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#44: Relations With Britain Hit a Low Point in 1811

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

James Madison of Virginia was elected president of the United States in eighteen hundred and eight. He followed Thomas Jefferson and served two terms.

Madison's first four years were not easy. He had to deal with a foreign policy problem that Jefferson was not able to solve: increasingly tense relations with Britain. His second four years were worse. There was war. Larry West and Leo Scully have our story.

(MUSIC)

VOICE TWO:

James Madison
James Madison

James Madison was inaugurated in Washington on March fourth, eighteen-oh-nine. The people of the city were happy with the new president. But the nation was not yet sure what kind of leader he would be.

詹姆斯.麦迪逊1809年3月4号在华盛顿特区宣誓就职。华盛顿的居民对新总统走马上任感到兴奋,但是美国人民对麦迪逊的领导能力并不确定。

The French minister to the United States did not think much of him. He said: "Mister Madison is an intelligent man, but weak. He will always see what should be done, but will not do it."

当时的法国驻美大使对麦迪逊评价很低。他曾说过,“麦迪逊是聪明人,但是很软弱。他从来都知道应该怎样做,但是不会采取行动。”

VOICE ONE:

Like the first three American presidents, Madison had a small cabinet. There would be a secretary of state and a secretary of the treasury.

跟前三任美国总统一样,麦迪逊的内阁成员很少,只有一个国务卿和一个财政部长。

Madison decided to keep Albert Gallatin in the position of treasury secretary. Gallatin probably knew more about the nation's finances than anyone else. The choice for secretary of state was political. Madison named Robert Smith, the brother of a senator. The new president was not too concerned about Mister Smith's abilities, because he planned to make foreign policy himself.

麦迪逊决定让阿尔伯特.加勒廷留任财政部长,因为没有别人比他更熟悉美国的财政问题。出于政治原因,麦迪逊任命了一位参议员的兄弟罗伯特.史密斯担任国务卿。麦迪逊对史密斯的能力并不关心,因为他准备亲自打理美国的外交政策。

VOICE TWO:

Jefferson's biggest foreign policy problem arose from a war between Britain and France. The two nations refused to honor America's neutrality. Each tried to prevent the United States from trading with the other. Both interfered with American shipping. And the British navy sometimes seized American sailors.

前总统杰斐逊任期内最棘手的外交问题是英法战争。英国和法国都拒绝承认美国的中立,都想方设法防止美国跟敌对方贸易,插手美国航运,英国海军有时还抓走美国水手。

President Jefferson ordered a ban on trade with Europe. But it failed to end the hostile acts against the United States.

杰斐逊下令,禁止跟欧洲做生意,但没能制止美国遭遇的敌对行动。

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

Britain and France were still at war when Madison was elected president. In place of the trade ban, Congress had approved a new law. It was called the Non-Intercourse Act. The law prevented trade with Britain and France. But it gave President Madison the power to re-open trade if either nation stopped interfering with American ships.

麦迪逊当选总统时,英国和法国还在交战。美国国会通过了一项法案,取代贸易禁运。这项法案名叫《非交往法案》,法案禁止跟英国和法国的贸易,但是授权麦迪逊总统,一旦哪个国家停止干涉美国船运,就可以重开贸易。

Madison hoped the law would force Britain and France to honor American neutrality. He did not want war. But neither did he want to surrender America's rights as an independent nation.

麦迪逊原本希望这一法案可以迫使英、法两国承认美国的中立,因为他既不想卷入战争,也不愿意放弃美国作为一个独立国家的自主权。

VOICE TWO:

A month after Madison took office, the British minister in Washington, David Erskine, received new orders from his government. He said he had been given the power to settle all differences between the United States and Britain.

麦迪逊就职一个月后,英国驻华盛顿大使戴维.厄斯金接到了英国政府的命令。他表示,英国政府让他全权处理英、美之间的分歧。

Erskine said Britain would stop seizing American ships if the United States would end the Non-Intercourse Law. He did not make clear that the British government demanded several conditions before an agreement could be reached.

厄斯金说,如果美国放弃《非交往法案》,英国就停止扣押美国的船只,但是他没有说明英国政府的附加条件。

One condition was that the United States continue the law against trade with France. Another was that Britain be permitted to capture American ships that violated the law. Erskine called the conditions, "proposals." He did not force the United States to accept them.

