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#71: Texas Statehood Is Chief Issue in 1844 Campaign

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

In eighteen forty-three, Texas was a major issue in American politics. President John Tyler wanted to make Texas a state in the Union. But his secretary of state, Daniel Webster, was cool toward the idea. Webster was a northerner who opposed having another slave-holding state in the Union.

1843年,德克萨斯地区的前途是美国政治面临的一个主要问题。美国当时的总统约翰.泰勒希望吸收德克萨斯加入联邦,但是国务卿丹尼尔.韦伯斯特对此十分冷淡,因为韦伯斯特是北方人,反对让美国联邦增加更多的奴隶州。

Tyler did not push the issue. He needed Webster's political support. Then, Webster resigned. The president replaced him with a southerner, Abel Upshur. Four months later, Upshur began negotiations to bring Texas into the Union. But a few weeks before those talks were completed, Upshur died in an accident.

泰勒在政治上需要韦伯斯特的支持,所以并没有积极推动德克萨斯加入联邦一事。韦伯斯特辞职后,泰勒选择南方人阿贝尔.厄普舍接替国务卿一职。走马上任四个月后,厄普舍立即开始围绕德克萨斯加入联邦一事举行谈判,可就是谈判结束几周前,厄普舍在一次意外中丧生。

John Tyler
John Tyler

President Tyler was a member of the Whig Party. But he made a Democrat -- John C. Calhoun -- his new secretary of state. Calhoun wanted Texas in the Union. But Tyler also had another reason for wanting his help. Tyler, though a Whig, hoped to get nominated in eighteen forty-four as the presidential candidate of the Democrats.

泰勒本人虽然是辉格党人,但是他却提名民主党人约翰.卡尔霍恩接替国务卿的职务。一方面,卡尔霍恩支持德克萨斯加入联邦,另一方面,泰勒选择卡尔霍恩还有另外一个原因,那就是,虽然泰勒是辉格党人,但是他希望在1844年的总统大选中,能够成为民主党的总统候选人。

This week in our series, Maurice Joyce and Stewart Spencer talk about the election of eighteen forty-four.

VOICE ONE:

Calhoun completed the talks that Upshur had begun. And the treaty with Texas was signed April twelfth, eighteen forty-four. A few days later, a letter from Calhoun to the British minister in Washington was made public. The letter was Calhoun's answer to a British note saying that Britain wished to end slavery wherever it existed.

卡尔霍恩完成了前国务卿厄普舍进行到一半的谈判,1844年4月12号跟德克萨斯签署协议。几天后,卡尔霍恩写给英国驻华盛顿使节的一封回信被公诸于众。卡尔霍恩在信中对英国提出的结束奴隶制度的愿望做出了答复。

Calhoun defended slavery in the American south. He said that what was called slavery was really a political institution necessary for the peace, safety, and economic strength of those states where it existed. Calhoun said that statehood for Texas was necessary to the peace and security of the United States. He said that ending slavery in Texas would be a danger to the American south and to the Union itself.

卡尔霍恩在信中为美国南方的奴隶制度做出了辩护。他说,所谓的奴隶制度,其实是确保奴隶州的和平、安全和经济实力的必不可少的一种政治机制。卡尔霍恩说,吸收德克萨斯加入联邦是保证美国和平与安全的必需,结束德克萨斯的奴隶制度会对美国南方和整个联邦构成威胁。

VOICE TWO:

John Calhoun
John Calhoun

Calhoun made it seem that the United States wanted Texas -- not because of some great national interest -- but only to protect slavery in the south. The letter created great opposition to Texas statehood in the north. People called on their senators to vote against the acceptance of Texas.

卡尔霍恩这样写,给人的感觉是,美国吸收德克萨斯并不是出于重大的国家利益,而是为了保护南方的奴隶制度。这份信引起了美国北方对德克萨斯加入联邦的强烈反对。选民们纷纷要求代表自己的参议员投票反对这一协议。

President Tyler sent the treaty with Texas to the Senate on April twenty-second, eighteen forty-four.

泰勒总统1844年4月22号将德克萨斯加入联邦的议案送交参议院。

This was just nine days before the Whig party opened its national convention in Baltimore. Everybody was sure that the Whigs would choose Senator Henry Clay as their presidential candidate. Clay had been working hard for the nomination for more than two years. The Democrats were to hold their convention a month later. Former President Martin Van Buren was the choice of most Democrats.

短短九天后,辉格党全国代表大会就在马里兰州的巴尔的摩召开了。所有人都相信,亨利.克莱参议员会成为辉格党的总统候选人,因为克莱两年多来一直在努力争取提名。与此同时,民主党全国代表大会定于一个月后召开,前总统范布伦是大多数民主党人的选择。

VOICE ONE:

Both Clay and Van Buren opposed statehood for Texas. Clay said it would lead to war with Mexico. Van Buren agreed. As expected, Clay was chosen as the Whig Party's candidate for president. But Van Buren was given a surprise.

