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#65: New President Deals with Old Problems

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

Last week in our series, we talked about the election of Martin Van Buren in eighteen thirty-six as the eighth president of the United States.

1836年,马丁.范布伦当选为美国第八位总统。

Martin Van Buren
Martin Van Buren

Van Buren had been very close to the outgoing president, Andrew Jackson. Van Buren had been successful in forming a strong political alliance that helped put Jackson in the White House in the election of eighteen twenty-eight. Jackson was grateful for Van Buren's help, and asked him to come to Washington to serve as secretary of state.

范布伦跟上届总统安德鲁.杰克逊关系十分密切,他曾经成功地筹组政治联盟,帮助杰克逊在1828年大选中胜出。杰克逊十分感谢范布伦鼎力相助,邀请他加入内阁,担任国务卿一职。

Van Buren had just been elected governor of the state of New York, but decided to accept Jackson's offer.

范布伦虽然刚刚当选纽约州州长,但还是欣然接受了杰克逊的邀请。

This week, Steve Ember and Gwen Outen talk about Martin Van Buren and the start of his presidency.

VOICE ONE:

Van Buren quickly became the most powerful man in Jackson's cabinet. He was able to help Jackson in negotiations with Britain and France. But his greatest help was in building a strong political party for Jackson. It was this party that gave Jackson wide support for his policies.

范布伦很快成为杰克逊内阁里权力最大的人。范布伦协助杰克逊跟英国和法国交涉,但他最大的贡献还是帮助杰克逊建立了一个强大的政党,使杰克逊的政策得到广泛支持

Van Buren built up the national Democratic Party with the same methods he used to build his political organization in New York state. He removed from government jobs people who had not supported Jackson. These jobs were then given to those who had supported the president.

范布伦照搬在纽约建立政治根基的老法子,把政府里不支持杰克逊的人扫地出门,换上杰克逊的支持者,借此建立了紧密团结的民主党。

Van Buren served as secretary of state for two years. He resigned because he saw his resignation as the only way of solving a serious problem Jackson faced.

范布伦担任了两年国务卿,后来为了帮助杰克逊解决政治僵局,自愿辞去了国务卿的职务。

VOICE TWO:

The problem was Vice President John C. Calhoun. Calhoun had presidential hopes. He did not think Jackson would serve more than one term. And he planned to be a candidate in the next election.

问题出在当时的副总统卡尔霍恩身上。卡尔霍恩觉得,杰克逊干上一任也就到头了,所以打算参加下届总统大选。

Three of the five men in Jackson's cabinet supported Calhoun. Jackson could not trust them.

杰克逊的五位内阁要员里,有三个人支持卡尔霍恩,但是杰克逊不信任这些人。

And he wanted to get them out of the cabinet ... but without a political fight.

杰克逊希望把他们赶出内阁,但又不希望由此引起政治斗争。

Then, later, he named Van Buren minister to Britain. But Calhoun's supporters in the Senate defeated Van Buren's nomination.

范布伦的辞职帮他解决了难题。杰克逊后来任命范布伦出任驻英大使,但是因为参议院卡尔霍恩支持者的阻扰,提名没有通过。

By this time, Jackson had decided that Van Buren would be the best man to follow him as president. He offered to resign after the eighteen thirty-two elections and give Van Buren the job of president.

这个时候,杰克逊已经认定,范布伦是自己最好的接班人。他私下里向范布伦提出,如果自己在1832年大选中当选连任,干一段时间就会提出辞职,把总统的位置让给范布伦。

Van Buren rejected the offer. He said he wanted to be elected by the people. But he did agree to be Jackson's vice president in eighteen thirty-two.

范布伦没有接受杰克逊的提议。他表示,要当总统,就一定要当一个经过人民选举产生的总统,不过他同意作为副总统候选人参加选举。

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson

Four years later, at Jackson's request, the Democrats chose Van Buren to be their presidential candidate. He was opposed by several candidates of the newly formed Whig Party. The opposition was divided. And Van Buren won the election with little difficulty.

四年过后,根据杰克逊的提议,民主党推举范布伦为总统候选人。范布伦轻松击败了当时势力十分分散的辉格党的几位候选人,当选总统。

Andrew Jackson stood beside Martin Van Buren as the new president was sworn-in. Physically, the two men were very different.

