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#39: A Supreme Court Justice Is Put on Trial in 1805

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

We talked last week about the presidential election of eighteen hundred and four. Thomas Jefferson, the nation's third president, was easily re-elected. He was head of the Democratic-Republican Party, known today as the Democratic Party. His political opponents were called Federalists.

在上次的建国史话中,我们讲到,美国历史上的第三位总统托马斯.杰斐逊轻而易举地当选连任。当时美国已经出现了两党政治,杰斐逊是民主-共和党的领袖,也就是今天的民主党。他的政治对手是联邦党,是如今的共和党的前身。

Now, Doug Johnson and Richard Rael begin the story of his second term as president of the United States.

(MUSIC)

VOICE TWO:

Jefferson had a very good record during his first term as president.

The Louisiana Purchase Treaty was signed in Paris on April 30, 1803
The Louisiana Purchase Treaty was signed in Paris on April 30, 1803

He ended many taxes. He paid government debts. And he gained possession of the huge Louisiana Territory from France without going to war. The Federalists were sure he would win the election of eighteen-oh-four. Still, they were surprised by the strength of his election victory.

杰斐逊第一届任期内取得了惊人的政绩。他削减人民的税务、偿还政府的负债,没费一枪一弹,就从法国人手中得到了路易斯安那。联邦党人知道,杰斐逊肯定会连任,但是杰斐逊赢得的绝对多数票,还是让他们大吃一惊。

VOICE ONE:

Jefferson won one hundred sixty-two electoral votes. His opponent, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, won just fourteen. The Federalists had expected Pinckney to get about forty.

杰斐逊赢得了162张选举人票,而他的对手,联邦党候选人平克尼只得到了14票,远远低于联邦党人预计的40票。

Jefferson received support even in the Northeast. That is where the Federalists had their greatest strength. What was the explanation?

即使是联邦党人力量最雄厚的东北部地区,也都投票支持杰斐逊。这是为什么呢?

One man tried to explain the meaning of Jefferson's great victory. He was John Quincy Adams, son of former president John Adams. President Adams had been a firm Federalist. This is what his son said:

美国前总统约翰.亚当斯的儿子约翰.昆西.亚当斯是这样解释的。

VOICE TWO:

"The power of Jefferson's administration rests on a strong majority of the American people. The president has great popular support. His re-election shows that the experiment of the Federalists has failed. It never can and never will be brought to life again. To try to bring it back would be foolish. It would be like trying to put life into a body that has been buried for years."

他说:“杰斐逊政府的力量来源于美国人民。杰斐逊总统得到了民众的支持。他的当选连任显示,联邦党人的尝试失败了,再也无法起死回生。试图东山再起无疑是荒唐的,如同让僵尸复活。”

After the election of eighteen-oh-four, only seven Federalists remained in the United States Senate. Only twenty-five remained in the House of Representatives.

1804年大选后,美国参议院里只剩下七个联邦党人,众议院里也只有25个联邦党人了。

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

The Federalists no longer controlled the Congress, although they still controlled the courts. Many judges had been appointed during John Adams's last days as president. These judges opposed Thomas Jefferson. Some used the courtroom as a place to attack his policies. Judges were not supposed to make political speeches in court.

联邦党人早已失去了对国会的控制,但依旧掌握着法院系统。当时的很多法官都是亚当斯总统任期结束前委任的,他们反对杰斐逊,有些法官还把法庭作为战场,对杰斐逊的政策展开攻击。

One of the most powerful anti-Jeffersonian judges was Samuel Chase. He was a member of the Supreme Court.

跟杰斐逊唱对台戏的法官之一就是塞谬尔.蔡斯。

VOICE TWO:

Samuel Chase was from the state of Maryland. He was active in local and national politics for a long time. He had signed America's Declaration of Independence from Britain. He had served in the Continental Congresses that governed America during and after its Revolutionary War. Yet he did not agree with all parts of the United States Constitution. When the Maryland legislature voted to approve or reject the Constitution, he voted against it.

塞谬尔.蔡斯是联邦最高法院的法官,来自马里兰州,一直积极参与地方和国家政治。他曾签署美国独立宣言,是大陆会议成员。但是他并不完全赞成美国宪法。马里兰州议会围绕宪法进行投票表决时,他投了反对票。

VOICE ONE:

Samuel Chase was not a republican: he believed that Americans should not have the same rights. For example, he believed that all citizens should not have the right to vote. He said this would lead to mob rule. He declared that great trouble would come to the government if common people had the same rights as educated people who owned property.

