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#80: Pierce, New President, Is Friendly but Weak

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

Millard Fillmore
Millard Fillmore

In eighteen fifty, President Zachary Taylor died after serving about a year and a half in office. Taylor's vice president, Millard Fillmore, took his place. Early in his administration, President Fillmore signed the Compromise of Eighteen Fifty. That compromise helped settle a dispute over slavery and the western territories. It ended a crisis between northern and southern states. It prevented a civil war.

1850年,美国总统扎卡里·泰勒任职一年半就不幸病逝,副总统菲尔莫尔继任后,迅速签署了1850年妥协法案,解决了围绕蓄奴问题和西部新增领土存在的分歧,化解了南北双方的一场危机,防止了内战的爆发。

The eighteen fifty compromise did not, however, end slavery in the United States. So the issue was not really settled. It continued to affect the nation. And it was the most important issue of Millard Fillmore's presidency.

然而,1850年妥协法案并没有取缔奴隶制度,没有触及问题的根本。因此,蓄奴问题仍旧影响着美国,也是菲尔莫尔任期内最重要的议题。

Here are Kay Gallant and Harry Monroe with this week's program in our series.

VOICE ONE:

A copy of
A copy of

In eighteen fifty-two, an American woman published a book about slavery. She called it "Uncle Tom's Cabin." The woman, Harriet Beecher Stowe, wrote the book for one reason. She wanted to show how cruel slavery was. Stowe's words painted a picture of slavery that most people in the North had never seen. They were shocked.

1852年,美国女作家斯托发表了《汤姆叔叔的小屋》一书。斯托写这本书目的只有一个,就是要揭露奴隶制度的残忍。斯托用文字描绘了一幅北方大多数人从未见过的图景,让他们深感震撼。

Public pressure to end slavery grew strong. Abolitionists wanted to free all slaves immediately. Even if that could be done, there was the question of what to do with the freed slaves. Their rights as citizens were limited. Some states closed their borders to negroes. Other states permitted negroes, but said they could not vote.

社会上要求取缔奴隶制度的呼声高涨。废奴主义者希望立即给奴隶自由。然而,即使这样做,奴隶自由后还是会带来很多问题。他们做为公民的权利是有限的。有些州不许奴隶入境,另外一些州虽然接受他们,但是不给他们投票权。

In many places, it seemed impossible that negroes and whites could live together peacefully, in freedom. The best answer, many people thought, was to free the slaves and help them return to Africa.

在某些地方,自由的黑人和白种人几乎完全不可能和睦相处。很多人觉得,最好的办法是还奴隶自由,然后让他们回到非洲去。

VOICE TWO:

It was not a new idea. Forty years earlier, a group of leading Americans had formed an organization for that purpose. They called it the American Colonization Society.

这种想法并不新鲜。早在四十年前,就有一批美国人,组建了以此为目的的“美国殖民协会”。

In eighteen twenty, the Society began helping send negroes to Africa. The negroes formed a government of their own. In eighteen forty-seven, they declared themselves independent. They called their new country the Republic of Liberia. The new country had a constitution like that of the United States.

1820年,美国殖民协会开始协助黑人返回非洲。这些奴隶组建了自己的政府,1847年宣布独立,建立了利比里亚共和国,制定了类似美国的宪法。

By eighteen fifty-four, nine thousand negroes from the United States had been sent to Liberia. Some had technical skills. They knew how to make iron. They knew how to use steam engines and other machinery. The Colonization Society hoped these negroes would use their skills to help improve life for the people of Africa. The Society's plan ended a cruel life of slavery for many negroes.

到1854年的时候,美国已经有9千名黑人被送往利比里亚,他们当中有些人懂技术,知道如何炼铁,会用蒸汽机和其它机械。殖民协会希望这些黑人利用自己的技能改善非洲人的生活。美国殖民协会的计划确实帮助很多黑人摆脱了奴隶的悲惨生活。

But it could not be denied that the plan was a way to get black people out of the United States. Many whites refused to accept the fact that most free negroes did not want to go to Africa. The negroes had grown up in the United States. It was their home.

不可否认的是,这项计划也是为了把黑人赶出美国。一个很多白人不愿接受的事实是,大部分获得自由的黑人并不想回非洲。他们生在美国,长在美国,美国才是他们的家。

VOICE ONE:

Negro slaves took great chances to escape to freedom. Many gained their freedom through the so-called "underground railroad." That was not a real railroad. It was an organization of people who secretly helped slaves escape to the North.

