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#140: Cleveland Returns to Office Facing Farm, Labor Unrest

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The first troops enter Homestead, Pennsylvania, to end the strike at the Carnegie Company
The first troops enter Homestead, Pennsylvania, to end the strike at the Carnegie Company

BOB DOUGHTY:  Welcome to the MAKING OF A NATION - American history in VOA Special English.

Eighteen ninety-two was a presidential election year in the United States. In that year, most parts of the American economy were expanding. But one part was not doing well: agriculture. The result was the birth of a new political party. It was called the People's Party. Its members were called Populists.

1892年是美国的总统大选年。那年,美国经济的很多领域都在发展,但有一个领域却不怎么景气,那就是农业。农业遇到的问题导致新政党"人民党"的诞生,人民党的成员被称为民粹主义者。

This week in our series, Stan Busby and Maurice Joyce tell about the Populists, and how they campaigned against the Republicans and Democrats in the election.

STAN BUSBY:  In the late eighteen eighties, a North Carolina farming publication described America's economy this way:

在十九世纪八十年代后期,北卡罗莱纳的一家农业杂志这样描述美国的经济:

"There is something radically wrong in our industrial system. The railroads are making much money. Yet agriculture is failing. The banks are doing great business. Yet agriculture is failing. Towns and cities grow. Yet agriculture is failing. Wages were never so high. Yet agriculture is failing."

"我们的经济系统出现了某些根本性的错误。铁路公司在大笔赚钱,但农业却在破产;银行的业务蒸蒸日上,但农业却在破产;城镇在发展,但农业却在破产;人们的工资水平从没像现在这么高过,但农业却在破产。"

Historians give four major reasons why agriculture was failing in the late eighteen eighties. One was the high cost of transportation. Second was high taxes. Third was falling prices for agricultural products. And fourth was the high cost of borrowing money.

对十九世纪八十年代后期美国农业面临的困境,历史学家提出了四个主要原因:一是运输成本太高;二是高额的税负;三是农产品价格下跌;四是融资成本高。

MAURICE JOYCE:  Farmers began to organize to discuss their problems. They formed local groups called "Alliances." An Alliance member described the result of these discussions:

农民开始组织起来讨论他们所面临的问题,他们成立了一些地方性的组织,叫"农民联盟"。有一位农民联盟的成员这样描述农民们讨论的结果:

"People began to think, who had never thought before. People talked, who had never spoken much. Little by little, they began to study their condition. They discussed taxes on income. Government ownership of property. The unity of labor. And a thousand other opposing ideas."

"从没思考过的人开始思考,一贯沉默寡言的人开始讨论,渐渐地,他们开始反思自己的处境。他们讨论了收入所得税、政府财产所有权、工会问题以及其它许许多多有争议的复杂问题。"

STAN BUSBY:  Local Alliances formed larger groups. The larger groups included many persons who were not farmers, but who lived and worked in agricultural areas. These included teachers, doctors, repairmen, reporters, and church leaders.

地方农民联盟发展成为一些较大的组织,这些组织的成员不仅仅是农民,还有在农业区生活和工作的人,包括教师、医生、修理工、记者和教会领导人。

In eighteen eighty-nine, the major Alliances held separate conventions in Saint Louis, Missouri. They refused to form one big Alliance. They were divided on several important issues.

1889年,这些规模较大的农民联盟在密苏里州的圣路易斯分别召开大会。它们因在一些重大问题上存在分歧而拒绝组成一个统一的大联盟。

MAURICE JOYCE:  The chief issue was political. Leaders of the Northern Alliance had decided that agricultural interests could expect little help from either the Republican or Democratic parties. They believed the answer to their problems was a third national political party.

其中首要的是政治问题。北方农民联盟的领导人认为,农业问题不可能指望获得民主党或共和党的帮助,他们认为,要解决农民们的问题,必须成立第三个全国性的政党。

Leaders of the Southern Alliance disagreed. They belonged to the Democratic Party. And, at that time, Democrats faced little opposition in the south. A new party would weaken their political power. So they wanted to work for change within the existing Democratic Party.

但南方农民联盟的领导人不同意这种看法。他们本来就是民主党成员,而且在当时,民主党称霸南方政坛,如果出现一个新的政党,就会削弱民主党的力量。所以,这些领导人希望在民主党内部寻求改革。

STAN BUSBY:  Another issue dividing the Northern and Southern Alliances was racial. How would a united Alliance deal with black farmers. The Southern Alliance did not permit black members. And it did not want blacks in a united Alliance. The Northern Alliance said blacks could join.

