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#178: American History: How the Depression Hit Foreign Relations

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Herbert Hoover and his wife, Lou Henry Hoover, in 1929
Herbert Hoover and his wife, Lou Henry Hoover, in 1929

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

The stock market crash of nineteen twenty-nine began a long and difficult period for the United States. President Herbert Hoover struggled to find solutions as the nation sank into the worst economic crisis in its history.

从1929年股票市场崩盘开始,美国进入了一个漫长而痛苦的时期。美国经济陷入有史以来最严重的危机,胡佛总统全力寻找解决办法。

But the Great Depression was not the only problem demanding answers from Hoover. The president also had to deal with a number of foreign policy issues.

对付经济大萧条并非胡佛需要解决的唯一问题,他还必须处理许多对外关系问题。

I'm Mario Ritter with Chris Cruise. This week in our series, we look at how the Great Depression affected relations between the United States and other countries.

本周,我们就向您讲述此次大萧条对美国与其它国家关系的影响。

(MUSIC: "Hard Times (No One Knows Better Than I)"/Ray Charles)

CHRIS CRUISE: There were revolutions in South America. Japan launched a campaign of aggression in northeastern China. And the economic situation in America created serious problems in relations with Europe.

南美发生了革命,日本在中国东北发动侵略战争,而美国的经济危机使美国与欧洲的关系出现了严重问题。

Hoover succeeded in some areas of his foreign policy. But he failed to solve America's economic troubles. And, like most Americans, he failed to recognize the importance of political changes taking place in Japan and Germany.

胡佛在一些外交领域取得了成功,但他没能解决国内的经济问题,而且,他和大多数美国人一样,没有认识到日本和德国所发生的政治变革的重要意义。

MARIO RITTER: Herbert Hoover's foreign policy was marked by his desire to make friends and avoid war.

胡佛外交政策的基本点就是渴望交朋友,尽量避免战争。

Like most Americans, the new president had been shocked by World War One. Hoover had seen the results of that terrible war with his own eyes. He led the international effort to feed the many European victims of the fighting. The new president was also a Quaker, a member of the Religious Society of Friends. Quakers oppose war.

和大多数美国人一样,这位新总统为第一次世界大战的情景所震撼,他亲眼目睹一战造成的惨状,他曾领导为欧洲战争受害者提供食物的国际行动。这位新总统还是基督教贵格会的成员,而贵格会是反对战争的。

Hoover shared the wish of most Americans that the world would never again fight a major war. To him, the bloody bodies at Verdun, the Marne and the other battlefields of World War One showed the need to seek peace through negotiations.

胡佛和大多数美国人一样,希望世界不再发生大规模战争,对他而言,凡尔登、马恩和其它一战战场的血腥证明,各国需要通过谈判来寻求和平。

CHRIS CRUISE: Hoover worked toward this goal even before he entered the White House.

胡佛进入白宫前就开始为这个目标而努力。

Following his election, he had several months before becoming president. Hoover used this time to travel to Latin America for ten weeks. He wanted to show Latin American nations that they could trust the United States to honor their rights as independent nations.

胡佛利用当选总统和正式就职期间的空闲,花了十个星期出访拉丁美洲,向各国展示,它们可以放心,美国会尊重它们作为独立国家的权利。

Hoover kept his word. The year after he took office, his administration announced that it would recognize the governments of all Latin American countries, including governments that the United States did not like.

胡佛兑现了诺言。就在他入主白宫后的当年,美国政府宣布承认了所有拉美国家政府,包括那些美国并不喜欢的政府。

Hoover told the American people that he would not follow the Latin American policies of President Theodore Roosevelt.

胡佛告诉美国人民,他不会延续前总统西奥多.罗斯福的拉美政策。

Teddy Roosevelt decided in nineteen four that the United States had a right to intervene in Latin America if it disagreed with the actions of governments there. Hoover said this was wrong. He told the country that it was more important to use friendship than to use force.

罗斯福1904年决定,一旦美国对拉美某国政府的行为有异议,就有权对拉美事务进行干涉。胡佛说,这是错误的。他告诉美国人民,用友谊远比用武力更重要。

(MUSIC)

MARIO RITTER: Hoover withdrew American forces from Nicaragua. He also arranged to withdraw them from Haiti. And he showed restraint as some fifty revolutions shook the nations of Latin America.

