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#163: Wilson Urges Support for Idea of League of Nations

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

After the end of World War One, President Woodrow Wilson sought national support for his idea of a League of Nations. He took his appeal directly to the American people in the summer of nineteen nineteen.

第一次世界大战结束后,美国总统威尔逊希望美国人支持他建立"国联"的计划。1919年夏天,他直接到美国人民当中去宣传自己的想法,争取支持。

This week in our series, Tony Riggs and Frank Oliver continue the story of Wilson's campaign.

TONY RIGGS: The plan for the League of Nations was part of the peace treaty that ended World War One. By law, the United States Senate would have to vote on the treaty. President Wilson believed the Senate would have to approve it if the American people demanded it. So he went to the people for support.

建立国联是结束一战的和平条约中所包含的内容。根据法律,美国国会参议院必须对这一合约进行投票。威尔逊总统相信,如果美国人民要求国会批准合约,参议院就会这么做。因此,他直接去寻求人民的支持。

For almost a month, Wilson traveled across America. He stopped in many places to speak about the need for the League of Nations. He said the league was the only hope for world peace. It was the only way to prevent another world war.

他花了近一个月的时间到美国各地进行宣传,向人民讲述建立国联的必要。他说,国联是实现世界和平、防止再次爆发世界大战的唯一希望。

Wilson's health grew worse during the long journey across the country. He became increasingly weak and suffered from severe headaches. In Witchita, Kansas, he had a small stroke. A blood vessel burst inside his brain. He was forced to return to Washington.

然而,在巡回全国的长途旅行中,威尔逊的身体状况越来越糟糕。他逐渐虚弱,头疼难忍。在堪萨斯州的威奇塔,他发生了轻微的中风,脑袋里有一根血管爆裂。威尔逊只好返回华盛顿。

FRANK OLIVER: For a few days, President Wilson's condition improved. Then, his wife found him lying unconscious on the floor of his bedroom in the White House. Wilson had lost all feeling in the left side of his body. He was near death.

威尔逊的健康状况好转了几天。有一天,他的妻子发现他躺在白宫卧室的地板上,已经失去了知觉。威尔逊左半边身子完全麻木,差点丧命。

The president's advisers kept his condition secret from almost everyone. They told reporters only that Wilson was suffering from a nervous breakdown.

他的顾问们封锁消息,只告诉记者说,总统现在的精神状态非常不好。

For the next few days, the medical reports from the White House were always the same. They said Mister Wilson's condition had not changed.

来自白宫的关于总统身体状况的消息几天来都差不多,都说总统的情况没有变化。

People began to wonder. Were they being told the truth. Some people began to believe that the president was, in fact, dead. Vice President Thomas Marshall was worried. If the president died or could not govern, then he - Marshall -- would become president. But even Vice President Marshall could get no information from Wilson's doctors.

可人们开始怀疑这是不是真的。一些人觉得,总统可能已经死了。当时的副总统托马斯.马歇尔也非常担心,因为一旦总统逝世或是丧失执政能力,副总统就会接过总统的位置。可是,就连马歇尔也无法从威尔逊的医生那里获得什么信息。

TONY RIGGS:  After several weeks, the president seemed to get a little stronger. He was still very weak. He could not work, except to sign several bills. This simple act took most of his strength.

几个礼拜后,威尔逊似乎恢复了一些元气,尽管他身体还是很虚弱。除了签署一些法案之外,他什么也不能做,因为仅仅签几个字就让他疲惫不已。

Wilson's wife Edith guarded her husband closely. She alone decided who could see him. She alone decided what information he could receive. All letters and messages to Woodrow Wilson were given first to Edith Wilson. She decided if they were important enough for him to see. Most, she decided, were not. She also prevented members of the cabinet and other government officials from communicating with him directly.

第一夫人爱狄斯密切注意着威尔逊的健康状况,谁可以面见总统,可以让总统得知什么消息,都由她一手决定。所有写给总统的信件和消息都必须先经过爱狄斯的查看,并决定这些信息是否重要到非得总统亲自过问的地步。而爱狄斯认为,大部分事情都没有这么重要。她也不让内阁成员和其他政府官员直接同威尔逊交流。

Mrs. Wilson's actions made many people suspect that she -- not her husband -- was governing the country. Some spoke of her as the nation's first woman president.