其中之一是,美国要继续对法国执行《非交往法案》;另外一个是,英国有权扣押违反规定跟法国做生意的美国船只。厄斯金称这些附加条件为“建议”,并没有强迫美国接受。

VOICE ONE:

On April nineteenth, President Madison announced that an agreement had been reached. He said the United States would re-open trade with Britain. The American people welcomed the agreement. It appeared that -- after less than two months as president -- Madison had been able to remove the threat of war.

4月19号,麦迪逊总统宣布,英美两国达成协议。他表示,美国将恢复跟英国的贸易往来。协议的达成让美国人民欢欣鼓舞,从表面看,麦迪逊就职不到两个月,就解除了战争的威胁。

The United States began trading again with Britain on June tenth, as agreed. Hundreds of ships left American ports. Relations with Britain seemed to have returned to normal.

按照协议,美国6月10号恢复了跟英国的贸易往来。数百艘商船驶离美国港口,跟英国的关系似乎恢复了正常。

(MUSIC)

VOICE TWO:

President Madison decided to spend the summer of eighteen-oh-nine at his home in the hills of Virginia. Soon after he arrived, he received surprising news. The British government had rejected the agreement he had reached with Erskine.

美国跟英国达成协议,1809年6月10号恢复了两国间的贸易往来。麦迪逊总统决定夏天返回维吉尼亚州山区的家中避暑。然而,他刚到家,就收到了一个惊人的消息,英国政府拒绝接受厄斯金跟美国达成的协议。

A British newspaper said the agreement was not what Britain wanted. It said Erskine had violated his orders and was being called back to London. A new minister, Francis James Jackson, would take his place.

英国报纸说,这份协议不符合英国政府的要求,厄斯金违背了自己的使命,已经被召回伦敦,由弗朗西斯.詹姆斯.杰克逊接替他的职务。

VOICE ONE:

Madison returned to Washington in the autumn, about a month after the new British minister arrived. He learned that Secretary of State Smith had made no progress in talks with him. So the president decided to deal with him directly. He wanted to know exactly why Britain had rejected the agreement. Madison ordered that all communications between the two sides be written. There would be no more talks.

麦迪逊总统秋天返回华盛顿时,英国驻美新任大使弗朗西斯.詹姆斯.杰克逊已经上任一个月了。麦迪逊得知,美国国务卿史密斯跟杰克逊的会谈毫无进展,因此决定亲自出马。他想知道,英国到底为什么不肯接受协议。麦迪逊下令,双方停止谈判,一切联系都采取书信方式。

Letters were exchanged. But the British minister failed to explain satisfactorily what had happened. And his letters seemed to charge that the United States had not negotiated honestly. Madison finally broke off all communications, and the British minister left Washington.

英国驻美大使弗朗西斯.詹姆斯.杰克逊在信中没有做出令人满意的解释,他旁敲侧击地指责美国在谈判时耍滑头。麦迪逊最后决定停止一切联系,杰克逊随即离开华盛顿,返回英国。

VOICE TWO:

America's policy of trade with Britain and France continued to be a serious issue. In the early days of eighteen ten, Congress began to consider a new law to control such trade. After several weeks of debate, the two houses of Congress approved a compromise bill.

英、法两国的贸易难题,并没有因此消失。1810年初,国会开始讨论一项新法。经过几个星期的辩论,国会参、众两院达成了妥协。

The bill ended the Non-Intercourse Act against Britain and France. It permitted trade with any nation. But it gave the president the power to declare non-intercourse again with either Britain or France separately. President Madison signed the bill into law.

新立法取消了针对英、法两国的《非交往法案》,允许美国跟任何国家通商,但同时授权总统,可以随时宣布禁止跟英国、或是法国的商业往来。这项法案经麦迪逊总统签字后生效。

VOICE ONE:

Relations between the United States and Britain did not improve during the year. And President Madison once again declared non-intercourse against Britain. Trade between the two countries was stopped at the beginning of March, eighteen-eleven.

