THE MAKING OF A NATION -- a program in Special English by the Voice of America.
Throughout history, power passes from one nation to another. Persia, for example, was the world's most powerful nation at the time of Alexander the Great. Rome became a great power under Julius Caesar. And France was so under Napoleon. Through the middle of the twentieth century, Britain was the most powerful nation in the world. Britain, however, suffered terribly during World War Two. And, after the war, power passed to the United States. One can almost name the day when this happened. It was February twenty-first, nineteen forty-seven. Officials at the British Embassy in Washington called the American State Department. They had two messages from their government.
The first was about Greece. The situation there was critical. Greece had been occupied by Germany during the war. Now it was split by a bitter civil war. On one side of the fighting was the royal family supported by Britain. On the other side were communist-led rebels supported by Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union. British forces had helped keep Greece from becoming communist during nineteen forty-four and nineteen forty-five. A few years later, Britain could no longer help. It needed all its strength to rebuild from the world war. So, on that February day in nineteen forty-seven, Britain told the United States it would soon end all support for Greece. Britain's second message that day was about Turkey. Turkey was stronger than Greece. But it, too, might become communist unless it received outside help.
Britain warned the United States that the Soviet Union would soon extend its control all the way across Eastern Europe to the eastern Mediterranean. It called on President Harry Truman to provide strong American support to help Greece and Turkey resist the communist threat. Britain, in effect, was asking the United States to take over leadership of the Western world. The United States was ready to accept its new position. For months, relations between the United States and the Soviet Union had been growing worse. The two countries had fought together as allies in the Second World War. But Soviet actions after the war shocked the American people. The Soviet Union wanted to block western political and economic influence in central and Eastern Europe. It wanted to extend its own influence, instead. So, after the war, it forced the establishment of communist governments in a number of countries. In Hungary, Bulgaria and Czechoslovakia, it sent troops to make sure its political demands were met.
Britain's wartime prime minister, Winston Churchill, spoke about the situation in a speech at a college in the American state of Missouri. Churchill warned that the Soviet Union was trying to expand its power. He described it as an "iron curtain" falling across the middle of Europe. The iron curtain divided Europe into a communist east and a democratic west. The situation was made even more tense by news coming from China. China was a divided nation at the end of World War Two. The forces of Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek controlled the southwest part of the country. Communist forces under Mao Zedong controlled the north. Both the United States and the Soviet Union expected that Chiang Kai-shek would be able to unite China.
Chiang and the Nationalists won several early victories over the Communists. But Mao and his forces used the people's growing hatred of the Nationalist government to win support. Slowly, they began to win battles and capture arms. Early in nineteen forty-nine, communist forces took control of Beijing and Tientsin. Then they captured Shanghai and Canton. By the end of the year, Chiang and his Nationalist forces had to flee to the island of Taiwan. The fall of the Nationalist government in China caused a bitter political debate in America. Some critics of the Truman administration charged that the United States had not done enough to help the Nationalists. The Truman administration rejected the charges. It said Chiang caused his own defeat by failing to reform and win the support of the Chinese people.
Secretary of State Dean Acheson described the defeat this way:"Nothing that the United States did, or could have done, within the limits of its powers, could have changed the result. It was the product of forces within China. It was the product of forces which the United States tried to influence, but could not." The United States was more successful in its policies toward Europe. The British warnings about the communist threat in Greece and Turkey caused President Truman to speak to the Congress. He said, "I believe it must be our policy to support free people who are fighting attempted overthrow by armed minorities or outside pressures." Truman called on the Congress to give him four hundred million dollars in aid for Greece and Turkey. After a brief but intense national debate, the Congress agreed. Truman then launched an effort to save the Greek economy and reorganize the Greek army. Soon after that, Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union ended their aid to Greek rebels. The civil war in Greece ended.
American help for Greece and Turkey was the first step in what became known as the Truman Doctrine. The goal of this policy was to stop Soviet aggression anywhere in the world. Truman was willing to use military force to stop the spread of communism. But he also believed it was equally important to build up western European nations so they would be strong enough to defend themselves. Europe was suffering terribly after World War Two. There were severe shortages of food and fuel. Crops were destroyed. Many Europeans were beginning to look to the communists -- to anybody -- to save them. This is one reason why Truman and his advisers developed a plan to rebuild the economies of Europe.Secretary of State George Marshall proposed the idea. It soon became known as the Marshall Plan.
