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VOA慢速英语 2007 1220b

时间:2008-03-20 03:17来源:互联网 提供网友:蓝静子   字体: [ ]
    (单词翻译:双击或拖选)

VOICE ONE:

This is Rich Kleinfeldt.

VOICE TWO:

And this is Sarah Long with THE MAKING OF A NATION, a VOA Special English program about the history of the United States.  Today, we continue the story of the American Revolution against Britain in the late seventeen hundreds.

(SOUND)

VOICE ONE:

Battles had been fought between Massachusetts soldiers and British military forces in the towns of Lexington and Concord1. Yet, war had not been declared.  Even so, citizen soldiers in each of the thirteen American colonies were ready to fight.

 
George Washington's commission as commander-in-chief, signed by John Hancock and Charles Thompson
This was the first question faced by the Second Continental2 Congress meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Who was going to organize these men into an army?  Delegates to the Congress decided3 that the man for the job was George Washington.  He had experience fighting in the French and Indian War.  He was thought to know more than any other colonist4 about being a military commander.  Washington accepted the position.  But he said he would not take any money for leading the new Continental Army. Washington left Philadelphia for Boston to take command of the soldiers there.

VOICE TWO:

Delegates to the Second Continental Congress made one more attempt to prevent war with Britain.  They sent another message to King George.  They asked him to consider their problems and try to find a solution.  The king would not even read the message.

You may wonder:  Why would the delegates try to prevent war if the people were ready to fight?  The answer is that most members of the Congress -- and most of the colonists5 -- were not yet ready to break away from Britain.  They continued to believe they could have greater self-government and still be part of the British Empire.  But that was not to be.

VOICE ONE:

 
Detail from a drawing made shortly after the Battle of Bunker Hill by British Lieutenant6 Thomas Page
Two days after the Congress appointed George Washington as army commander, colonists and British troops fought the first major battle of the American Revolution.  It was called the Battle of Bunker Hill, although it really involved two hills:  Bunker and Breed's.  Both are just across the Charles River from the city of Boston.

Massachusetts soldiers dug positions on Breed's Hill one night in June, seventeen seventy-five.  By morning, the hill was filled with troops.  The British started to attack from across the river.  The Americans had very little gunpowder7.  They were forced to wait until the British had crossed the river and were almost on top of them before they fired their guns.  Their commander reportedly told them:  Do not fire until you see the whites of the British soldiers' eyes.

VOICE TWO:

The British climbed the hill.  The Americans fired.  A second group climbed the hill.  The Americans fired again.  The third time, the British reached the top, but the Americans were gone. They had left because they had no more gunpowder.  The British captured Breed's Hill.  More than one thousand had been killed or wounded in the attempt.  The Americans lost about four hundred.

That battle greatly reduced whatever hope was left for a negotiated settlement.  King George declared the colonies to be in open rebellion.  And the Continental Congress approved a declaration condemning8 everything the British had done since seventeen sixty-three.

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

 
General George Washington in 'The Prayer at Valley Forge,' painted by H. Brueckner
The American colonists fought several battles against British troops during seventeen seventy-five.  Yet the colonies were still not ready to declare war.  Then, the following year, the British decided to use Hessian soldiers to fight against the colonists.  Hessians were mostly German mercenaries who fought for anyone who paid them.  The colonists feared these soldiers and hated Britain for using them.

At about the same time, Thomas Paine published a little document that had a great effect on the citizens of America.  He named it, "Common Sense."  It attacked King George, as well as the idea of government by kings.  It called for independence.

About one hundred fifty thousand copies of "Common Sense" were sold in America.  Everyone talked about it.  As a result, the Continental Congress began to act.  It opened American ports to foreign shipping9.  It urged colonists to establish state governments and to write constitutions.  On June seventh, delegate Richard Henry Lee of Virginia proposed a resolution for independence.

VOICE TWO:

The resolution was not approved immediately.  Declaring independence was an extremely serious step.  Signing such a document would make delegates to the Continental Congress traitors10 to Britain.  They would be killed if captured by the British.

The delegates wanted the world to understand what they were doing, and why.  So they appointed a committee to write a document giving the reasons for their actions.   One member of the committee was the Virginian, Thomas Jefferson.  He had already written a report criticizing the British form of government.  So the other committee members asked him to prepare the new document.  They said he was the best writer in the group. They were right.  It took him seventeen days to complete the document that the delegates approved on July fourth, seventeen seventy-six.  It was America's Declaration of Independence.

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

 
From Thomas Jefferson's first attempt at writing the Declaration of Independence
Jefferson's document was divided into two parts.  The first part explained the right of any people to revolt.  It also described the ideas the Americans used to create a new, republican form of government.  The Declaration of Independence begins this way:

ANNOUNCER:

When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them to another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel11 them to the separation.

VOICE ONE:

Jefferson continued by saying that all people are equal in the eyes of God.  Therefore, governments can exist only by permission of the people they govern.  He wrote:

ANNOUNCER:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.  That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving12 their just powers from the consent of the governed.

VOICE ONE:

The next part states why the American colonies decided to separate from Britain:

ANNOUNCER:

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it.

VOICE ONE:

This is why the Americans were rebelling against England.  The British believed the Americans were violating their law.  Jefferson rejected this idea.  He claimed that the British treatment of the American colonies violated the natural laws of God.  He and others believed a natural law exists that is more powerful than a king.

The idea of a natural law had been developed by British and French philosophers more than one hundred years earlier.  Jefferson had studied these philosophers in school.  In later years, however, he said he did not re-read these ideas while he was writing the Declaration.  He said the words came straight from his heart.

