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#72: In 1845, Republic of Texas Faces a Choice

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

An 1836 map of Texas
An 1836 map of Texas

In eighteen thirty-six, Texas declared its independence from Mexico. Nine years later, in eighteen forty-five, the United States Congress passed a resolution inviting the Republic of Texas to join the Union as a state.

德克萨斯地区1836年脱离墨西哥,宣布独立。九年后,也就是1845年,美国国会通过决议,邀请德克萨斯共和国作为一个州,加入美国联邦。

President John Tyler signed the resolution on March first. That was just three days before his term ended and James Polk moved into the White House as the nation's eleventh president.

泰勒总统3月1号在决议上签字。三天过后,泰勒任期届满,新总统詹姆斯.波尔克入主白宫,成为美国第11任总统。

Britain and France tried to prevent Texas from becoming a state. They got Mexico to agree to recognize the independence of Texas, but only if Texas agreed not to join the United States.

英国和法国设法阻止德克萨斯加入美国联邦。它们劝说墨西哥,同意承认德克萨斯的独立,前提条件是,德克萨斯不能加入美国。

Texas had two choices. It could become a state. Or it could remain a republic, with its independence recognized by Mexico. The Texas Congress chose statehood.

德克萨斯面临两种选择: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了美国。

This week in our series, Lew Roland and Jack Weitzel talk about statehood for Texas and about the presidency of James Polk.

VOICE ONE:

James Polk
James Polk

James Polk had campaigned for the presidency on two promises. He declared that he would make all of Texas and all of Oregon part of the United States. The people had elected Polk because they shared his belief that the United States should extend from sea to sea -- from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans. They felt it was God's will, and their duty, to spread American democracy and freedom across the continent.

詹姆斯.波尔克在竞选期间,做出了两项承诺。他宣布,要让德克萨斯和俄勒冈成为美国的一部分。选民投票支持他,是因为他们赞成波尔克的理念,认为美国的疆域应该从大西洋直通太平洋,横跨北美大陆。

In the words of poet Walt Whitman: "It is for the interest of mankind that [America's] power and territory should be extended -- the farther, the better."

他们觉得,将美国的民主和自由传遍北美大陆,是上帝的意愿,也是他们的责任。正像著名诗人沃尔特.惠特曼所说的:美国势力和疆域的扩展符合人类利益,越大就越好。

VOICE TWO:

Traders from New England were the first Americans to visit Oregon. They stopped on the Oregon coast to trade for animal skins.

最早前往俄勒冈的是新英格兰商人。他们在俄勒冈沿海地带交换动物皮毛。

Later, American explorers Lewis and Clark crossed the Louisiana territory to reach Oregon. And in eighteen hundred eleven, John Jacob Astor built a fur trading center at the mouth of Oregon's Columbia River.

后来,美国探险家路易斯和克拉克横穿路易斯安那,抵达俄勒冈。1811年,约翰.雅各布.阿斯特在俄勒冈的哥伦比亚河口修建了一个皮毛交易所。

British explorers had given Britain claims to the same territory. The British Hudson's Bay Company also built a trading center on the Columbia and claimed a large area north of it. The two countries could not agree on how to divide Oregon between them. Since there were few settlers in Oregon, Britain and the United States agreed to occupy the territory jointly.

英国探险家也到过俄勒冈,声称这片土地归英国所有。英国的哈得逊湾公司也在哥伦比亚河口修建了交易所,并声称占有河口以北的大片地区。由于俄勒冈地区定居者稀少,所以英国和美国同意,两国可以共同占有俄勒冈。

This system worked well until the eighteen forties. Then, thousands of Americans began moving west to Oregon. The new settlers were not satisfied with the joint occupation agreement. They wanted all of Oregon to belong to the United States.

根据这种共识,英美两国一直相安无事。然而,十九世纪40年代,大批美国人开始向西部迁移,这些定居者对英美两国共同占有俄勒冈地区的协议感到不满,希望俄勒冈全归美国所有。

VOICE ONE:

President Polk said he thought the United States had strong claims to all of the territory. But he said he would compromise. He offered to divide Oregon at the forty-ninth parallel of latitude. All north of this line would belong to Britain. All south of it -- including the Columbia River -- would belong to the United States.

波尔克总统说,他觉得,美国有充分理由,可以对整个俄勒冈地区声称主权,但他同时表示,愿意做出妥协。他提议,以北纬49度为界,将俄勒冈地区一分为二,以北划归英国,包括哥伦比亚河在内的南部地区则归美国所有。

The offer was given to Britain's minister in Washington. He rejected it, refusing even to send it to London. He said Britain would accept nothing but the Columbia River as the southern border of British Oregon.

