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VOA慢速英语2010年-American History: Warren Harding Wins

时间:2011-01-03 05:08来源:互联网 提供网友:hp2786   字体: [ ]

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

This week in our series, Doug Johnson and Shirley Griffith discuss the presidential election of nineteen twenty and the man who won, Warren Harding.

DOUG JOHNSON: The presidential election of nineteen twenty was a turning point in American politics. It ended a period of social reforms at home and an active foreign policy. It began a period of conservative thinking in both the political and social life of the nation.

American reporter H. L. Mencken described the national feeling this way: "The majority of Americans are tired of idealism. They want capitalism1 -- openly and without apology."

SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: President Woodrow Wilson had suffered a stroke during his second term. He was very sick. No one expected him to be a candidate again. Yet he refused to announce that he would not run for a third term.

Woodrow Wilson had done much during his administration. He helped pass important laws dealing2 with trade, banking3, and the rights of workers. He led the nation through the bloody4 world war in Europe. He tried, but failed, to have the United States join the new international organization -- the League of Nations.

Warren Harding had owned a newspaper in Ohio. People advised him to enter politics, because he was such a good public speaker.

The American people honored Wilson for his intelligence and ideas. But they were tired of his policies of social change. And they did not want to be involved in international problems anymore.

DOUG JOHNSON: The leaders of President Wilson's Democratic Party understood the feelings of the people. They knew they had little chance of winning the presidential election if they nominated a candidate of change.

Delegates to the democratic nominating convention voted forty-four times before agreeing on a candidate. They chose the governor of the state of Ohio, James Cox.

The Republican Party also had a difficult time at its nominating convention. Four men wanted to be president. The delegates voted six times. None of the men gained enough support. So, several party leaders met in private. They agreed that only one man -- a compromise candidate -- could win the support of the convention. He was a senator from the state of Ohio, Warren Harding.

The delegates voted ten more times before choosing Harding as their candidate for president. For vice5 president, they chose Calvin Coolidge of Massachusetts.

Visitors waiting to see President Harding, around 1921

SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: Warren Harding had owned a newspaper in Ohio. People advised him to enter politics, because he was such a good public speaker.

During the campaign, he promised lower taxes, less immigration, and more aid to farmers. He called for "normalcy" -- a new period of peace and quiet, with few changes. That is what the voters wanted to hear in nineteen twenty. Warren Harding won the election with sixty-eight percent of the popular vote.

In his first act as president, he invited people to visit the White House. He permitted them to walk in the garden. The act was a sign. The government seemed to be returning to the people.

DOUG JOHNSON: Warren Harding is remembered mostly for two events. One was a successful international conference. The other was a shameful6 national incident.

After World War One, Britain, Japan, and the United States expanded their navies. They built bigger and better ships. Many members of the United States Congress worried about the cost. They also worried about increased political tension in Asia. They asked President Harding to organize a conference to discuss these issues.

SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: The conference was held in Washington in November, nineteen twenty-one. President Harding invited representatives from the major naval7 powers of the time: Britain, Japan, France, and Italy. He also invited representatives from countries with interests in Asia: China, Portugal, Belgium and the Netherlands. He did not invite the new Soviet8 leaders in Russia.

Mr. Harding's secretary of state, Charles Evans Hughes, spoke9. He offered the conference a detailed10 plan to reduce the size of the world's major navies.

He proposed that the world's strongest nations should stop building warships11 for ten years. He also proposed that Britain, Japan, and the United States should destroy some ships to make their navies smaller immediately.

DOUG JOHNSON: Delegates to the conference debated the plan for three months. Japan demanded, and won, the right to have more ships. But the final agreement was very close to the one proposed by Secretary Hughes.

The conference was not a complete success.

For example, it did not prevent countries from building some kinds of ships. These ships would prove important in the second world war. Also, it did not create ways to protect China and the islands in the South Pacific Ocean from Japanese expansion. Yet the naval treaty of nineteen twenty-one was the first in which the world's strongest countries agreed to reduce the size of their armed forces. Most people thought it was a good treaty.

SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: The second thing for which President Harding is remembered is the Teapot Dome12 scandal. It involved the misuse13 of underground oil owned by the federal government.

Warren Harding was an honest man. But he did not have a strong mind of his own. He was easily influenced. And he often accepted bad advice. He explained the problem with these words:

"I listen to one side, and they seem right. Then I listen to the other side, and they seem just as right. I know that somewhere there is a man who knows the truth. But I do not know where to find him."

DOUG JOHNSON: President Harding appointed several men of great ability to his cabinet. They included Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes, Treasury14 Secretary Andrew Mellon, and Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover. However, some of his appointments were dishonest men. One was Interior Secretary Albert Fall. He was responsible for the Teapot Dome scandal.

Secretary Fall gave a private company the right to take oil from land owned by the federal government. In return, the company gave him money and cattle.

The oil was not supposed to be taken from the ground. It was supposed to be saved for the United States navy to use in an emergency. Private oil companies and many politicians opposed this policy. They said saving the oil was unnecessary.

SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: Albert Fall opposed the policy when he was a member of the Senate. When he became Interior Secretary, his department took control of the lands containing the underground oil. Then he permitted private companies to use the land for a period of time. During that time, the companies could take out the oil.

Some of the oil was in the western state of Wyoming. The rock mass on the surface looked like a container for making tea. So, the area was called Teapot Dome. When the Senate uncovered Secretary Fall's wrong-doing, the press quickly called the incident the Teapot Dome scandal.

The Senate investigation15 led to several court cases which lasted throughout the nineteen twenties. Secretary Fall was found guilty of misusing16 his government position. He was sentenced to prison for one year.

DOUG JOHNSON: President Harding did not live to see the end of the Teapot Dome incident. In the summer of nineteen twenty-three, he made a political trip to Alaska and western states. On the way home, he became sick while in San Francisco. He died of a heart attack.

Vice President Calvin Coolidge was in the northeastern state of Vermont when he heard that President Harding had died. Coolidge's father was a local court official there. He gave the oath of office to his son. That is how Calvin Coolidge became the thirtieth president of the United States.

The story of his administration will be the subject of our program next week.


STEVE EMBER: Our program was written by David Jarmul. The narrators were Doug Johnson and Shirley Griffith. You can find our series online with transcripts17, MP3s, podcasts and historical 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.


1 capitalism er4zy     
  • The essence of his argument is that capitalism cannot succeed.他的论点的核心是资本主义不能成功。
  • Capitalism began to develop in Russia in the 19th century.十九世纪资本主义在俄国开始发展。
2 dealing NvjzWP     
  • This store has an excellent reputation for fair dealing.该商店因买卖公道而享有极高的声誉。
  • His fair dealing earned our confidence.他的诚实的行为获得我们的信任。
3 banking aySz20     
  • John is launching his son on a career in banking.约翰打算让儿子在银行界谋一个新职位。
  • He possesses an extensive knowledge of banking.他具有广博的银行业务知识。
4 bloody kWHza     
  • 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。
5 vice NU0zQ     
  • He guarded himself against vice.他避免染上坏习惯。
  • They are sunk in the depth of vice.他们堕入了罪恶的深渊。
6 shameful DzzwR     
  • It is very shameful of him to show off.他向人炫耀自己,真不害臊。
  • We must expose this shameful activity to the newspapers.我们一定要向报社揭露这一无耻行径。
7 naval h1lyU     
  • He took part in a great naval battle.他参加了一次大海战。
  • The harbour is an important naval base.该港是一个重要的海军基地。
8 Soviet Sw9wR     
  • 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。
9 spoke XryyC     
n.(车轮的)辐条;轮辐;破坏某人的计划;阻挠某人的行动 v.讲,谈(speak的过去式);说;演说;从某种观点来说
  • They sourced the spoke nuts from our company.他们的轮辐螺帽是从我们公司获得的。
  • The spokes of a wheel are the bars that connect the outer ring to the centre.辐条是轮子上连接外圈与中心的条棒。
10 detailed xuNzms     
  • He had made a detailed study of the terrain.他对地形作了缜密的研究。
  • A detailed list of our publications is available on request.我们的出版物有一份详细的目录备索。
11 warships 9d82ffe40b694c1e8a0fdc6d39c11ad8     
军舰,战舰( warship的名词复数 ); 舰只
  • The enemy warships were disengaged from the battle after suffering heavy casualties. 在遭受惨重伤亡后,敌舰退出了海战。
  • The government fitted out warships and sailors for them. 政府给他们配备了战舰和水手。
12 dome 7s2xC     
  • The dome was supported by white marble columns.圆顶由白色大理石柱支撑着。
  • They formed the dome with the tree's branches.他们用树枝搭成圆屋顶。
13 misuse XEfxx     
  • It disturbs me profoundly that you so misuse your talents.你如此滥用自己的才能,使我深感不安。
  • He was sacked for computer misuse.他因滥用计算机而被解雇了。
14 treasury 7GeyP     
  • The Treasury was opposed in principle to the proposals.财政部原则上反对这些提案。
  • This book is a treasury of useful information.这本书是有价值的信息宝库。
15 investigation MRKzq     
  • In an investigation,a new fact became known, which told against him.在调查中新发现了一件对他不利的事实。
  • He drew the conclusion by building on his own investigation.他根据自己的调查研究作出结论。
16 misusing 142193a08a0645de4073a05d1cf0ed4b     
v.使用…不当( misuse的现在分词 );把…派作不正当的用途;虐待;滥用
  • This means we must stop misusing them. 也就是说,我们已必须停止滥用抗菌素不可了。 来自英汉非文学 - 生命科学 - 预防生物武器
  • Misusing organic fertilizer may cause a decrease in the soil's quality. 滥用有机肥料可能会导致土地的土质下降。 来自互联网
17 transcripts 525c0b10bb61e5ddfdd47d7faa92db26     
n.抄本( transcript的名词复数 );转写本;文字本;副本
  • 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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