月別アーカイブ: 2011年1月

●品位ある英語スピーチ、共和党リン・ジェンキンス議員


私たちは何かごまかしたいような時、あるいは軽い話題の時には、早口で、そして俗語も入れて話すと思います。
しかし大切なことを伝えたい時は、ゆっくりと明瞭に、きちんと話すものだと思います。
それは英語でも日本語でも同じです。
このユーチューブ動画は、民主党オバマ大統領の一般教書演説について、対立する共和党ジェンキンス議員が感想をのべたものです。
なんて明瞭な聞き取りやすい英語なのでしょう!
誰にでもはっきりと伝わるように、明確に意図が伝わるスピーチであり、知性と品位を感じ取ることができます。
私は皆さんにこういう「品位ある英語」を聞き取れるようになっていただきたいと思っています。
それこそがビジネス英語、あるいは品位ある人たちとの会話には必要なことだからです。
さて、演説の内容を一部抜粋します。
Tonight, we heard another nice speech from President Obama. His words continue to impress. We will await the corresponding action. I remain hopeful that President is finally taking the fiscal responsibility seriously.
「今夜、オバマ大統領から新たな耳ざわりのいい演説がありました。その内容は相変わらず感銘深いものです。我々はそれを実行するアクションを注視したいと思います。私は大統領がついに真剣に政府の財政について責任ある行動をとってくれることを期待するものです。」
皮肉まじりながらも相手を尊重しつつ自分の立場(共和党は「減税と政府支出の削減」を主張する立場)を明確にしています。
私はオバマ大統領の大ファンであり、そのスピーチも大好きです。しかし、敵ながら?ジェンキンス議員のスピーチも素晴らしいですね!
強さと激しさがあり、真剣さと熱意がヒシヒシと伝わってきます。
しかし明るい笑顔と口調で「聴く人を元気にさせる」のです!
今朝のテレビ番組に与謝野馨大臣が出演していました。まわりを「真っ暗な気分にさせる」表情と話し方でした。
どんなに深刻な内容であろうとも、いや、そうであればこそ余計に「元気を出していける」スピーチが大切ではないでしょうか。
「言論の府」を代表する一員として、少し考えてもらいたものです。

成田市初級英語教室

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●オバマ、一般教書演説


大統領が国の現状(State of the Union)について述べる演説。それが一般教書演説。
興味深いのは、もしテロなどの不測の事態のために閣僚・国会議員が全て死亡した場合にそなえて、行政長官の一人、議員など数名は別の場所に待機しているという事実です。
指定生存者(Designated Survivor)というそうです。
緊急時対応策(Contingency Plan)への意識の高さが我々とは異なるようです。
私が通信機メーカーの社員だったとき、アメリカからの取引先のトップが来日する際には「社長」と「副社長」は異なるフライトで来日していました。
「なぜ?」と尋ねると「もし飛行機が落ちて2人が同時に落ちたら困るからだよ」と、当然のように言われてショックを感じたことを思い出します。

さて、オバマ大統領の支持率がここ最近でまたアップして50%を上回ったようです。
ギフォーズ議員が演説会で銃撃に襲われ9才の少女を含む多数の犠牲者が出ました。その追悼式典でオバマ大統領は「党派をこえた結束」を訴えました。
この演説は、世論調査で8割の国民が支持したそうです。
上院・下院でのねじれ現象(日本と同じですね)のために、民主党・共和党のつばぜり合いが激しくなっていましたが「今こそ結束しよう」という熱い訴えが、国民の心をゆさぶったのですね。
耳が痛いような話です。
長くなりました。今日はここまでにしましょう。