美国跟英国的关系1810年间并没有出现改善。麦迪逊总统再次决定,从1811年3月开始,停止跟英国的一切贸易往来。

Trade was not the only problem, however. A growing number of Americans believed that the British were helping some Native American Indians to fight the United States.

不过,贸易并非两国间的唯一矛盾。越来越多的美国人相信,英国帮助某些美国印第安原著民,跟美国做对。

VOICE TWO:

Tecumseh was a leader in the Shawnee Indian tribe
Tecumseh was a leader in the Shawnee Indian tribe

As the people of the United States began to move to the northern and western territories, the government made treaties with the different Indian tribes. The treaties explained which land belonged to the Indians...and which land could be settled by the white men. The settlers did not always honor the treaties.

随着美国向西部和北部的推进,政府跟各印第安部落达成协议,划分哪些是印第安人的领地,哪些是白人可以开垦定居的地方。但是,白人定居者经常违反协议的规定。

A leader of the Shawnee Indian tribe, Tecumseh, decided to take action. He started a campaign to unite all Indians and to help them defend against the white men.

当时的肖尼印第安人的酋长特库姆塞决定采取行动。他带头团结印第安各部落,帮助他们抵御白人。

Throughout the west, many Americans believed that the British in Canada were responsible for Tecumseh's efforts to unite the Indians. They demanded war with Britain to destroy the power of the tribes.

美国西部很多人都认为,加拿大的英国人是特库姆塞的后台,因此要求跟英国开战,彻底消灭印第安部落的势力。

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

Detail of ''Death of Tecumseh'' located in the U.S. Capitol. Tecumseh is shown at lower right being shot during the War of 1812.
Detail of ''Death of Tecumseh'' located in the U.S. Capitol. Tecumseh is shown at lower right being shot during the War of 1812.

In Washington, a new Congress was meeting. Some of the new members were very different from the men who had controlled Congress before. They were less willing to compromise -- and more willing to go to war to defend America's interests. They soon got the name "War Hawks."

此时,美国正赶上国会换届。新一届国会成员不愿妥协,主张通过战争,来捍卫美国的利益,因此被称为“战争鹰派”。

The new Congress quickly approved several measures to prepare the United States for war. One bill increased the size of the army by twenty-five thousand regular soldiers and fifty thousand volunteers.

新国会很快通过了多项议案,为战争做准备,其中一项议案扩大了陆军规模,增设两万五千名正规军和五万名志愿兵。

VOICE TWO:

At the same time, America had a new secretary of state. President Madison had not been pleased with the work of Robert Smith. Nor did he trust Smith. The president could not be sure of Smith's support for administration proposals.

与此同时,美国国务卿也换了新人。麦迪逊总统一直对罗伯特.史密斯的工作不满意,而且也不信任他,不能肯定他是否会百分之百地支持政府提案。

Madison wanted his close friend, James Monroe, to be secretary of state. Monroe was then governor of Virginia. He agreed to take the new job.

麦迪逊因此希望自己的好友、当时的维吉尼亚州州长詹姆斯.门罗出任国务卿,门罗欣然接受。

VOICE ONE:

What the United States did not have at that troubled time was a representative in Britain. When Madison broke off communications with British minister Jackson in Washington, Jackson returned to London. And the American minister in London, William Pinkney, sailed home.

当时,因为关系紧张,美国没有向英国派驻使节。麦迪逊总统跟英国驻美大使杰克逊切断一切联系后,杰克逊返回伦敦,美国驻英使节平克尼也离开英国,打道回府。

There was no official in either capital to report what was happening. And the two countries were moving closer to war. That will be our story next week.

英、美两国逐渐走向战争的边缘。

(MUSIC)

ANNOUNCER:

Our program was written by Frank Beardsley. The narrators were Larry West and Leo Scully. Join us again next week for THE MAKING OF A NATION – an American history series in VOA Special English.

网友的学习评论(2条):
作者:xuding45
James Madison was elected as the president in the nation. He tried to deal with the foreigh police. The most issue was that the United States had traded with Britain and France. But the realtion of the U.S with Britain were moving closer to war.
作者:Alumni
James Madison was elected as the fourth President, but his first four years were not easy and the second four years were worse. The relations between United States and British hit a low point . War was approaching near.
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