范布伦宣誓就职时,杰克逊就站在他的身边。从外表上看,范布伦和杰克逊截然不同。

Jackson was tall, with long white hair that flowed back over his head. Jackson's health had been poor during the last few months he spent in the White House. He seemed tired. There was almost no color in his face.

杰克逊身材很高,长长的银发向后梳着。任期最后几个月,杰克逊的健康状况一直不好,所以看上去疲惫不堪,面无血色。

Van Buren was much shorter and had much less hair. His eyes were brighter than those of the old man next to him.

范布伦比杰克逊矮很多,头发也不多,但是目光却炯炯有神。

VOICE TWO:

In his inaugural speech, Van Buren noted that he was the first American born after the revolution to become president. He said he felt he belonged to a later age. He called for more unity among Democrats of the North and South. He said better times were ahead for the country.

范布伦在就职讲话中说,自己是第一个独立战争后出生的总统。他说,他觉得自己属于年轻的一代。他呼吁美国南部和北部的民主党人团结一致,并预言,美国的前景会更加光明。

Van Buren had a strange way with words. He could talk with excitement about something, but say very little about his own feelings on the subject.

范布伦很会讲话,他可以兴致勃勃地谈论一件事情,但是并不表露自己的观点。

Once, he spoke in New York about the tax on imports. Two men who heard the speech discussed it later. "It was a very able speech," said one man, a wool buyer. "Yes, very able," answered his friend. There was silence for a moment. Then the first man spoke again. "Was Mister Van Buren for or against the import tax?"

有一次,他在纽约就进口税发表讲话。讲话结束后,一个羊毛收购商跟自己的朋友说,“讲得真不错。”他的朋友回答说,“是不错。”两人沉默片刻后,那个羊毛收购商问他的朋友,“你说,范布伦到底是支持进口税,还是反对进口税啊?”

VOICE ONE:

Martin Van Buren's wife, Hannah
Martin Van Buren's wife, Hannah

The new president was a warm and friendly man. He tried to keep his political life and his social life separate. It was not unusual to see him exchange handshakes, smiles and jokes with men who were his political enemies.

范布伦十分热情、友善,努力把政治生活和社交生活分开。人们经常能看到范布伦满脸笑容地跟自己的政敌握手、谈笑。

Van Buren had a poor education as a boy. He went to school only for a few years. His father was a farmer and hotel keeper at a little town in New York state. Van Buren had a quick mind and was a good judge of men. But he always felt he could have done more had he received a college education.

范布伦小时候没受过多少教育,只上过几年学。他父亲在纽约州一个小城镇里务农,后来又经营过旅馆。范布伦才思敏捷,眼光敏锐,他始终觉得,如果上过大学,自己会有更大的成就。

(MUSIC)

VOICE TWO:

Van Buren had been president for just a few days when an economic crisis and a political storm struck the country. The storm had been building for many months. It really began with the death of the Bank of the United States more than a year before.

范布伦上台没两天,美国就陷入了一场经济危机和政治风暴。实际上,这场风暴酝酿已久,从一年多前美国银行的终结就已经开始了。

Andrew Jackson had opposed the powerful bank in which the government's money was kept. He vetoed a bill that would have continued it.

美国前总统杰克逊觉得美国银行权力太大,因此否决了一项延长美国银行特许经营权的议案。

The bank was so strong that it was able to control the economy throughout most of the country. It did so through its loans to businessmen. By making many loans, the bank could increase economic activity. By reducing the number of loans, the economy could be tightened.

当时,美国银行通过发放贷款,掌握了国家的经济命脉,多发贷款,就能刺激经济活动的增加,减少贷款,就能促成经济的萎缩。

VOICE ONE:

The Bank of the United States also helped to control the smaller state banks. It refused to accept the notes, or paper money, of these banks, unless the state banks were ready to exchange the paper for gold or silver money.

美国银行还控制着规模相对较小的州银行。美国银行拒绝接受这些银行的票据或是纸币,除非这些银行有足够的金币或银币进行兑换。

After the end of the Bank of the United States, there was little control of any kind over the state banks. Many new state banks opened. All of them produced large amounts of paper money -- many times the amount they could exchange for gold or silver. Much of this paper money was used by business speculators to buy land from the government.