这一提议遭到了英国驻华盛顿大使的拒绝,甚至没有报呈伦敦。这位大使明确表示,除非把哥伦比亚河作为南部边界,划归英国所有,否则英国是绝对不会接受提议的。

President Polk withdrew the offer. He said America had no choice but to claim all of Oregon. He used strong language and seemed to say that the United States would fight, if necessary, to defend its claim.

波尔克总统立即撤回提议,并表示,美国除了声称对俄勒冈全部地区享有主权外别无选择。波尔克措辞强烈,似乎是在暗示,如果必要的话,美国不惜动用武力,也要保护自己的领地。

VOICE TWO:

Polk really did not want war. But he thought a strong position was necessary in negotiating with Britain. He said softer treatment only led to stronger demands from Britain. Polk asked Congress to give him permission to end the joint occupation agreement. It did so in the spring of eighteen hundred forty-six.

实际上,波尔克并不希望打仗。但是他觉得,跟英国交涉,只能采取强硬立场。他表示,美国立场温和,只会导致英国提出更强硬的要求。波尔克请求国会批准,最终于1846年春天宣布,结束跟英国共同占有俄勒冈的协议。

In London, the British government decided that Oregon was not worth a war with the United States. It had demanded the Columbia River border because of the Hudson's Bay trading center on the river. The center had been moved farther north to Vancouver Island. So there was no real reason to continue this demand.

与此同时,英国政府觉得,因为俄勒冈跟美国开战不值得。英国当初之所以坚持要求把哥伦比亚河划给英国,作为跟美国的边界,是因为英国哈得逊湾公司的交易所设在那里。但是后来,那个交易所搬到了更靠北面的温哥华岛,这样一来,也就没有理由坚持原来的要求了。

The British foreign minister proposed a treaty that would make the forty-ninth parallel of latitude the border between the United States and British Oregon. The proposal was almost the same that President Polk had made earlier.

英国外交大臣提出一项提案,以北纬49度为界,把俄勒冈一分为二,分属英美两国,跟波尔克事前提出的议案几乎完全相同。

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

Leaders in the western United States demanded that Polk reject the British offer. They wanted all of Oregon. Polk decided to let the Senate vote on the British proposal. The Senate accepted the treaty, and Polk signed it.

美国西部领袖要求波尔克拒绝英国的提案。他们希望占有俄勒冈的全部地区。波尔克让参议院投票表决,结果参议院接受了英国的提案,经波尔克签字生效。

The treaty made the forty-ninth parallel the border from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. The southern border of the Oregon territory was the forty-second parallel. South of this was California.

The United States, for some time, had wanted to buy California from Mexico. Former President Tyler had asked his minister to Mexico to try to buy California. The minister, Waddy Thompson, had been to California. He described it as the richest, the most beautiful, the healthiest country in the world. Thompson said the port of San Francisco was big enough to hold all the navies of the world. He said San Francisco, some day, would control the trade of all of the Pacific Ocean.

美国早就希望向墨西哥收购加利福尼亚。美国前总统泰勒曾要求美国驻墨西哥大使沃迪.汤普森设法收购加利福尼亚。汤普森到过加利福尼亚,他描述说,加利福尼亚是世界上最富有、最美丽、最健康的土地。汤普森说,旧金山港足以容纳世界上的所有海军,有朝一日,旧金山将控制太平洋的全部贸易。

VOICE TWO:

There was little chance that Thompson could get California from Mexico. But then something happened that destroyed any chance of getting California peacefully. The commander of a United States navy force in the Pacific, Thomas Jones, received news that led him to believe the United States was at war with Mexico.

汤普森想从墨西哥手中收购加利福尼亚本来就没有什么希望。一起意外事件的发生更是让和平取得加利福尼亚的一线希望消失殆尽。当时美国驻太平洋的海军指挥官是托马斯.琼斯。他得到消息,以为美国跟墨西哥开战了。

He sailed to Monterey, the capital of California. The navy force arrived there in October, eighteen hundred forty-two. Jones and his men seized Monterey and held it for two days. He found he had made a mistake and returned the town to Mexican officials. Jones apologized. But his actions greatly angered Mexican leaders. They refused even to talk about selling California to the United States.

琼斯立即率领美国海军舰艇驶往加利福尼亚首府蒙特里,1842年10月抵达后占领了蒙特里。两天后,琼斯发现自己错了。他立即将蒙特里归还给墨西哥,并表示道歉,但是他的行动激怒了墨西哥领导人,他们对美国收购加利福尼亚进行谈判的要求一口回绝。

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

Mexico broke relations with the United States when Congress approved statehood for Texas. Mexican officials had warned that Texas statehood would lead to war. After Polk became president, he sent a representative to Mexico to try to establish diplomatic relations again. A weak government was in power in Mexico, headed by President Jose Joaquin Herrera.