克莱和范布伦都反对德克萨斯加入美国联邦。克莱认为,这样做会引起美国跟墨西哥之间的战争。范布伦同意这种看法。不出所料,克莱当选辉格党总统候选人。可是范布伦却遇到了麻烦。

The Democrats adopted a rule that their candidate must receive at least two-thirds of the votes -- one hundred and seventy-seven of the two-hundred and sixty-six delegates to the convention. Van Buren won a majority of the votes -- one hundred and forty-six. But that was not enough.

这是因为民主党人实行了一项新规定,要求候选人必需得到全国代表大会三分之二以上的选票,也就是说,在与会代表266人中,最少要得到177人的支持,才能成为总统候选人。范布伦得到了146张选票,虽然超过半数,但是不足以赢得提名。

The convention voted again. But Van Buren still fell short of the necessary two-thirds. The delegates voted again and again without giving Van Buren the number he needed. After a time, Van Buren began to lose votes.

大会重新投票,但是范布伦还是没有得到三分之二的支持。与会代表一次接一次的投票表决,但范布伦始终没有得到足够的票数。数次投票后,范布伦得到的支持开始动摇。

None of the names nominated seemed able to win the necessary two-thirds. At last, another name was proposed: James K. Polk. Polk was at one time governor of Tennessee and Speaker of the House of Representatives. He was a supporter of statehood for Texas.

其他候选人似乎也无法得到提名必需的三分之二选票。最后,出现了一个新的人选:詹姆斯.波尔克。波尔克曾担任田纳西州州长和国会众议院议长,支持德克萨斯加入联邦。

VOICE TWO:

James Polk
James Polk

The convention delegates voted for the eighth time. Polk got only forty-four votes. Then they voted again. This time, Polk received all two-hundred sixty-six votes. Senator Silas Wright of New York was chosen as candidate for the vice-presidency. But he refused to accept, because he did not support making Texas a state. The Democrats then chose Senator George Dallas of Pennsylvania.

大会代表第八次投票,波尔克只得到了44票。第九次投票,波尔克全票通过。民主党人推举纽约州参议员赛勒斯.赖特为副总统候选人。但是赖特拒绝接受提名,因为他不支持德克萨斯加入联邦。民主党人只好选择宾夕法尼亚州的参议员乔治.达拉斯。

Two other parties offered candidates in the eighteen forty-four elections. President Tyler formed a party of his supporters and government workers. They met and nominated him for president. A fourth group, the Liberty Party, was organized by northeastern Abolitionists after the Democratic and Whig parties refused to oppose slavery. Representatives from six states met at Albany, New York. They chose James Birney for president.

参加1844年总统大选的,还有另外两个政党。一个是由现总统泰勒组建的,包括泰勒的支持者和一些政府工作人员,提名泰勒为候选人;另外一个是自由党,是在民主党人和辉格党人拒绝反对奴隶制度后由美国东北部一些主张废除奴隶制度的人组建的。自由党来自六个州的代表在纽约奥尔巴尼开会,推举詹姆斯.伯尼为总统候选人。

VOICE ONE:

Texas was the chief issue of the eighteen forty-four campaign. President Tyler had sent the treaty with Texas to the Senate for approval. The Senate received it just one week after the democratic convention. Those senators who had supported Martin Van Buren were still bitter over the party's failure to nominate him as its candidate. They joined with the Whigs to defeat the treaty: thirty-five to sixteen.

德克萨斯地区加入美国联邦的问题是1844年总统大选中的一个主要议题。泰勒总统领导的政府跟德克萨斯地区签署协议后,提交参议院批准。参议院开始讨论的时候,民主党全国代表大会刚刚结束一个星期。很多参议员因为范布伦没有获得党内提名而耿耿于怀。他们跟参议院的辉格党人一道,以35比16票,否决了协议。

Tyler still hoped to get statehood for Texas. James K. Polk, the Democratic candidate, also campaigned on promises to get Texas for the United States. The Whig candidate, Henry Clay, at first opposed statehood for Texas. But this position began to cost him support in the South. Then he said statehood might be possible if most of the people wanted it. This satisfied the slave owners of the South who wanted Texas in the Union as a slave state.

泰勒不愿放弃,民主党的总统候选人波尔克也承诺要让德克萨斯成为美国的一个州。辉格党总统候选人克莱起初反对德克萨斯加入联邦,这一立场让他失去了很多南方的支持。克莱只好改口说,如果大多数人同意,也不是不可能。这种说法安抚了希望让德克萨斯作为奴隶州加入联邦的南方奴隶主。

Clay angered many people in the North because he softened his opposition to Texas. Some of these began supporting the Liberty Party candidate, James Birney. The Democrats were able to get President Tyler to withdraw as a candidate. They told him that he would take votes from the Democrats and might make Clay president.

然而,克莱立场的变化激怒了很多北方人。其中一些人开始转而支持自由党候选人詹姆斯.伯尼。民主党人劝泰勒说,他的参选会分裂民主党人的选票,最终让克莱当选。泰勒决定退出。

Wild campaign charges were made against both Polk and Clay. Clay was called a gambler, a duelist, a man of dishonest deals. Stories were told about Clay's use of strong language and his love of card games. Whig newspapers reported that a traveler saw a group of slaves being sold in Tennessee. Burned into the skin of each of the slaves, the papers said, were the letters JKP -- the initials of James K. Polk.

