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麦金莱遇刺身亡,西奥多.罗斯福接任美国总统

kira86 于2010-08-07发布 l 已有人浏览
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American History: Teddy Roosevelt Leads Nation After Killing of McKinley高速下载 BOB DOUGHTY: Welcome to THE M
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American History: Teddy Roosevelt Leads Nation After Killing of McKinley


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BOB DOUGHTY: Welcome to THE MAKING OF A NATION – American history in VOA Special English.

In September of nineteen hundred and one, President William McKinley was assassinated. His vice president, Theodore Roosevelt, was sworn in to replace him.

Roosevelt was forty-two years old -- the youngest man ever to hold the office of president of the United States.

This week in our series, Maurice Joyce and Shep O'Neal tell the story of President Theodore Roosevelt and his administration.

MAURICE JOYCE: Theodore Roosevelt became president at the beginning of the twentieth century. It was a time of rapid changes in American society. The changes were a result of technology.

Great progress had been made, for example, in transportation. Almost every American city had a street railroad, or trolley. These systems were powered by electricity. Thousands of Americans owned automobiles. And Henry Ford was planning a low-cost version which even more people could buy.

Great progress had been made in communications. There were telephones in almost every business office in the cities and in many homes. And Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi had sent the first wireless message across the Atlantic Ocean.

SHEP O'NEAL: It was clear that the United States had made great progress in technology. Yet many believed it had made little progress in social issues. These people felt America's natural resources were being mis-used. They felt America's farmers were poorer than they should be. They felt America's industries were unfair to workers.

Since the late eighteen hundreds, a spirit of reform had been growing in the United States. It started among farmers and led to the creation of a new political party -- the Populists. Then organized labor joined the movement. Then middle class Americans.

Not everyone agreed on ways to solve society's problems. But they were united in the belief that social progress had to be made. The future of American democracy, they said, depended on the success of the progressive movement.

The man who came to represent the spirit of reform most of all was the new president, Theodore Roosevelt.

MAURICE JOYCE: Roosevelt was born to a wealthy family in New York City in eighteen fifty-eight. He was a weak child with poor eyesight. He spent much of his time reading. When Theodore was thirteen years old, he got into an argument with two other boys. He tried to fight them. But he was not strong enough.

That incident was a turning point in Roosevelt's life. He decided to overcome his physical weaknesses through exercise and hard work. He lifted weights, ran long distances, and learned how to be a boxer. He continued these activities while he attended Harvard University.

After college, Roosevelt married Alice Lee and returned to New York. He became active in the Republican Party. When he was just twenty-three years old, he was elected to the state legislature. Roosevelt quickly became known as a reform politician. He denounced all forms of dishonesty in government.

SHEP O'NEAL: Roosevelt's first political career did not last long. He withdrew after four years, following the deaths of his wife and mother. His sadness was so great that he could not continue.

Roosevelt moved to a ranch in the Dakota territory of the American West. He began to raise beef cattle. At first, the local cowboys laughed at him. They called him "four eyes," because he wore eyeglasses. They stopped laughing when they found he could do the hard work of a cowboy as well as any of them.

MAURICE JOYCE: Roosevelt spent two years in the West. Then he returned to New York and a life in politics.

He became the Republican candidate for mayor of New York City, but lost the election. Then he campaigned for Republican Benjamin Harrison in the presidential election of eighteen eighty-eight. Harrison won. And he named Roosevelt head of the federal Civil Service Commission. Roosevelt fought hard to keep politics out of the civil service.

Democrat Grover Cleveland was elected president four years later. He approved of Roosevelt's civil service reforms. He asked him to remain in the job. Roosevelt did so for another two years. Then he became Commissioner of Police in New York City. Once again, he pushed for reforms. He removed policemen found guilty of receiving illegal payments.

SHEP O'NEAL: In eighteen ninety-seven, President William McKinley named Theodore Roosevelt Assistant Secretary of the Navy. The United States went to war against Spain a year later.

Roosevelt wanted an active part in the war. So, he resigned and joined the army. He organized a force of horse soldiers known as the "Rough Riders." They were honored for bravery in the Battle of San Juan Hill in Cuba.

Roosevelt was now a war hero. Republican Party leaders in New York thought he would be the perfect candidate for governor. Teddy, as the public called him, won a close election. He soon made clear he would not take orders from party leaders.

The new governor proposed controls on businesses. His main targets were companies that supplied the public with water, electricity, and natural gas. He demanded changes in the food and drug industries. And he shortened the work day for women and children.

