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2008年考研英语真题第4篇 The Sorry Legacy of the Founders

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In 1784, five years before he became president of the United States, George Washington, 52, was nearly toothless.

1784,在52 岁的乔治·华盛顿在成为美国总统 5 年前,牙齿就几乎已经掉光了。

So he hired a dentist to transplant nine teeth into his jaw - having extracted them from the mouths of his slaves.

所以要请牙医给他移植九颗牙齿—而这些牙齿是从他的奴隶口中拔来的。

That's a far different image from the cherry-tree-chopping George most people remember from their history books.

这跟很多人在历史书上读到过的那个砍樱桃树的华盛顿有点大相径庭。

But recently, many historians have begun to focus on the roles slavery played in the lives of the founding generation.

但是最近开始,历史学家开始越来越关注奴隶制在美国开国一代人的生活中所扮演的角色。

They have been spurred in part by DNA evidence made available in 1998, which almost certainly proved Thomas Jefferson had fathered at least one child with his slave Sally Hemings.

他们多半是受了 1998 年 DNA 事件的影响。那个事件证明托马斯·杰弗逊至少和他的奴隶萨利·赫明思生过一个孩子。

And only over the past 30 years have scholars examined history from the bottom up.

学者们从头至尾地研究历史还是近三十年的事情。

Works of several historians reveal the moral compromises made by the nation's early leaders and the fragile nature of the country's infancy.

一些历史学家揭示了早期开国者们的道德妥协和早期国家的不稳定性。

More significantly, they argue that many of the Founding Fathers knew slavery was wrong - and yet most did little to fight it.

更重要的是,他们认为很多开国元勋知道奴隶制是错误的,但是大多数并没有去反抗。

More than anything, the historians say, the founders were hampered by the culture of their time.

最主要的原因,就是建国者们受到了当时文化的束缚。

While Washington and Jefferson privately expressed distaste for slavery, they also understood that it was part of the political and economic bedrock of the country they helped to create.

当华盛顿和杰弗逊私底下表示对奴隶制的不满时,他们也明白奴隶制同时也是他们努力建造的这个国家的政治经济基础的一部分。

For one thing, the South could not afford to part with its slaves.

一方面,南方各州无法认同废除奴隶制度。

Owning slaves was “like having a large bank account, ” says Wiencek, author of An Imperfect God: George Washington, His Slaves, and the Creation of America.

如《不完美的上帝:乔治·华盛顿、他的奴隶和美国的建立》一书作者Wiencek所描述,拥有努力"就像拥有一笔巨额存款"。

The southern states would not have signed the Constitution without protections for the “peculiar institution, ” including a clause that counted a slave as three fifths of a man for purposes of congressional representation.

如果没有对于这种"特殊制度"的保护,南方各州不会同意签署宪法。这种特殊的制度保护包括:在国会代表人数中一个奴隶可以算作五分之三个公民。

And the statesmen's political lives depended on slavery.

政治家的政治生命也取决于奴隶制度。

The three-fifths formula handed Jefferson his narrow victory in the presidential election of 1800 by inflating the votes of the southern states in the Electoral College.

正由于这个五分之三公式,南方选举团的选票扩大了,杰弗逊才在1800大选中险胜。

Once in office, Jefferson extended slavery with the Louisiana Purchase in 1803;

入主白宫之后的 1803 年,杰弗逊通过购买路易斯安那州扩大了奴隶制度,

the new land was carved into 13 states, including three slave states.

这片土地后来被划分为了 13个州,其中包括 3个蓄奴州。

Still, Jefferson freed Hemings's children - though not Hemings herself or his approximately 150 other slaves.

然而,杰弗逊还是解放了赫明思的孩子们,虽然没有同样解放赫明思和其他150名奴隶。

Washington, who had begun to believe that all men were created equal after observing the bravery of the black soldiers during the Revolutionary War, overcame the strong opposition of his relatives to grant his slaves their freedom in his will.

华盛顿在目睹了美国独立战争中黑人士兵的英勇之后开始相信人人生就平等。于是,不顾亲属的反对,他解放了自己所有的努力。

Only a decade earlier, such an act would have required legislative approval in Virginia.

而仅仅在十年前,解放奴隶的法案才在弗吉尼亚得以批准。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
grant [grɑ:nt]

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n. 授予物,补助金; 同意,给予
n. 财产

 
available [ə'veiləbl]

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adj. 可用的,可得到的,有用的,有效的

联想记忆
X
单词available 联想记忆:
avail效用。参:availability(n 可用性,实用性)
 
revolutionary [.revə'lu:ʃənəri]

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adj. 革命的
n. 革命者

 
fragile ['frædʒail]

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adj. 易碎的,脆的,精细的

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X
单词fragile 联想记忆:
flag=fract 断裂,ile易…的-易碎的
 
opposition [.ɔpə'ziʃən]

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n. 反对,敌对,在野党

 
bravery ['breivəri]

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n. 勇敢

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X
单词bravery 联想记忆:
brave勇敢+ery表名词,“行为,情况”→勇敢
 
approximately [ə'prɔksimitli]

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adv. 近似地,大约

 
clause [klɔ:z]

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n. 条款,款项,[语]从句,分句

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X
单词clause 联想记忆:
cla=da大,use用:掌握从句对于解填空题有大用;掌握条款对于不犯法有大用。
 
decade ['dekeid]

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n. 十年

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X
单词decade 联想记忆:
dec+ade表名词,表示“状态,物品”参考:decagon十角形→十年
 
constitution [.kɔnsti'tju:ʃən]

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n. 组织,宪法,体格

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X
单词constitution 联想记忆:
con一起 +stitute放+ion→构成:宪法
 


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