塞谬尔.蔡斯不是一个共和主义者。他不认为美国人应该享有同等的权利。例如,在他眼里,美国公民不应该享有同等的投票权,因为这样做会导致暴民统治。蔡斯表示,如果普通民众跟受过教育的财产所有者享有同等权利的话,就会后患无穷。

President Jefferson heard about Chase's statement. He told a member of Congress that he was concerned. Jefferson asked: "Should this judge's attack on the ideas of our Constitution go without punishment? The public will look to Congress to take the necessary action against him."

杰斐逊总统听到蔡斯的言论后,告诉一名国会议员说,他十分担心。他说,“这个法官对宪法理念的攻击难道可以不受惩罚吗?民众会要求国会对他采取必要的行动。”

(MUSIC)

VOICE TWO:

During the last months of Jefferson's first term as president, the House of Representatives began discussing the possibility of removing Justice Chase from the Supreme Court.

杰斐逊总统第一个任期的最后几个月里,国会众议院开会讨论,是不是应该取消蔡斯作为联邦最高法院法官的职务。

A committee was named to investigate. The committee decided that there was enough evidence to bring him to trial before the Senate. The full House agreed. The impeachment trial was to begin in February, eighteen-oh-five.

国会专门设立的一个委员会负责调查。这个委员会认定,证据确凿,蔡斯应该接受参议院的裁决。这一意见得到了国会众议院的全体通过。弹劾听证定于1805年2月举行。

VOICE ONE:

The impeachment trial of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase forced the Senate to explore the meaning of impeachable crimes
The impeachment trial of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase forced the Senate to explore the meaning of impeachable crimes

The judge in the trial was the chief officer of the Senate, Vice President Aaron Burr. Burr would decide what evidence could or could not be heard. His actions would have great influence over the final decision.

国会参议院1805年2月围绕是否应该取消联邦最高法院法官蔡斯的职务一事举行弹劾听证会。听证会主席是副总统艾伦.伯尔。伯尔决定什么样的证据可以接受,什么样的证据不能接受。他的行动会对最终裁决产生巨大的影响。

Both Federalists and Republicans watched Burr closely during the trial. Both groups looked for some sign of support. Burr gave none. No one found any reason to criticize his actions.

联邦党人和共和党人都密切关注伯尔的一举一动。双方都在寻找伯尔偏袒的迹象,但是没有找到。他的行动没有给批评者留下任何把柄。

VOICE TWO:

The Senate heard testimony for a little more than three weeks. Then it voted on each of the eight charges against Justice Chase. A two-thirds vote was needed to declare him guilty. None of the charges received the necessary two-thirds vote. The impeachment had failed. Samuel Chase could not be removed from the Supreme Court.

国会参议院用了三个多星期的时间听取证词,然后就蔡斯的八项指控逐一表决。没有任何一项指控得到了罪名成立所需要的三分之二多数票。弹劾案宣告破产。蔡斯继续留任联邦最高法院的法官。

President Jefferson had hoped that Chase would be found guilty. He did not get this wish. But, after the trial, Chase no longer used the courtroom for political purposes.

杰斐逊总统原本希望蔡斯能被认定有罪,但是没能如愿以偿。不过,弹劾听证后,蔡斯也没有再利用法庭,对杰斐逊进行政治攻击了。

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

A few days after the impeachment trial ended, Thomas Jefferson was to be sworn in as president for a second term. In those days, the inauguration of the American president was held in March, not January.

弹劾案结束几天后,托马斯.杰斐逊宣誓就职。那时候,总统宣誓是在3月,后来才变成了现在的1月。

Aaron Burr would not be serving with Jefferson again. The Republican Party had not supported him for vice president. Instead, it chose George Clinton, who had been governor of New York state. Before leaving office, Burr decided to make one last speech to the Senate.

伯尔没有得到共和党的支持,因此离任,副总统一职由纽约州州长乔治.克林顿接替。伯尔决定对参议院发表离任前的最后一次演说。

VOICE TWO:

The senators were very interested in what Burr had to say. Even his political opponents sat up and listened. Burr told his friends goodbye. He said he might never see them again. Yet he said they could still join together in defending freedom and social justice.