美国银行解体后,州银行没人管了,不少新银行相继开张,大批发行纸币,其价值远远超过了他们持有的金币和银币的价值。这些钱很多都被投机商用来炒作土地。

These men bought the land, held it for a while, then sold it for more than they paid. The government soon found itself with millions of dollars of paper money.

他们从政府手中买下土地,过一段时间,再转手卖掉,谋取暴利。没过多久,政府手中就积累了价值数百万美元的纸币。

VOICE TWO:

To stop this, President Jackson ordered gold or silver payments only for government land. This made it necessary for speculators to exchange their paper notes for gold. Many banks could not do this. They did not have enough gold.

为了制止这种情况,杰克逊总统下令,购买政府土地,一定要用金币或银币进行交易。土地投机商因此不得不拿纸币向银行兑换金币,但是很多银行没有足够的金币进行货币兑换。

There was another problem. Congress passed a law on what was to be done with federal money not needed by the national government. This extra money, or surplus, was to be given to the states.

与此同时,国会通过了一项立法,规定将联邦政府的财政结余分配给各州。

Since the closing of the Bank of the United States, the government had kept its money in a number of state banks. Now these banks had to surrender the government surplus to the state governments. This left even less gold and silver to exchange for the huge amounts of paper money the banks had issued.

美国银行解体后,联邦政府一直将联邦资金放在几家州银行里。如今,这些银行要把政府结余交出来,分给州政府。这样一来,银行用来兑换纸币的金币就更少了。

VOICE ONE:

There was still another demand for what gold the banks had.

Eighteen thirty-five and eighteen thirty-seven were bad years for American agriculture. Many crops failed. Instead of the United States exporting farm products to Europe, the opposite happened. American traders had to import these things from Europe. And they had to pay for them in gold or silver.

除此之外,1835年和1837年都不是好年景,农作物收成很差。美国不仅不能向欧洲出口农作物,反而要从欧洲进口,而且要用金币和银币进行交易。

As more and more paper money was put into use, the value of the money fell. Prices rose higher and higher. Poor people found it almost impossible to buy food and other necessities.

随着纸币流量的增加,货币价值下跌,物价飞涨,穷人几乎买不起食物和其他日常生活用品。

In eighteen thirty-five, a barrel of flour cost six dollars. Two years later, the price had jumped to more than twelve dollars. The same was true with meat and other foods. Even coal, the fuel people used to heat their homes, cost twice as much.

1835年的时候,一桶面粉售价6美元,两年后涨到12美元以上。肉类和其他食物的价格也是一样,就连取暖用的煤炭价格也翻了一番。

VOICE TWO:

Poor people protested. But businessmen were satisfied. They wished to continue the flood of paper money. Violence finally broke out at a protest meeting in New York City.

穷苦人民因此走上街头抗议示威。纽约市的一次抗议活动中最终发生了暴力。

A crowd of angry people heard speakers criticize the use of paper money. Some in the crowd began demanding action against the rich traders. A crowd of about one-thousand marched to a nearby store, broke into it, and destroyed large amounts of flour and grain.

当时,一群愤怒的群众听了批评纸币的演讲后,群情激昂,有人提议对富有的商人采取行动。大约一千人随后闯进附近的一家商店,糟蹋了大量的面粉和谷物。

In the spring of eighteen thirty-seven, the demand on banks for gold and silver grew too heavy. The banks stopped honoring their promises to exchange their paper money for gold. They said this was just temporary. That it was necessary to stop -- for a while -- all payments in gold or silver. The crisis got worse.

1837年春天,面对巨大的兑换压力,银行再也坚持不住了,宣布停止将纸币兑换成金币或银币,并表示,这只是暂时的,是迫不得已而为之。经济危机继续恶化。

That will be our story in the next program of THE MAKING OF A NATION.

(MUSIC)

ANNOUNCER:

Our program was written by Frank Beardsley. The narrators were Steve Ember and Gwen Outen. 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.

(MUSIC)

_____________

This is program #65 of THE MAKING OF A NATION

网友的学习评论(2条):
作者:Alumni
this is a good class of economic lesson. what is economic crisis? it is just the flood of paper mony whose value is lowered under its pratical needs of buying things. and at this circumstances, the issue of paper currency is badly over the reserves of gold and siver in national bank.
作者:郑烈波
mony isnot must gold
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