The 4 th of July is the most important holiday in the USA, for it commemorates that famous day in 1776 when the Americans declared their independence . Congress2 made the declaration in Philadelphia, and that night in the city there were joyful celebrations that soon became nationwide. Ever since, the 4 th of July has been marked in the American calendar as Independence Day, and there are parades and festivities of all kinds.
The basic cause of the Americans’ struggle for independence against the mother country, England, was too much interference and intolerance from London and very little understanding of American problems and pride. Most galling to the Americans was the assumption by the English Government and the King that they had a right to tax their subjects overseas without their consent and without giving them anything in return. 3
The British were divided. It was a war inspiring no patriotism.
As for the troops which the Government sent to fight the rebels, they were unenthusiastic and incompetent, especially their leaders.
The Americans had no army. In fact, it is quite possible that but for the extraordinary faith and leadership of George Washington, the revolution might have come to nothing. 4 He built an army that remained loyal to him until the end, despite terrible hardships. He was a true frontiersman. He had seen lands that he knew would make an independent America a mighty nation. He was given valuable support by the two great patriots — Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. 5 It was Franklin who helped persuade the French to come into the war against the British.
In 1781 a British army commanded by an exceptionally incompetent general, Lord Cornwallis, surrendered to the Americans at Yorktown6 , Virginia , and the war was over. Not long afterward, the 13 colonies became States and joined together in a Union.
The effect of the American Revolution was far-reaching. The Declaration of Independence drawn up by Thomas Jefferson is one of the most important documents ever published, and it dropped like a bombshell on the western world. Here are the two sentences which shook the ruling classes of Europe.“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. ”7 The second sen048 tence was even more disturbing to them:“That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. ”
Ⅰ. Chan ge the following verbs in parentheses into the irnoun forms:
1. Their ________( assume ) that their project under way was something entirely new proved to be untrue .
2. He showed strong ________( lead) during his first term in office.
3. The whole book is produced and edited in the ________( pursue) of excellence .
4. If your neighbors are too noisy then you have cause for ________( complain ) .
Ⅱ. Are these sta tements True or False according to the article ?
1. The 4 th of July is a day for rejoicing because Christopher Columbus discovered the New World on this day.
2. In the British Parliament, there has achieved a consensus on fighting against the American colony.
3. The United States is originally composed of thirteen colonies.
4. It was Jefferson who persuaded the French to stand with themselves to fight against the British together.
参考答案 Ⅰ. 1. assumption 2 . leadership 3 . pursuit 4 . complaint Ⅱ. 1. F 2. F 3 . T 4 . F
7 月4 日———欢庆的一天
7 月4 日是美国最重要的节日, 因为它纪念了1776 年美国人宣告独立的那个非常重要 的日子。就在那天, 大陆会议在费城发表《独立宣言》, 那天晚上该城还举行了各种欢庆活 动, 不久这些活动很快就遍及全国。从那以后, 7 月4 日在美国的日历上就被标为独立日。 在独立日那天, 美国各地会有形式多样庆祝活动。
美国人反对母国英国、争取独立的根本原因是伦敦方面干涉太多, 过于固执, 而且很少 理解美国人的种种问题和自尊心。最使美国人恼火的是英国政府和国王傲慢地认为他们 有权不经他们海外臣民的同意征收税款, 却不给予任何回报。
至于英国政府派去与反叛者作战的部队, 他们并不热心, 也无力作战, 他们的头目更是 如此。
美国人没有自己的军队。事实上, 要是没有乔治· 华盛顿异常的忠诚和非凡的领导, 049 这 场革命本来是很可能会一事无成的。尽管条件十分艰苦, 他仍然创建了一支始终忠于他 的军队。他是个名副其实的边疆开拓者。他已经看出他所熟悉的那些土地将会使独立的 美国成为一个强大的国家。他还得到了两位杰出的爱国志士托马斯· 杰斐逊和本杰明· 富兰克林的宝贵支持。正是富兰克林说服了法国人同英国人交战。
1781 年, 异常无能的将军康沃利斯勋爵指挥下的英国军队在弗吉尼亚的约克敦向美 国人投降了, 于是战争宣告结束。之后不久, 13 个殖民地变成了13 个州, 共同组成一个 联邦。
美国独立战争的影响是深远的。由托马斯· 杰斐逊起草的《独立宣言》是有史以来发 表过的最重要的文献之一, 它像一颗弹一样扔向西方世界。下面两句话震撼了欧洲统治 阶级———“ 我们认为这些真理不言自明: 所有人都是生来平等的, 他们都有上帝赋予的某些 不可剥夺的权利, 其中包括生存权、自由权和追求幸福的权利。”第二句话甚至更使他们感 到不安,“ 为了保护这些权利, 人们便设立政府, 政府的正当权力来自被统治者的同意。”
1. 7 月4 日是美国独立纪念日。历史上1776 年这一天, 北美洲十三个殖民地发表《独立宣 言》, 宣告脱离英国, 建立美利坚合众国。
2. 即Continental Congress 大陆会议, 是独立战争期间召开的代表大会。在这个会上签署过 1776 年的《独立宣言》以及1781 年的《联邦条例》。
3. 该句为同位语从句, that 引导的从句是用于说明assumption 的内容。tax v. 对征税; in return 作为回报。
4. 主语从句。因主语太长, 谓语太短, 为避免头重脚轻, 用it 作为形式主语, 替代that 从句。 but for 的意思是“ 要不是, 如果没有”。come to nothing 的意思是“ 毫无结果, 失败”。乔 治·华盛顿( George Washington, 1732—1799) , 美国首任总统。他谢绝接任第三届总 统, 树立了美国总统任期不超过两届的先例, 一直以来只有罗斯福打破过这个惯例。
5. 托马斯·杰斐逊( 1743—1826) , 美国第三任总统,《独立宣言》主要起草人, 他所成立的 反联邦党是现代民主党的前身。本杰明·富兰克林( 1706—1790) , 美国政治家、科学 家, 发明了避雷针等。
6. 约克镇( 位于美国弗吉尼亚州东南部的一个城镇) 。
7. 三个that 从句均为同位语从句, 说明truths 的具体内容。to be self-evident 为宾语truths 的补语, 为了句子平衡起见被提前。