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VOA慢速英语2010年-After Harding Dies, President Coolidge

时间:2011-01-03 06:22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.

This week in our series, Steve Ember and Shirley Griffith talk about Calvin Coolidge and how he became president of the United States.

STEVE EMBER: The early nineteen twenties were a troubled time for the United States. Congress and the public began to discover crimes by several officials in the administration of President Warren Harding. Harding himself became seriously sick during a trip to Alaska and western states. He died in a hotel room in California in August, nineteen twenty-three.

Harding's vice2 president, Calvin Coolidge, became the new president. Both men were Republicans. Their policies on issues were much the same. Coolidge, however, was a very different man. He was completely honest. He was the kind of president the country needed to rebuild public trust in the government.

SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: Calvin Coolidge was quiet and plain-looking. He was the son of a farmer and political leader from the small northeastern state of Vermont.

Young Calvin worked at different jobs to pay for his college education. He became a lawyer. He moved to another northeastern state -- Massachusetts -- where he became active in Republican Party politics. First he was elected mayor of a town. Then he was elected to the state legislature. Finally, he was elected governor of Massachusetts.

Calvin Coolidge making speech at his inauguration3 in 1925

It was as governor that Coolidge first became known throughout the United States.

STEVE EMBER: In nineteen-nineteen, a group of policemen in the city of Boston tried to start a labor4 union. This violated the rules of the police department. So the commissioner5 of police suspended nineteen of the union's leaders. The next day, almost seventy-five percent of Boston's policemen went on strike.

Criminals walked freely through the city for two nights. They robbed stores and threatened public safety. Frightened Americans all across the country waited to see what Governor Coolidge would do.

SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: He took strong action. He called on state troops to end the strike. He said: "There is no right to strike against the public safety by anybody, anywhere, any time."

Most Americans approved of what Coolidge did. The people of Massachusetts supported him, too. They re-elected him governor by a large number of votes. Then, in nineteen twenty, Republicans nominated Warren Harding for president. They nominated Calvin Coolidge for vice president. When President Harding died in California, Coolidge, his wife, and two sons moved to the White House.

Calvin Coolidge, around 1919

STEVE EMBER: America's thirtieth president was, in some ways, an unusual kind of person to lead the country. He said little. He showed few feelings. Coolidge's policies as president were not active. He tried to start as few new programs as possible. He was a conservative Republican who believed deeply that government should be small.

Coolidge expressed his belief this way: "If the federal government should go out of existence, most people would not note the difference." And once he said: "Four-fifths of our troubles in this life would disappear if we would only sit down and keep still."

SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: Coolidge believed that private business -- not the federal government -- should lead the country to greater wealth and happiness. He continued President Harding's policy of supporting American business both inside the United States and in other countries. The government under President Coolidge continued high taxes on imports in an effort to help American companies.

STEVE EMBER: Many Americans shared Coolidge's ideas about small government and big business. In the early nineteen twenties, many of them were living better than ever before.

At that time, companies were growing larger. The prices of their stocks rose higher and higher. There were lots of jobs. And the wages of many workers increased. Americans agreed with their president that there was little need for government spending and government programs, when private industry seemed so strong.

SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: The American economy grew in the nineteen twenties for several reasons. The world war had destroyed many factories and businesses in Europe. The United States did not suffer the same destruction. It was still a young country. It had great natural resources, trained workers, and a huge market within its own borders. When peace came, Americans found their economy stronger than any other in the world.

STEVE EMBER: Changes in the American market also helped economic growth. "Installment6 buying" became popular. In this system, people could buy a product and pay for it over a period of several weeks or months.

The total cost was higher, because they had to pay interest. But the system made it possible for more people to buy more goods. It also made the idea of borrowing money more acceptable to many Americans.

SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: The growing importance of the New York stock markets also helped economic growth in the nineteen twenties. Millions of Americans bought shares of stock in companies that seemed to grow bigger every month.

Such investment almost became a national game. People would buy shares of stock, then sell them when the stock rose in value. There were many stories of poor people who became rich overnight by buying the right stocks.

The American Congress also helped the economy by lowering income taxes. People had more money to spend on new goods. Another important reason for economic growth was a change in the way American companies were operated.

STEVE EMBER: During the nineteen twenties, the idea of manufacturing goods in the most scientific way became very popular. The father of this idea of "scientific management" was an engineer, Frederick Taylor.

Mister Taylor developed a system to study manufacturing. He studied each machine involved in the process. He studied how much work each person did. He studied how goods moved from one part of a factory to another. Then he offered ideas to business owners about ways to produce goods faster and for less cost.

SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: Taylor's ideas of scientific management appealed to business owners. Automobile7 manufacturer Henry Ford8 proved that the ideas could work in his new car factory in the state of Michigan. Ford used the assembly line system of production. In this system, each worker did one thing to a product as it moved through the factory. This helped cut prices and increase wages.

STEVE EMBER: Ford and other businessmen learned a great deal about how to control costs, set prices, and decide how much to produce. All these changes in production and marketing9 helped Ford and other American companies grow larger and stronger.

Henry Ford's Model-T car became popular throughout the country. So did other new products. Radios. Refrigerators for cooling food. Vacuums to clean carpets. Ready-made cigarettes. Beauty products.

Americans in the nineteen twenties began to buy all kinds of new products they had never used before.

SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: Calvin Coolidge was in the White House. However, business led the nation. Times were good. Americans trusted business and its leaders. It became an honor to call someone a businessman. Colleges organized business classes. Middle-class citizens in almost every city and town gathered to discuss business ideas.

President Coolidge spoke10 for millions of Americans when he said: "The chief business of the American people is business."

STEVE EMBER: Coolidge represented traditional values and a simple way of life. He knew exactly how every dollar he earned was saved or spent. And he spent no more money than was necessary.

The strange thing was that Coolidge was extremely popular with a public that was spending large amounts of money. Some economic experts warned that the country's quick economic growth would end in economic depression. Most Americans, however, believed that the good times had come to stay. They enjoyed the good things in life that work and success in business could bring.

On our next program, we will see how the economic growth of the nineteen twenties brought exciting changes to the day-to-day life of millions of Americans.

(MUSIC)

BOB DOUGHTY: Our program was written by Nancy Steinbach. The narrators were Steve Ember and Shirley Griffith. You can find our series online with transcripts11, 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.


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 vice NU0zQ     
n.坏事;恶习;[pl.]台钳,老虎钳;adj.副的
参考例句:
  • 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。
3 inauguration 3cQzR     
n.开幕、就职典礼
参考例句:
  • The inauguration of a President of the United States takes place on January 20.美国总统的就职典礼于一月二十日举行。
  • Three celebrated tenors sang at the president's inauguration.3位著名的男高音歌手在总统就职仪式上演唱。
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 commissioner gq3zX     
n.(政府厅、局、处等部门)专员,长官,委员
参考例句:
  • The commissioner has issued a warrant for her arrest.专员发出了对她的逮捕令。
  • He was tapped for police commissioner.他被任命为警务处长。
6 installment 96TxL     
n.(instalment)分期付款;(连载的)一期
参考例句:
  • I shall soon pay the last installment of my debt.不久我将偿付我的最后一期债款。
  • He likes to buy things on the installment plan.他喜欢用分期付款法购买货物。
7 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。
8 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。
9 marketing Boez7e     
n.行销,在市场的买卖,买东西
参考例句:
  • They are developing marketing network.他们正在发展销售网络。
  • He often goes marketing.他经常去市场做生意。
10 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
参考例句:
  • 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。
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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TAG标签:   VOA慢速英语  traditional
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