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#60: Debating the Powerful Bank of the US

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

The question of continuing the Bank of the United States became a serious political issue in the national election of eighteen thirty-two. The head of the bank, Nicholas Biddle, had become very powerful. Biddle refused to recognize that the government had the right to interfere in any way with the bank's business. The bank was privately operated but could make loans with taxpayers' money.

美国银行是否要继续下去,成了美国1832年总统大选的一个重要议题。美国银行行长尼克拉斯.比德尔手中掌握着巨大的权力,他认为,联邦政府无权干涉银行业务。美国银行虽然由私人负责经营,但是有权动用国库里的钱发行贷款。

Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson

President Andrew Jackson understood the power of the Bank of the United States. He opposed giving the bank a new charter.

杰克逊总统知道美国银行的实力,反对延长美国银行的特许经营权。

Jackson said the Bank of the United States was dangerous to the liberty of Americans. The bank, he said, could build up or pull down political parties through loans to politicians. The bank, he said, would always support those who supported the bank. He proposed to form a new national bank, as part of the Treasury Department.

杰克逊说,美国银行的存在是对人民自由的威胁,因为美国银行可以通过向政客提供贷款,建筑或是摧毁政党。杰克逊还说,美国银行会出钱回报自己的支持者。杰克逊建议,在财政部下面建立一个新的国家银行。

This week in our series, Stewart Spencer and Maurice Joyce continue the story of the Bank of the United States.

VOICE ONE:

In the election year of eighteen thirty-two, the bank still had four years left to continue. Its charter would not end until eighteen thirty-six. Jackson had been urging Congress to act early, so that the bank could -- if its charter were rejected -- close its business slowly over several years. This would prevent serious economic problems for the country.

1832年大选年,美国银行的特许经营权还剩四年。杰克逊早就敦促国会在美国银行特许经营权结束前提早考虑这家银行的前途。如果特许经营权宣告结束,美国银行就要在几年时间内按部就班地停止各项业务,以免引发严重的经济问题。

Many of Jackson's advisers believed he should say nothing about the bank until after the election. They feared he might lose the votes of some supporters of the bank. Biddle felt that this might be the best time to get a charter.

杰克逊的很多顾问都认为,在1832年总统大选之前,杰克逊最好不要在这个问题上多说话。他们担心,杰克逊会失去那些支持美国银行的人的选票。而美国银行行长比德尔却觉得,这是一个申请新的特许经营权的天赐良机。

Henry Clay
Henry Clay

Henry Clay, the presidential candidate of the National Republicans, helped Biddle to make this decision. Senator Clay, however, was not thinking of the bank when he gave his advice. Clay needed an issue to campaign on. Most of the people of the country approved of Jackson's programs. Clay could not get votes by opposing successful programs. But, he was sure that the issue of the bank could get him some votes.

当时的共和党总统候选人亨利.克莱支持比德尔的决定。不过,克莱并不是出于关心美国银行的前途,而是因为需要一个竞选议题。杰克逊总统的执政纲领得到了大多数人的支持,克莱要想争取选票,只能从美国银行这个问题上下手。

VOICE TWO:

The campaign for a new charter was led by the most powerful men in each house of Congress. In the Senate, the bank's supporters included Senator Clay and Daniel Webster. Former President John Quincy Adams -- now a congressman -- led the bank's struggle in the house.

美国银行的前途在国会参众两院引起了激烈辩论。参议院里主张延长特许经营权的除了克莱以外,还有丹尼尔.韦伯斯特,众议院里的支持者以前总统约翰.昆西.亚当斯为首。

The chief opponent to the bank was Senator Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri. "I object to the renewal of the charter," he told the Senate, "because the bank is too great and powerful to be permitted in a government of free and equal laws. I also object because the bank makes the rich richer, and the poor poorer."

参议院里的主要反对者之一是密苏里州的参议员托马斯.哈特.本顿。他曾经说过,“我反对延长特许经营权,因为在一个自由平等法律体制下的政府里,美国银行已经变得过于强大,而且,美国银行会让富人更富,穷人更穷。”

VOICE ONE:

In the House, Representative Augustin Clayton of Georgia proposed an investigation of the bank. In a speech written by Senator Benton, Clayton charged that the bank had violated its charter a number of times.