胡佛撤走了美国在尼加拉瓜的驻军,并准备让美军从海地撤军。当时,拉美各地出现了大约五十次革命,而胡佛对此表现出了克制态度。

Some revolutionary governments opposed the United States. They refused to pay debts to American companies, or they claimed ownership of foreign property. But Hoover refused to advance American interests by force. He wanted to prove that the United States could treat Latin American nations as equals.

一些拉美革命政府是反美的,他们要么拒绝归还欠美国公司的钱,要么霸占外国人的财产,但胡佛拒绝靠武力来扩张美国的利益,他要表明,美国可以把拉美各国视为同美国平等的国家。

That policy was quite successful. Relations between the United States and Latin American countries generally improved under Herbert Hoover's leadership.

胡佛的这一政策相当成功,美国与拉美的关系在胡佛的领导下得到了普遍改善。

CHRIS CRUISE: The situation in Europe was much more difficult and much more serious for the United States. The problem was simple -- money. The Great Depression did not stop at America's borders. It moved to Britain, Europe and beyond. And it brought extremely hard economic conditions.

对美国而言,跟欧洲的关系则更加棘手,也更加严重。问题很简单,那就是钱。大萧条并不局限于美国,它向英国蔓延,向欧洲和更广泛的地方蔓延,引发了极度艰难的经济景况。

In Germany, the value of the national currency collapsed. Inflation forced people to buy goods with hundreds, thousands, even millions of German marks. They lost faith in the system. And they looked for some new leader to provide solutions.

在德国,币值极度贬值,严重的通货膨胀使德国人必须用数百、数千甚至数百万马克来买东西,德国人对政府体制失去了信任,寻求新领导人来解决国家的问题。

The economic crisis also put great pressure on the international circle of debt that had been created after the war. Suddenly, American bankers could no longer make loans to Germany. This meant that Germany could not pay back war debts to France and the other Allied nations in "the war to end all wars." And without this money, the Allied nations could not repay money that they owed American banks.

经济危机还给一战后确立的国际债务循环体制带来了巨大的压力。突然之间,美国的银行不能再给德国贷款了,于是德国就没有钱向法国和其它一战协约国成员支付战争赔款。而由于没有钱,协约国也就无法偿还欠美国各银行的贷款。

The circle of debt fell apart.

就这样,这个债务圈破裂了。

(MUSIC: "Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?"/Bing Crosby with Lennie Hayton and His Orchestra)

MARIO RITTER: The situation grew worse and worse throughout the early months of nineteen thirty. Hoover finally had to announce that all nations could delay their debt payments to the United States for one year.

20世纪30年代始于美国的经济大萧条蔓延到了欧洲,让一战后建立的国际债务循环陷入危机。这种局势在1930年头几个月越来越严重,最后,美国总统胡佛不得不宣布,所有欠美国债务的国家都可延期一年还款。

Hoover's action did what he wanted it to. It put a temporary stop to the international debt crisis. But it caused great damage to private banks. People lost faith in the banking system.

这一做法起到了预期的效果,暂时解除了国际债务危机,但却给私人银行带来了更大的伤害。人们对银行体系失去了信心。

Throughout Europe, people withdrew their money from banks. As a result, the European banks could not repay more than a billion dollars that they had borrowed from private American banks.

在欧洲各地,人们纷纷到银行提取存款,结果,欧洲的银行无力偿还他们从美国各私人银行借来的十多亿美元的资金。

CHRIS CRUISE: This was not the only problem. Nations throughout Europe were also forced to take their currencies off the gold standard. This meant their money no longer could be exchanged for gold.

这还不是唯一的问题。当时,欧洲各国被迫放弃金本位制度,也就是说,他们的货币不再能与黄金兑换。

The economic situation grew worse. And, as it did, serious political tensions began to threaten peace in Asia and Europe.

经济形势更为糟糕,同时,严重的政治紧张关系开始威胁欧洲和亚洲的和平。

MARIO RITTER: The threat in Asia became clear first.

亚洲和平受到的威胁首先浮出水面。

Japan had defeated Russia in a war in nineteen five. This victory gave Japan control over the economy of the southern part of what was then called Manchuria, in northeastern China.

日本1905年打败俄国,控制了当时被称为满洲里的中国东北地区的南端。

As years passed, Japan began to feel threatened by two forces. First, Chinese leader Chiang Kai-shek was trying to organize all of China under the control of his Nationalist forces. Second, Russia was extending the Chinese Eastern Railway to the Russian port city of Vladivostok.

