TWO:

        The Convention of the State of Virginia ratified the Constitution on June 25, 1788
        The Convention of the State of Virginia ratified the Constitution on June 25, 1788

        For three weeks, the Virginia delegates argued about the Constitution. By the end of June, they were ready to vote. Patrick Henry, the outspoken anti-Federalist, asked to make a last statement.

        維吉尼亞州的代表們圍繞憲法展開了3個星期的激烈辯論。到6月底的時候,他們已經做好了投票的準備。這時候,最敢說話的反聯邦主義者帕特里克·亨利要求發表最后一次聲明。

        "If this convention approves the Constitution," Henry said, "I will feel that I fought for good reasons...and lost the fight. If this happens, I will wait and hope. I will hope that the spirit of the American Revolution is not lost. I will hope that this new plan of government is changed to protect the safety, the liberty, and the happiness of the American people."

        亨利說,“如果大會批準了憲法,我會覺得,我據理力爭,雖敗猶榮。如果真是這樣的話,那么我會等待和期盼,希望美國獨立戰爭的精神不會丟失,希望新的政府體系能夠出現變化,保護美國人民的安全、自由和幸福。”

        Then the convention voted. Virginia approved the Constitution. However, like Massachusetts, it added that the document must include a declaration of rights for the nation's people.

        維吉尼亞憲法大會隨即開始投票,最后批準了憲法。不過,跟麻薩諸塞州一樣,維吉尼亞州的代表們也要求在憲法中加上保護人民權利的修正案。

        VOICE ONE:

        Federalists in Virginia were proud. They thought their state was the ninth to ratify, the one that made the Constitution the law of the land. But they soon learned that New Hampshire had ratified a few days earlier. Virginia was number ten. That left three states: North Carolina, Rhode Island, and New York.

        維吉尼亞州的聯邦主義者非常自豪,因為他們是第九個批準憲法的州,在決定憲法是否能夠成為法律的過程中起到了關鍵作用,但是沒過多久,他們就發現,新罕布什爾州早在幾天前就已經通過了憲法,使維吉尼亞州變成了批準憲法的第十個州。這樣一來,只剩下北卡羅來納州、羅德島州和紐約州還沒有做出決定了。

        In a way, New York was the most important of all. If New York refused to join the union under the Constitution, it would be almost impossible for a central government to rule the nation. The twelve other states would be divided in two, geographically separated by New York state.

        在某種意義上,紐約州是美國最重要的一個州。如果紐約拒絕加入聯邦的話,那么中央政府幾乎不可能統領整個國家,因為從地理上看,紐約州位于南北兩端的中心地帶,將國家一分為二。

        VOICE TWO:

        Alexander Hamilton
        Alexander Hamilton

        The Federalists were led by Alexander Hamilton. They used their right to filibuster -- to make many long speeches -- to delay the vote. They wanted to wait to hear what Virginia would do. Early in July, they got the news. But New York's anti-Federalists kept up the fight for three more weeks.

        紐約州以亞歷山大·漢密爾頓為首的聯邦主義者通過冗長的演講拖延時間,等待維吉尼亞州的動態。7月初,終于傳來了維吉尼亞大會批準憲法的消息,但是紐約州的反聯邦主義者還是不肯放棄,又堅持了三個星期。

        It was not until the end of July that New York finally ratified the Constitution. The vote was extremely close: thirty to twenty-seven. Like Massachusetts and Virginia, New York demanded a declaration of rights.

        因此,紐約州直到7月底才以微弱多數批準憲法,投票結果是30票贊成,27票反對。紐約州跟麻薩諸塞州和維吉尼亞州一樣,也要求補充保護公民權利的修正法案。

        VOICE ONE:

        The long struggle to give the United States a strong central government was over. It took four months to write a new Constitution. It took ten months to ratify it.

        在美國建立一個強大的中央政府的努力終于結束了,草擬憲法花了四個月的時間,憲法的批準又花了十個月。

        The Continental Congress declared that the Constitution would become effective the first Wednesday in March, seventeen eighty-nine. The last two states -- North Carolina and Rhode Island -- did not ratify it until many months after that date.

        大陸會議最后宣布,憲法定于1789年3月份的第一個星期三正式生效,北卡羅來納州和羅德島州直到憲法真正成為法律之后的好幾個月才正式批準憲法。

        Benjamin Rush of Pennsylvania, who had signed the Declaration of Independence, wrote down eight words when he heard that the Constitution had been ratified. "It is done," he said, "we have become a nation."

        曾在美國獨立宣言上簽過字的賓夕法尼亞州的本杰明.拉什得知憲法被批準的消息后寫下了八個字。"It is done. We have become a nation." ---意思是:大功告成,我們成為一個國家。

        (MUSIC)

        ANNOUNCER:

        Our program was written by Christine Johnson. The narrators were Kay Gallant and Harry Monroe. 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(5條):
        作者:xuding45
        4-8-2013 10:39:4
        Though delegates in Philadelphia approved this constitution, people in many states had a large differences. There was a long difficult road to approve the new constitution.
        作者:Alumni
        7-20-2013 22:8:38
        “The Constitution would save the United States!”really the Constitution have saved the United States!and i have successfully registered here as a member today.
        作者:jackie-liu
        7-1-2014 11:17:33
        why they did wait the last states to ratify the constitution,the federalists who wanna a central goverment look like only take care of feeling of big States .
        作者:鄭烈波
        1-6-2015 15:1:10
        it is done.we have become a nation
        作者:hliu
        7-26-2015 10:21:1
        It's important to let everyone's voice heared. It based on the rights to talk, to assemble, and to press. Delegates of the convention in Philadelphia put their eyes on goverment, whereas citizens on their basic human rights.
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