黑人奴隶为了获得自由,甘愿承担巨大的风险。很多黑奴都是通过所谓的“地下铁路”获得自由的。“地下铁路”并非真正的铁路,而是一个秘密帮助奴隶逃往北方的组织。

An escaped slave would be hidden during the day by a member of the organization. Then at night, the negro would be taken to another hiding place farther north. The process was repeated every day and night until the escaped slave was safe in New England or even Canada.

逃亡的黑奴白天被“地下铁路”的成员掩护起来,夜间出发,向更靠北的地方转移,直到抵达新英格兰,或者甚至是加拿大,才算安全。

(MUSIC)

VOICE TWO:

The year eighteen fifty-two was a presidential election year in the United States. The eighteen fifty compromise was a major issue in the campaign. A number of men wanted to be the presidential candidate of the Democratic Party. They included senators Lewis Cass of Michigan and Stephen Douglas of Illinois. Another was former secretary of state James Buchanan. Cass and Douglas supported the idea of letting the people of a territory decide if slavery would be permitted in that territory. Buchanan opposed the anti-slavery movements of the north. Because of this, he had many supporters in the South.

1852年是大选年,核心议题之一就是1850年妥协法案。民主党角逐提名的人包括密西根州参议员路易斯·卡斯、伊利诺伊州参议员史蒂文·道格拉斯,以及前国务卿詹姆斯·布坎南。卡斯和道格拉斯都主张,奴隶制度的存废可以由当地居民自行决定。布坎南反对北方的废奴运动,因此赢得了很多南方人的支持。

VOICE ONE:

Franklin Pierce
Franklin Pierce

The Democrats opened their presidential nominating convention in Baltimore on the first of June, eighteen fifty-two. The delegates agreed that a man must win two-thirds of the convention's votes to be the party's candidate.

1852年6月1号,民主党人在巴尔的摩开会推举候选人。与会者一致同意,候选人必须赢得三分之二大会代表的支持。

On the first ballot, no one got two-thirds of the vote. So the voting continued. Finally, on the forty-seventh ballot, support began to increase for one of the minor candidates. His name was Franklin Pierce. Pierce was from the northeastern state of New Hampshire. He had served as a congressman and senator. On the forty-ninth ballot, Pierce won. He would be the Democratic Party's candidate for president.

但每轮投票,都没有人赢得三分之二的选票,因此只好一遍遍地重来。直到第47轮投票,才有一名原来并不被不看好的候选人脱颖而出。此人名叫富兰克林·皮尔斯,来自东北部的新罕布什尔州,当过参议员和众议员。皮尔斯在第49轮投票时当选,被提名为1852年总统大选的民主党总统候选人。

VOICE TWO:

The Whig party held its presidential nominating convention in Baltimore two weeks after the Democrats. Three Whigs wanted to be nominated: President Millard Fillmore, Secretary of State Daniel Webster and General Winfield Scott.

两个星期过后,辉格党也在巴尔的摩举行总统候选人提名大会,参选人有三个,分别是现任总统菲尔莫尔、现任国务卿韦伯斯特和斯科特将军。

The same thing that happened at the Democratic convention now happened at the Whig convention. Delegates voted over and over again. But no man got enough votes to win. It took fifty-three ballots before one of the men -- General Scott -- won the nomination.

跟民主党代表大会一样,辉格党人同样无法取得一致,直到第53次投票,斯科特将军才胜出。

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

General Winfield Scott
General Winfield Scott

The presidential campaign lasted about five months. The election was in November. Pierce, the Democrat, won a crushing victory over Scott, the Whig. The Democratic victory was so great that many people thought the Whig Party was finished. In fact, many Whigs themselves hoped their party had been destroyed.

总统选战持续了大约五个月。在11月总统大选中,民主党候选人皮尔斯以压倒多数击败辉格党候选人斯科特。民主党的胜利让很多人觉得,辉格党恐怕完蛋了。事实上,很多辉格党人都暗自希望自己的政党解体。

Northern Whigs wanted to form a new anti-slavery party. And southern Whigs wanted to form a party that would better represent their interests. The Democrats won the election, because they were able to bridge the differences between their northern and southern members. The Whigs were not able to do that.

