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#125: Grant's Second Term Worse Than First

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Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant

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

America’s eighteenth president, Ulysses Grant, was elected to his second term in eighteen seventy-two. Grant had led the Union army of the North to victory over the Confederate army of the South during the Civil War. He easily won the presidency in eighteen sixty-eight in the first election held after the war. Now, he would spend four more years as president of the United States.

尤利塞斯·格兰特1872年赢得连任,成为美国第18任总统。他曾经是内战中的将军,领导北方联邦军击败了南部邦联军。1868年,在内战结束后举行的第一次总统大选中,他轻松取胜。现在,他可以再做4年总统了。

This week in our series, Harry Monroe and Kay Gallant tell about Grant’s second term in office.

HARRY MONROE: Grant's first administration was marked by dishonesty and shameful events. The situation grew much worse after he won a second term.

在格兰特的头一个任期中,政府里出现了不法行为和丑闻。在他连任后,这种情况变得更加严重。

Grant himself was not involved directly. But his administration suffered because of his ties to those who were involved.

虽然格兰特本人并没有直接参与,仅仅同当事人有关,但这依然损害到了政府的声誉。

Soon after Grant's re-election, for example, there was a serious incident that involved many of his supporters in Congress.

举个例子,在格兰特连任后不久,多位支持他的国会议员就卷入了一个重大丑闻。

The Union Pacific Railroad Company had helped build a railroad across the American west to California. The cost of building the railroad was very high. The company got large amounts of aid from the government.

当时,联合太平洋铁路公司参与修建了一条纵贯美国西部、一直延伸到加州的铁路。这项工程耗资巨大,联合太平洋铁路公司从政府得到了大笔资助。

Not all this aid came honestly. An investigation showed that leading members of Congress, and even the Vice President, received shares of ownership in the company for free, or at low cost. In exchange, they voted to use federal money to help build the railroad.

但是,一些资助款来路不正。调查发现,国会许多重量级议员、甚至当时的副总统都免费或以低价获得了联合太平洋铁路公司的股权。作为交换,他们利用自己手中的投票权,批准拨联邦经费帮助修建铁路。

KAY GALLANT: A few months later, members of Congress voted a pay raise for themselves and the executive branch of government. The pay raise would be retroactive. This meant the extra money would be paid for the two years already past.

几个月后,国会议员们又投票通过议案,给他们自己和行政部门的政府雇员涨工资。而且,这一议案有追溯力,也就是说,这些人过去两年的薪水也要补齐到上涨后的水平。

Newspapers and citizens raised a storm of protest. Some lawmakers were afraid they would not be re-elected. So they refused to accept the pay raise.

媒体和民众强烈抗议这一做法。一些议员担心自己会在选举中落选,因此拒绝涨工资。

Within six months, another shameful incident was uncovered. This one involved Jay Cooke, one of the richest bankers in the country. He also was a good friend of President Grant.

这件事之后不到半年,另一桩丑闻又被曝光。这次涉及的是美国最富有的银行家之一杰.库克,他也是格兰特总统的好友。

In eighteen sixty-nine, Cooke began raising money to build another railroad across America's west. He planned to sell one hundred million dollars' worth of railroad bonds.

1869年,库克开始筹集资金,打算再修一条纵贯西部的大铁路。他计划出售价值1亿美元的铁路债券。

Many people invested all the money they had in Cooke's railroad. But Cooke was unable to sell as many bonds as he expected. Soon, his banks had no money left. They could return no money to the thousands of people who had bought railroad bonds.

许多人把自己全部的积蓄投资在这条铁路上。但是,债券的销量没有达到1亿美元。很快,库克的银行就把钱用光了,无法还钱给成千上万购买铁路债券的人。

HARRY MONROE: People hurried to other banks to withdraw their savings. Within hours, many of these other banks had to close. They, too, were out of money. Within a month, more than five thousand banks across the country failed and closed their doors. This created an economic crisis.

人们急忙到其它银行去提取自己的存款。几个小时之内,很多银行被迫关门,因为它们也没钱了。不到一个月,美国各地有5000多家银行倒闭。这引发了经济危机。

The New York Stock Exchange closed for ten days. Factories closed. Thousands of people lost their jobs. Investigations showed that many of the banks that failed had violated banking laws. The laws often were not enforced, because so many bankers had given money to the ruling Republican Party.