在众议院里,乔治亚州的众议员奥古斯丁.克雷顿建议对美国银行展开调查。克雷顿众议员指责美国银行曾经多次违反银行宪章。

The bank's supporters were afraid to vote down the proposed investigation. It would be almost the same thing as saying that the charges were true. The investigation was approved. And a special committee was given six weeks to study the charges against the bank.

美国银行的支持者不敢投票反对调查,那样做就等于是承认指控属实。国会批准对美国银行展开调查,并成立了一个特别委员会,调查期为六周。

Four members of the seven-man committee were opponents of the bank. Three, including John Quincy Adams, were friendly. As expected, opponents of the bank found the charges to be true. And the bank's supporters found them all to be false.

这个委员会里有七个人,其中四个人是美国银行的反对者,另外三个人是美国银行的支持者,其中也包括前总统约翰.昆西.亚当斯。结果不出所料,美国银行的反对者认为指控成立,支持者认为指控不成立。

The majority report told of easy loans made to congressmen and newspapermen. It said a New York newspaper that had opposed the bank began supporting it after receiving a secret fifteen-thousand-dollar loan.

大部分指控都是说美国银行利用贷款跟国会议员和记者拉拢关系,比如说有一家纽约报纸,本来是反对美国银行的,后来得到了一笔价值一万五千美元的秘密贷款,立即改变了立场。

(MUSIC)

Roger Taney
Roger Taney

VOICE TWO:

The investigation did not really change the votes of any of the congressmen. Many votes had been bought by the bank.

调查并没有改变议员们的立场。很多人都已经被美国银行收买了。

Attorney General Roger Taney told of one example of this. Taney opposed the bank. And he rode to work one morning with a congressman who also opposed it. The congressman asked Taney for help on a speech he planned to make against the bank.

司法部长罗杰.托尼举了一个例子。托尼本人是美国银行的反对者,一天早上,他跟另外一个同样反对美国银行的众议员同路上班。那位议员还向托尼请教,因为他正在撰写一份批评美国银行的发言稿。

Taney was surprised later to find that this same congressman had voted to give the bank its new charter. The congressman told Taney that the bank had made him a loan of twenty-thousand dollars.

谁知道,关键时刻,这个国会议员却投票支持延长美国银行的特许经营权,这个国会议员后来告诉托尼说,美国银行给了他两万美元的贷款。

VOICE ONE:

The Senate finally voted on the bank's new charter. The vote was twenty-eight for and twenty against. The House voted three weeks later. It approved the charter, one hundred seven to eighty-five.

参议院最后的投票结果是,28票支持,20票反对。众议院三个星期后投票表决,107票赞成,85票反对,批准延长美国银行的特许经营权。

The bill was sent to the White House. President Jackson called a cabinet meeting. Two cabinet members, McLane and Livingston, agreed that the bill should be vetoed. But they urged Jackson to reject the bank charter in such a way that a compromise might be worked out later.

议案随即递交白宫。杰克逊总统召集内阁会议讨论。内阁里有两个成员主张否决议案,但是他们敦促杰克逊,在否决议案的同时,应该给今后达成妥协留下余地。

Attorney General Taney, however, believed that the veto should be in the strongest possible language. He opposed any compromise that would continue the bank beyond eighteen thirty-six. Jackson agreed with Taney. He asked the attorney general and two White House advisers to help him write the veto message. They worked on the message for three days.

然而,司法部长托尼却认为,总统的否决令应该使用最强硬的措辞。他反对任何可能让美国银行在1836年后继续经营下去的妥协方案。杰克逊赞成托尼的看法。他要求托尼和另外两位白宫顾问帮助撰写否决政令,整整花了三天的时间。

(MUSIC)

VOICE TWO:

On July tenth, the veto was announced. And the message explaining it was sent to Congress. Jackson said he did not believe the bank's charter was constitutional. He said it was true that the Supreme Court had ruled that Congress had the right to charter a national bank. But he said he did not agree with the high court.