北方的辉格党人希望成立一个新的废奴党,南方的辉格党人也希望成立一个更能代表自身利益的政党。民主党人之所以能赢得大选,恰恰是因为他们成功弥合了南北双方之间的分歧。

VOICE TWO:

The new president, Franklin Pierce, was a charming man. He made friends easily. Those who knew Pierce best worried about this. They knew that under all his friendly charm, he was a weak man. They feared that the duties and problems of the presidency would be too great for him to deal with. As president in eighteen fifty-three, Pierce was forced to choose between two policies on the issue of slavery.

新总统皮尔斯很有魅力,特别善于交朋友,而这也正是了解他的人最担心的,因为他们知道,在友好的外表下,皮尔斯是一个十分软弱的人,他们担心皮尔斯难以承担总统的重任。皮尔斯上台后,被迫在奴隶的存废问题上做出选择。

He could support the Compromise of Eighteen Fifty and declare it to be the final settlement of the problem. That would lead to a fight with northern and southern extremists. Or he could compromise with the extremists and give them jobs in his administration. That would be the easy way to satisfy their demands. And that was the policy Pierce chose.

一种选择是,支持1850年妥协法案,宣布这一方案是问题的最终解决,但这样做可能会引起南北双方极端势力的冲突。另外一种选择是向极端份子妥协,吸收他们进入政府就职。后者是满足极端势力的最简单的办法,也是皮尔斯的选择。

VOICE ONE:

Jefferson Davis
Jefferson Davis

In putting together his cabinet, President Pierce tried to include men from every group in the Democratic Party. He named William Marcy of New York to be secretary of state. Marcy opposed the spread of slavery and all talk of splitting the Union.

皮尔斯在组建内阁时,努力把民主党内的各派势力都包括进来。他任命纽约的威廉·马西担任国务卿。马西反对奴隶制度的蔓延,也反对任何主张分裂联邦的言论。

Jefferson Davis of Mississippi was named secretary of war. Davis, more than any other man, represented the southern extremists. He had threatened to take the South out of the Union if any limits were put on slavery.

皮尔斯任命密西西比的杰斐逊·戴维斯担任战争部长。戴维斯是南方极端势力的代表人物。他曾经威胁说,如果奴隶制度受到任何限制,他就要带领南方脱离联邦。

Caleb Cushing of Massachusetts was named attorney general. Although a northerner, Cushing was a friend of many southern extremists. He was a very able man, but his loyalties were not clear. James Buchanan of Pennsylvania was named Minister to Britain.

皮尔斯提名麻萨诸塞州的凯莱布·顾盛为司法部长。顾盛虽然是北方人,但却结交了很多南方极端份子。他精明强干,但是立场并不明确。此外,皮尔斯还任命宾夕法尼亚州的詹姆斯·布坎南出任美国驻英国大使。

VOICE TWO:

All of these men had strong ideas about the future of the United States. President Pierce found it difficult to control them.

皮尔斯的内阁成员对美国的前途各持己见,让皮尔斯难以驾驭。

One senator said the administration should not have been called the Pierce administration, because Pierce did not lead it. He said it was an administration of enemies of the Union who used the president's name and power for their own purposes.

曾有一位参议员说,这届政府不应该被称为皮尔斯政府,因为皮尔斯并非政府领袖。他说,这届政府应该被称为联盟敌人的政府,他们利用总统的名义和权力,来实现自己的目的。

VOICE ONE:

For a time, things were peaceful. The dispute over slavery had cooled. But thoughtful people did not believe that peace would last long. No permanent solution had been found to settle differences over slavery and the right of states to leave the Union.

短期内,一切似乎风平浪静,奴隶问题引发的争议暂时得到了缓解。但是有头脑的人都清楚,和平持续不了多久。围绕奴隶制度和各州是否有权脱离联邦的纷争并没有得到彻底解决。

One northerner wrote: "It was said hundreds of years ago that a house divided against itself cannot stand. The truth of this saying is written on every page in history. It is likely that the history of our own country may offer fresh examples to teach this truth to future ages."

We will continue our story of the presidency of Franklin Pierce next week.

(MUSIC)

ANNOUNCER:

Our program was written by Frank Beardsley. The narrators were Kay Gallant and Harry Monroe. Transcripts, MP3s and podcasts of our programs 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 #80 of THE MAKING OF A NATION

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作者:Alumni
if a house be divided against itself, that house can not stand. the new president was elected by the name Franklin Pierce. it said he had no ability of leading his cabinet. that meant the issue of slavery would not be settled well in his them of presidency.
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