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#124: Grant's Political Battles

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

Ulysses Grant was elected president of the United States in eighteen sixty-eight. Grant was a military hero. He led Union troops of the North to victory over Confederate troops of the South in the Civil War.

1868年,尤利塞斯·格兰特当选美国总统。格兰特是一位军事英雄,在内战中领导北方联邦军击败了南方邦联军。

Grant was extremely popular. But he was a much better general than he was a politician. As president, it was not long before he got into trouble in the battles of politics and government.

格兰特威望很高,但是,他的治国才能远不如他的领军才能。当上总统之后没多久,他就在政治斗争和权力纠纷中遇到了许多问题。

This week in our series, Larry West and Frank Oliver talk about the first term of President Ulysses Grant.

(MUSIC)

LARRY WEST:

Ulysses Grant
Ulysses Grant

Grant resigned from the army to run for president. However, he ran on his record as a winning general. "Let us have peace," he often said. And the people believed he would guarantee peace.

为了参加总统竞选,格兰特离开了军队。不过,常胜将军的光辉战绩是他竞选的资本。他常说的一句话是:"让我们拥有和平。"而民众也相信,他的当选能保证和平的到来。

In fact, Grant guaranteed nothing. As a presidential candidate, he offered no new national programs. So, as president, he had no new policies to carry out. He had few struggles with Congress, because he rarely asked Congress to do anything.

但事实上,格兰特什么也没有保证。作为总统候选人,他没有提出任何新的国家计划。所以,当上总统之后,他也就没有任何新的政策需要执行。他和国会之间几乎没有矛盾,因为他很少要求国会做事。

Many events took place during Grant's two administrations. But he usually was not involved directly. He had problems only because he was linked indirectly to the men who were responsible.

在格兰特的两个任期里,美国发生了很多重大事件,但格兰特本人通常都不会直接参与。他仅仅同当事人有间接关联。但就算是这样,仍然有麻烦找上他。

FRANK OLIVER:

Jay Gould
Jay Gould

One of President Grant's first problems was caused by two of his friends. They tried to take control of the gold market. The men were Jay Gould and James Fisk. Both were extremely rich.

头一个麻烦是他的两个朋友惹出来的。他们是杰.古尔德和詹姆斯.菲斯克。两人都是超级富翁,企图控制美国的黄金市场。

Gould and Fisk developed a plan to buy a large part of the nation's gold supply when the price was low. They would hold the gold until demand greatly increased the price. Then they would sell it and make a lot of money.

他们的计划是,在低价的时候买入并囤积美国市场上的大部分黄金,等市场需求把金价大幅抬高时再出售,以此牟取暴利。

To be successful, they had to prevent the government from selling gold on the market. Government sales of gold would keep the price down. So, Gould and Fisk urged President Grant to stop the Treasury Department from selling gold. Grant refused to give them a firm promise.

要想计划成功,他们必须阻止政府在市场上出售黄金,因为政府这么做会压低金价。所以,古尔德和菲斯克就拜托他们的朋友格兰特总统,让他下令,不让财政部出售黄金。不过,格兰特并没有明确答应他们的要求。

LARRY WEST:

The two men brought one of Grant's relatives into their plan. They paid him to write a letter to the president. It asked the president to halt government sales of gold.

于是,古尔德和菲斯克把格兰特的一个亲戚拉了进来。他们给这个人钱,让他给格兰特写信,要求格兰特停止政府出售黄金。

James Fisk
James Fisk

A messenger took the letter to the White House. He then sent a telegram to James Fisk saying the letter had been delivered. The telegram said: "Letter delivered, all right." Fisk thought this meant that President Grant had agreed to halt government sales of gold. So he began buying gold in huge amounts.

信差把信送进了白宫。这位亲戚随后给菲斯克发了封电报,说"信已送达,一切顺利"。菲斯克以为,这表示格兰特总统已经同意停止政府出售黄金了。于是,他开始大量地买入黄金。

Fisk was wrong. The words "all right" meant only that the letter had been delivered. They did not mean that Grant had agreed to the plan. In fact, Grant did not agree. He ordered the Treasury Department to sell gold to block the attempt by Gould and Fisk to control the gold market.

可是,他领会错了。电报上的"一切顺利"仅仅表示信送到了,并不是说格兰特已经同意了古尔德和菲斯克的计划。相反,格兰特并没有同意这么做,而是下令财政部抛售黄金,以挫败古尔德和菲斯克控制黄金市场的企图。

FRANK OLIVER:

The result was that James Fisk and Jay Gould lost a great amount of money. So did other businessmen and bankers. Many Americans blamed President Grant for not acting quickly enough to stop the activity of his two friends.

