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VOA慢速英语2010年-Fear of Communism in 1920 Threatens Ci

时间:2011-01-03 03:22来源:互联网 提供网友:hp2786   字体: [ ]
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BOB DOUGHTY1: Welcome to THE MAKING OF A NATION -- American history in VOA Special English.

The United States Constitution guarantees freedoms such as freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of religion. The Bill of Rights in the Constitution protects these and other individual rights. But the government has not always honored all of the rights in the Constitution.

In the seventeen hundreds, for example, President John Adams supported laws to stop Thomas Jefferson and the Democratic Party from criticizing the government.

During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln took strong actions to prevent newspapers from printing military news. And, during the nineteen fifties, Senator Joseph McCarthy accused innocent people of being communists and traitors2.

Some of the most serious government attacks on personal rights took place in nineteen nineteen and nineteen twenty. A number of government officials took sometimes unlawful actions against labor3 leaders, foreigners and others.

This week in our series, Kay Gallant4 and Harry5 Monroe discuss the campaign that came to be known as the "Red Scare."

KAY GALLANT: These actions took place because of American fears about the threat of communism. Those fears were tied closely to the growth of the organized labor movement during World War One. There were a number of strikes during the war. More and more often, workers were willing to risk their jobs and join together to try to improve working conditions.

Strikers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, around 1919

President Woodrow Wilson had long supported organized labor. And he tried to get workers and business owners to negotiate peacefully.

But official support for organized labor ended when strikes closed factories that were important to the national war effort. President Wilson and his advisers6 felt workers should put the national interest before their private interest. They told workers to wait until after the war to demand more pay and better working conditions.

HARRY MONROE: In general, American workers did wait. But when the war finally ended in nineteen eighteen, American workers began to strike in large numbers for higher pay.

As many as two million workers went on strike in nineteen nineteen. There were strikes by house builders, meat cutters, and train operators. And there were strikes in the shipyards, the shoe factories and the telephone companies.

Most striking workers wanted the traditional goals of labor unions: more pay and shorter working hours. But a growing number of them also began to demand major changes in the economic system itself. They called for government control of certain private industries.

Railroad workers, for example, wanted the national government to take permanent control of running the trains. Coal miners, too, demanded government control of their industry. And even in the conservative grain-farming states, two hundred thousand farmers joined a group that called for major economic changes.

KAY GALLANT: All these protests came as a shock to traditional Americans who considered their country to be the home of free business. They saw little need for labor unions. And they feared that the growing wave of strikes meant the United States faced the same revolution that had just taken place in Russia. After all, Lenin himself had warned that the Bolshevik Revolution would spread to workers in other countries.

Several events in nineteen nineteen only increased this fear of violent revolution. A bomb exploded in the home of a senator from the southeastern state of Georgia. And someone even exploded a bomb in front of the home of Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer, the nation's chief law officer.

However, the most frightening event was a strike by police in Boston, Massachusetts.

The policemen demanded higher wages. But the police chief refused to negotiate with them. As a result, the policemen went on strike. When they did, thieves began to break into unprotected homes and shops. Massachusetts Governor Calvin Coolidge finally had to call out state troops to protect the people. His action defeated the strike. Most of the policemen lost their jobs.

HARRY MONROE: All this was too much for many Americans. They began to accuse labor unions and others of planning a revolution. And they launched a forceful campaign to protect the country from these suspected extremists.

Leaders of this campaign accused thousands of people of being communists, or "reds." The campaign became known as the Red Scare.

Of course, most people were honestly afraid of revolution. They did not trust the many foreigners who were active in unions. And they were tired of change and social unrest after the bloody7 world war.

A number of these Americans in different cities began to take violent actions against people and groups that they suspected of being communist extremists.

In New York, a crowd of men in military uniforms attacked the office of a socialist8 newspaper. They beat the people working there and destroyed the equipment. In the western city of Centralia, Washington, four people were killed in a violent fight between union members and their opponents.

Riot police

Public feeling was against the labor unions and political leftists. Many people considered anyone with leftist views to be a revolutionary trying to overthrow9 democracy. Many state and local governments passed laws making it a crime to belong to organizations that supported revolution. Twenty-eight states passed laws making it a crime to wave red flags.

