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THE MAKING OF A NATION 201 - Post-War Economy / Berlin Airli

时间:2005-09-29 16:00来源:互联网 提供网友:wbnewbie   字体: [ ]
    (单词翻译:双击或拖选)

THE MAKING OF A NATION - July 11, 2002: Post-War Economy / Berlin Airlift

By David Jarmul
VOICE 1:
THE MAKING OF A NATION -- a program in Special English by the Voice of America.
(Theme)
The surrender of Japan in August nineteen -forty-five ended the Second World War. Americans looked to their


new president, Harry1 Truman of the state of Missouri, to lead them into a new period of peace.

 

No one expected President Truman to be as strong a leader as Franklin Roosevelt had
been. And at first, they were right. Truman had one problem after another during his
first months in the White House.

VOICE 2:

Truman's first big problem was the economy. In the days after the war ended, almost
two-million Americans lost their jobs as arms factories closed. Americans everywhere
worried about what would happen next. Only a few years before, the nation had suffered
through the worst economic crisis in American history. No one wanted to return to the

closed banks, hungry children, and other sad memories of the Great Depression.

In some ways, the economy did better than experts hoped. The gross national product dropped only a small
amount. Many Americans still had money they had saved during the war. And Congress passed a law to help
people to keep their jobs. The situation could have been much worse than it was.

VOICE 1:

However, the economy also could have been better. Much better. Suddenly, almost overnight, the price of
everything began to rise. Clothes that cost five or six dollars yesterday now cost ten to fifteen dollars. Used
automobile3 tires sold for the surprisingly high price of twenty dollars.

President Truman tried to stop the increases through a special price control agency that had been created during
the war. However, people by the thousands refused to follow the government price control rules. Instead, they set
their own prices for goods.

VOICE 2:

Store owners would tell government officials that they were still obeying the price rules. But often they charged
whatever they wanted for goods.

A meat salesman, for example, might say there was no good meat that day. But for three dollars extra, he would
suddenly find a thick piece of meat to sell. A car salesman would sell his cars at the controlled price. But he
might insist that the buyers also buy his dog for five -hundred dollars. And his dog would return home that night.

VOICE 1:

It was not just store owners who were charging more and refusing to obey government price rules. It was also the
woman who rented a house to a young family. The farmer selling food. And finally, most importantly, it was
organized labor4.

President Truman had always been a friend of labor unions. But during the first months of his administration, he
became involved in a fierce struggle with coal miners and railroad workers.


VOICE 2:

The first sign of trouble came in September, nineteen-forty-five. A group of workers closed down automobile
factories at the Ford5 company. Then, workers at the general motors auto2 company went on strike. Soon there
were strikes everywhere.

Workers went on strike in the oil industry, the clothing industry, the wood -cutting industry, and the electrical
industry.

The strikes made Truman angry. He believed the striking workers were threatening the economy and security of
the United States. He got even angrier when representatives of striking steel and railroad workers came to the
White House and refused to accept a compromise wage offer.

"You are crazy," Truman told the union leader, "if you think I am going to sit here and let you stop this whole
country."

VOICE 1:

Truman ordered government forces to take over the railroads and the coal mines. And within a short time, the
striking coal miners returned to work. However, the president had less success with the railroad workers. He
became so angry with them that he asked Congress to give him the power to draft all striking rail workers into the
armed forces.

The rail strike finally ended. But millions of Americans lost faith in Truman's ability to lead the country, to bring
people together, and end disputes peacefully.

VOICE 2:

By late nineteen -forty-six, most Americans believed that the man in the White House did not know what he was
doing. Truman seemed weak and unable to control events.

Union members disliked him because of his violent opposition6 to the coal and rail strikes. Farmers opposed
Truman because of the administration's effort to keep meat prices low. Conservatives did not trust the reforms
that Truman promised in his speeches. And liberal Democrats7 watched with worry as many old advisers8 of
Franklin Roosevelt left the government because they could not work well with Truman.

VOICE 1:

In November, nineteen-forty-six, the people voted in congressional and state elections. The results showed they
were not satisfied with Truman and the Democratic Party. Republicans won control of both houses of Congress
for the first time in eighteen years. And Republicans were elected governor in twenty-five states.

The election was a serious defeat for the Democrats. But it was a disaster for Truman. Some members of his
party even called on him to resign. Few people gave Truman much chance of winning a second term in the White
House.

However, Harry Truman began to change in the months that followed. He started speaking with more strength
and firmness. He showed more understanding of the powers of the presidency9. And in matters of foreign policy,
he began to act more like a president. This was especially true in Truman's reaction to Soviet10 aggression11 in
Germany.

VOICE 2:

Truman wanted to rebuild Germany, as well as the other countries of western Europe. His administration worked
closely with west European leaders to rescue their broken economies through the Marshall Plan.

But the Soviets12 did not want to see Germany rebuild, at least not so quickly. So at first, they flooded Germany
with extra German currency in an effort to destroy the value of the German mark. They walked out of economic
conferences. And finally, in early nineteen-forty-eight, they blocked all the roads to Berlin to try to cut off the
city from the western powers.


VOICE 1:

The Soviet actions were a direct threat to the west. Truman had three difficult choices. If he did nothing, the
world would think the United States was weak and unable to stop Soviet aggression. If he fought the blockade
with armed force, he might start a third world war. But there was another choice. That was to fly supplies to the
city.

The American military commander in Germany proposed the idea of dropping thousands of kilograms of food,
fuel, and other goods to the people of Berlin by parachute. Not just once, but every day, as long as the Russians
continued their blockade.