President Truman explained why there had to be a Marshall Plan. People were starving, he said. There had been food riots in France and Italy. People were cold. There was not enough fuel. And people were sick. Tuberculosis was breaking out. "Something had to be done," Truman said later. "The British had no money. They were pulling out of Greece and Turkey. They could not help. The United States had to do it, had to do it all." Marshall Plan aid was offered to all countries in Europe. The Soviet Union and its allies refused help. Sixteen other countries, however, welcomed the aid. From nineteen forty-eight to nineteen fifty-two, the economic cooperation administration of the Marshall Plan worked with these countries. It spent thirteen thousand million dollars.
The plan worked. Agricultural production in Marshall Plan countries increased by ten percent. Overall industrial production increased by thirty-five percent. Production in some industries, such as steel, increased by much more. There were political results, too. Stronger economies helped prevent communists from gaining control of the governments in France and Italy. Some Europeans criticized the Marshall Plan. They said it increased tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union in the years after the war. Yet few people could argue that the plan was one of the most successful international economic programs in history. You have been listening to THE MAKING OF A NATION, a program in Special English by the Voice of America. Your narrators have been Rich Kleinfeldt and Ray Freeman. Our program was written by David Jarmul. Join us again next week at this same time for another program about the history of the United States.
He is unselfish and above small jealousy and hatred.
他毫不自私， 没有一点忌妒和怨恨之意 。
Would you like to read and criticize my new novel?
So, what if we capture all of the valence electrons.
Harry deserted during the food shortage.
The rebel troops,at last,submitted to the government.
纵观历史，经济强国换了一个又一个。例如，亚历山大大帝时期，波斯成为强国 。尤利乌斯•凯撒（Julius Caesar）统治时期，罗马成为强国，拿破仑统治时期，法国成为强国 。到了二十世纪中叶，英国是世界上最强大的国家 。然而，第二次世界大战期间英国遭受重创 。战后，美国成为世界上实力最强的国家 。人们几乎可以记住这件事情发生是在哪一天，那是1947年2月21日 。英国驻华盛顿大使馆的官员给美国国务院打电话 。他们从政府那里得到两条消息 。第一个是关于希腊的，希腊的局势非常危急 。战争期间，希腊被德国占领，如今被一场内战搞的支离破碎，战争的一方是英国支持的王室，另一方是由南斯拉夫和苏联支持的共产党领导的反叛分子，1944年和1945年，英国军队阻挠希腊成为共产主义国家 。几年后，英国不再阻挠，需要集中精力搞好战后重建工作 。因此，1947年2月的一天，英国告诉美国，它将很快停止对希腊的所有援助 。那天，英国发出的第二个消息是关于土耳其的，土耳其比希腊实力更强 。但除非得到外界的帮助，否则不可能成为共产主义国家 。英国警告美国，苏联的控制范围很快将扩展至整个东欧和地中海东部地区 。它呼吁哈里•杜鲁门总统全力帮助希腊和土耳其抵御共产主义威胁 。实际上，英国在要求美国接管西方世界的领导权 。美国准备接受其新的职位 。几个月来，美苏关系一直在恶化 。
第二次世界大战中，这两个国家作为盟友并肩作战。但是苏联战后的行动让美国人民感到震惊 。苏联想要阻止西方国家在中欧和东欧的政治经济影响，它想扩大自己的影响力 。所以，战争结束后,苏联强制许多国家建立共产主义政府 。苏联派军到匈牙利、保加利亚和捷克斯洛伐克，以确保满足其政治要求 。英国战时首相温斯顿•丘吉尔在美国密苏里州一所大学的演讲中谈到了这一情况 。丘吉尔警告说，苏联正试图扩大自己的势力，他将其描述为横跨欧洲中部的“铁幕” 。“铁幕”将欧洲分为东方和西方，前者走共产主义道路，后者走民主道路 。从中国传出来的消息使局势更加紧张 。在第二次世界大战结束时，中国是一个分裂的国家 。国民党领导人蒋介石派军队控制了中国的西南部 。毛泽东领导的共产党军队控制了北方 。美国和苏联都预计蒋介石能够统一中国 。早期，蒋介石和国民党多次战胜了共产党 。
您正在收听的是VOA慢速英语《建国史话》。讲述人Rich Kleinfeldt、Ray Freeman，制作人David Jarmul 。下个星期同一时间，我们接着相约 。