(MUSIC)

VOICE TWO:

The second part of the Declaration lists twenty-seven complaints by the American colonies against the British government.  The major ones concerned British taxes on Americans and the presence of British troops in the colonies.  After the list of complaints, Jefferson wrote this strong statement of independence:  

ANNOUNCER:

That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved13 from all Allegiance to the British Crown and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States they have the full Power to levy14 War, conduct Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do.

VOICE TWO:

The last statement of the Declaration of Independence was meant to influence the delegates into giving strong support for that most serious step -- revolution:

ANNOUNCER:

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence15 we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

Today's MAKING OF A NATION program was written by Nancy Steinbach. Shep O’Neal read the Declaration of Independence. This is Rich Kleinfeldt.

VOICE TWO:

And this is Sarah Long.  Join us again next week for another VOA Special English program about the history of the United States.

 


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 concord 9YDzx     
n.和谐;协调
参考例句:
  • These states had lived in concord for centuries.这些国家几个世纪以来一直和睦相处。
  • His speech did nothing for racial concord.他的讲话对种族和谐没有作用。
2 continental Zazyk     
adj.大陆的,大陆性的,欧洲大陆的
参考例句:
  • A continental climate is different from an insular one.大陆性气候不同于岛屿气候。
  • The most ancient parts of the continental crust are 4000 million years old.大陆地壳最古老的部分有40亿年历史。
3 decided lvqzZd     
adj.决定了的,坚决的;明显的,明确的
参考例句:
  • This gave them a decided advantage over their opponents.这使他们比对手具有明显的优势。
  • There is a decided difference between British and Chinese way of greeting.英国人和中国人打招呼的方式有很明显的区别。
4 colonist TqQzK     
n.殖民者,移民
参考例句:
  • The indians often attacked the settlements of the colonist.印地安人经常袭击殖民者的定居点。
  • In the seventeenth century, the colonist here thatched their roofs with reeds and straw,just as they did in england.在17世纪,殖民者在这里用茅草盖屋,就像他们在英国做的一样。
5 colonists 4afd0fece453e55f3721623f335e6c6f     
n.殖民地开拓者,移民,殖民地居民( colonist的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • Colonists from Europe populated many parts of the Americas. 欧洲的殖民者移居到了美洲的许多地方。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Some of the early colonists were cruel to the native population. 有些早期移居殖民地的人对当地居民很残忍。 来自《简明英汉词典》
6 lieutenant X3GyG     
n.陆军中尉,海军上尉;代理官员,副职官员
参考例句:
  • He was promoted to be a lieutenant in the army.他被提升为陆军中尉。
  • He prevailed on the lieutenant to send in a short note.他说动那个副官,递上了一张简短的便条进去。
7 gunpowder oerxm     
n.火药
参考例句:
  • Gunpowder was introduced into Europe during the first half of the 14th century.在14世纪上半叶,火药传入欧洲。
  • This statement has a strong smell of gunpowder.这是一篇充满火药味的声明。
8 condemning 3c571b073a8d53beeff1e31a57d104c0     
v.(通常因道义上的原因而)谴责( condemn的现在分词 );宣判;宣布…不能使用;迫使…陷于不幸的境地
参考例句:
  • The government issued a statement condemning the killings. 政府发表声明谴责这些凶杀事件。
  • I concur with the speaker in condemning what has been done. 我同意发言者对所做的事加以谴责。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
9 shipping WESyg     
n.船运(发货,运输,乘船)
参考例句:
  • We struck a bargain with an American shipping firm.我们和一家美国船运公司谈成了一笔生意。
  • There's a shipping charge of £5 added to the price.价格之外另加五英镑运输费。
10 traitors 123f90461d74091a96637955d14a1401     
卖国贼( traitor的名词复数 ); 叛徒; 背叛者; 背信弃义的人
参考例句:
  • Traitors are held in infamy. 叛徒为人所不齿。
  • Traitors have always been treated with contempt. 叛徒永被人们唾弃。
11 impel NaLxG     
v.推动;激励,迫使
参考例句:
  • Financial pressures impel the firm to cut back on spending.财政压力迫使公司减少开支。
  • The progress in science and technical will powerfully impel the education's development.科学和技术的进步将有力地推动教育的发展。
12 deriving 31b45332de157b636df67107c9710247     
v.得到( derive的现在分词 );(从…中)得到获得;源于;(从…中)提取
参考例句:
  • I anticipate deriving much instruction from the lecture. 我期望从这演讲中获得很多教益。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • He anticipated his deriving much instruction from the lecture. 他期望从这次演讲中得到很多教益。 来自辞典例句
13 absolved 815f996821e021de405963c6074dce81     
宣告…无罪,赦免…的罪行,宽恕…的罪行( absolve的过去式和过去分词 ); 不受责难,免除责任 [义务] ,开脱(罪责)
参考例句:
  • The court absolved him of all responsibility for the accident. 法院宣告他对该事故不负任何责任。
  • The court absolved him of guilt in her death. 法庭赦免了他在她的死亡中所犯的罪。
14 levy Z9fzR     
n.征收税或其他款项,征收额
参考例句:
  • They levy a tax on him.他们向他征税。
  • A direct food levy was imposed by the local government.地方政府征收了食品税。
15 providence 8tdyh     
n.深谋远虑,天道,天意;远见;节约;上帝
参考例句:
  • It is tempting Providence to go in that old boat.乘那艘旧船前往是冒大险。
  • To act as you have done is to fly in the face of Providence.照你的所作所为那样去行事,是违背上帝的意志的。
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TAG标签:   voa  慢速英语
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