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#121: Trial of Andrew Johnson

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Welcome to THE MAKING OF A NATION -- American history in VOA Special English.

The Civil War ended in eighteen sixty-five. After that, tensions grew between Congress and the new president, Andrew Johnson.

美国南北战争1865年结束。国会和新总统安德鲁·约翰逊之间的关系日趋紧张。

The Republican Party was still new. It was formed to oppose slavery. Radical members of the party controlled Congress. They wanted strong policies to punish the southern states that left the Union and lost the war.

当时,共和党还是一个年轻的政党,成立之初是为了反对奴隶制度。共和党里的激进派掌握了国会控制权,希望对脱离联邦的南方各州进行严厉责罚。

Standing in the way of the Republicans was Andrew Johnson, a Democrat. The president opposed radical efforts to force solutions on the South. He vetoed a number of programs that he thought interfered with rights given to the states by the Constitution.

然而,共和党激进派的行动受到了约翰逊总统的阻扰。约翰逊是民主党人, 反对采取激进手段解决南方问题。他否决了好几项议案,认为这些议案干涉了南方各州根据宪法享有的权利。

This week in our series, Kay Gallant and Harry Monroe continue the story of President Andrew Johnson.

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

Andrew Johnson
Andrew Johnson

In the congressional elections of eighteen sixty-six, radicals won firm control of both houses of Congress. They were able to pass a number of bills over the president's veto. But Johnson refused to stand aside in the face of radical attempts to seize all powers of government.

在1866年的国会选举中,激进派赢得了国会参众两院的控制权,从而可以推翻总统的否决,让自己支持的议案畅通无阻。然而,面对激进派争权政治权势的行动,约翰逊拒绝袖手旁观。

This conflict between Johnson and the Congress caused much bitterness. Finally, the radicals decided to get him out of the way. For the first time in American history, Congress would try to remove the President from office.

约翰逊和国会之间的意见冲突引起了诸多矛盾。激进派最后决定,必须把总统赶下台。这是美国国会有史以来第一次设法弹劾总统。

Under the United States Constitution, the House of Representatives has the power to bring charges against the president. The Senate acts as the jury to decide if the president is guilty of the charges. The chief justice of the United States serves as judge. If two-thirds of the senators find the president guilty, he can be removed from office.

根据宪法规定,国会众议院有权对总统提起诉讼,然后由联邦最高法院首席大法官主持审理,参议院充当陪审团,决定罪名是否成立,如果三分之二的参议员做出有罪裁决,总统就要被罢免。

VOICE TWO:

Thaddeus Stevens speaks during the debate over impeachment in the House of Representatives
Thaddeus Stevens speaks during the debate over impeachment in the House of Representatives

Radicals in the House of Representatives brought eleven charges against President Johnson.

国会众议院里的激进派对约翰逊提出十一项罪名。

Most of the charges were based on Johnson's removal from office of his secretary of war. Radicals charged that this violated a new law. The law said the president could not remove a cabinet officer without approval by the Senate.

其中大部分罪名都是因为约翰逊撤销了战争部长的职务。共和党激进派指出,约翰逊这样做违反了一项新法,根据这项法律,未经参议院同意,总统不得撤销内阁官员的职务。

Johnson refused to recognize the law. He said it was not constitutional.

约翰逊不承认这项法律的合法性,认为这项新法不符合宪法。

Radicals in the House of Representatives also charged Johnson with criticizing Congress. They said his statements dishonored Congress and the presidency.

众议院激进派还指责约翰逊批评国会,说他的声明有损国会和总统的荣誉。

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

The great impeachment trial began on March fifth, eighteen sixty-eight. The president refused to attend. But his lawyers were there to defend him.

这场弹劾总统案1868年3月5号开庭,约翰逊拒绝出庭,由律师代他出庭辩护。

One by one, the senators swore an oath to be just. They promised to make a fair and honest decision on the guilt or innocence of Andrew Johnson.

参议员们一个接一个地发誓要秉公执法,保证做出公正的裁决。

A congressman from Massachusetts opened the case for the radicals. He told the senators not to think of themselves as members of any court. He said the Senate was a political body that was being asked to settle a political question. Was Johnson the right man for the White House? He said it was clear that Johnson wanted to overthrow Congress.