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow Americans:
Tonight I want to begin by congratulating the men and women of the 112th Congress, as well as your new Speaker, John Boehner. (Applause.) And as we mark this occasion, we’re also mindful of the empty chair in this chamber, and we pray for the health of our colleague — and our friend -窶骭€ Gabby Giffords. (Applause.)
It’s no secret that those of us here tonight have had our differences over the last two years. The debates have been contentious; we have fought fiercely for our beliefs. And that’s a good thing. That’s what a robust democracy demands. That’s what helps set us apart as a nation.
But there’s a reason the tragedy in Tucson gave us pause. Amid all the noise and passion and rancor of our public debate, Tucson reminded us that no matter who we are or where we come from, each of us is a part of something greater -窶骭€ something more consequential than party or political preference.
We are part of the American family. We believe that in a country where every race and faith and point of view can be found, we are still bound together as one people; that we share common hopes and a common creed; that the dreams of a little girl in Tucson are not so different than those of our own children, and that they all deserve the chance to be fulfilled.
That, too, is what sets us apart as a nation. (Applause.)
Now, by itself, this simple recognition won’t usher in a new era of cooperation. What comes of this moment is up to us. What comes of this moment will be determined not by whether we can sit together tonight, but whether we can work together tomorrow. (Applause.)
I believe we can. And I believe we must. That’s what the people who sent us here expect of us. With their votes, they’ve determined that governing will now be a shared responsibility between parties. New laws will only pass with support from Democrats and Republicans. We will move forward together, or not at all -窶骭€ for the challenges we face are bigger than party, and bigger than politics.
At stake right now is not who wins the next election -窶骭€ after all, we just had an election. At stake is whether new jobs and industries take root in this country, or somewhere else. It’s whether the hard work and industry of our people is rewarded. It’s whether we sustain the leadership that has made America not just a place on a map, but the light to the world.
We are poised for progress. Two years after the worst recession most of us have ever known, the stock market has come roaring back. Corporate profits are up. The economy is growing again.
But we have never measured progress by these yardsticks alone. We measure progress by the success of our people. By the jobs they can find and the quality of life those jobs offer. By the prospects of a small business owner who dreams of turning a good idea into a thriving enterprise. By the opportunities for a better life that we pass on to our children.
That’s the project the American people want us to work on. Together. (Applause.)
We did that in December. Thanks to the tax cuts we passed, Americans’ paychecks are a little bigger today. Every business can write off the full cost of new investments that they make this year. And these steps, taken by Democrats and Republicans, will grow the economy and add to the more than one million private sector jobs created last year.
But we have to do more. These steps we’ve taken over the last two years may have broken the back of this recession, but to win the future, we’ll need to take on challenges that have been decades in the making.
Many people watching tonight can probably remember a time when finding a good job meant showing up at a nearby factory or a business downtown. You didn’t always need a degree, and your competition was pretty much limited to your neighbors. If you worked hard, chances are you’d have a job for life, with a decent paycheck and good benefits and the occasional promotion. Maybe you’d even have the pride of seeing your kids work at the same company.
That world has changed. And for many, the change has been painful. I’ve seen it in the shuttered windows of once booming factories, and the vacant storefronts on once busy Main Streets. I’ve heard it in the frustrations of Americans who’ve seen their paychecks dwindle or their jobs disappear -窶骭€ proud men and women who feel like the rules have been changed in the middle of the game.
They’re right. The rules have changed. In a single generation, revolutions in technology have transformed the way we live, work and do business. Steel mills that once needed 1,000 workers can now do the same work with 100. Today, just about any company can set up shop, hire workers, and sell their products wherever there’s an Internet connection.
Meanwhile, nations like China and India realized that with some changes of their own, they could compete in this new world. And so they started educating their children earlier and longer, with greater emphasis on math and science. They’re investing in research and new technologies. Just recently, China became the home to the world’s largest private solar research facility, and the world’s fastest computer.
So, yes, the world has changed. The competition for jobs is real. But this shouldn’t discourage us. It should challenge us. Remember -窶骭€ for all the hits we’ve taken these last few years, for all the naysayers predicting our decline, America still has the largest, most prosperous economy in the world. (Applause.) No workers — no workers are more productive than ours. No country has more successful companies, or grants more patents to inventors and entrepreneurs. We’re the home to the world’s best colleges and universities, where more students come to study than any place on Earth.
What’s more, we are the first nation to be founded for the sake of an idea -窶骭€ the idea that each of us deserves the chance to shape our own destiny. That’s why centuries of pioneers and immigrants have risked everything to come here. It’s why our students don’t just memorize equations, but answer questions like “What do you think of that idea? What would you change about the world? What do you want to be when you grow up?”
The future is ours to win. But to get there, we can’t just stand still. As Robert Kennedy told us, “The future is not a gift. It is an achievement.” Sustaining the American Dream has never been about standing pat. It has required each generation to sacrifice, and struggle, and meet the demands of a new age.
And now it’s our turn. We know what it takes to compete for the jobs and industries of our time. We need to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world. (Applause.) We have to make America the best place on Earth to do business. We need to take responsibility for our deficit and reform our government. That’s how our people will prosper. That’s how we’ll win the future. (Applause.) And tonight, I’d like to talk about how we get there.