7月10号,否决令被送交国会。杰克逊总统说,他认为美国银行的宪章不符合宪法。杰克逊承认,联邦最高法院确实裁决,国会有权建立特许国家银行,但是在这个问题上,他不能苟同。

And Jackson said the president -- in taking his oath of office -- swears to support the Constitution as he understands it, not as it is understood by others. He said the president and the Congress had the same duty as the court to decide if a bill was constitutional.

杰克逊还说,总统宣誓就职时,发誓要按照自己的理解去支持宪法,而不是按照他人的理解。他说,总统、国会和法院都同样有义务去决定某项议案是否符合宪法。

Jackson also spoke of the way the bank moved money from West to East. He said the bank was owned by a small group of rich men, mostly in the East. Some of the owners, he said, were foreigners. Much of the bank's business was done in the West. The money paid by westerners for loans went into the pockets of the eastern bankers. Jackson said this was wrong. Then the president spoke of his firm belief in the rights of the common man.

杰克逊还提出,美国银行将资金从西部挪到东部。他说,美国银行的股东是一小群富人,主要在东部,其中一些还是外国人。银行的大部分业务在西部,西部人支付的贷款利息都进了东部银行家的口袋。杰克逊说,这是不对的,杰克逊提出了他对保护普通百姓权利的坚定信念。

VOICE ONE:

"It is to be regretted," he said, "that the rich and powerful bend the acts of the government to their own purposes. Differences among men will always exist under every just government."

杰克逊说,“有钱有势的人通过操纵政府来为自己的目的服务,这实在令人遗憾。在每一个公正的政府下,人与人之间总会存在分歧。”

"Equality of ability, or education, or of wealth cannot be produced by human institutions. Every man has the equal right of protection under the laws. But when these laws are used to make the rich richer, and the powerful more powerful, then the more humble members of our society have a right to complain of injustice."

他还说,“能力、教育或是财富的平等不是人力所能控制的。在法律面前,所有人都有权享受同等的保护。但是,如果这些法律被用来让富人更富,让有权有势的人无法无天的话,社会底层的成员就有权表达不满,要求公正。”

Jackson said he could not understand how the present owners of the bank could have any claim of special treatment from the government. He said the government should shower its favors -- as heaven does its rain -- on the high and low alike, on the rich and the poor equally.

杰克逊说,他无法理解,美国银行现在的股东怎么能要求政府给他们特殊的待遇。他说,政府的优惠,应该像天上落下来的雨水一样,不论高矮胖瘦,不论贫富悬殊,一视同仁。

(MUSIC)

VOICE TWO:

Henry Clay had made the bank bill the chief issue of the eighteen thirty-two presidential election campaign. Andrew Jackson chose the words of his veto message for the same purpose -- to win votes in the coming election. His veto of the bank bill cost him the votes of men of money. But it brought him the votes of the common man: the farmer, the laborer, and industrial worker.

亨利.克莱把美国银行的问题作为1832年总统大选的首要议题。杰克逊总统选择否决令的措辞时,也是出于同样的目的--总统大选。他的否决令让他失去了有钱人的选票,但同时,也为他赢得了农民、工人这些普通民众的支持。

After his first two years as president, Andrew Jackson was not sure he wished to serve a second term. Jackson was not sure his health would permit him to complete a full eight years in the White House. But he wished to be a candidate again in eighteen thirty-two to give the people a chance to show they approved of his programs.

当了两年总统后,杰克逊在竞选连任的问题上举棋不定,他不知道自己的身体状况能否让他干完八年。但是他又希望参加1832年的总统大选,看看自己的施政纲领是否得到了民众的肯定。

Jackson decided that he would campaign again for president. But if he won, he would resign after the first or second year, and leave the job to his vice president.

杰克逊最后决定竞选连任,如果当选,他就会在一年或是两年后辞去总统职务,让贤给副总统。

(MUSIC)

ANNOUNCER:

Our program was written by Frank Beardsley. The narrators were Stewart Spencer and Maurice Joyce. Transcripts, MP3s and podcasts of our programs are online, along with historical images, at www.unsv.com. Join us again next week for THE MAKING OF A NATION - an American history series in VOA Special English.

_____________

This is program #60 of THE MAKING OF A NATION

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作者:Alumni
Andrew Jackson had a famous saying that the government would shower its favors --- as heaven does its rain --- on the high and low alike, on the rich and the poor equally.
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