麻萨诸塞的一位众议员代表激进派发言。他告诉参议员们说,不要把自己看做是任何法庭的成员。他说,参议院是一个政治实体,被要求就一个政治问题做出裁决。这个问题是:约翰逊是总统的合适人选吗?此人接着说,很显然,约翰逊是想推翻国会。

Other radical Republicans then joined him in condemning Johnson. They made many charges. But they offered little evidence to support the charges.

其它激进派共和党人也纷纷对约翰逊提出谴责,给约翰逊加上种种罪名,但却拿不出有力的证据。

VOICE TWO:

Johnson's lawyers called for facts, instead of emotion. They said the Constitution required the radicals to prove that the president had committed serious crimes. Andrew Johnson had committed no crime, they said. This was purely a political trial.

约翰逊的辩护律师要求法庭重视事实,不要被情绪左右。律师指出,根据宪法,控方必须要证明,总统犯下了严重罪行,但是安德鲁·约翰逊并没有犯罪,这是一场纯粹的政治审判。

They warned of serious damage to the American form of government if the president was removed for political reasons. No future president would be safe, they said, if opposed by a majority of the House and two-thirds of the Senate.

他们警告说,如果基于政治原因将总统弹劾掉的话,将对美国政府体制带来严重伤害,今后不管谁当总统,一旦遇到国会众议院多数和参议院三分之二人的反对,总统的位置都可能不保。

VOICE ONE:

The impeachment trial
The impeachment trial

The trial went on day after day. The decision would be close. Fifty-four senators would be voting. Thirty-six votes of guilty were needed to remove the president from office.

国会里的共和党激进派为了搬掉绊脚石,对约翰逊提出弹劾。弹劾案的审理持续了很多天,最后结果十分接近。在54个投票表决的参议员中,如果有36票认为罪名成立的话,约翰逊就要被罢免。

It soon became clear that the radicals had thirty-five of these votes. Only seven senators remained undecided. If one of the seven voted guilty, Johnson would be removed.

没过多久,激进派就掌握了35票,还有七人没有定夺,只要其中一人认定约翰逊罪名成立,约翰逊就会被弹劾。

Radicals put great pressure on the seven men. They tried to buy their votes. Party leaders threatened them. Supporters in the senators' home states were told to write hundreds of letters demanding that Johnson be found guilty.

国会激进派对这七个人施加压力,设法买通。党派领袖也对他们威逼利诱,并鼓动这七位参议员所在州的选民,写信给代表自己的参议员,要求他们做出总统有罪的裁决。

VOICE TWO:

A senator from Maine was one who felt the pressure. But he refused to let it force him to do what others wished. He answered one letter this way:

一个来自缅因州的参议员感受到了巨大压力,但他拒绝按照别人的意愿行事。他在一封回信中说,

"Sir, I wish you and all my other friends to know that I, not they, am sitting in judgment upon the president. I, not they, have sworn to do impartial justice. I, not they, am responsible to God and man for my action and its results."

"先生,我希望你跟我的其他朋友都能理解,是我,而不是他们,要对总统做出裁决;是我,而不是他们,发誓要秉公执法;是我,而不是他们,要就我的行动及其后果对上帝和人民负责。"

A senator from Kansas was another who refused to let pressure decide his vote. He said, "I trust that I shall have the courage to vote as I judge best."

另外一位来自堪萨斯州的参议员也拒绝屈从于压力。他说:"我相信,我会有勇气按照我的判断做出裁决。"

VOICE ONE:

In the final days before the vote, six of the seven remaining Republican senators let it be known that they would vote not guilty. But the senator from Kansas still refused to say what his vote would be. His was the only vote still in question. His vote would decide the issue.

投票前最后几天,这七位参议员中有六个人公开表示,他们认为约翰逊无罪,只有来自堪萨斯州的参议员拒绝表明立场。他这一票是唯一的变数,将决定案件的最终结果。

Now, the pressure on him increased. His brother was offered twenty thousand dollars for information about how the senator would vote. Everywhere he turned, he found someone demanding that he vote guilty.

所有的压力都集中在了他的身上。有人出两万美元,希望从他兄弟嘴里知道他的立场。不管走到哪里,都有人要求他投票认定约翰逊有罪。

The vote took place on May sixteenth. Every seat in the big Senate room was filled. The chief justice began to call on the senators. One by one, they answered guilty or not guilty. Finally, he called the name of the senator from Kansas.