成田市初級英語教室

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●すごい!音声検索!


はーい!
この週末を20時間はiPhoneの研究についやしましたよ!
色々と発見はあったけど、一番感動的だったのはGoogleの「音声検索」ですね。
このユーチューブにある通り、文字を入力しなくても話した言葉でそのまま検索結果が出てくる!
かなり高い精度で、きちんと認識してくれます。
これだけでもスマートフォンにする価値ありですねえ。
そんなわけで(?)ブログの更新が遅れ気味だけど、キャッチアップしていくので、ちょっと待っていてくださいね。

成田市初級英語教室

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●iPhone4をゲット!

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きのう届いたんですよ!
ずっと色々とさわってみたけど、やっぱり紙に書いたものがないと使いこなせそう。
で、本屋さんに行ったらピッタリのがありました!
今宵はiPhoneの研究に没頭です。

成田市初級英語教室

瀬利善郎 プロフィール  著書 ツイッター メルマガ ブログの見やすい目次
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●不安を書き出すことでテストの緊張を解く

$●中学英語も不安なあなたへ…1分動画レッスン!(成田市の初級英会話教室ワイズアカデミー)-anxiety

VOAの音声を聴くにはこちらをクリックしてください。
サイエンスという雑誌に発表された研究です。
学校のテストについて異常なまでに緊張して実力を発揮できない生徒がいるものです。心配が募るあまり、集中力や記憶力に欠けてしまいます。
そういうタイプの生徒にテスト直前の10分間に、自分のもつ不安に紙に書き出させるという実験を行いました。
「生徒は最悪の事態を想定して書き出すことで、実際はそんなに悪くなるはずがないという安心感をもつはず」という期待と根拠からの実験です。
実験は先ず、何も特別な準備なしに数学のテストを実施し、次に「ただ静かに待つ」グループと「不安を書き出す」グループに分けて行いました。
「出来がよければお金がもらえて、悪ければ逆にチームの責任として罰が与えられる」というプレッシャーまで加えられました。
その実験結果です。
静かに待機した生徒は平均で「普通よりも12%悪い」得点、しかし不安を書きだした生徒は「普通よりも5%良い」平均得点でした。
このテスト結果では、異常に緊張する生徒でも事前に不安を書き出すことで、緊張しない生徒と変りない成績を出すことができました。
では、テスト直前に書き出す時間など場合は、どうしたらいいのでしょうか?
家や図書館でも同じ(不安を書き出す)練習をすることで改善がみられるはず、と研究者は言います。