另一个导致南北方农民联盟不和的问题是种族问题,也就是说,一个全国性的农民联盟要如何对待黑人农民。南方农民联盟不允许有黑人加入,也不想让黑人加入全国联盟。而北方农民联盟则表示,黑人可以加入。

The two groups could not settle their differences before the state and congressional elections of eighteen ninety. So, they did not campaign as one party. But they campaigned for one idea: help for America's farmers.

1890年的州选举和议会选举开始前,南北方农民联盟没能消除分歧。所以,它们没有以一个政党的形式参加选举,不过他们的竞选理念是一致的,那就是,帮助美国的农民。

Throughout the south and middle-west, they succeeded in electing agricultural candidates as governors, state legislators, Senators, and members of the House of Representatives.

在整个美国南方和中西部,农民联盟成功地把自己的候选人送上了州长、州议员、联邦参议员和众议员的位子。

MAURICE JOYCE:  Farm leaders everywhere were surprised by their election victories in eighteen ninety. They had not expected to win so much, so quickly. Leaders of the Northern Alliance decided the time was right to form one party to represent all farmers. They felt sure of success. For now, enough leaders of the Southern Alliance were willing to support the idea.

美国各地的农民联盟领导人对他们在1890年选举中所取得的胜利感到惊讶,他们没料到会如此快地取得这样大的胜利。北方农民联盟的领导人认为,成立一个代表所有农民的新政党的时机已经成熟,而且他们觉得这个想法肯定能够成功实现,因为当时已经有足够多的南方联盟领导人支持这个想法。

These southern leaders had succeeded within the Democratic Party. But they quickly learned that they held political power only at the local level. They held almost no power at the national level.

其原因是,这些领导人虽然在民主党内部取得了成功,但他们很快就发现,这些成功仅限于地方层面,而在全国层面上,他们几乎没有什么权力。

So, a few months before the presidential election of eighteen ninety-two, America's agricultural Alliances held a joint convention in Omaha, Nebraska. They formed a new party. They called it the People's Party. They called themselves Populists.

所以,就在离1892年总统大选开始还有几个月的时候,美国各农民联盟在内布拉斯加州的奥马哈召开联合大会,成立了一个新的政党,这个新政党就是人民党,人民党党员则是民粹主义者。人民党的目的是保护农民的利益,希望扭转当时美国农业糟糕的状况。

A publication supporting the People's Party candidates in the election of 1892
A publication supporting the People's Party candidates in the election of 1892

STAN BUSBY:  Delegates to the convention approved a policy statement for the new party. The statement said the national government should own the country's railroads, telegraph, and telephone systems. It said the government -- not banks -- should supply paper money. And it said no limits should be put on government production of silver money.

在人民党的成立大会上,与会代表们通过了新政党的一项政策声明。声明说:国家政府应该拥有铁路、电报和电话系统;政府,而不是银行,应当发行纸币;而且对政府发行银币不应加以限制。

The Populists called for a tax on earnings. Fewer working hours for labor. Controls on immigration.

人民党的成员,也就是民粹主义者,还要求征收所得税,减少工人的工时,并控制移民。

To help farmers, the Populists demanded what they called the "Sub-Treasury Plan." Under this plan, farmers could put their crops in government storehouses. Then they could wait to sell the crops until prices rose. While they waited, they could borrow money from the government at low cost. They would pay back the loans when they sold their crops.

为了帮助农民,民粹主义者要求实施所谓的"国库分库计划"。根据该计划,农民可以把农产品存放在政府的仓库中,等到农产品价格上涨时再卖出去。在此期间,他们可以向政府借到低利率的资金。等他们的粮食卖出去了,再偿还政府的贷款。

MAURICE JOYCE:  The new People's Party also proposed ways to make government more democratic. It said secret ballots should be used in all elections. It said Senators should be elected by the people...not chosen by state legislatures.

人民党还提出了几项使政府更加民主的建议,例如:在所有选举中都应采取无记名投票;参议员应该由人民来直接选举,而不应该由各州议员来选择。

Most Americans considered Populist proposals extreme. They felt the proposals were too close to socialism or communism. The Populists considered their proposals just. They felt their movement was a struggle for more equal control of the nation.

绝大多数美国人觉得,民粹主义者的想法太过激进,这些建议太接近社会主义或共产主义的理念。而民粹主义者则认为,他们的建议是正当合理的,他们的运动是为了使管理国家的权力能更公平的分配而进行的斗争。

On one side of the struggle were producers. These included farmers, laborers, and small businessmen. They were led by the new People's Party. On the other side were what Populists called non-producers. These included wealthy bankers and leaders of industry. They were led by the Republican and Democratic parties.

