THE MAKING OF A NATION -- a program in Special English by the Voice of America.
World War Two ended finally in the summer of nineteen forty-five. Life in the United States began to return to normal. Soldiers began to come home and find peacetime jobs. Industry stopped producing war equipment and began to produce goods that made peacetime life pleasant. The American economy was stronger than ever. Some major changes began to take place in the American population. Many Americans were not satisfied with their old ways of life. They wanted something better. And many people were earning enough money to look for a better life.
Millions of them moved out of cities and small towns to buy newly-built homes in the suburbs. Our program today will look at the growth of suburbs and other changes in the American population in the years after World War Two. The United States has always counted its population every ten years. The government needed to know how many people lived in each state so it would know how many congressmen each state should have. The first count was made two-hundred years ago. At that time, the country had about four million persons. One hundred years later, the population had increased to about sixty-three million persons. By nineteen fifty, there were more than one hundred fifty million persons in the United States. In the early years of America, the average mother had eight to ten children. Living conditions were hard. Many children died at an early age. Families needed a lot of help on the farm. So it was good to have many children.
This changed in the years that followed. Families began to have fewer and fewer children. By nineteen hundred, the average woman only had three or four children and by nineteen thirty-six, during the great economic depression, the average American mother gave birth to only two children. This changed immediately after World War Two. Suddenly, it seemed, every family started having babies. Parents were hopeful about the future. There were lots of jobs. And people everywhere felt the need for a family and security after the long, difficult years of the war. So the birth rate increased suddenly.
The number of children between the ages of five and fourteen increased by more than ten million between nineteen fifty and nineteen sixty. Many of the new parents moved to homes in the new suburbs. The word suburb comes from the word urban, or having to do with cities. A suburb was sub, or something less than, a city. It usually was created on an empty piece of land just outside a city. A businessman would buy the land and build houses on it. Young families would buy the houses with money that they borrowed from local banks. Life was different in the suburbs. There were all sorts of group activities.
There were boy scout groups for the boys. Girl scout groups for the girls. The parent-teachers association at the school. Barbecue parties where families gathered to cook and eat outside. Historian William Manchester described life in the suburbs in this way: "The new suburbs were free, open, and honestly friendly to anyone except black people, whose time had not yet come." Manchester wrote, "Families moving in found that their new friends were happy to help them get settled. Children in the suburbs exchanged toys and clothes almost as though they were group property. If little Bobby out-grew his clothes, his mother gave them to little Billy across the street. Front doors were not locked. Friends felt free to enter without knocking or asking permission."
Parents did everything they could to make life good for their children. The number of boys playing on Little League baseball teams increased from less than one million to almost six million between nineteen fifty and nineteen sixty. During the same period, the number of Girl Scouts increased by two-million. And twice as many bicycles were sold. Parents also tried to improve their children's education. In nineteen sixty, parents bought almost three times more educational books for children than ten years earlier.
Parents also bought millions of dollars' worth of pianos, violins, and other musical instruments for their children. Families in the suburbs wanted a new life, a good life, for their children. It was true that the average number of children per family was increasing. But the total population of the United States did not increase as much during this period as one might have expected.
The reason for this was that fewer immigrants were coming from foreign countries. In fact, the number of immigrants to the United States had been dropping for many years. In nineteen ten, eleven immigrants were coming to America for every thousand Americans already living here. By nineteen fifty, just one-and-a-half immigrants were coming for every thousand Americans. The kinds of immigrants were changing, too. In the past, most came from northern and western Europe. But now, growing numbers of people came to the United States from Latin America, Asia, and southern and eastern European countries.
Many Americans moved to different parts of the country in the nineteen-fifties. Most Americans continued to live in the eastern, central, and southern parts of the country. But growing numbers moved to the western states. The population of the western states increased by almost forty percent during the nineteen-fifties.
America's biggest city in nineteen fifty was New York, with almost eight-million persons. Second was Chicago, with more than three-and-a-half million. Then came Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Detroit, Baltimore, Cleveland, and Saint Louis. Another population change was in life expectancy. In the early nineteen-hundreds, the average newborn American could only expect to live about forty-seven years. But by the nineteen fifties, most American babies could expect to live well past their sixtieth birthday. This increase in life expectancy was due to improvements in living conditions and medical care. And it would continue to increase steadily in the years that followed. The United States was a changing country, a nation on the move. And political leaders battled each other for the right to lead it. We will look in our next program at political events during this period and look at the presidency of Harry Truman.
You have been listening to THE MAKING OF A NATION, a program in Special English by the Voice of America. Your narrators have been Harry Monroe and Rich Kleinfledt. Our program was written by David Jarmul. The Voice of America invites you to listen again next week to THE MAKING OF A NATION.
He settled his property on his friend.
But “the hostile part can be mobilized from time to time,” by what he calls “anti-immigrant entrepreneurs.
Years ago, we quickly outgrew the capabilities provided by multiple processes.