Some students get so nervous before a test, they do poorly even if they know the material. Sian Beilock, a psychology professor at the University of Chicago in Illinois, has studied these highly anxious test-takers.
SIAN BEILOCK: “They start worrying about the consequences. They might even start worrying about whether this exam is going to prevent them from getting into the college they want. And when we worry, it actually uses up attention and memory resources. I talk about it as your cognitive horsepower that you could otherwise be using to focus on the exam.”
Professor Beilock and another researcher, Gerardo Ramirez, have developed a possible solution. Just before an exam, highly anxious test-takers spend ten minutes writing about their worries about the test.
SIAN BEILOCK: “What we think happens is when students put it down on paper, they think about the worst that could happen and they reappraise the situation. They might realize it’s not as bad as they might think it was before and, in essence, it prevents these thoughts from popping up — from ruminating — when they’re actually taking a test.”
The researchers tested the idea on a group of twenty anxious college students. They gave them two short math tests. After the first one, they asked the students to either sit quietly or write about their feelings about the upcoming second test.
The researchers added to the pressure. They told the students that those who did well on the second test would get money. They also told them that their performance would affect other students as part of a team effort.
Professor Beilock says those who sat quietly scored an average of twelve percent worse on the second test. But the students who had written about their fears improved their performance by an average of five percent.
Next, the researchers used younger students in a biology class. They told them before final exams either to write about their feelings or to think about things unrelated to the test.
Professor Beilock says highly anxious students who did the writing got an average grade of B+, compared to a B- for those who did not.
SIAN BEILOCK: “What we showed is that for students who are highly test-anxious, who’d done our writing intervention, all of a sudden there was no relationship between test anxiety and performance. Those students most prone to worry were performing just as well as their classmates who don’t normally get nervous in these testing situations.”
But what if students do not have a chance to write about their fears immediately before an exam or presentation? Professor Beilock says students can try it themselves at home or in the library and still improve their performance.
The researchers wrote about their findings in the journal Science.

成田市初級英語教室

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●世界10大ニュースのトップはメキシコ湾の原油流出事故

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VOAの音声はこちらです。
年末になると毎年AP通信社がその年の10大ニュースを発表します。2010年は何だったのかを見てみましょう。
1位 メキシコ湾の原油流出事故
海底油田の掘削施設で爆発が起こり、約80万キロリットルの原油がメキシコ湾へ流出しました。
英国BP社は漁業・観光業界などへの補償として約2兆円の支払いに合意しました。
2位 アメリカの医療保険改革法の成立
医療保険に入っていなかった国民のうちおよそ3千万人が医療保険に加入することになります。しかしこれに反対する共和党は法案の修正に動いています。
3位 アメリカ、11月の中間選挙の結果
共和党が下院の過半数を占める結果になりました。しかし上院ではオバマ大統領率いる民主党が過半数です。
4位 アメリカ経済
1930年代以来の経済恐慌は終わりを告げ、消費動向も上がってきました。しかし失業率はいまだに9%を上回っています。
5位 ハイチ大地震
少なくとも23万人が犠牲者となりました。100万人以上が家を失いました。伝染病などが原因で、復興にはまだ時間がかかりそうです。
6位 アメリカ、ティーパーティー運動
減税、政府の出費削減という「小さな政府」を標榜する運動で、中間選挙での共和党の勝利に大きく貢献しました。
7位 チリ鉱山の落盤事故
地下数百メートルに閉じ込められた33名が69日後に救出され、世界の注目を集めました。
8位 アメリカ軍のイラク撤退
7年以上前に終わった戦争が、ついに終結したといえます。
9位 ウィキリークスが秘密情報を暴露
イラク・アフガニスタン紛争に関する政府の文書を公開したことから始まり、更に各国政府との対話に関する多くの外交文書を暴露しました。
10位 アフガニスタン紛争
この10年にわたる戦争についてオバマ大統領は派兵増強を命じました。アメリカ軍は2011年の7月から撤退を始めます。