这场斗争的一方是生产者,包括农民、工人和小企业主,他们由人民党领导。另一方是民粹主义者所说的"非生产者",包括富裕的银行家和产业界领导人,他们由共和党和民主党领导。

Populists wanted producers to have some of the political power traditionally held by non-producers. They wanted producers to get a fairer share of the nation's increasing wealth.

人民党人希望生产者能够获得一些长期以来由非生产者所掌控的政治权力,他们希望生产者能够更平等地享受到美国不断增加的社会财富。

STAN BUSBY:  The People's Party chose James Weaver as its candidate in the presidential election of eighteen ninety-two. Weaver had been an officer in the Union Army during America's Civil War. He had served in the House of Representatives. And he had been the candidate of a minor party in the presidential election of eighteen eighty.

人民党推选詹姆士.韦弗为候选人,参加1892年总统大选。韦弗曾经是内战期间北方军的一名军官,当过国会众议员,在1880年总统大选时,他曾经是一个小党的总统候选人。

The Republican Party re-nominated President Benjamin Harrison. And the Democratic Party nominated former President Grover Cleveland.

共和党再次提名现任总统本杰明.哈里森为总统候选人,而民主党则提名前总统克利夫兰为候选人。

MAURICE JOYCE:  The campaign began quietly. But a few months before the election, a labor dispute exploded into an important campaign issue. Several thousand steelworkers went on strike at a factory owned by the Carnegie Steel Company in Homestead, Pennsylvania. The steelworkers union called the strike after failing to reach a wage agreement with company officials.

这次竞选活动刚开始时很平静,但就在大选前几个月,一起爆炸性的劳工纠纷事件成了竞选的重要议题。在宾夕法尼亚州霍姆斯特德的一家属于卡内基钢铁公司的钢铁厂,数千工人举行罢工。在那之前,钢铁工人工会与公司管理者未能就工资问题达成协议,于是号召工人罢工。

After months of growing tension, the head of the company sent three hundred private security officers to break up the strike and protect non-union workers. The security officers and many of the strikers carried guns. Shots were fired. Ten men were killed.

在几个月的紧张对峙之后,公司领导人派300名保安去破坏罢工,并保护那些未参加工会的工人。保安和许多罢工工人都有枪。双方交火了,有十个人被打死。

The governor of Pennsylvania immediately sent state soldiers to the steel factory. After a few more attempts to continue the strike, the union admitted defeat. Its power was crushed. It would be more than forty years before America's steelworkers were organized again.

宾夕法尼亚州州长立即派遣州里的军队进驻钢铁厂。后来,工会几次试图继续罢工,但都没有成功,只好承认失败。钢铁行业工会的权力被瓦解了,一直到四十多年后,美国钢铁业工人才再次组织起来。

STAN BUSBY:  A short time later, state soldiers were used to break up a strike by railroad workers in New York. And federal soldiers were used against striking silver miners in Idaho.

不久,政府为了结束纽约铁路工人的罢工再次动用了州军队,后来又派联邦军队去镇压爱达荷州银矿工人罢工。

This use of government troops to end strikes caused many citizens to vote against the ruling Republican Party. They voted for the opposition Democratic or People's Parties, instead.

这种使用政府军队镇压工人罢工的行为使很多民众对当权的共和党不满,于是,他们把选票投给了民主党或人民党。

In the election of eighteen ninety-two, Republican President Benjamin Harrison was defeated. Democrat Grover Cleveland -- who had lost to Harrison four years earlier -- would be president again. The People's Party candidate, James Weaver, won one million popular votes and twenty-two electoral votes.

在1892年的总统大选中,共和党总统本杰明.哈里森失败了,民主党总统候选人,也就是四年前败给哈里森的格罗弗.克利夫兰再次当选总统。而人民党总统候选人詹姆士.韦弗赢得了100万张选民票和22张选举人票。

MAURICE JOYCE:  Grover Cleveland returned to the White House, just as his wife had said he would. But his second administration would be much more difficult than his first. Within two months of Cleveland's inauguration, the United States entered into one of the worst economic depressions in its history.

正如他妻子曾经预言的那样,克利夫兰总统重返白宫。但他的第二个任期所面临的困难将远远超过第一任。他宣誓就职还不到两个月,美国就进入经济萧条期,这将是美国历史上最严重的几场经济衰退之一。

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

(MUSIC)

BOB DOUGHTY:  Our program was written by Frank Beardsley. The narrators were Stan Busby and Maurice Joyce. You can find our series online with transcripts, MP3s, podcasts and images at www.unsv.com. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter at VOA Learning English. Join us again next week for THE MAKING OF A NATION -- an American history series in VOA Special English.

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