参议员们很好奇,不知道伯尔要说些什么,就连他的政敌也不例外。伯尔首先向大家告别。他说,虽然今后恐怕再也无缘相见,但他们还是会携手捍卫自由和公正。

He spoke of the senators' great responsibility to protect liberty, the law, and the Constitution. "If the Constitution is ever destroyed," he said, "its final breaths will come on this floor."

他表示,参议员们肩负着保卫自由、法律和宪法的重任。他说,“如若宪法被摧毁,其最后一刻也应该是在这里渡过。”

VOICE ONE:

Aaron Burr by Jacques Jouvenal
Aaron Burr by Jacques Jouvenal

Aaron Burr faced a future full of questions. He had lost all political power. He owed large amounts of money. He could not return to his home in the New York area. He would face criminal charges there as a result of his duel with Alexander Hamilton. Burr had shot and killed Hamilton in the duel.

伯尔的前途充满了未知数。他失去了一切政治权力,欠了一屁股债,因为在决斗中打死了汉密尔顿,所以不能回到纽约去,否则就要被追究刑事责任。

At the end of March, eighteen-oh-five, Burr wrote to his daughter. "In ten or twelve days," he said, "I shall be on my way west. The trip may lead me to New Orleans, perhaps even farther."

1805年3月,伯尔写信给女儿说,“十天,或是十二天后,我就要往西走,可能会在新奥尔良停下来,也可能会继续向西。”

He also wrote to his daughter's husband. He said he would not return home. "In New York," he wrote, "I would lose my freedom. In New Jersey, I would be hanged. So, for the present, I will not take a chance."

他还写信给女婿,说自己不会回家。他说,“在纽约,我会失去自由;在新泽西,我会被绞死;所以现在,我不能掉以轻心。”

VOICE TWO:

What would Burr do instead? For more than a year, he had thought about a secret plan. Details are not clear, because he said different things to different people. But history experts say the plan involved an attempt to seize Mexico from Spain.

伯尔将何去何从?其实啊,一年多来,伯尔一直在考虑一项秘密计划,计划细节并不明朗,他告诉过很多人,但是内容都不一样。不过,历史学家说,归根结蒂,伯尔是打算从西班牙手中夺取墨西哥。

Burr could not keep his plan a secret from everyone. He needed help. He worked with two men. One was Jonathan Dayton, a former United States senator. The other was James Wilkinson, military governor of the Louisiana Territory.

伯尔单枪匹马无法落实这项计划,他需要帮助。他找到了两个帮手,一个是前参议员乔纳森.戴顿。另外一个是路易斯安那的军事指挥詹姆斯.威尔金森。

VOICE ONE:

Burr also needed money. He got some from his daughter's husband. And he got some from a man in Ohio named Harman Blennerhassett. Mister Blennerhassett had become rich after coming to America from Ireland.

伯尔还需要金钱。他从女婿那里得到一笔钱,此外又得到了哈曼.布伦纳哈萨特的资助。哈曼是爱尔兰移民,来到美国后发家致富。

History experts say Burr tried to get help from Britain, too. Burr told the British ambassador in Washington that he wanted money and ships to create a new country. It would include Mexico and several western states. The states would be split away from the Union.

历史学家说,伯尔还试图取得英国的支持。伯尔告诉英国驻华盛顿大使说,他要建立一个新的国家,需要金钱和船只。这个新国家包括墨西哥和美国的几个西部州,这些州要脱离美国。

VOICE TWO:

The British ambassador liked Burr's plan. He told Burr that he would urge his government to support it. It would take at least four months, however, for the ambassador to communicate with his government in London. Burr decided not to wait for an answer. He began his trip to the West.

英国大使觉得伯尔的计划不错。他答应伯尔,要说服英国政府支持伯尔,但是跟伦敦联系至少需要四个月的时间。伯尔等不及了,决定出发。

That will be our story next week.

(MUSIC)

ANNOUNCER:

Our program was written by Frank Beardsley and Christine Johnson. The narrators were Richard Rael and Doug Johnson. Join us each week for THE MAKING OF A NATION – an American history series in VOA Special English. Transcripts, podcasts and MP3s of our programs can be found at www.unsv.com.

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This is program #39 of THE MAKING OF A NATION

网友的学习评论(2条):
作者:xuding45
Thomas Jefferson served as the nation' third president. The Republican won the vote in the Senate and the House of representatives. A supreme court justice Samuel Chase was put on a trial. At final he was judged to innocent.
作者:Alumni
Thomas Jefferson failed in removing Samuel Chase in a Supreme court justice, though he wsa put on a trial.
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