这让很多人感觉,管理国家的是第一夫人,不是总统。有些人甚至称爱狄斯为美国历史上的首位女总统。

Woodrow Wilson and his wife, Edith
Woodrow Wilson and his wife, Edith

FRANK OLIVER: There was one issue Mrs. Wilson did discuss with her husband: the League of Nations.

不过,在一个问题上,爱狄斯还是要和威尔逊讨论的,那就是建立国联。

The Senate was completing debate on the Treaty of Versailles. That was the World War One peace agreement that contained Wilson's plan for the league. It seemed clear the Senate would reject the treaty. Too many Senators feared the United States would lose some of its independence and freedom if it joined the league.

当时,国会参议院针对凡尔赛条约的辩论已经接近尾声。凡尔赛条约就是一战后缔结的和平条约,里面有建立国联的内容。当时的情况似乎已经很明确,那就是参议院会拒绝批准这个条约。太多的参议员担心,如果美国加入国联,就会丧失一些独立和自由。

The leader of Wilson's political party in the Senate, Gilbert Hitchcock, headed the administration campaign to win support for the treaty. He received Mrs. Wilson's permission to visit her husband.

参议院民主党领袖吉尔伯特.希区考克领导威尔逊政府为使凡尔赛条约获得支持而展开的宣传活动。威尔逊夫人允许他去看望总统。

Hitchcock told the president the situation was hopeless. He said the Senate would not approve the treaty unless several changes were made to protect American independence. If the president accepted the changes, then the treaty might pass.

希区考克告诉威尔逊,情况已经没有转机了,参议院不会批准凡尔赛条约,除非对条约内容做几处修改,以保护美国的独立。如果总统接受这些修改,那么和约还有获得通过的机会。

TONY RIGGS:  Wilson refused. He would accept no compromise. He said the treaty must be approved as written.

但是,威尔逊拒绝了,他不愿意妥协。他说,凡尔赛条约必须一字不改地获得批准。

Senator Hitchcock made one more attempt to get Wilson to reconsider. On the day the Senate planned to vote on the treaty, he went back to the White House. He told Mrs. Wilson that compromise offered the only hope for success.

希区考克为了让威尔逊改变主意而再次努力。在参议院准备对凡尔赛条约进行最后投票的那天,他来到白宫,告诉威尔逊夫人,妥协是获得成功的唯一希望。

Mrs. Wilson went into the president's room while Hitchcock waited. She asked her husband: "Will you not accept the changes and get this thing settled?" He answered: "I cannot. Better a thousand times to go down fighting than to surrender to dishonorable compromise."

威尔逊夫人让希区考克等在门外,自己走进总统的卧室。她问道:"你是不是不愿意修改条约的内容,让这件事就这么结束?"威尔逊说:"我不能让步,继续战斗下去比向那些无耻的妥协投降要好一千倍。"

FRANK OLIVER: The Senate voted. Hitchcock's fears proved correct. The treaty was defeated. The defeat ended Wilson's dream of American membership in the League of Nations.

于是,参议院投票了,就如希区考克所担心的那样,条约被否决。威尔逊让美国加入国联的梦破碎了。

Mrs. Wilson gave the news to her husband. He was silent for a long time. Then he said: "I must get well."

威尔逊夫人把这个消息告诉了他,他沉默良久,然后说:"我必须把身体养好。"

Woodrow Wilson was extremely sick. Yet he was not the kind of man who accepted opposition or defeat easily. From his sick bed, he wrote a letter to the other members of the Democratic Party. He urged them to continue debate on the League of Nations. He said a majority of Americans wanted the treaty approved.

当时,威尔逊已经非常虚弱了,但他不是个轻易向反对和失败低头的人。他在病床上写信给民主党的其他成员,督促他们继续就国联问题进行辩论。他说,大部分美国人民希望凡尔赛条约获得批准。

Wilson probably was correct about this. Most Americans did approve of membership in the League of Nations. But they also wanted to be sure membership would not restrict American independence.

这么说或许并没有错。当时许多美国人的确支持美国加入国联,但是他们也要求确保这样做不会妨碍美国的独立。

TONY RIGGS: The Senate Foreign Relations Committee agreed to re-open discussion on the treaty. It searched yet again for a compromise. It made new efforts to get Wilson to accept some changes.

参议院外交关系委员会同意就国联事宜重开讨论,并再次希望达成妥协,希望威尔逊能接受修改条约内容的要求。

But, as before, Wilson refused. He was a proud man. And he thought many of the Senators were evil men trying to destroy his plan for international peace.

