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#63: Trouble Grows Deep in the Heart of Texas

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

In the early eighteen thirties, the territory of Texas belonged to Mexico. But many Americans had moved to Texas because they could buy a lot of land with little money. The government of Mexico expected the settlers to speak Spanish, to become Roman Catholic and to accept Mexican traditions. The settlers did not want to.

十九世纪三十年代,德克萨斯一带归墨西哥所有。受到廉价土地的吸引,美国人蜂拥而来,搬到德克萨斯定居。墨西哥政府希望定居者改讲西班牙语,改信罗马天主教,并接受墨西哥的传统习俗,但是美国定居者不愿意接受这一切。

For the most part, there was little that President Andrew Jackson could do. The United States had a treaty of friendship with Mexico. The government in Washington had a duty to remain neutral, even as the situation in Texas became increasingly tense.

远在首都的杰克逊总统,只能静观事态发展,因为美国跟墨西哥达成过友好协议,虽然德克萨斯的局势日益紧张,美国政府也只能保持中立。

Gwen Outen and Steve Ember tell the story in this week's program in our series.

VOICE ONE:

Americans in Texas held a convention in April eighteen thirty-three. They prepared a list of appeals to the leader of Mexico, General Santa Ana. The Texas settlers asked Santa Ana to end a tax on goods imported into the territory. They asked him to lift a ban on new settlers from the United States. And they asked that Texas be organized as a separate state of Mexico.

1833年四月,德克萨斯的美国定居者召开大会,向当时的墨西哥领袖--圣安纳将军提出一系列要求,包括停止对进口德克萨斯的商品收税,取消对新定居者的禁令,让德克萨斯成为墨西哥的一个省份。

Stephen Austin
Stephen Austin

One of the Americans, Stephen Austin, carried the appeals to Mexico City. He spent six months negotiating with the Mexican government. General Santa Ana promised to honor all the requests except one. He would not make Texas a separate state, although he said that might be possible someday. Stephen Austin was satisfied. He left the Mexican capital to return to Texas.

定居者领袖史蒂文·奥斯汀带着请愿书前往墨西哥城,用了整整半年的时间跟墨西哥政府交涉。墨西哥领导人圣安纳将军同意接受全部请求,除了一条以外,那就是,德克萨斯目前还不能成为墨西哥的一个省份,但是今后不排除这种可能性。奥斯汀十分满意,启程返回德克萨斯。

On his way home, to his surprise, Austin was arrested. He was arrested because of a letter he wrote earlier, when his negotiations with Mexican officials seemed to be failing. He had said it might be best if the people declared Texas a separate state. Austin was put in prison in Mexico City for a year and a half.

然而,在返回德克萨斯的途中,奥斯汀却突然被捕。奥斯汀被捕的原因是,在跟墨西哥官员谈判的过程中,奥斯汀曾一度感到希望渺茫,于是写信回家,建议他们宣布德克萨斯为一个独立省份。这封信让奥斯汀引火烧身,被关了一年半。

VOICE TWO:

Austin urged the people of Texas to remain loyal to Mexico. But talk of rebellion already had begun. The settlers already were calling themselves "Texans."

虽然奥斯汀呼吁德克萨斯的定居者忠实于墨西哥,但是在德克萨斯人中间,反抗的火种已经播下,他们开始自称“德克萨斯人”。

Minor hostilities broke out between Texans and local Mexican officials. The Mexican army threatened action. When Austin returned from prison, he was chosen to negotiate with the commander of Mexican forces. The commander refused to negotiate. It appeared that war would come. The Texans began to organize their own army.

德克萨斯人跟当地的墨西哥官员发生了小规模对抗。墨西哥军方威胁要出兵镇压。奥斯汀出狱后,又被推举去跟墨西哥军方指挥官交涉,但是墨西哥军方拒绝谈判。眼看着战火一触即发,德克萨斯的美国定居者们开始积极组建部队。

VOICE ONE:

In November eighteen thirty-five, representatives from all parts of Texas held a convention to discuss the situation. They had no plans to take Texas out of the Mexican Republic. In fact, a proposal to do that was defeated by a large vote.

1835年11月,德克萨斯各地的代表召集会议,讨论局势发展。他们并不计划脱离墨西哥,事实上,一项宣布独立的提案遭到了多票否决。

However, the Texans took action to protect themselves against Santa Ana, who had declared himself dictator. They organized a temporary state government. They organized a state army. And they made plans for another convention to begin on March first.

不过,德克萨斯人还是采取了很多行动,进行自我保护,包括组建临时省政府,组建军队,因为墨西哥领导人圣安纳将军当时已经宣布独裁。除此之外,他们还决定,3月1号再召开一次大会。

Sam Houston
Sam Houston

VOICE TWO:

Before the Texans could meet again, Santa Ana led an army of seven thousand men across the Rio Grande River into Texas. The first soldiers reached San Antonio on February twenty-third. The Texas forces withdrew to an old Spanish mission church called the Alamo.