MAURICE JOYCE: The public praised Roosevelt's reform efforts. Local party leaders did not. As one said: "I do not want him raising hell in my state any longer." Local leaders decided the best way to get him out of New York politics was to support him for vice president of the United States. The office gave a man very little voice or power in politics.

Roosevelt did not want the job, for that reason. By then he wanted just one thing: to be president of the United States. He was sure being vice president would ruin his chances. But he accepted the nomination at the national convention. He would run on the ticket with William McKinley. Sadly he said: "I do not expect to go any further in politics."

Several months after he was sworn-in as vice president, he was sworn-in as President. William McKinley was dead. Theodore Roosevelt became president as the result of an assassin's bullet.

SHEP O'NEAL: Roosevelt promised party leaders that he would continue McKinley's policies. He said he would move slowly in making any changes.

In his first message to Congress, President Roosevelt offered a few new proposals. He asked for a Department of Commerce and Labor to deal with industrial problems. He called for a stronger Navy and for limits on immigration. And he proposed building a canal in central America to link the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

MAURICE JOYCE: Businessmen who feared the worse when Roosevelt became president began to breathe easier. It seemed he was not going to push for reforms after all. But Roosevelt was only following an old hunting rule of African tribesmen. "Speak softly," the rule said, "and carry a big stick."

Roosevelt spoke softly during his first months as president. He would use the big stick later. When the blow came, it was against big business.

loc.gov
"Taking the Bull by the Horns," a cartoon showing President Roosevelt trying to control the railroad trusts represented by a bull

A group of wealthy railroad owners had agreed to join their railroads into one. They formed a company to control it. The new company would have complete control of railroad transportation in the American West. There would be no competition.

SHEP O'NEAL: President Roosevelt believed the company violated the Sherman Anti-Trust Law. The law said it was illegal for businesses to interfere with trade among the states. The law also said it was illegal for any person or group to get control of a whole industry. Since the anti-trust law had been passed in eighteen ninety, few companies had been found guilty of violating it.

So, many people were shocked when Roosevelt announced he was taking action under the law against the railroad trust. He said there could be no compromise in how the law was enforced.

That will be our story next week.

(MUSIC)

BOB DOUGHTY: Our program was written by Frank Beardsley. The narrators were Maurice Joyce and Shep O'Neal. You can find our series online with transcripts, MP3s, podcasts and images at en8848.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.

参考译文:

1901年9月,威廉.麦金利总统遇刺身亡,他的副总统西奥多.罗斯福接替他宣誓就任总统,这一年,他42岁,从而成为美国迄今以来最年轻的总统。本周,我们就向你讲述西奥多.罗斯福总统及其政府的故事。

西奥多.罗斯福是在二十世纪初就任美国总统的,而此时正是美国社会飞速变革的时代。美国社会飞速变革是由于当时技术革命引起的。例如,在交通运输方面的技术取得了巨大的进步,几乎所有美国的城市都有了有轨电车,这些有轨电车是靠电力推动的。越来越多的美国人拥有了汽车,而且亨利.福特正打算生产更加低廉的汽车,尽可能让更多的美国人能够购买汽车。在通信领域的技术也取得了巨大的进步,美国各城市中几乎所有的企业办公室和许多家庭都已经有了电话。另外,意大利发明家古列尔莫.马可尼(Guglielmo Marconi)将他的第一封无线电报发往大西洋彼岸。

很明显,美国在技术上已经取得了巨大的进步,然而,许多人认为美国社会却没有多少进步。这些人认为美国的自然资源被广泛地滥用,美国的农民太穷了,美国的工业资本家对工人太不公平了。自十九世纪后期,在美国出现一种要求改革的精神,并日益明显。这起始于农民,并由此而产生了一个新的政党,即人民党。随后,要求组织工会的工人运动也开始了。接着就是美国的中产阶级也要求改革。尽管并非每个人都赞同这些解决社会问题的办法,但他们都相信,美国社会正逐步向前发展,他们说,美国民主的未来有赖于社会渐进运动的成功。代表这种改革精神的人已经出现,他就是美国新任总统西奥多.罗斯福。

1858年,西奥多.罗斯福出生在纽约市一个富裕的家庭,由于眼疾,他的身体比较虚弱,为此他在学习方面花费了更多的时间。在他13岁时,他与两个男孩发生了矛盾,他想和他们打架,但他身单力薄,打不过他们。这一事件改变了罗斯福的一生,他决定通过体育锻练和努力工作来克服他身体虚弱的毛病。于是他练习举重、练长跑和学习拳击,就是他在哈佛大学上学时,他仍然坚持这些体育运动。

大学毕业后,他与艾丽斯.李结婚,并返回纽约市。他参加共和党的活动,就在他23岁时,他就当选州立法议员。罗斯福很快因其是政治改革者而闻名,他公开指责政府中的一切不诚实行为。

