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#164: The United States Turns Inward After World War One

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A group of people listening to the radio at the Hamilton Hotel in Washington D.C.
A group of people listening to the radio at the Hamilton Hotel in Washington D.C.

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

The years after World War One were an important turning point in the making of the American nation. The country turned away from the problems of Europe. Now it would deal with problems of its own.

第一次世界大戰結束后的幾年是美國歷史上重要的轉折點。美國不再熱心歐洲事務,而是開始解決國內的問題。

This week in our series, Kay Gallant and MAURICE JOYCE: tell about the many changes in America during the early nineteen twenties.

KAY GALLANT: There was a presidential election in America in nineteen twenty. President Woodrow Wilson was not a candidate. He had suffered a stroke and was too sick. The two major candidates were Democrat James Cox and Republican Warren Harding. Voters had a clear choice between the two candidates.

1920年,美國舉行總統選舉。威爾遜因中風而身體虛弱,已經無法參選。兩位主要候選人是民主黨的詹姆斯.考克斯和共和黨的沃侖.哈丁。這兩人給了選民非常不同的選擇。

Cox supported the ideas of President Wilson. He believed the United States should take an active part in world affairs. Harding opposed the idea of internationalism. He believed the United States should worry only about events within its own borders.

考克斯贊同威爾遜的理念,認為美國應該在世界事務中發揮積極作用。哈丁則反對國際主義理念,他認為美國人應該只關心國內事務。

Warren Harding won the election. By their votes, Americans made clear they were tired of sacrificing lives and money to solve other people's problems. They just wanted to live their own lives and make their own country a better place.

哈丁贏得了選舉。美國人民通過自己的選票清楚地表明,他們已經厭倦了犧牲自己的生命和財產來解決其他國家的問題。他們只想過自己的日子,讓美國變得更好。

MAURICE JOYCE: This was a great change in the nation's thinking. For twenty years, since the beginning of the century, the United States had become more involved in international events.

這是國家思維方式的重大改變。此前20世紀的頭20年里,美國一直逐漸卷入國際事務。

Young Americans had grown up with presidents like Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt. Both Wilson and Roosevelt had active foreign policies. Both helped start the nation on the road to becoming a major world power.

美國年輕人在威爾遜和羅斯??偨y執政的年代長大,而這兩位總統都在外交領域非?;钴S,都幫助美國走上了成為世界主要大國的道路。

Then came World War One. It was like a sharp needle that bursts a balloon. The United States and the Allies won the war against Germany and the Central Powers. But thousands of American troops had died in the European conflict. And many months were taken up by the bitter debate over the peace treaty and the League of Nations.

然后第一次世界大戰爆發了,這就像一根針扎破了一個氣球。美國及其盟國打敗了德國和軸心國,但是數千美國軍人死在了歐洲戰場。然后,美國又花了數月的時間,激烈辯論凡爾賽條約和國聯的問題。

Most Americans did not want to hear about Europe and international peace organizations any more.

結果,大多數美國人厭倦了,再也不想聽到有關歐洲和國際和平組織的任何事情了。

KAY GALLANT: Instead, Americans became more concerned with material things. During World War One, they had lived under many kinds of restrictions. The federal government had controlled railroads, shipping, and industrial production. At the end of the war, these controls were lifted. Industries that had been making war supplies began making products for a peacetime economy.

相反,他們開始關心現實生活中的物質問題。一戰期間,美國人的生活受到了很多限制。聯邦政府控制了鐵路、運輸和工業生產。戰后,這些控制被解除了,以前生產戰爭物資的工廠開始為和平年代的經濟生產產品。

Wages for most workers in the United States were higher than ever at the beginning of the nineteen twenties. Men and women had enough money to enjoy life more than they had in the past.

1920年代初,大部分美國工人的工資達到了前所未有的高水平,人們手里有錢了,足夠他們去追求比以往都好的生活。

(MUSIC)

MAURICE JOYCE: Technology made it possible for millions of people to improve their lives. It also caused great changes in American society. Two of the most important new technologies were automobiles and radio.