竞选期间,针对两位候选人的各种指责满天飞。反对者说克莱是赌徒,喜欢决斗,私下里肮脏交易,言语粗俗,酷爱玩纸牌。与此同时,辉格党的报纸报导说,一个旅行家在田纳西州看到一群待售的奴隶,他们身上打着JKP的标志,是詹姆斯.K.波尔克名字的缩写。

The election was very close. Two million seven hundred thousand people voted. Polk received only thirty-eight-thousand votes more than Clay. But Polk got one-hundred-seventy electoral votes. Clay got only one-hundred-five.

这次大选非常激烈,共有270万人参加投票。计票结果显示,波尔克比克莱只多得了三万八千张选票,如果按照选举人票计算的话,波尔克得票170张,克莱只得到了105张。

A political cartoon showing James Polk, on the far right, welcoming the arrival of Texas, shown as a boat
A political cartoon showing James Polk, on the far right, welcoming the arrival of Texas, shown as a boat

VOICE TWO:

The election was really decided in New York state. Clay lost the state's thirty-six electoral votes. But he did so by just fifty-one hundred votes. He might have won the state had not James Birney received more than fifteen thousand votes in New York.

这次大选的主战场是纽约州。克莱因为五千一百张选票之差,失去了纽约州的36张选举人票。如果不是詹姆斯.伯尼得到一万五千多张选票的话,纽约州的选举人票本来应该是克莱的。

President Tyler believed Polk's victory showed that the American people wanted statehood for Texas. But he knew that he could never get the Senate's approval of a Texas statehood treaty. It would take two-thirds of the Senate vote to do so.

泰勒总统认为,波尔克当选说明美国人民希望让德克萨斯加入联邦。但是他知道,肯定无法让德克萨斯加入联邦的协议在参议院获得三分之二多数的支持并得到通过。

So Tyler proposed other action to make Texas a state. When Congress met in December, he proposed that Texas be given statehood through a joint resolution by both the House and Senate. Such a resolution needed only a simple majority for approval.

因此,泰勒决定另觅溪径。国会12月份开会时,他提出,由国会参众两院通过联合决议,让德克萨斯成为美国的一个州。这一决议只需要半数以上的支持就能获得通过。

A resolution calling for the annexation of Texas was passed by the house in January, eighteen forty-five, and by the Senate on February twenty-seventh. Tyler signed the bill on March first -- just three days before he stepped down as president.

国会众议院1845年1月通过了吸收德克萨斯的决议案,参议院也于2月27号通过。泰勒总统3月1号在议案上签字生效。泰勒三天后卸任总统。

VOICE ONE:

The resolution invited Texas to join the Union as a state. It gave Texas the right to split itself into as many as four more states when its population was large enough. Texas could keep its public lands. But it had to pay its own debts. And Texas could enter the Union as a slave state.

这项决议邀请德克萨斯加入美国联邦,成为美国的一个州,决议还规定,如果德克萨斯今后人口膨胀的话,可以最多分裂为四个州。决议还说,德克萨斯可以继续保留自己的公共土地,但是必需自己偿还债务,德克萨斯可以作为奴隶州加入联邦。

The Mexican minister to Washington protested the resolution. He called it an act of aggression against his country. He demanded his passport and returned to Mexico. Britain and France tried to prevent Texas from becoming a state. They got Mexico to agree to recognize Texas independence, but only if Texas would not join the United States.

墨西哥驻华盛顿使节对这项决议提出抗议。他称之为对墨西哥的侵略行径,并起身返回墨西哥。英国和法国努力防止德克萨斯加入美国,它们说服墨西哥,承认德克萨斯独立,条件是德克萨斯不得加入美国。

VOICE TWO:

Texas thus had two choices. It could become a state in the United States. Or it could continue as a republic with its independence recognized by Mexico. The Texas Congress chose statehood. President Polk looked even farther to the west for more new territory.

德克萨斯因此面临两种选择:第一,可以成为美国的一个州,第二,可以成为得到墨西哥承认的独立共和国。德克萨斯国会最后选择加入美国。与此同时,新总统波尔克继续向西,寻找扩张领土的机会。

(MUSIC)

ANNOUNCER:

Our program was written by Frank Beardsley. The narrators were Maurice Joyce and Stewart Spencer. Transcripts, MP3s and podcasts of our programs, along with historical images, can be found 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 #71 of THE MAKING OF A NATION

网友的学习评论(1条):
作者:Alumni
here we know that John Polk was elected for eleventh President and Texas would be a state of the United States. speaking of the slavery, i don't know still why the notherners were against it. we know that slavery benefited the South extremely, so they were for it. but what for the north? why they were against it deadly? slavery might be no harm to them. might it be of jealous?it couldn't. maybe there was something in it that i dont know yet.
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