VOICE 2:

It would be a difficult job. West Berlin was home to two-and-a-half-million people.
No one had ever tried to supply so large a city by air. Large C-forty-seven transport
airplanes would have to take off every three-and-a-half-minutes all through the day
and night, every day, to supply the people of Berlin with enough food.

The people of Berlin gave needed support from the ground. More than twenty-
thousand Berliners worked day and night to build an extra landing field for the


American airplanes.
It was not long before it became clear that the American air rescue would succeed. West Berlin would remain


free of Soviet control. The Russians soon understood this fact, too. In may of nineteen -forty-nine, almost one
year after they had started their blockade, they ended it.
VOICE 1:
The crisis in Berlin changed the way many Americans saw their president. Harry Truman no longer seemed so


weak or unsure of himself. Instead, he was acting13 as a leader who could take an active part in world affairs.


Truman's popularity increased. However, most Americans did not expect him to win the presidential election in
nineteen-forty-eight. Almost everyone believed that the Republican candidate would capture the office.
The election campaign that year turned out to be one of the most exciting and surprising in the entire history of


the nation. That nineteen-forty-eight election will be our story next week.
(Theme)
VOICE 2:
You have been listening to THE MAKING OF A NATION, a program in Special English by the Voice of


America. Your narrators have been Harry Monroe and Rich Kleinfeldt. Our program was written by David
Jarmul.


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点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 harry heBxS     
vt.掠夺,蹂躏,使苦恼
参考例句:
  • Today,people feel more hurried and harried.今天,人们感到更加忙碌和苦恼。
  • Obama harried business by Healthcare Reform plan.奥巴马用医改掠夺了商界。
2 auto ZOnyW     
n.(=automobile)(口语)汽车
参考例句:
  • Don't park your auto here.别把你的汽车停在这儿。
  • The auto industry has brought many people to Detroit.汽车工业把许多人吸引到了底特律。
3 automobile rP1yv     
n.汽车,机动车
参考例句:
  • He is repairing the brake lever of an automobile.他正在修理汽车的刹车杆。
  • The automobile slowed down to go around the curves in the road.汽车在路上转弯时放慢了速度。
4 labor P9Tzs     
n.劳动,努力,工作,劳工;分娩;vi.劳动,努力,苦干;vt.详细分析;麻烦
参考例句:
  • We are never late in satisfying him for his labor.我们从不延误付给他劳动报酬。
  • He was completely spent after two weeks of hard labor.艰苦劳动两周后,他已经疲惫不堪了。
5 Ford KiIxx     
n.浅滩,水浅可涉处;v.涉水,涉过
参考例句:
  • They were guarding the bridge,so we forded the river.他们驻守在那座桥上,所以我们只能涉水过河。
  • If you decide to ford a stream,be extremely careful.如果已决定要涉过小溪,必须极度小心。
6 opposition eIUxU     
n.反对,敌对
参考例句:
  • The party leader is facing opposition in his own backyard.该党领袖在自己的党內遇到了反对。
  • The police tried to break down the prisoner's opposition.警察设法制住了那个囚犯的反抗。
7 democrats 655beefefdcaf76097d489a3ff245f76     
n.民主主义者,民主人士( democrat的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • The Democrats held a pep rally on Capitol Hill yesterday. 民主党昨天在国会山召开了竞选誓师大会。
  • The democrats organize a filibuster in the senate. 民主党党员组织了阻挠议事。 来自《简明英汉词典》
8 advisers d4866a794d72d2a666da4e4803fdbf2e     
顾问,劝告者( adviser的名词复数 ); (指导大学新生学科问题等的)指导教授
参考例句:
  • a member of the President's favoured circle of advisers 总统宠爱的顾问班子中的一员
  • She withdrew to confer with her advisers before announcing a decision. 她先去请教顾问然后再宣布决定。
9 presidency J1HzD     
n.总统(校长,总经理)的职位(任期)
参考例句:
  • Roosevelt was elected four times to the presidency of the United States.罗斯福连续当选四届美国总统。
  • Two candidates are emerging as contestants for the presidency.两位候选人最终成为总统职位竞争者。
10 Soviet Sw9wR     
adj.苏联的,苏维埃的;n.苏维埃
参考例句:
  • Zhukov was a marshal of the former Soviet Union.朱可夫是前苏联的一位元帅。
  • Germany began to attack the Soviet Union in 1941.德国在1941年开始进攻苏联。
11 aggression WKjyF     
n.进攻,侵略,侵犯,侵害
参考例句:
  • So long as we are firmly united, we need fear no aggression.只要我们紧密地团结,就不必惧怕外来侵略。
  • Her view is that aggression is part of human nature.她认为攻击性是人类本性的一部份。
12 soviets 95fd70e5832647dcf39beb061b21c75e     
苏维埃(Soviet的复数形式)
参考例句:
  • A public challenge could provoke the Soviets to dig in. 公开挑战会促使苏联人一意孤行。
  • The Soviets proposed the withdrawal of American ballistic-missile submarines from forward bases. 苏联人建议把美国的弹道导弹潜艇从前沿基地撤走。
13 acting czRzoc     
n.演戏,行为,假装;adj.代理的,临时的,演出用的
参考例句:
  • Ignore her,she's just acting.别理她,她只是假装的。
  • During the seventies,her acting career was in eclipse.在七十年代,她的表演生涯黯然失色。
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TAG标签:   Nation  Post  War  Economy  Berlin
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