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英语国家概况精讲系列(六)

2007-01-11 16:23   【 】【我要纠错

  英语国家概况精讲系列(六)

  IV.The Hundred Years War and its consequences.

  百年战争及其结果

  The Hundred Years‘ War refers to the war between England and France that lasted intermittently from 1337 to 1453. The causes of the war were partly territorial and partly economic. The territorial causes were related with the possession by the English kings of the large duchy in France, while the French kings coveted this large slice. The economic causes were connected with cloth manufacturing towns in Flanders, which were the importer of English wool, but they were loyal to the French king politically. Besides, Englands desire to stop France from giving aid to Scots and a growing sense of nationalism were the other causes.

  The Englishs being driven out of France is regarded as a blessing for both countries. If the English had remained in France, the superior size and wealth of France would have hindered the development of a separate English national identity, while France was hindered so long as a foreign power occupied so much French territory.

  百年战争指1337年到1453年英法之间一场断断续续的战争,战争的起因既有领土因素又有经济因素。领土起因尤其是与英国国王拥有法国的阿基坦大片公爵领地有密切关系,随着法国国王势力日增,他们渴望占领这片在他们领土内的土地。经济原因则与弗兰德斯有关。弗兰德斯地区生产棉布的城镇是英国羊毛的主要进口商,但这些城镇在政治上却效忠法国国王。其他原因还有英国试图阻止法国帮助苏格兰人,以及不断觉醒的民族意识。

  战争的结果:把英国人赶出法国对两个国家都是幸事:若国车人继续留在法国,那么法国人在领土和财富上所占的优势必然会阻碍分离的英国民族的发展;而法国民族被外国势力占领了众多的领土,发展更是长期受阻。

  V. The Black Death

  黑死病

  The Black Death is the modern name given to the deadly epidemic disease spread by rat fleas across Europe in the 14th century. It swept through England in the summer of 1348. It reduced Englands population from four million to two million by the end of the 14th century.

  The economic consequences of the Black Death were far-reaching. As a result of the plague, much land was left untended and there was a terrible shortage of labour. The surviving peasants had better bargaining power and were in a position to change their serfdom into paid labour. Some landlords, unable or unwilling to pay higher wages, tried to force peasants back into serfdom. In 1351 the government issued a Statute of Labourers which made it a crime for peasants to ask for more wages or for their employers to pay more than the rates laid down by the Justices of the Peace.

  黑死病是指由鼠疫蚤传播的致命的淋巴腺鼠疫,是一种流行疾病,在14世纪传播了到欧洲。1348年夏天横扫全英国。英国的人口在14世纪末从400万锐减至200万。

  黑死病对经济造成的后果更为深远。鼠疫导致了大片土地无人照管和劳动力极度匮乏。地主想把耕地变为人力需求较少的牧场。存活的农民处于有利的计价还价地位,从农奴变为雇佣劳动力。于是一些支付不起或不愿意支付较高工资的地主想方设法迫使农民重返农奴地位。1351年政府颁布“劳工法令”,规定农民们涨工资的要求,或者是雇主支付比地方官制订的工资水平要高的工资都是犯罪。

  VI. The Peasant Uprising of 1381 and its significance

  1381年农民起义及其意义

  Armed villagers and townsmen of Kent and Essex, led by Wat Tyler and Jack Straw, moved on London in June, 1381. The king was forced to accept their demands. Most of the rebels dispersed and went home, while Tyler and other leaders stayed on for more rights. Tyler was killed at a meeting with the king.

  The uprising was brutally suppressed, but it had far-reaching significance in English history. First, it directed against the rich clergy, lawyers and the landowners. Second, it dealt a telling blow to villeinage, and third, a new class of yeomen farmers emerged, paving the way to the development of capitalism.

  1381年6月,在瓦特 泰勒和杰克 斯特劳领导下,凯特郡和埃塞克斯郡的农民和市民武装起来发动起义,并向伦敦进发。国王被迫接受了他们的要求。大多数起义农民解散回家,但泰勒和其他坚决的农民留下来要求得到更多的法律、宗教和政治权利。泰勒在又一次与国王的会见中被杀死。

  尽管起义被血腥镇压,但在英国历史上留下了深远的影响。这次起义具有真实的社会性,把矛头直接对准了富有的教职人员、律师和地主。这次起义沉重打击了封建农奴制度,产生了全新的自耕农阶级,为资本主义发展铺设了道路。

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