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  • It is the spring of 1787.

    這是 1787 年春天

  • The Revolutionary War has been over for only six years,

    美國獨立戰爭才結束六年

  • and the young United States is still struggling in its infancy.

    年輕的美國還在嬰兒期掙扎

  • Uprisings, boundary disputes and the lack of a common vision all plague the newborn country.

    暴動、邊界糾紛、缺乏共同願景 都困擾著這新生的國家

  • In an effort to steady this precarious ship,

    為了穩住這艘風雨飄搖中的船隻

  • the Confederation Congress calls on states to send delegates to the grand Convention,

    十三州邦聯的國會 呼籲各州派代表參加大會

  • to begin on May 14 in Philadelphia.

    5 月 14 日在費城舉行

  • The delegates must draft revisions to the Articles of Confederation,

    代表必須起草邦聯條例的修正案

  • which would then be considered by the Congress and approved by the states.

    然後送交國會審議,再由各州批准

  • Under the terms of the Articles,

    根據邦聯條例

  • all 13 states had to agree to any changes.

    任何改變均需全部 13 州同意

  • Since the purpose of the Convention is just to make recommendations,

    由於大會的目的只是提出建議

  • not everyone is excited about attending,

    所以不是每個人都想參加

  • and frankly, some think it's a waste of time.

    坦白說,還有人認為這只是浪費時間

  • As men from different parts of the country began to travel down dusty, rugged roads on the way to Philadelphia,

    全國各地的代表沿著 塵土飛揚的崎嶇道路前往費城

  • not all states send delegates.

    並非每州都派了代表

  • In fact, Rhode Island never even shows up.

    像羅德島的代表就從未出現過

  • On May 14th, only 8 delegates --

    5 月 14 日當天,只到了 8 位代表

  • not states, but individual delegates --

    不是 8 個州,而是只出現 8 位代表

  • are present, so they wait.

    他們只好等下去

  • Finally, on May 25th, the necessary quorum of seven states is acheived.

    最後, 5 月 25 日 終於達到法定門檻的七個州

  • In all, 55 delegates arrive in Philadelphia over the course of the Convention.

    會期中共有 55 位代表在費城出席

  • They are all white males, property owners, and the average age is about 44.

    全是白人男性、有財產、 平均年齡約 44 歲

  • Some are slaveholders, some had signed the Declaration of Independence, [James Madison, Roger Sherman]

    有的養了奴隸、有的簽過獨立宣言 [詹姆斯麥迪遜、羅傑謝爾曼]

  • and almost all are well-educated. [Benjamin Franklin]

    幾乎都受過良好教育 [班傑明富蘭克林]

  • Picture the delegates, James Madison and George Washington among them,

    你可想像,詹姆斯麥迪遜 和喬治華盛頓等代表也在其中

  • sitting in Independence Hall in hot, humid Philadelphia.

    坐在在炎熱潮濕的 費城獨立廳 (Independence Hall)

  • They're all wearing the dress of the day: frock coats, high collars and thick pants.

    他們都穿著當時的禮服: 長外套、高領襯衫、厚褲子

  • They vote to keep their discussions secret to encourage honest debate.

    他們投票決定 討論內容要保密,以鼓勵誠實辯論

  • But that means the windows are closed, and there is no air conditioning in 1787, not even an electric fan.

    這表示窗戶要關上 但 1787 年沒有冷氣,也沒有電扇

  • and they'll sit in that sweltering heat, in those heavy clothes, for three months.

    他們坐在酷暑中,穿著厚衣服 開了三個月的會

  • Shockingly, they all keep their vow of secrecy.

    令人震驚的是 他們全都遵守保密的誓言

  • That could never happen today, not even for an hour-long meeting.

    今日絕不可能發生 連一個小時的會議都無法保密

  • Someone would share "James Madison thinks he's so smart.

    有人會在社群網路分享: 「詹姆斯麥迪遜自以為很聰明,

  • Keyword: articles are dead" via social media,

    關鍵字:條例完蛋了。」

  • and the whole thing would be a disaster.

    整件事會變成一場災難

  • But in 1787, there are no leaks. Not even a drip that hints at what they are doing.

    但 1787 年完全沒洩密 沒人知道他們在做什麼

  • And what they are doing is nothing short of overthrowing the very government that sent them there.

    他們做的,跟推翻 派他們出來的州政府沒有兩樣

  • Within a few days, with only a seven-state quorum, and only six of those states agreeing,

    幾天內,只達到最低法律要求 七個州投票,只有六個州同意

  • a handful of men change the course of history.

    少數人改變了歷史的軌跡

  • They vote to get rid of the Articles of Confederation,

    他們投票廢除邦聯條例

  • and write a new, more nationalistic document that becomes our Constitution.

    起草全新的、更有民族精神的文件 就是後來的美國憲法

  • The risk is immense.

    他們冒了極大的風險

  • Everyone on the outside assumes they were working on recommended revisions to the Articles.

    外面的每個人 都以為他們在起草邦聯條例修正案

  • It's an incredible gamble, and even when the Convention presents the signed Constitution on September 17th,

    這是一場豪賭 即使在 9 月 17 日憲法簽署後也是

  • not all delegates endorse it.

    並非每位代表都簽署了

  • The country will argue and debate for two more years

    全國又爭辯了兩年之久

  • before the document is adopted by the required nine out of 13 states.

    最後這文件獲得了 十三州中所需的九州同意 最終決定被採用

  • But instead of punishing them for their deception,

    大家沒有處罰他們集體欺騙

  • today we celebrate the wisdom and vision of those men in Philadelphia.

    今日我們共同讚揚 費城這些代表的智慧與遠見

It is the spring of 1787.

這是 1787 年春天

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