At the end of each year, the Associated Press releases a list of the top ten news stories of the year. American editors and news directors are asked to vote for what they consider the top stories.
This year, the story with the most votes was the huge oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. An oil rig operated by BP exploded in April. The explosion killed eleven workers. Close to five million barrels of oil were released into the Gulf until the leak was contained in the middle of July. BP agreed to set aside twenty billion dollars to pay claims and damages to people working in the area’s fishing and tourism industries.
The AP says the second most important story was health care reform in the United States. President Obama won a major political victory with congressional passage of his health care reform plan. Among other things, it will extend health care insurance to thirty-two million Americans now without it. But many Republicans in Congress oppose the law and want to cancel parts of it.
The congressional elections in November were another big story. The Republican Party gained a majority in the House of Representatives. But Democrats kept their majority in the Senate.
The American economy was another major story. Economists reported in twenty-ten that the worst recession since the nineteen-thirties had ended. Americans began to spend more as the year ended. But the unemployment rate stayed above nine percent.
In January, a powerful earthquake struck Haiti. It killed at least two hundred thirty thousand people and left millions of others homeless. Disease and other problems have slowed efforts to rebuild the country.
Another important story was the Tea Party movement in the United States. The Tea Party supports limited government, less federal spending and lower taxes. The movement had a big influence on the Congressional elections.
Another major story was the rescue of thirty-three mine workers in Chile. A partial mine collapse on August fifth trapped them more than half a kilometer underground. They remained trapped for sixty-nine days. Millions of people around the world watched on television as each miner was safely brought to the surface.
In twenty-ten, United States forces officially ended combat operations in Iraq. The Iraq war began more than seven years ago.
Another major story was the activities of the WikiLeaks website. First the website released thousands of United States military documents about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Then it published thousands of State Department diplomatic cables. They included comments by American diplomats about the lives of world leaders and criticisms of foreign governments.
The tenth story on the AP’s list was the war in Afghanistan. President Obama ordered an increase in troops fighting the nearly ten-year-old war. American troops are to begin leaving the country in July. Afghans are to control their own security by the end of twenty fourteen.

成田市初級英語教室

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●世界の食料価格が高騰

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最近の日本のニュースでは、猛暑と寒波の影響で、野菜の値段が高騰していることが話題ですね。しかし、それは日本だけではないようです。
世界中の経済学者が地球規模の食料の価格高騰に懸念を示しています。食料価格の指標は1999年の調査開始以来の最高値となっています。
悪天候による食料不足の心配が広がっているために、米・麦・砂糖・肉などは高値が続くか、さらに上がるかもしれません。
例えば最近のオーストラリアでの大洪水により、小麦・トウモロコシなどの穀物が大被害を受けています。他の野菜・果物の被害も深刻です。
高い水位の影響で、来年の砂糖の生産は半減するかもしれないとも言われています。野菜・果物は今後6ヶ月は高値を維持するとも言われます。
昨年のパキスタンと中国での大洪水の影響は今にいたるも続いています。
ロシアは小麦輸出の禁止を継続します。昨夏の猛暑、干ばつ、森林大火により小麦の農地の3分の1もがダメージを受けたといいます。
アルジェリアでは食料暴動が起きたあと、食料の税金を下げました。暴動の主な理由は食料油と砂糖の高騰だと言われています。
チュニジアでの暴動は食料価格に起因する経済問題と言われています。
経済研究所は「世界の国々は農業の生産性を高める投資」をすべきだと主張しています。
世界で「より少ない農地、水その他の資源で」より多くの生産を行い、飢餓から逃れる必要がある、ということです。

Economists across the world are expressing concern about rising food prices. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization recently released its Food Price Index. The list showed that a number of foods cost more than during the world food crisis of two thousand eight. The index is at its highest level since it began in nineteen ninety.
Demonstrations and deadly food riots have broken out this month, as they did in two thousand eight.
The FAO predicts that world market prices for rice, wheat, barley, sugar and meat will stay high or continue rising. One reason for this is the threat of shortages caused by bad weather. Current and recent weather disasters have harmed agriculture and affected prices in several parts of the world.
For example, the current flooding in Australia has done great damage to crops in the usually fertile Queensland area. Chickpea, wheat, sorghum and corn are among the crops affected. Floods also have harmed other vegetables and fruits.
Local agricultural producers report that standing water could destroy up to half of next year’s sugar crop. And economists say prices for the fruits and vegetables could likely increase over the next six months.
The effects on prices from floods last year in Pakistan and China are still being felt.
Last week, Russia extended an earlier ban on wheat exports. Russia acted after heat, drought and wildfires destroyed about a third of its wheat crop last summer. The ban was placed to make sure Russians have enough wheat. The first ban caused worldwide wheat prices climb to last year by almost fifty percent.
In Algeria, the government has reduced taxes after food riots late last year and earlier this month. Among the causes of the riots were price increases for cooking oil and sugar. Several people died in the riots, and hundreds of others were injured.
Food prices are also part of economic problems to blame for the deadly riots in Tunisia.
Shenggen Fan heads the International Food Policy Research Institute from its Washington, DC, office. Mr. Fan says countries must invest in making their farmers more productive. He says the world will need to feed more hungry people with less available land, water and other resources.