但是,和以前一样,威尔逊拒绝了。他是个有傲骨的人,他觉得很多参议员是邪恶的小人,妄图破坏他实现国际和平的计划。

Wilson's unwillingness to compromise helped kill the treaty once and for all. The Senate finally voted again, and the treaty was defeated by seven votes. The treaty was dead. The United States would never enter the League of Nations. And one of the most emotional and personal stories in the making of the American nation had ended.

威尔逊决不妥协的立场让凡尔赛条约再次在参议院触礁,也永远地被封杀了。参议院最后进行了投票,以7票的优势否决了这个条约。这个条约完蛋了,美国永远不会成为国联的一分子。美国历史上最充满感情和个人风采的一个故事也被划上了句号。

FRANK OLIVER: The long battle over the Treaty of Versailles ended with political defeat for Woodrow Wilson. Yet history would prove him correct.

针对凡尔赛条约的漫长斗争以威尔逊总统的政治失利而告终。但是后来的历史证明威尔逊是正确的。

Wilson had warned time and again during the debate that a terrible war would result if the world did not come together to protect the peace. Twenty years later, war came. The First World War had been called 'the war to end all wars'. But it was not. And the Second World War would be far more destructive than the first.

威尔逊曾经多次在辩论中警告说,如果世界各国不携手保护和平,那么残酷的战争还会爆发。果然,20年后,第二次世界大战发生了。一战曾经被称为"结束了所有战争的战争",但它其实不是,因为二战的破坏力远远超过了一战。

TONY RIGGS: The debate over the Treaty of Versailles was the central issue in American politics during the end of Woodrow Wilson's administration. It also played a major part in the presidential election of nineteen twenty.

围绕凡尔赛条约进行的辩论成为威尔逊政府晚期最重要的政治议题,并在1920年的总统选举中产生了很大的影响。

Wilson himself could not be a candidate again. He was much too sick. So the Democratic Party nominated a former governor of Ohio, James Cox. Cox shared Wilson's opinion that the United States should join the League of Nations. He campaigned actively for American membership.

威尔逊重病缠身,已经无法参选。于是,民主党提名前俄亥俄州州长詹姆斯.考克斯为总统候选人。考克斯赞同威尔逊的想法,觉得美国应该加入国联。他在竞选活动中积极推动这个问题。

The Republican Party chose Senator Warren Harding as its candidate for president. Harding campaigned by promising a return to what he called 'normal times'. He said it was time for America to stop arguing about international events and start thinking about itself again.

共和党则提名参议员沃仑.哈丁为总统候选人。哈丁的竞选主题是承诺美国人回到"正常的年代"。他说,美国人应该停止就国际问题争吵不休,应该重新为美国自己打算。

Woodrow Wilson and Warren Harding during Harding's inauguration
Woodrow Wilson and Warren Harding during Harding's inauguration

FRANK OLIVER: The two presidential candidates gave the American people a clear choice in the election of nineteen twenty.

两位候选人在1920年的总统大选中给美国人民出了一道选择题。

On one side was Democrat James Cox. He represented the dream of Woodrow Wilson. In this dream, the world would be at peace. And America would be a world leader that would fight for the freedom and human rights of people everywhere.

民主党这边的考克斯代表威尔逊总统未完成的世界和平之梦,认为美国要成为世界领袖,要为世界各地人民的自由和人权而战。

On the other side was Republican Warren Harding. He represented an inward-looking America. It was an America that felt it had sacrificed enough for other people. Now it would deal with its own problems.

共和党这边的哈丁则代表着一个面向国内的美国。这个美国感觉自己已经为其他人做出了够多的牺牲,现在应该解决自己的问题了。

Warren Harding won the election.

结果,哈丁赢得了选举。

TONY RIGGS: The results of the election shocked and hurt Woodrow Wilson. He could not understand why the people had turned from him and his dream of international unity and peace. But the fact was that America was entering a new period in its history. For a long time, it would turn its energy away from the world beyond its borders.

这样的结果让威尔逊吃惊,也让他痛心。他不明白人们为什么抛弃了他,也抛弃了他关于国际团结和世界和平的梦想。但是实际上,美国即将进入一个新的历史时期。在后来的好多年中,美国对国际事务不再热心,而是把精力放在了国内事务上。

That will be our story next week.

(MUSIC)

BOB DOUGHTY: Our program was written by Frank Beardsley. The narrators were Tony Riggs and Frank Oliver.

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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