然而,3月1号的大会还没有召开,圣安纳将军就率领一支七千人的部队跨过里奥格兰德河,进入德克萨斯。圣安纳将军的先头部队2月23号抵达圣安东尼奥。德克萨斯部队只好后撤,在一个名叫阿拉莫的西班牙老传教站安营扎寨。

On March first, the second Texas convention opened. This time, the representatives voted to declare Texas a free, independent and sovereign republic. They wrote a constitution based on the constitution of the United States. They created a government. David Burnet was named president. And Sam Houston was to continue as commander of Texas forces.

3月1号,第二次德克萨斯大会开幕,大会代表投票决定,宣布德克萨斯为自由、独立的主权共和国。他们以美国宪法为蓝本,编纂了宪法,建立了自己的政府。戴维·波内特被推举为总统。萨姆·休斯顿继续担任德克萨斯部队的总指挥官。

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

On the second day of the convention, a letter came from the Alamo in San Antonio. The letter was addressed to the people of Texas and all Americans. The commander of Texas forces at the Alamo wrote:

会议第二天,圣安东尼奥的阿拉莫传来书信,收信人是德克萨斯和美国全体人民。阿拉莫的德克萨斯指挥官在信中说,

''Victory or Death,'' the closing words of commander William Travis' letter from the Alamo
''Victory or Death,'' the closing words of commander William Travis' letter from the Alamo

"I have been under an artillery attack for twenty-four hours and have not lost a man. The enemy has demanded our surrender. Otherwise, he said, he will kill every one of us. I have answered his demand with a cannon shot. Our flag still waves proudly from the walls. I shall never surrender or retreat. "

“我们经历了24小时的炮火攻击,无一伤亡。敌人要我们投降,否则就要杀死我们每个人。我开炮做为回答。我们的旗帜还在高高飘扬,我永远不会投降或是撤退。”

"I call on you -- in the name of liberty, of patriotism, and everything dear to the American character -- to come to our aid with all speed. If my appeal is not answered, I will fight as long as possible, and die like a soldier who never forgets what he owes his own honor and that of his country."

这位指挥官还说,“我以自由、爱国、以及所有美国人热忱执着的信念为名义,请求你们迅速援救。如果请求得不到答复,我会坚持到最后一刻,作为一名铭记自己和国家荣誉的士兵,战死在沙场上。

The letter from the Alamo closed with the words: "Victory or Death."

”信的结尾是,“胜利或是死亡。”

VOICE TWO:

Representatives at the convention wanted to leave immediately to go to the aid of the Texans in San Antonio. But Sam Houston told them it was their duty to remain and create a government for Texas. Houston would go there himself with a small force.

大会代表希望马上动身,赶到圣安东尼奥去解围,但是德克萨斯部队的总指挥官萨姆·休斯顿说,大会代表的责任是为德克萨斯组建政府,他本人会率领小股救兵赶往圣安东尼奥。

The help came too late for the one hundred eighty-eight men at the Alamo. Santa Ana's forces captured the Spanish mission on March sixth. When the battle ended, not a Texan was left alive.

但是,救兵还是来晚了。在圣安纳将军的强烈攻势下,阿拉莫要塞3月6号失陷,战斗结束时,德克萨斯部队全体阵亡。

Sam Houston ordered all Texas forces to withdraw northeast -- away from the Mexican army.

萨姆·休斯顿下令向东北方向撤退,远离墨西哥军队。

An artist's version of the Battle of the Alamo
An artist's version of the Battle of the Alamo

VOICE ONE:

One group of Texans did not move fast enough. Santa Ana trapped them. He said the Texans would not be harmed if they surrendered. They did. One week later, they were marched to a field and shot. Only a few escaped to tell the story.

其中一部分德克萨斯部队行动迟缓,被圣安纳率领的墨西哥部队包围。圣安纳传话说,只要他们投降,就不会受到伤害。德克萨斯部队决定投降,但是一星期后,他们被带到一片空地上开枪射杀,少数几个逃跑的幸存者讲述了事实经过。

Santa Ana then moved against Sam Houston. He was sure his large army could defeat the remaining Texas force.

圣安纳向萨姆·休斯顿发动进攻。他坚信,残余的德克萨斯部队面对自己的大批部队不堪一击。

President Andrew Jackson and Sam Houston were close friends. When told of Houston's retreat, the president pointed to a map of Texas. He said: "If Sam Houston is worth anything, he will make his stand here.

杰克逊总统是萨姆·休斯顿的好友。得知休斯顿后撤的消息后,杰克逊指着德克萨斯的地图说,“如果萨姆·休斯顿有本事,他就一定会坚守在这个地方。

Jackson pointed to the mouth of the San Jacinto River.

”他指的地方是圣哈辛托河口。

(MUSIC)

VOICE TWO:

The battle of San Jacinto began at four o'clock in the afternoon. There were about eight-hundred Texans. There were two times that many Mexicans. The Mexicans did not expect the retreating Texans to turn and fight. But they did.