5月16号最后表决的日子终于到了,参议院全体出席会议。联邦最高法院首席大法官一个接一个宣读参议员的名字,被叫到的人宣布有罪或是无罪,最后叫到了堪萨斯州的那位参议员。

VOICE TWO:

The vote of Senator Edmund Ross of Kansas saved the presidency of Andrew Johnson
The vote of Senator Edmund Ross of Kansas saved the presidency of Andrew Johnson

The senator stood up. He looked about him. Every voice was still. Every eye was upon him.

那位参议员站起身来,环顾四周,整个大厅鸦雀无声,每一双眼睛都看着他。

"It was like looking down into an open grave," he said later. "Friendship, position, wealth -- everything that makes life desirable to an ambitious man -- were about to be swept away by my answer."

他后来说:"当时就好像在俯视一个大开着的坟墓,友谊、地位、财富、对一个雄心勃勃的人来说,生活中这些可贵的东西都会因为我的回答被一扫而光。"

He spoke softly. Many could not hear him. The chief justice asked him to repeat his vote. This time, the answer was clearly heard across the room: "Not guilty."

他轻轻地说出了自己的裁决,很多人都没有听清。首席大法官让他重复一遍,这次,整个大厅等能清楚地听到他的回答,那就是,"无罪"。

VOICE ONE:

The trial was all but done. Remaining senators voted as expected. The chief justice announced the result. On the first charge, thirty-five senators voted that President Johnson was guilty. Nineteen voted that he was not guilty. The radicals had failed by one vote.

接下来,其他参议员都按照自己的原定立场投了票。联邦最高法院首席大法官最后宣布结果。第一项罪名,35人认为罪名成立,19人认为无罪,激进派以一票之差弹劾失败。

When the Senate voted on the other charges, the result was the same. The radicals could not get the two-thirds majority they needed. President Johnson was declared not guilty.

接下来的其它罪名,表决结果完全一样。共和党激进派最终没能得到三分之二多数票,约翰逊被宣告无罪。

(MUSIC)

VOICE TWO:

Radical leaders and newspapers bitterly denounced the small group of Republican senators who refused to vote guilty. They called them traitors. Friends and supporters condemned them. None was re-elected to the Senate or to any other government office.

激进派领导人和激进派报纸严辞指责一小批拒绝投票支持弹劾的共和党参议员,说他们是叛徒。朋友和支持者也都纷纷指责他们。这些人里后来没有任何人连任或是担任其它政府官职。

It was a heavy price to pay. And yet, they were sure they had done the right thing. The senator from Kansas told his wife, "The millions of men cursing me today will bless me tomorrow for having saved the country from the greatest threat it ever faced."

虽然付出了沉重的代价,但他们都觉得自己做出了正确的决定。来自堪萨斯州的那位参议员告诉自己的妻子说:"今天诅咒我的几百万人明天会感谢我把国家从最大的威胁中挽救过来。"

VOICE ONE:

He was right. The trial of Andrew Johnson was an important turning point in the making of the American nation.

他说的一点没错。安德鲁·约翰逊总统的弹劾案是美国建国史上一个重要转折点。

His removal from office would have established the idea that the president could serve only with the approval of Congress. The president would have become, in effect, a prime minister. He would have to depend on the support of Congress to remain in office. Johnson's victory kept alive the idea of an independent presidency.

约翰逊如果真的遭到弹劾,那就意味着,总统必须得到国会的认可才能够工作,总统也就变成了首相,要做下去,就一定要有国会的支持。安德鲁·约翰逊的胜利,等于是巩固了总统的独立地位。

However, the vote did not end the conflict between Congress and the White House over the future of the South.

总统弹劾案虽然结束了,但是国会和白宫间在南方前途问题上的冲突并没有消失。

That will be our story in the next program of THE MAKING OF A NATION.

(MUSIC)

ANNOUNCER:

Our program was written by David Jarmul and Frank Beardsley. The narrators were Kay Gallant and Harry Monroe. Transcripts, podcasts and historical images from our series are at www.unsv.com. You can also comment on our programs. And you can follow us on Twitter at VOA Learning English. Join us again next week for THE MAKING OF A NATION -- an American history series in VOA Special English.

___

This is program #121 of THE MAKING OF A NATION

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