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●電子的な探査犬

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犬は嗅覚にすぐれていますので、救助目的あるいや麻薬や爆発物の捜査に使われています。人の癌を見つけるために訓練される犬さえもいます。
現代科学では犬の嗅覚を再現する研究が進められてきました。そしてグラスゴー空港では「電子的な探査犬」と呼ばれる装置が実験されています。
この装置はレーザーによって空気中にある爆発物の成分を感知します。人の身体に隠された爆発物を探知することが目的です。
これにより安全検査のために上着やベルトや靴を脱ぐ必要がなくなります。また感知には1人につき1秒しかかからず、すぐに結果が出るということです。
実際の犬と異なり、装置は疲れたり、散歩や食事を必要としません。また犬の訓練には膨大な時間が必要であり、それには大きな費用がかかります。
しかし現代科学が生きた犬に勝てない分野もあります。それは繊細さと選択性にあります。犬は本当に微細なわずかな爆発物を嗅ぎ分けることもできるのです。
嗅覚についての研究は急速に進んでいるため、この「電子的な探査犬」のような装置が大いに役立つ日も遠くないかもしれません。

Dogs are known for a strong sense of smell. Their noses can be trained to identify different odors. Dogs are often used in search and rescue operations and to sniff for things like drugs and explosives. Some dogs have even been trained to sniff for cancer in people.
Researchers have been trying to reproduce the extraordinary sense of smell that real dogs are born with. Now, officials at the Glasgow airport in Scotland are testing a new security device called an “electronic sniffer dog.” The electronic sniffer dog represents one of the latest developments in the area of smell technology.
A Scottish company, Cascade Technologies, joined with the French security company Morpho to develop it. The device uses lasers to identify explosive material in gases in the air. The purpose is to identify explosives that may be hidden on a person’s body.
The machine looks similar to the metal detectors now used at airports. Passengers walk through the machine as the lasers test the surrounding air.
People are not required to take off their coats, belts or shoes as part of the security process. And, unlike full-body scanners, the new device does not show images of the passenger.
Officials at Cascade Technologies say the machine can process one person per second and produce almost immediate results. They say future developments could cut security processing times at airports by screening all passengers at walking speed.
Professor Yushan Yan is the head of Chemical and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Riverside. His research team has been working on a similar sniffer device since two thousand eight.
He points out that unlike real dogs, electronic devices do not get tired or need to be walked or require food and water. Professor Yan says real sniffer dogs also have other needs.
YUSHAN YAN: “They also need very extensive training that could be expensive. And when they work they have to have a very skilled handler around them.”
But Professor Yan says in his experience, there is an important area where man’s best friend still wins compared to technology.
YUSHAN YAN: “In terms of sensitivity and selectivity, the current technology out there is still inferior. The dog has amazing capability identifying some really really minor amount of explosives.”
But Professor Yan says electronic sniffer technology is developing quickly and could have a lot of uses in the future.