纽约证券交易所停业十天。工厂停工。成千上万人失业。调查发现,许多倒闭的银行有过违法行为。相关的银行法得不到执行,因为太多银行家给执政的共和党提供了资金。

KAY GALLANT: Other incidents followed. One of the biggest was called the Whiskey Ring. It involved a group of whiskey producers and some high officials who were friends of President Grant. Together, they found a way not to pay taxes on their whiskey.

在铁路债券事件后,又发生了其它一些丑闻。其中最大的一个叫"威士忌酒集团"事件。这个"威士忌酒集团"的成员包括一些威士忌酒制造商和一些政府高官,这些高官都是格兰特总统的朋友。

One of Grant's close advisers was at the center of the incident. A grand jury found him not guilty of any crime. However, it charged several hundred whiskey producers and government officials with illegal activities.

他们官商勾结,找到了一条不用给威士忌酒纳税的路子。格兰特一位最亲密的顾问是这一丑闻的核心人物。虽然,大陪审团最后判定这名顾问并没有犯罪,但几百名威士忌制造商和政府官员被控有违法行为。

President Grant had done nothing illegal. But the Whiskey Ring incident increased public feeling that there was no honesty in the White House. The feeling grew that Grant was a failure.

尽管格兰特总统本身没有违法,但威士忌酒集团事件使民众更加认定,白宫毫无诚信可言。人们进而觉得,格兰特是一个失败的总统。

HARRY MONROE: These incidents took place during a time of intense social and political change in the United States. The period after the Civil War was a time of industrial revolution and business growth. Most of this growth was taking place in the North.

这些丑闻发生在美国社会和政治急剧变革的年代。在内战结束后,美国正经历工业革命和经济快速发展,而这种发展主要集中在北方。

Before the Civil War, most businesses were small. Now there were many companies with large numbers of workers. The companies also had large numbers of owners. They sold shares of ownership to anyone with enough money to buy.

内战前,北方的大部分企业规模很小,但现在已经出现了许多雇用大量工人的公司,这些公司还拥有大量的股东,他们向任何有钱购买他们股票的人出售股份。

(MUSIC)

KAY GALLANT: A few men rose to positions of great power in business. In the steel industry, for example, there was Andrew Carnegie. He came to the United States as a boy from Scotland. He took a low-paying job in a factory that produced cotton cloth. He worked hard. In time, he earned enough money to take control of an iron factory.

有少数人逐渐成了一些行业的领军人物。例如钢铁业里出现了安德鲁.卡内基。他小的时候从苏格兰移民到美国,后来在一家棉布厂做一份工资很低的工作。他工作勤奋,不久就挣够了钱,盘下了一家铁厂。

Carnegie soon built another factory. This one produced steel with a new technology. The system worked well. Soon, he was earning more than one million dollars a year. He competed fiercely with other steel companies. He pressured railroads to transport his steel for lower prices than his competitors. And he cut his prices to force other steel-makers out of the business.

不久,卡内基又建起了另一家工厂,用新技术生产钢材。企业运行得很好,卡内基很快就可以每年赢利一百多万美元了。他和其它钢铁公司展开激烈竞争,并迫使铁路公司以低于竞争对手的价格运送他的钢材。

Before long, Andrew Carnegie was the unquestioned leader of America's steel industry. His position gave him great power over the economy of the whole country.

他还大幅降价,把其它钢铁公司挤出这个行业。不久,卡内基就成为了美国钢铁工业无可争议的领袖人物,他的这一地位使他对整个美国经济而言举足轻重。

John D. Rockefeller
John D. Rockefeller

HARRY MONROE: What Carnegie did for the steel industry, John D. Rockefeller did for the oil industry.

卡内基是钢铁大亨,约翰·洛克菲勒则是石油大王。

Oil became a useful product only in the middle of the eighteen hundreds. Rockefeller was part of a group of businessmen who built an oil processing center in Ohio. It was so successful that Rockefeller gave up his other business interests. He put all his money into oil production. He formed the Standard Oil Company of Ohio.

石油是到十九世纪中叶才成为有用产品的。洛克菲勒和其他一些商人一道在俄亥俄州建了一座石油加工中心。生意很好,所以他就放弃了其它商业利益,把所有的钱都投在石油生产上,并成立了俄亥俄美孚石油公司。

John D. Rockefeller's new company used the same aggressive business methods as Andrew Carnegie. Rockefeller bought control of other oil processing companies. He started price wars that forced his competitors out of business.