圣哈辛托一战下午四点打响。当时,德克萨斯部队有八百人,是墨西哥兵力的一半。墨西哥部队没想到后撤的德克萨斯人会发动反击。

Shouting "Remember the Alamo!" the Texans ran at the Mexican soldiers. Eighteen minutes later, the battle was over. Santa Ana's army was destroyed. About half of the Mexicans were killed or wounded. The other half were captured. Only two Texans were killed. Twenty-three, including Sam Houston, were wounded.

德克萨斯士兵高喊“记住阿拉莫”,冲向墨西哥部队。战斗只用了十八分钟就结束了。圣安纳的部队溃不成军,一半伤亡,另外一半被俘。在德克萨斯这边,只有两个德克萨斯人被打死,还有包括萨姆·休斯顿在内的23个人受伤。

VOICE ONE:

The Texans found Santa Ana the next day, wearing the clothes of a simple Mexican soldier. Santa Ana begged for mercy. Houston told him: "You might have shown some at the Alamo."

德克萨斯部队第二天抓住了穿着士兵军装的圣安纳将军,他向休斯顿求饶,休斯顿回答说,“你在阿拉莫的时候本该仁慈一些!”

Many of the Texans wanted to shoot the Mexican general. But Houston said he was worth more alive than dead.

很多德克萨斯士兵主张枪毙了圣安纳,而休斯顿却说,他活着要比死了值钱。

On May fourteenth, eighteen thirty-six, Texas President Burnet and General Santa Ana signed a treaty. The treaty made Texas independent.

1836年5月14号,德克萨斯总统波内特和圣安纳签署协议,宣布德克萨斯独立。

(MUSIC)

VOICE TWO:

Eighteen thirty-six was a presidential election year in the United States. Andrew Jackson had served for eight years. He did not want another term. He supported his vice president, Martin Van Buren.

1836年正赶上美国总统大选年。安德鲁·杰克逊已经当了八年总统,不想再干了。他支持自己的副总统马丁·范布伦出来选总统。

Jackson's opposition to the demands for more states' rights, and his attack on the Bank of the United States, had created problems for his Democratic Party. Texas also was a problem.

杰克逊反对增加各州的权力,以及他对美国银行的政策,都给民主党带来了麻烦,如今又多了一个德克萨斯。

Slavery was legal in the new Republic of Texas. Most northerners in the United States opposed slavery anywhere. Jackson felt that if he recognized Texas, the Democrats would lose votes in the presidential election. So Jackson decided not to act on Texas until after the election.

在新独立的德克萨斯,奴隶制是合法的。美国北方大部分人反对奴隶制。杰克逊觉得,承认德克萨斯会影响到民主党在大选中的支持率,所以决定等大选过后再采取行动。

VOICE ONE:

Opposition to the Democrats came from a coalition political party. Members of the party called themselves Whigs. Three Whigs ran for president in eighteen thirty-six against Martin Van Buren.

民主党的竞选对手是一个反对党联盟,自称辉格党。1836年大选,辉格党三个成员挑战范布伦。

The Whigs did not expect any of their candidates to win. But they hoped to get enough votes to prevent Van Buren from gaining a majority. Then the House of Representatives would have to decide the election. And a Whig might have a better chance. The plan failed. Van Buren won.

他们知道自己胜选的希望微乎其微,唯一的指望是争取选票,不让范布伦得到多数票,最后由众议院定夺,只有这样他们才有一线希望。但是辉格党的计划破产,范布伦顺利当选。

Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson

VOICE TWO:

Andrew Jackson had only a few months left as president. It seemed that much of his time was occupied with one question. That was the request by the Republic of Texas to become a state of the union.

在安德鲁·杰克逊任期的最后几个月的时间里,他想的只有一件事儿,那就是德克萨斯共和国加入美国的问题。

Jackson wanted to make Texas a state. But more important was the union itself. The issue of slavery in Texas was critical. Jackson said:

杰克逊想让德克萨斯成为美国的一个州,关键是德克萨斯的奴隶制。

"To give statehood to Texas now, or to recognize its independence, would increase the bitterness between the north and south. Nothing is worth this price."

杰克逊说,“吸收德克萨斯成为美国的一个州,或是承认德克萨斯的独立,都会加剧美国南方和北方之间的分歧。代价太大了。”

Then Jackson thought of a way in which statehood for Texas could bring the nation together, instead of splitting it apart.

杰克逊思前想后,终于想出了一个好办法,让德克萨斯的加盟促进,而不是分裂国家的团结。

That will be our story next week.

(THEME)

ANNOUNCER:

Our program was written by Frank Beardsley. The narrators were Gwen Outen and Steve Ember. Transcripts, MP3s and podcasts of our programs along with historical images are online 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 #63 of THE MAKING OF A NATION

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