美国国会通过决议吸收德克萨斯加入美国联邦后,墨西哥断绝了与美国的关系。墨西哥官员早就警告说,德克萨斯加入美国会导致战争。波尔克宣誓就职总统后,派特使前往墨西哥,努力修补两国间的外交关系。当时,墨西哥总统是何塞.华金.埃雷拉,他领导的政府不堪一击。

Herrera at first agreed to meet with the American, John Slidell, to discuss four offers from President Polk. Earlier, Mexico had agreed to pay more than two million dollars for damages claimed by Americans. But it did not have the money.

埃雷拉起初同意跟美国特使约翰.斯莱德尔讨论波尔克总统提出的四项提案。在此之前,墨西哥曾经答应向美国人做出200多万美元的赔偿,但是没有钱。

Slidell was to offer to pay these claims if Mexico would accept the Rio Grande River as the border between Texas and Mexico. And America would pay Mexico five million dollars for New Mexico and twenty-five million more for California. If these offers were rejected, Slidell was to try to buy part of California for five million dollars.

斯莱德尔提议,只要墨西哥同意将格兰德河做为德克萨斯跟墨西哥之间的边界,美国政府就愿意承认这200多万美元的赔偿费用。此外,美国还提议,出价500万美元,收购新墨西哥,出价2500万美元,收购加利福尼亚。如果这些提案全部遭到拒绝的话,斯莱德尔就要试着用500万美元,收购部分加利福尼亚。

VOICE TWO:

Slidell arrived in Mexico City in December, eighteen hundred forty-five. The Mexican government had grown even weaker. And Herrera was afraid he would be forced from power if he met with the American diplomat.

斯莱德尔1845年12月抵达墨西哥城。当时,埃雷拉政府日渐脆弱。埃雷拉担心,如果会见美国使节,就会被赶下台,所以拒绝接见斯莱德尔。

The Herrera government fell anyway. And the new Mexican government refused to talk with the American representative. Slidell returned to the United States, firm in the belief that only force could win the Mexican territories the United States wanted.

然而,拒绝接见斯莱德尔也没能挽救他的政治命运,埃雷拉政府最终还是垮台了。新上台的墨西哥政府拒绝跟美国使节见面。斯莱德尔无可奈何,只好启程回国。他坚信,美国要想得到这些墨西哥领土,只能使用武力。

President Polk shared Slidell's belief. He learned in January, eighteen hundred forty-six, that Mexico had refused to negotiate with his representative. Polk had wanted a peaceful settlement of the differences with Mexico. This now seemed impossible. Perhaps, he thought, a more forceful policy would make Mexico negotiate.

波尔克总统同意斯莱德尔的看法。他1846年1月得知,墨西哥政府拒绝跟美国特使谈判。波尔克原本希望和平解决跟墨西哥的分歧,结果看来希望渺茫。波尔克因此觉得,可能只有采取更加强硬的政策,才能迫使墨西哥参加谈判。

VOICE ONE:

President Polk had sent several thousand American soldiers to Texas six months before, when Texas accepted statehood. This force, led by General Zachary Taylor, had camped near the town of Corpus Christi at the mouth of the Nueces River. Polk now ordered Taylor's soldiers to the Rio Grande River. He told them to stay on the north side of the river.

半年前,德克萨斯同意加入美国时,波尔克总统曾调遣数千名美国士兵,由扎卡里.泰勒将军率领,在纽埃西斯河口处的科珀斯克里斯蒂镇安营扎寨。波尔克总统下令泰勒率兵赶往格兰德河,镇守北岸。

Should Mexico attack, Taylor and his men were to strike back as hard as possible. General Taylor was glad to get his orders. For months, his men had been training at Corpus Christi. They were ready for action.

如果墨西哥发动攻击,就狠狠地予以还击。泰勒将军十分兴奋,他的部下在科珀斯克里斯蒂训练多时,早就按捺不住了。

(MUSIC)

ANNOUNCER:

Our program was written by Frank Beardsley. The narrators were Lew Roland and Jack Weitzel. Transcripts, MP3s and podcasts of our series can be found 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 #72 of THE MAKING OF A NATION

网友的学习评论(1条):
作者:Alumni
at that time, the America would negotiate to buy that extensive territory , like California, only with twenty-five million dollars and they did it before long. it was really an exellent deal with the proof of history. from then on, the America extended his territory from sea to sea--- from the shore of the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean.
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