结果,古尔德和菲斯克损失惨重。其他一些商人和银行也跟着赔了不少钱。许多美国人指责格兰特总统没能及时阻止他这两个朋友的所作所为。

Concern about Grant grew after another incident was reported at the New York customs office. Two of Grant's friends there became involved in a plan to get money from importers. They used their official positions to earn huge amounts of money.

后来,在纽约海关办公室又出了一档子事,更加重了人们对总统的质疑。格兰特两个在海关工作的朋友参与从进口商那里捞钱的行为,他们以权谋私,赚了好多钱。

LARRY WEST:

Grant also was criticized for one of his few independent actions as president. He tried to buy the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean.

格兰特总统自己发起的行动不多,不过其中的一个也给他招来了批评。那就是,他想买下位于加勒比海地区的多米尼加共和国。

The island nation was ruled by a dictator, Buenaventura Baez. Baez was so dishonest that the people of the Dominican Republic were ready to overthrow him. Before this could happen, he offered to sell his country to the United States.

当时,统治这个岛国的是独裁者贝兹。贝兹劣迹昭彰,人民准备推翻他。这时,贝兹提出把多米尼加共和国卖给美国。

When Grant received the offer, he sent a White House official to negotiate with Baez. The official returned with a treaty giving the Dominican Republic to the United States for one-and-one-half-million dollars. Grant immediately sent American warships to the Dominican Republic. He wanted to keep Baez in power until the treaty was completed.

格兰特收到这个提议后,派一位白宫官员去同贝兹谈判。结果,贝兹愿意以150万美元把多米尼加卖给美国。格兰特随即向多米尼加共和国派遣战舰,以确保贝兹在条约生效前不被赶下台。

Grant asked the Senate to approve the treaty. Many senators opposed it. They said taking control of the Dominican Republic would cost too much money. They also said it was a bad idea for the United States to take control of any nation in the Caribbean.

格兰特要求国会参议院批准这项条约,但许多参议员持反对意见。他们说,控制多米尼加共和国所需的费用过高,而美国也不应该控制任何加勒比国家。

President Grant went to the Capitol building himself to urge senators to approve the treaty. His efforts failed. The treaty was defeated.

为此,格兰特总统亲自上国会山,敦促参议员们批准条约。不过,他的努力失败了,条约被否决了。

(MUSIC)

FRANK OLIVER:

Grant's biggest national problem was the political situation in the former rebel states of the South.

不过,格兰特在治国方面遇到的最大挑战还是曾经闹分裂的南方各州的政治局势。

After the Civil War, most southern states were governed by radical members of the Republican Party. Radicals supported citizenship rights and voting rights for blacks. In the late eighteen sixties, the radicals began to lose power. Many failed to be re-elected to state office. They were being defeated by candidates of the Democratic Party. Democrats did not want blacks to have any rights at all.

内战结束后,大部分南方州被激进的共和党人控制。他们支持让黑人获得公民权和选举权。不过,在19世纪60年代末,激进派逐渐失去了权力,许多人在州政府选举中败选,输给民主党人。而民主党压根不想给黑人任何权利。

LARRY WEST:

The first radical Republicans to lose power were those in Virginia. The change there was made peacefully. Not so in other southern states. In Tennessee, Georgia, and North Carolina, Democrats used threats and violence to win elections. Their campaigns often were led by members of the Ku Klux Klan.

最先失去权力的是维吉尼亚州的激进派共和党人,好在这一变化是以和平的方式发生的。不过,在南部其它州,情况就不一样了。在田纳西、乔治亚和北卡罗莱纳州,民主党人靠威胁和暴力赢得选举。民主党的竞选活动经常由三K党成员组织。

The Klan was a secret organization of white men. Members believed white people were greater than black people. Wearing cloths over their faces, Klansmen broke up radical Republican political meetings. They threatened, beat, and killed blacks to keep them out of politics. They did the same thing to whites who tried to organize or help blacks.

三K党是一个秘密团体,成员都是白人,他们相信,白人比黑人优秀。他们穿着蒙面的衣服,扰乱激进派共和党的政治会议。他们威胁、殴打并杀害黑人,不让黑人参政,并用同样的手段对付那些试图组织和帮助黑人的白人。

FRANK OLIVER:

Before long, Ku Klux Klan groups were formed in every southern state. By eighteen seventy-one, radical Republican congressmen were demanding a new law to destroy the Ku Klux Klan.

