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#166: Fear of Communism in 1920 Threatens Civil Rights

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Strikers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, around 1919
Strikers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, around 1919

BOB DOUGHTY: 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.

美國憲法保護公民的自由,如言論自由、新聞自由和宗教自由。美國憲法中的權利法案保護這些和其它個人權利。然而,政府并不總是遵守憲法賦予的公民權利。

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

例如,在18世紀,約翰.亞當斯總統就支持出臺法律,禁止托馬斯.杰斐遜和民主黨批評聯邦政府。

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 traitors.

在美國內戰期間,亞伯拉罕.林肯采取強硬措施,不讓報紙報道軍事行動。在20世紀50年代,美國參議員約瑟夫.麥卡錫指責無辜的人為共產主義分子和叛國者。

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 labor leaders, foreigners and others.

政府針對個人的最嚴重指責發生在1919年和1920年之間。許多政府官員對勞工領袖、外國人和其他人采取行動,有時甚至是非法行動。

This week in our series, Kay Gallant and Harry 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.

之所以發生政府對個人的攻擊,是因為美國人擔心共產主義的威脅。這些擔心同第一次世界大戰期間勞工運動的發展密不可分。一戰期間發生了多次罷工。工人越來越頻繁地愿意冒失去工作的危險,組織起來要求改善工作條件。

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

伍德羅.威爾遜總統一直支持有組織的勞工運動,他試圖讓工人與企業主進行和平談判。

But official support for organized labor ended when strikes closed factories that were important to the national war effort. President Wilson and his advisers 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.

然而,當那些對一戰中美國軍事行動十分重要的工廠也因為罷工而關門時,政府不再支持勞工運動了。威爾遜總統和他的顧問們認為,工人應該把國家利益放在個人利益之上。他們讓工人等戰爭結束后再提漲工資和改善工作條件的要求。

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.

大多數工人們同意了。但當一戰在1918年結束時,美國工人開始為了提高工資而進行數量眾多的罷工。

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.

1919年,多達200萬工人參加了罷工,其中有建筑工人、肉類加工者、火車司機等,還有造船工人、鞋廠工人和電話公司的工人。

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.

絕大多數罷工工人所要求的都是工會傳統意義上的要求:如提高工資和縮短勞動時間。但越來越多的工人還開始要求對經濟體系本身進行重大改革,呼吁聯邦政府控制某些重要的私營產業。

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.

比如,鐵路工人要求聯邦政府永久性地接過鐵路運營的控制權。煤礦工人也要求聯邦政府控制他們的產業,甚至在保守的谷物種植州,20萬農民加入了一個團體,要求進行重要的經濟改革。

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.

所有這些抗議震驚了傳統的美國人,因為他們認為美國是自由經濟的天堂,不需要工會。他們擔心,日益加劇的罷工潮意味著美國將發生不久前俄羅斯那樣的革命。畢竟,列寧自己曾經警告說,布爾什維克革命將在世界其他國家的工人中傳播開來。

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.

1919年發生的幾起事件加劇了人們對暴力革命的擔憂。一件事是一枚炸彈在喬治亞州參議員家里爆炸。另外,甚至還有人在美國司法部長米切爾.帕爾默的家門口引爆了一枚炸彈。

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

然而,最恐怖的是麻薩諸塞州波士頓的警察舉行了罷工。

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.

警察要求提高工資,但警察署長拒絕與警察談判,結果警察舉行罷工。警察一罷工,小偷就開始肆無忌憚地闖入家庭和商店。麻薩諸塞州州長加爾文.柯立芝最終不得不要求州武裝部隊介入,保護民眾。他的行動打敗了罷工的警察,絕大多數警察失去了工作。

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.

對于許多美國人來說,這些行為已經太過份了。他們開始指責工會和其他一些人計劃進行革命,他們還發起強有力的運動,保護國家免遭這些可能是極端分子的人的傷害。

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

這些運動的領導人指責成千上萬人為共產主義分子或"紅色分子",這個運動也就被稱為"紅色恐怖"。

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 bloody world war.

當然,絕大多數人是真的害怕美國發生革命。他們不信任那許多積極參與工會活動的外國人,而且他們在經過血腥的一戰后已經厭煩了社會變革和動蕩。

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

因此,來自不同城市的許多美國人開始針對那些他們懷疑是共產主義極端者的個人和組織采取暴力行動。

In New York, a crowd of men in military uniforms attacked the office of a socialist 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.

例如,在紐約,一群身穿軍裝的人襲擊了一家社會主義報紙的辦公室。他們毆打在那里工作的人,搗毀辦公設備。在西部華盛頓州的森特勒利亞市,有4個人在工會和其反對者的沖突中死亡。

Riot police
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 overthrow 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.

美國公眾普遍反對工會和政治左派人士。許多人認為,任何持左派觀點的人都是試圖推翻民主政治的革命分子。許多州和地方政府通過法律,將參加支持革命的組織列為犯罪,有28個州還通過法律,規定揮舞紅旗就是犯罪。

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.

美國民眾還要求聯邦政府采取行動。當時的總統威爾遜身患重病,他只關心讓美國加入新成立的國際聯盟的夢想。

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

但司法部長帕爾默聽到了民眾要求采取行動的呼聲。他希望自己在次年的總統大選中能夠獲勝。于是,他決定采取強有力的行動,來獲得選民的注意。

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.

帕爾默的第一個行動就是阻止煤礦工人罷工,隨后他又命令對左派領導人展開一系列的突襲和抓捕。被捕的人中有許多是無辜的,但官方仍然將他們在未經審判的情況下關進監獄里了幾個星期。

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.

帕爾默還將許多被懷疑參與所謂革命行動的外國人驅逐出境。他對記者們說,共產主義分子是罪犯,他們計劃破壞生活中一切美好的東西。

Strike leader in Gary, Indiana, advising demonstrators around 1919
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.

恐懼和猜疑也蔓延到了美國人生活的其他方面,許多個人和社會團體被指控為支持共產主義。電影演員查理.卓別林、教育家約翰.杜威、法學教授費利克斯.法蘭克福等名人也在被指控之列。

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

這場紅色恐怖使許多無辜的人不敢表達自己的想法,他們擔心會因此而被指控為共產主義分子。

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.

但是,正如事情發生來勢洶洶一樣,紅色恐怖很快在1920年進入尾聲。只有短短幾個月時間,人們就開始不信任司法部長帕爾默了。人們厭煩了他的極端行為。共和黨領導人查爾斯.埃文斯.休斯和其他領導人要求司法部在逮捕和指控人時必須依法行事。

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.

到1920年夏天,紅色恐怖結束了。雖然9月在紐約發生了一次較大規模的炸彈爆炸,但大部分美國人沒有再次回到這種恐怖中。他們相信,美國應該恢復言論自由和回歸法治。

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.

紅色恐怖并沒有持續多長時間,但它是一個重要事件。它表明,在一戰后,許多美國人厭煩了社會變革,他們需要的是和平和經濟發展。

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.

當然,對于美國人來說,表達情緒的傳統方式是選舉。在1920年的總統選舉中,美國人清楚地展示了這種日益保守的態度。

(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 transcripts, MP3s, podcasts and 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.

網友的學習評論(4條):
作者:Lovehistory
Very good, I enjoy the history of USA so much!
作者:read11111
盼更新!
作者:perfect100
I never imagine I could read the 166Th passage from the making of nation.
update pls!
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