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●1920年代の保守主義

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このAmerican Historyシリーズはアメリカの歴史を通じて世界の流れを知ることにもなりますので、本当に勉強になると思います。
1920年代のアメリカは新しいファッション、ダンス、芸術作品など数多くの斬新なものを生み出しました。
しかし同時に1920年代はあらゆる意味で保守主義が台頭した時代でもあり、3代続けて保守的な共和党の大統領が選出されました。
1920年代までは、殆どのアメリカ人がイギリスから移住してきた第一世代と何らかの関わりがある人々でした。
それまでは多くの移民はイギリス、フランス、ドイツ出身者でしたが、1920年代には南部・東部のヨーロッパからの移民が増えてきました。
そして従来からの移民は、彼らが職を奪うのではないかと、また宗教的・政治的な考え方の違いが浸透することを恐れました。
第一次世界大戦後、移民を規制する新たな法律が制定されました。既にいる家族に比例して国別の移民可能な数を割り当て…すると既に多くの意味がいるイギリス・フランスが有利になるわけです。
2番目に保守層が考えたのはアルコール飲料を禁止すること。いわゆる禁酒法の制定です。都市部に住むアメリカ人は酒類を悪魔の産物とみなしていました。
しかし禁酒法は効果がありませんでした。多くの人々はアルコールを好みましたし、家庭で密造するのを調べるために警察が立ち入るのも非現実的でした。
それどころかアルコール飲料を密輸して高値で売るような暗闇の市場が育ってしまいました。
禁酒法は実効性を持たないまま、1932年にフランクリン・ルーズベルトが大統領に選出されるまで存在し続けました。
3番目に保守層が取り組んだのは教科書で現代科学を否定することです。保守層のアメリカ人はキリスト教の聖書にある伝統的な考えを信奉していたからです。
ダーウィンの進化論は正に標的でした。進化論では人間の種の起源は、何百万年も前の猿や他の動物にあると述べていたのです。
それは「神が6日間で世界を作った」というキリスト教の教えに真っ向から逆らうものだったのです。
幾つかの州では「進化論を学校で教えることを禁じる法律」というものが可決されました。
しかし1925年にテネシー州の若い教師が州の法律に反して進化論を学校で教え、そのために裁判にかけられました。
国を代表する弁護士たちが集まり、州の法律こそが教師の「言論の自由」を侵害しているとして弁護しました。
法廷での質疑において保守派の人々はいかに現代科学に無知であるかをさらけ出してしまいました。
判決そのものでは保守派が勝ちました。しかし論争においては現代科学が保守派を打ち負かしたのです。(後に上級審では教師が勝訴しました)
この例が象徴しているのは、教師が法律に反したかどうかではなく、1920年代のアメリカにおける保守層と現代科学との葛藤なのです。
1920年代、アメリカはまだ超大国ではありませんでした。しかしまた都会の保守層が支配する国家でもなかったのです。
1920年代のアメリカとは「成長と変化」そして「古い価値観と新しい価値観の葛藤」の時代であったのです。