技術進步也使數百萬人過上了更好的日子,并給美國社會帶來了巨大的變化。兩項最重要的新技術就是汽車和無線電廣播。

In the early years of the twentieth century, automobiles were very costly. Each one was built separately by a small team of skilled workers. Most Americans did not have the money to own an automobile.

在1920年代初,汽車還非常昂貴,每輛車都是由一個小型專業技工隊伍制造。大部分美國人買不起車。

Then Henry Ford decided to make cars everyone could buy. He built them on an assembly line. Cars were put together, or assembled, as they moved slowly through the factory. Each worker did just one thing to the car before it moved on to the next worker. In this way, the Ford Motor Company could build cars more quickly and easily. And it could sell them for much less money.

美國人亨利.福特決定制造出所有人都買得起的汽車。他用流水線生產汽車,汽車零件通過工廠里的生產流水線被組裝到一起,每個工人只干一個環節的工作,然后產品就進入下一個環節,由另外的工人負責。這樣,福特汽車公司就能更快更容易地生產汽車,并且以便宜很多的價格銷售汽車。

Cranking a Model
Cranking a Model "T" Ford

KAY GALLANT: Before long, there were cars everywhere. All these cars created a need for better roads. Outside cities, most roads were made just of dirt. They were chokingly dusty in?dry weather and impassably muddy in the rain.

福特汽車公司發明流水線后,汽車生產得更多,價錢也更便宜。不久,美國到處都跑滿了汽車,而這就要求全國的道路狀況得到改善。當時,在鄉村地區,很多地方只有土路,晴天時暴土揚長,雨天則泥濘不堪。

They were rough and full of holes. Few bridges connected roads across rivers and streams. America's new drivers demanded that these problems be fixed. So, local and state governments began building and improving roads as they had never done before.

這些路還坑坑洼洼??缭较鬟B接道路的橋梁更是幾乎沒有。剛剛買上車的車主們要求解決這些問題。于是,地方和州政府開始以前所未有的力度修建和改善道路。

As new roads were built, many new businesses opened along them. There were gasoline stations and auto repair shops, of course. But soon there were eating places and hotels where travelers could eat and sleep. ?In the nineteen-twenties, the United States was becoming a nation of car-lovers.

新的道路修好了,路的兩側又開了很多新的買賣,比如加油站、修車廠。很快又出現了飯館、旅店,供旅行的人們休息。1920年代,美國成了汽車愛好者的國度。

MAURICE JOYCE: Cars changed more than the way Americans traveled. They changed the way Americans lived. They removed some of the limitations of living conditions.

汽車改變的不僅僅是美國人的出行方式,它還改變了美國人的生活方式,消除了一些生活上原有的制約。

For example, families with cars no longer had to live in noisy, crowded cities. They could live in suburbs -- the wide-open areas outside cities. They could use their car to drive to work in the city.

比如,有車的家庭不必再生活在擁擠吵鬧的城市,而是可以住到空曠的郊區。人們可以開車進城上班。

Businesses moved, too. No longer did they have to be close to railroad lines. With new cars and trucks, they could transport their goods where they wanted, when they wanted. They were no longer limited by train times.

企業也動起來了。他們不必再靠近鐵路線。隨著汽車和卡車的普及,他們可以隨時把貨物運往各處,不必再受列車運行時間的限制。

Cars also made life on farms less lonely. It became much easier for farm families to go to town on business or to visit friends.

汽車還讓農村生活熱鬧起來,農戶們可以更容易地進城做買賣或探親訪友。

KAY GALLANT: Cars helped Americans learn more about their nation. In the nineteen twenties, people could drive all across the land for not much money. Places that used to be days apart now seemed suddenly closer.

汽車讓美國人更加了解自己的國家。1920年代,人們可以不必花很多錢就開車橫跨美國,以前要走好幾天才能到的地方現在忽然間近了許多。

Families that normally stayed home on weekends and holidays began to explore the country. They drove to the seashores and lakeshores. To the mountains and forests. To places of historical importance or natural beauty.