罗斯福的第一次政治生涯并没有持续多长时间,四年后,当他的妻子和母亲去逝时,他离开了州议会。他因妻子和母亲的去逝而非常悲伤,一度他都不想活了。罗斯福来到了美国西部的达科他地区的一个牧场,他开始养牛。刚开始,当地牛仔们都笑话他,他们叫他“四眼”,因为他戴眼镜。但当他们发现他和所有的牛仔一样努力工作,而且干得很好时,他们再也不笑话他了。

罗斯福在西部呆了两年后,回到了纽约市,并再次投身政治,他成为纽约市市长共和党的候选人,但这次选举他失败了。随后,他积极参与1888年共和党总统候选人本杰明.哈里森的竞选活动,本杰明.哈里森当选后,任命他为联邦公务员委员会主席。罗斯福千方百计要把政治因素从公务员体系中赶出去。四年后,民主党人格罗弗.克利夫兰当选总统,他批准了罗斯福的公务员制度改革,他要求他继续担任联邦公务员委员会主席。于是罗斯福又担任了两年,随后他成为纽约市警察署长。担任警察署长时,他再一次推行改革,他将那些收受非法报酬的警察开除。

1897年,威廉.麦金利总统提名他为海军部长助理。一年后,美国与西班牙发生战争。罗斯福想参加这场战争,于是他辞去海军部长助理的职务,参军了,他组建了一支骑兵队,这支骑兵队被人称之为“勇猛的骑兵”,这支骑兵因在古巴的圣胡安山战役中的勇敢表现而受到人们的称赞,罗斯福成为了战斗英雄。纽约市的共和党领导人认为罗斯福是该市市长最佳的候选人。纽约市公众开始称烀他为特迪(Teddy),他赢得了胜负比较接近的市长竞选。他很快就发现他不可能听命于他的共和党领导人。这位新市长建议对企业进行控制,他的首要目标是那些向公众提供水、电和天然气的公用企业。他要求在食品和药品行业进行变革,而且他缩短了妇女和儿童的工作时间。

公众欢呼罗斯福的改革,但当地的共和党领导人则不然。有一位共和党的领导人说:“我不想再听听到他在我们这个州大吵大闹了。”地方的共和党领导人认为,将罗斯福赶出纽约市政治圈的最好办法就是支持他当美国副总统。美国副总统一般都是给那些政治声望比较低的人,正因为这个原因,罗斯福不想接受这个职务。这个职务惟一的前途就是将来有朝一日可能成为美国总统。罗斯福确信,如果他当副总统,那么他在政治上也就完了。但最后他还是接受了提名。他和威廉.麦金利一起去投票,他悲伤地说:“我不期望在政治上还有什么前途。”然而,就在他宣誓就任副总统几个月后,威廉.麦金利死了,他宣誓就任美国总统。西奥多.罗斯福成为美国总统只是因为一颗暗杀的子弹。

罗斯福向共和党人承诺,他将继续执行.麦金利的政策,他说,他将以缓慢的方式推进任何的改革。在他第一次向国会发表国情咨文时,他提出了一项新的建议。他要求商业和劳工部着手解决工业问题,他要求加强海军建设,并限制海外移民。他还建议在中美洲修建一条连接大西洋和太平洋的运河。

当罗斯福宣誓就任总统后,那些担心情况可能更糟的商人们松了一口气,因为罗斯福总统似乎就没有打算推进什么改革。然而,罗斯福属于非洲部落打猎的一个古老规则的执行者,这个规则说:“说话时要轻柔,但随后就是一大棒。”在罗斯福就任总统一个月里,他说话是轻柔的,但他随后就举起了大棒。当这个大棒举起时,它的目标是那些大企业。

一些铁路所有者的富豪同意联合,他们成立了一家铁路公司来控制原先这些铁路,这家新铁路公司将完全控制美国西部的铁路运输,这样在西部的铁路运输行业里就不会出现什么竞争了。

罗斯福总统认为这家新的铁路公司违反了谢尔曼反托拉斯法。谢尔曼反托拉斯法规定:企业干涉州与州之间的贸易是非法的,该法还规定:任何人或组织控制整个行业也是非法的。自从谢尔曼反托拉斯法通过以来,没有几家企业被宣布违反此法。所以,当罗斯福宣布,他将根据谢尔曼反托拉斯法对这家铁路托拉斯采取行动时,大家都感到震惊。罗斯福说,在如何执行谢尔曼反托拉斯法上没有妥协可言。

欲知后事如何,请看下周分解。

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