这家新公司同卡内基的钢铁王国一样,采取非常有进攻性的商业模式。洛克菲勒买下了其它石油公司控股权,并发动价格战,迫使其它公司退出这一行业。

Most important, Rockefeller made a secret deal with the railroads. The deal greatly reduced his transportation costs. This permitted him to crush his competition. Before long, he controlled ninety-five percent of the oil processing industry in the United States.

更重要的是,洛克菲勒与铁路公司签订了一项秘密协议,极大地降低了他的运输成本,这使他能彻底打败竞争对手。不久,洛克菲勒就控制了美国百分之95的石油加工业。

(MUSIC)

KAY GALLANT: As with steel and oil, America's railroads were an extremely important business in the eighteen-hundreds. In fact, they were the nation's biggest business. They were as important as automobiles and airplanes are to the American economy today.

和钢铁与石油业一样,在十九世纪,美国的铁路运输业也极为重要。事实上,铁路是美国当时最大的行业,其经济重要性如同今天汽车业和航空业。

Before the Civil War, most railroads were east of the Mississippi River. Most were small lines. In the years after the war, four major railroads got control of almost all the lines in the east. And they began building new lines in the west.

内战前,美国的铁路主要集中在密西西比河以东,而且大多数的铁路都很短。在内战结束后的几年里,四家主要铁路公司几乎控制了东部的所有铁路线,并且开始在西部修建新的铁路。

HARRY MONROE: The first rail line to cross the nation was completed in eighteen sixty-nine. It was built by two companies. One company started from the east and went west. The other went in the opposite direction. Finally, after six years of back-breaking labor, the two work teams met in northern Utah. They connected the rail lines with a golden spike.

1869年,第一条横贯美国的铁路竣工。这条铁路由两家公司承建,一家从东部开始向西修,另一家则从西开始往东修。经过6年艰苦卓绝的努力,两支施工队最终在美国北部的犹他州会合。工人们打下一根金子做的道钉,标志着两条施工线成功会师。

It was a great moment in the nation's history. Now, at last, the two coasts of the United States were united by a single line of metal rail. It was like the day -- a hundred years later -- when the first American walked on the moon.

这是美国历史上的重要时刻,它意味着东西两岸终于被一条铁路连在了一起。其意义不亚于一百年后第一位美国人登上月球。

KAY GALLANT: Like the steel and oil industries, the railroad industry also had its stories of intense business competition. In this case, the most influential man was Cornelius Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt already was rich from the shipping industry. Now he formed the New York Central Railroad. It was the largest railroad in the east.

和钢铁业与石油业一样,铁路业的竞争也非常残酷。而这一行业里最有影响的是科尼利厄斯·范德比尔特。他在进军铁路之前就已经因航运而大发其财,现在,他又成立了当时美国东部最大的铁路公司--纽约中央铁路公司。

Cornelius Vanderbilt tried to take over the railroad industry. He was not as successful as Andrew Carnegie with steel or John D. Rockefeller with oil. A group of other rich railroad owners blocked his plans. But Vanderbilt did succeed in winning a great amount of power and influence.

范德比尔特也想控制整个铁路业,但他没能像卡内基和洛克菲勒那样成功。其他一些富有的铁路公司老板阻止了他的计划。尽管如此,范德比尔特还是拥有巨大的权力和影响力。

HARRY MONROE: Vanderbilt and the other new leaders of industry were powerful. And they let others know it. They sometimes made statements about how they did not have to obey the law.

范德比尔特和其他的行业大亨很有势力,而且他们要让所有的人都知道。他们有时会发表声明,公然声称说他们不守法律制约。

Other powerful men thought the same way. Some were officials elected or appointed to serve in the federal government. Political power blinded them to their responsibility to be honest and fair to the public. As a result, the Republican Party lost public support. The blame was placed on Ulysses Grant. That will be our story next week.

其他一些有权势的人也这么想。有的甚至是民选或获得任命的联邦政府官员。政治权力蒙蔽了他们的眼睛,让他们忘记了应对公众诚实公正。结果,共和党失去了民众的支持,而格兰特为此而备受指责。

(MUSIC)

BARBARA KLEIN: Our program was written by Frank Beardsley. The narrators were Harry Monroe and Kay Gallant. Transcripts, MP3s and podcasts of our programs can be found, along with historical images, at www.unsv.com. Join us again next week for THE MAKING OF A NATION -- an American history series in VOA Special English.

___

This is program #125 of THE MAKING OF A NATION

网友的学习评论(1条):
作者:perfect100
steel,oil and railroad were developed well from the middle of 18 century in the USA.but far away from east Asia ,china which is one of 4 ancient countries,was breaking out wars.
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