很快,美国南部每个州都建立了三K党的分部。时至1871年,激进的共和党议员们要求国会出台新法,捣毁三K党。

President Grant, left, signing a bill restricting the Ku Klux Klan
President Grant, left, signing a bill restricting the Ku Klux Klan

A committee headed by radicals was named to investigate Klan activities in the south. The committee heard reports of the Klan's brutal acts. It helped prepare a bill to control the Klan. After much debate, Congress passed the bill.

国会成立了特别委员会,由激进派议员领导,负责调查三K党在南部的所作所为。这个委员会听取了关于三K党残酷暴行的报告,并帮助起草了一份议案,以控制三K党。经过激烈辩论后,国会通过了这份议案。

The new law gave the president power to declare military rule in the south. Democrats charged that the real purpose of the law was to keep radical Republican state governments in power.

新法律授权总统在南部各州实施军事管制。但民主党指责说,法律的真正目的是保住激进派共和党在州政府中的权力。

President Grant did not wait long to use his powers under the new law. He declared military rule in a large area of South Carolina. Thousands of people there were arrested. They were tried in federal courts. Juries were made up mainly of blacks and radical whites.

格兰特总统很快就行使了新法律赋予他的权力,在南卡罗来纳州的一大片地区实施军事管制。结果,成千上万人被逮捕,并在联邦法庭受审,而陪审团成员大多是黑人和激进派白人。

LARRY WEST:

This kind of justice made southerners feel even more bitterness toward the North. It also angered a number of moderate members of the Republican Party. They said the federal government should not help radical Republicans stay in power in the south.

这种做法导致南方人更加敌视北方,并触怒了许多温和派共和党人。他们说,联邦政府不应该帮助南部的激进派共和党把持权力。

Some of these moderate Republicans broke away from President Grant and the radicals. They called themselves Liberal Republicans and formed a new political party. They held their own presidential nominating convention for the election of eighteen seventy-two.

他们中的一些人同格兰特总统以及激进派分道扬镳,自称为"自由共和党人",并成立了一个新党。他们还为1872年的总统选举召开了自己的提名人大会。

They nominated Horace Greeley as their candidate. Greeley published the New York Tribune newspaper.

会上,"纽约论坛报"的发行人霍勒斯·格里利成了自由共和党推举的候选人。

(MUSIC)

FRANK OLIVER:

Horace Greeley
Horace Greeley

Democrats believed their only chance to win the election was to support the new Liberal Republicans. So they, too, chose Horace Greeley as their presidential candidate. As expected, the radicals who controlled the main Republican Party nominated Grant for a second term.

民主党人意识到,他们赢得总统选举的唯一希望就是支持这个新成立的自由共和党,所以,他们也推举格里利为候选人。当然了,控制着共和党的激进派们依然提名格兰特为候选人,支持他竞选连任。

The campaign between Grant and Greeley was very strange. Grant made no speeches. He spent the summer at a holiday town on the Atlantic Ocean coast. His supporters, however, were not silent. They called Greeley a fool and a traitor. They refused to treat him as a serious candidate.

格兰特和格里利之间的角逐十分奇怪。格兰特不发表竞选演说,整个夏天都待在大西洋沿岸一个渡假小镇里。不过,他的支持者们没有闲着,他们骂格里利是傻瓜、叛徒,不把他当成真正的候选人。

Unlike Grant, Greeley did campaign hard. But he had little financial help. He also was hurt by a poorly-organized campaign.

和格兰特不同,格里利积极竞选,可是他几乎没有任何资金上的支持。此外,他的竞选活动组织不当,影响了他的表现。

LARRY WEST:

On election day in eighteen seventy-two, Ulysses Grant won a big victory. He got the votes of thirty-one of the thirty-seven states.

在1872年的选举日,格兰特大获全胜。在37个州中,有31个支持他。

Horace Greeley died three weeks after the election. The new Liberal Republican Party died with him. Ulysses Grant and the radical Republicans would govern for another four years.

选举结束三个星期后,格里利郁郁而终,自由共和党随之瓦解。在以后的四年中,尤利塞斯.格兰特依然是美国总统,权力依然掌握在激进派共和党人手中。

(MUSIC)

BARBARA KLEIN:

Our program was written by Frank Beardsley. The narrators were Larry West and Frank Oliver. You can find transcripts, MP3s and podcasts of our programs, along with historical images, at www.unsv.com. 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 #124 of THE MAKING OF A NATION

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