原本在周末和節日通常待在家里的一家人現在有機會去旅游,了解遠處的美國是什么樣子。他們開車去海邊、湖邊,走進大山和森林,游覽名勝古跡和天然美景。

MAURICE JOYCE: Not all the changes linked to the car were good, of course.

當然,汽車帶來的改變并不都是好的。

Automobile accidents became more common and deadly. Other forms of transportation, such as railroads, began to suffer from the competition. Some railroads had to close down. Horses and wagons -- once the most common form of transportation -- began to disappear from city streets.

比如,車禍多了,死于車禍的人也多了。而鐵路等其它交通方式開始在競爭中陷入困境,一些鐵路不得不關閉了事。原來最常用的交通方式─馬和馬車─也開始從城市的道路上消失。

There were not enough cars in the nineteen-twenties to cause severe air pollution. But the air was becoming less pure every year. And the roads were becoming more crowded and noisy.

在1920年代,汽車的數量還不足以造成嚴重的空氣污染,但是空氣的純凈度每年都在下降,道路也變得越來越擁擠和喧鬧。

(MUSIC)

KAY GALLANT: While the automobile greatly changed America's transportation, radio greatly changed its communication.

就在汽車極大地改變了美國人交通方式的同時,無線電廣播給美國人的通訊方式帶來了革命。

The first radio station opened in the state of Pennsylvania in nineteen-twenty. Within ten years, there were hundreds of others. There were more than thirteen million radio receivers. Most of the radio stations were owned by large broadcasting networks. These networks were able to broadcast the same program to stations all over the country.

1920年,美國第一家電臺在賓夕法尼亞成立,10年后,全美就出現了數百家電臺,聽眾超過1300萬。 大部分電臺的所有者是大型廣播網,這些公司可以對全國各地的電臺播出同樣的節目。

MAURICE JOYCE: Most programs were simple and entertaining. There were radio plays, comedy shows, and music programs. But there also were news reports and political events. Millions of people who never read newspapers now heard the news on radio. Citizens everywhere could hear the president's voice.

廣播節目大多內容簡單,具有娛樂性,有廣播劇、喜劇和音樂節目,同時也報導新聞和政治事件。數百萬從來不看報的人現在從廣播中聽到了新聞。各地的美國人都能聽到總統的聲音了。

Like the automobile, radio helped bring Americans together. They were able to share many of the same events and experiences.

和汽車一樣,廣播把美國人帶到了一起。他們可以一起見證許多活動,有共同的經歷。

KAY GALLANT: Radio also was a great help to companies. Businesses could buy time on radio programs for advertisements. In these 'ads', they told listeners about their products. They urged them to buy the products: cars. Electric refrigerators. Foods. Medicines. In this way, companies quickly and easily created a nationwide demand for their goods.

廣播也幫了公司企業的大忙。企業可以購買廣播時間播放廣告,向聽眾介紹自己的產品。在廣告中,他們告訴人們去消費,去購買汽車、電冰箱、食品和藥物。這些公司快速而簡單地創造出了全國性的消費者需求。

Automobiles and radios were not the only new technologies to change American life in the days after World War One. Still one more invention would have a great effect on how Americans spent their time and money. That was the motion picture.

一戰后改變美國人生活的新技術不僅僅是汽車和廣播。另外一項發明也將極大地影響美國人的消費習慣和娛樂方式,那就是電影。

It will be our story next week.

(MUSIC)

MARIO RITTER: Our program was written by Frank Beardsley. The narrators were Kay Gallant and MAURICE JOYCE. You can find our series online with transcripts, MP3s, podcasts and historic images at www.666321.live. 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.

http://usa.unsv.com/docs/voanews/english/2011/04/21/7962/voachinese201104217962.mp3
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作者:鄭烈波
most americans did not want to hear about europe and international peace organizations any more.
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