随着时间的流逝,日本开始感觉到来自两股力量的威胁。一是当时中国的领导人蒋介石试图靠国民党的军队统一全中国,二是俄国正在把中国的东部铁路延伸到它的港口城市海参崴。

Japan's army took control of the government in Tokyo in late nineteen thirty-one. The army was fearful of the growing threat to Japan's control of Manchuria. So it moved Japanese troops immediately into several Manchurian cities. And it claimed political control of the whole area.

1931年底,日本军方控制了东京的日本政府,出于对满洲里控制权受到威胁的担心,日本军队迅速占领了中国东北的好几座城市,继而宣称,统治整个东北。

President Hoover and most Americans strongly opposed Japan's aggression. But they were not willing to take any action that might lead to another world war.

胡佛总统和大多数美国人强烈反对日本的侵略行为,但他们不愿意采取任何可能导致另一次世界大战的行动。

(MUSIC)

CHRIS CRUISE: Japan's military leaders knew that the people of Europe and America had no desire to fight to protect China. And so the Japanese army marched on. It invaded the huge city of Shanghai, killing thousands of civilians.

日本军方领导人知道,欧洲人和美国人不会为保护中国而出兵,于是长驱直入,入侵中国大城市上海,屠杀了成千上万的平民。

Western leaders condemned the action. American Secretary of State Henry Stimson said the United States would not recognize Japanese control in these areas of China.

西方各国领导人谴责日本的侵略行为。美国国务卿亨利.斯廷森说,美国不承认日本对中国一些地区的占领控制权。

But, again, Hoover refused to consider any economic actions against the Japanese. And he strongly opposed taking any military action.

但是,胡佛再一次拒绝考虑对日本采取任何经济制裁措施,并强烈反对向日本采取军事行动。

The League of Nations also refused to recognize Japan's takeover. It called Japan the aggressor in Manchuria. Japan reacted simply. It withdrew from the League of Nations.

国联也拒绝承认日本对中国的占领,并把日本在中国东北的行动称为侵略。而日本对此的反应很简单,那就是退出国联。

MARIO RITTER: Most Americans were not happy about Japan's aggression. But they were not willing to fight force with force. This was less true, however, for Secretary of State Stimson.

大多数美国人对日本的侵略行为看不过去,但他们不愿意以武力对付武力。不过,美国国务卿亨利.斯廷森并不这么想。

Stimson was a follower of the old ideas of President Theodore Roosevelt. He believed a nation could only have a strong foreign policy by being strong and using its military power in times of crisis.

斯廷森是前总统西奥多.罗斯福思想的追随者。他认为,一个国家只有态度强硬,并在危机时刻使用武力,在外交上才能强大。

But Stimson's voice was in the minority. Most Americans did not believe Japan really threatened the security of the United States. And they were not ready to risk their lives to help people in China.

然而,斯廷森的想法并不是主流意见。大多数美国人觉得,日本并没有真正威胁到美国的安全,而且他们也不愿意冒着生命危险来帮助中国人抗日。

Opinions changed only after Japanese planes attacked the American naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in December of nineteen forty-one.

美国民众的这一观念直到1941年12月日本空军偷袭在夏威夷珍珠港的美国海军基地后才发生转变。

CHRIS CRUISE: The same story was true in Europe. But France was worried about the rising power of the Nazis in Germany and the Fascists in Italy and Spain. France proposed the creation of an international army.

美国的对外政策也体现在欧洲政策上。法国担心德国日益崛起的纳粹政权以及意大利和西班牙的法西斯政权,提议成立一支国际军队。

Hoover opposed that idea. He called for all nations to reduce their weapons. He believed that negotiation, not force, was the way to solve the problem.

而胡佛反对这一建议,他呼吁所有国家裁军。胡佛认为,谈判,而不是武力,才是解决问题的唯一途径。

But the new leaders in Germany and Japan would listen much more closely to the boot steps of marching troops than to the high words of peace.

但是,德国和日本的新领导人更愿意听到侵略军的脚步声,而不是高喊和平的口号。

(MUSIC)

MARIO RITTER: Our program was written by David Jarmul. You can find our series online with transcripts, MP3s, podcasts and pictures at www.unsv.com. You can also follow our series on Facebook and Twitter at VOA Learning English.

I'm Mario Ritter with Chris Cruise. Join us again next week for THE MAKING OF A NATION -- an American history series in VOA Special English.

___

This is program #178

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