4.life expectancy 预期寿命；平均寿命
The same nations and the short life expectancy of birth probably the lowest quality of life inother areas.
5.gave birth to 生下
But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the nameJesus.
6.medical care 医疗护理
Sounds like the future of medical care for chronic diseases.
第二次世界大战终于在1945年夏天结束，美国人民开始回归到正常生活。士兵们开始回家找工作 。工业上停止生产战争装备，开始生产生活用品 。美国经济发展比以往任何时候都要强劲 。美国人口开始发生一些重大变化，许多美国人对他们过去的生活方式并不满意 。他们想要更好的东西，许多人赚很多钱，为的是过上更好的生活 。数百万人搬出城市和小城镇，在郊区购买新房 。我们今天的节目将着眼第二次世界大战后郊区的成长和美国人口的其他变化 。一直以来，美国每十年统计一次人口 。政府需要知道每个州居住的人口数，以便知道每个州应该有多少国会议员 。第一次统计是在两百年前，那时，美国大约有四百万人 。一百年后，人口增至约六千三百万人 。
到了1950年，美国人口超过1.5亿。早期时候，美国母亲平均有八到十个孩子，生活条件很艰苦 。许多孩子在很小的时候就夭折了，因为家庭农场要干的活很多，所以孩子多自是很好 。随后的几年发生了变化，家庭孩子越来越少 。到了1900年，普通妇女只有三四个孩子，到了1936年经济大萧条时期，美国母亲平均只生两个孩子 。第二次世界大战后这种情况立即变了，突然间似乎每个家庭开始不止一个孩子 。父母对未来充满希望，他们有很多工作 。漫长而艰难的战争岁月之后，世界各地的人们都认识到家庭和安全的必要，因此出生率陡然增加 。20世纪50年代至60年代，5至14岁的儿童人数增加了一千多万 。许多刚生孩子的父母搬到新郊区的家中 。郊区这个词来自都市，或与城市有关 。郊区是市区，或者比城市小 。它通常建于城市外面的空地，商人会买来盖房子 。年轻的家庭会从当地银行贷款买房 。
郊区生活不同，有各种各样的团体活动。男孩们有男童子军，女孩子们有女童子军，学校里有家长教师协会 。家庭聚集在一起，在外面举行烧烤派对 。历史学家威廉•曼彻斯特这样描述郊区生活：“新建的郊区对任何人来说都是自由开放、真挚友好的，除了黑人以外，黑人完全自由的时代还没有到来”，曼彻斯特写道：“搬进郊区的家庭发现他们的新朋友很乐意帮助他们安顿下来 。郊区的孩子们交换玩具和衣服，就像是团体财产一样 。如果小博比长太快，衣服穿不下，他的母亲就把衣服给街对面的小比利 。前门没有上锁 。朋友们可以自由进入而不用敲门或者请求许可 。”父母竭尽全力让孩子的生活变得美好 。
20世纪50年代至60年，在少年棒球联合会棒球队打球的男孩人数从不到100万增至近600万。同一时期，女童子军的人数增加了200万，自行车的销售数量增加了一倍 。父母也试图改善孩子的教育 。1960年，父母为儿童购买的教育书籍数量几乎是十年前的三倍 。父母还为孩子购买价值数百万美元的钢琴、小提琴和其他乐器 。郊区的家庭希望为孩子们带来新的美好生活 。的确，每个家庭的平均生育子女数正在增加 。但是，在此期间，美国的总人口并没有人们预期的那么多 。原因是外国移民减少了 。事实上，移居到美国的人数多年来一直下降 。1910年，每1000名美国居住人口中就有11名移民 。到了1950年，每1000名美国居住人口中就有一半是移民 。移民的种类也在发生变化 。过去，大多数移民来自北欧和西欧 。现在，越来越多拉丁美洲，亚洲，南欧和东欧国家的人来到美国 。
20世纪50年代，许多美国人搬到了该国的不同地区。大多数美国人继续生活在该国的东部、中部和南部地区 。但越来越多的人转移到了西部各州 。20世纪50年代，西部各州的人口增加了近40％ 。1950年，美国最大的城市是纽约，人口近800万 。其次是芝加哥，人口超过三百五十万，然后依次是费城、洛杉矶、底特律、巴尔的摩、克利夫兰和圣路易斯 。另一个人口变化是预期寿命 。20世纪初，美国新生儿平均只能活到四十七岁左右 。但到了20世纪50年代，大多数美国婴儿预计在六十岁之后生活条件将会得到改善 。预期寿命增加的原因是因为生活条件和医疗保健的改善 。接下来的几年里，预期寿命还将继续稳步增长 。美国是一个风云变幻、不断前进的国家，政治领导人互相争夺领导权 。下期节目，我们将为您讲述这一时期的政治事件，看看哈里•杜鲁门总统执政期间发生了哪些事 。
您正在收听的是VOA慢速英语节目《建国史话》。播报人Harry Monroe、Rich Kleinfledt，制作人David Jarmul 。VOA邀您下周接着收听《建国史话》 。