Americans experimented with many new customs and social traditions during the nineteen twenties. There were new dances, new kinds of clothes and some of the most imaginative art and writing ever produced in the United States.
But in most ways, the nineteen twenties were a conservative time in American life. Voters elected three conservative Republican presidents: Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover. And they supported many conservative social and political policies.
This week in our series, Kay Gallant and Harry Monroe continue the story of American conservatism during the nineteen twenties.
KAY GALLANT: One such policy concerned immigration. Most Americans in the nineteen twenties had at least some ties through blood or marriage to the first Americans who came from Britain. Many people with these kinds of historic ties considered themselves to be real Americans, true Americans.
Americans traditionally had welcomed newcomers from such western European countries as Britain, France, or Germany. But most of the people arriving in New York City and other harbors in the nineteen twenties were from the central, eastern and southern areas of Europe.
Some Americans became afraid of these millions of people arriving at their shores. They worried that the immigrant newcomers might steal their jobs. Or they feared the political beliefs of the immigrants.
HARRY MONROE: Pressure to control immigration increased following the world war. Congress passed a bill that set a limit on how many people would be allowed to enter from each foreign country. And, the Congress and President Calvin Coolidge agreed to an even stronger immigration law in nineteen twenty-four.
Under the new law, limits on the number of immigrants from each foreign country depended on the number of Americans who had families in that country. For example, the law allowed many immigrants to enter from Britain or France, because many American citizens had families in those countries. But fewer people could come from Italy or Russia, because fewer Americans had family members in those countries.
The laws were very difficult to enforce. But they did succeed in limiting the number of immigrants from certain countries.
KAY GALLANT: A second sign of the conservative feelings in the nineteen twenties was the nation’s effort to ban the sale of alcoholic drinks, or liquor. This policy was known as Prohibition, because it prohibited — or banned — alcoholic drinks.
Many of the strongest supporters of Prohibition were conservative Americans living in rural areas. Many of them believed that liquor was evil, the product of the devil.
A number of towns and states passed laws banning alcohol sales during the first years of the twentieth century. And in nineteen nineteen, the nation passed the eighteenth amendment to the federal constitution. This amendment, and the Volstead Act, made it unlawful to make, sell or transport liquor.
HARRY MONROE: Prohibition laws failed terribly from the start. There was only a small force of police to enforce the new laws. And millions of Americans still wanted to drink liquor. It was not possible for the police to watch every American who wanted to buy a drink secretly or make liquor in his own home.
Not surprisingly, thousands of Americans soon saw a chance to make profits from the new laws. They began to import liquor illegally to sell for high prices.
Criminals began to bring liquor across the long, unprotected border with Canada or on fast boats from the Caribbean islands. At the same time, private manufacturers in both cities and rural areas began to produce liquor. And shop owners in cities across the country sold liquor with little interference from local police.
By the middle of the nineteen twenties, it was clear to most Americans that Prohibition laws were a failure. But the laws were not changed until the election of President Franklin Roosevelt in nineteen thirty-two.
KAY GALLANT: A third sign of conservatism in the nineteen twenties was the effort by some Americans to ban schoolbooks on modern science. Most of the Americans who supported these efforts were conservative rural Americans who believed in the traditional ideas of the Protestant Christian church. Many of them were fearful of the many changes that had taken place in American society.
Science became an enemy to many of these traditional, religious Americans. Science seemed to challenge the most basic ideas taught in the Bible. The conflict burst into a major public debate in nineteen twenty-five in a trial over Charles Darwin’s idea of evolution.
HARRY MONROE: British scientist Charles Darwin published his books “The Origin of the Species” and “The Descent of Man” in the nineteenth century. The books explained Darwin’s idea that humans developed over millions of years from apes and other animals.
Most Europeans and educated people accepted Darwin’s theory by the end of the nineteenth century. But the book had little effect in rural parts of the United States until the nineteen twenties.
William Jennings Bryan led the attack on Darwin’s ideas. Bryan was a rural Democrat who ran twice for president. He lost both times. But Bryan remained popular among many traditional Americans.
Bryan told his followers that the theory of evolution was evil, because it challenged the traditional idea that God created the world in six days. He accused scientists of violating God’s words in the Bible.
Bryan and his supporters called on local school officials to ban the teaching of evolution. Some state legislatures in the more conservative southeastern part of the country passed laws making it a crime to teach evolution theory.
KAY GALLANT: In nineteen twenty-five, a young science teacher in the southern state of Tennessee challenged the state’s new teaching law. The teacher — John Scopes — taught Darwin’s evolution ideas. Officials arrested scopes and put him on trial.
Some of the nation’s greatest lawyers rushed to Tennessee to defend the young teacher. They believed the state had violated his right to free speech. And they thought Tennessee’s law againt teaching evolution was foolish in a modern, scientific society. America’s most famous lawyer, Clarence Darrow, became the leader of Scopes’ defense team.
Bryan and other religious conservatives also rushed to the trial. They supported the right of the state of Tennessee to ban the teaching of evolution.
The trial was held in the small town of Dayton, Tennessee. Hundreds of people came to watch: religious conservatives, free speech supporters, newsmen and others.
The high point of the trial came when Bryan himself sat before the court. Lawyer Clarence Darrow asked Bryan question after question about the bible and about science. How did Bryan know the Bible is true. Did God really create the earth in a single day. Is a day in the Bible twenty-four hours. Or can it mean a million years.
HARRY MONROE: Bryan answered the questions. But he showed a great lack of knowledge about modern science.
The judge found Scopes guilty of breaking the law. But in the battle of ideas, science defeated conservatism. And a higher court later ruled that Scopes was not guilty.
The Scopes evolution trial captured the imagination of Americans. The issue was not really whether one young teacher was innocent or guilty of breaking a law. The real question was the struggle for America’s spirit between the forces of modern ideas and those of traditional rural conservatism. The trial represented this larger conflict.
KAY GALLANT: American society was changing in many important ways during the early part of the twentieth century. It was not yet the world superpower that it would become after World War Two. But neither was it a traditional rural society of conservative farmers and clergy. The nineteen twenties were a period of growth, of change and of struggle between the old and new values.

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