KAY GALLANT: People also demanded action from the national government. President Wilson was sick and unable to see the situation clearly. He cared about little except his dream of the United States joining the new League of Nations.

But Attorney General Palmer heard the calls for action. Palmer hoped to be elected president the next year. He decided10 to take strong actions to gain the attention of voters.

One of Palmer's first actions as Attorney General was to prevent coal miners from going on strike. Next, he ordered a series of raids to arrest leftist leaders. A number of these arrested people were innocent of any crime. But officials kept many of them in jail, without charges, for weeks.

Palmer expelled from the country a number of foreigners suspected of revolutionary activity. He told reporters that communists were criminals who planned to overthrow everything that was good in life.

Strike leader in Gary, Indiana, advising demonstrators around 1919

HARRY MONROE: Feelings of fear and suspicion extended to other parts of American life. Many persons and groups were accused of supporting communism. Such famous Americans as actor Charlie Chaplin, educator John Dewey, and law professor Felix Frankfurter were among those accused.

The Red Scare caused many innocent people to be afraid to express their ideas. They feared they might be accused of being a communist.

But as quickly as the Red Scare swept across the country so, too, did it end in nineteen twenty. In just a few months, people began to lose trust in Attorney General Palmer. They became tired of his extreme actions. Republican leader Charles Evans Hughes and other leading Americans called for the Justice Department to obey the law in arresting and charging people.

KAY GALLANT: By the summer of nineteen twenty, the Red Scare was over. Even a large bomb explosion in New York in September did not change the opinion of most Americans that the nation should return to free speech and the rule of law.

The Red Scare did not last long. But it was an important event. It showed that many Americans after World War One were tired of social changes. They wanted peace and business growth.

Of course, the traditional way for Americans to show their feelings is through elections. And this growing conservatism of the nation showed itself clearly in the presidential election of nineteen twenty. That election will be the subject of our next program.

(MUSIC)

BOB DOUGHTY: Our program was written by David Jarmul. The narrators were Kay Gallant and Harry Monroe.

You can find our series online with transcripts11, MP3s, podcasts and images at voaspecialenglish.com. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter at VOA Learning English. Join us again next week for THE MAKING OF A NATION -- an American history series in VOA Special English.


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 doughty Jk5zg     
adj.勇猛的,坚强的
参考例句:
  • Most of successful men have the characteristics of contumacy and doughty.绝大多数成功人士都有共同的特质:脾气倔强,性格刚强。
  • The doughty old man battled his illness with fierce determination.坚强的老人用巨大毅力与疾病作斗争。
2 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。
3 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。
4 gallant 66Myb     
adj.英勇的,豪侠的;(向女人)献殷勤的
参考例句:
  • Huang Jiguang's gallant deed is known by all men. 黄继光的英勇事迹尽人皆知。
  • These gallant soldiers will protect our country.这些勇敢的士兵会保卫我们的国家的。
5 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。
6 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。
7 bloody kWHza     
adj.非常的的;流血的;残忍的;adv.很;vt.血染
参考例句:
  • He got a bloody nose in the fight.他在打斗中被打得鼻子流血。
  • He is a bloody fool.他是一个十足的笨蛋。
8 socialist jwcws     
n.社会主义者;adj.社会主义的
参考例句:
  • China is a socialist country,and a developing country as well.中国是一个社会主义国家,也是一个发展中国家。
  • His father was an ardent socialist.他父亲是一个热情的社会主义者。
9 overthrow PKDxo     
v.推翻,打倒,颠覆;n.推翻,瓦解,颠覆
参考例句:
  • After the overthrow of the government,the country was in chaos.政府被推翻后,这个国家处于混乱中。
  • The overthrow of his plans left him much discouraged.他的计划的失败使得他很气馁。
10 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。
11 transcripts 525c0b10bb61e5ddfdd47d7faa92db26     
n.抄本( transcript的名词复数 );转写本;文字本;副本
参考例句:
  • Like mRNA, both tRNA and rRNA are transcripts of chromosomal DNA. tRNA及rRNA同mRNA一样,都是染色体DNA的转录产物。 来自辞典例句
  • You can't take the transfer students'exam without your transcripts. 没有成绩证明书,你就不能参加转学考试。 来自辞典例句
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