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#84: Slavery Debate Intensifies With Dred Scott Ruling

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

As we said last week, James Buchanan of Pennsylvania won the presidential election of eighteen fifty-six. He defeated John Fremont, the candidate of the newly created Republican Party, which opposed slavery.

在1856年总统大选中,宾夕法尼亚州的民主党人詹姆斯·布坎南击败共和党候选人弗蒙特,当选总统。

James Buchanan
James Buchanan

Buchanan, a Democrat, had often supported the South in the dispute over slavery. Most of the new president's closest friends were southerners. He wrote that the North was too aggressive toward the South and should stop interfering in the slave states.

在奴隶存废问题上,布坎南一贯支持南方。布坎南的好朋友很多都是南方人。他曾写过,北方对南方太霸道,应该停止干涉南方事务。

Buchanan said the South had good reason to leave the Union if abolitionists continued their attacks against slavery.

This week on our series, Jack Moyles and Stan Busby tell more about James Buchanan. And they discuss his influence in the Supreme Court ruling in the case of a slave from Missouri named Dred Scott.

VOICE ONE:

As the new president, Buchanan believed he could solve the slave question by keeping the abolitionists quiet. Success would mean the end of the anti-slavery Republican Party.

新总统布坎南觉得,只要能让废奴主义者闭嘴,奴隶制度引起的纠纷就算解决了。换言之,主张废奴的共和党的终结,就意味着胜利。

In choosing his cabinet, Buchanan wanted men who shared the same ideas and interests. President Pierce had tried to unite the different groups in the party by giving each a representative in his cabinet. This had not worked. It had driven the different party groups farther apart.

布坎南组阁时,找的都是自己的志同道合者。前任总统皮尔斯曾试图团结党内各派势力,让各派力量在内阁里都有自己的代表,可最后效果并不理想,反而让各派势力之间的鸿沟越来越深。

Buchanan had served in President Polk's cabinet. He remembered how well its members worked together. He said it was the unity of this cabinet that made Polk's administration so successful.

布坎南曾经在前总统波尔克的内阁里任职,清楚记得当时内阁成员间的密切合作。他认为,正是内阁的团结,才促成了波尔克政府的成功。

VOICE TWO:

Buchanan gave the job of Secretary of State to Lewis Cass of Michigan. Cass was seventy-five years old. His mind had lost its sharpness. This did not worry Buchanan, because he had planned to be his own foreign minister.

布坎南任命密西根州的路易斯·卡斯担任国务卿。卡斯当时已经75岁高龄,头脑不再敏锐,但是布坎南并不担心,因为他准备亲自打点外交事务。

The job of treasury secretary went to Howell Cobb, a southern moderate from Georgia. Southerners also were named as secretary of war, interior secretary and postmaster general.

布坎南任命乔治亚州的南方温和派人物豪厄尔·科布担任财政部长。此外,战争部长、内政部长和邮政总局局长的职务也都由南方人出任。

Isaac Toucey of Connecticut was given the job of Navy secretary. Toucey was a northerner. But he supported many policies of the South. Another northerner -- Jeremiah Black of Pennsylvania -- became attorney general.

布坎南任命康涅狄克州的艾萨克·托西担任海军部长。托西是北方人,但却支持很多有利于南方的政策。布坎南还任命另外一个北方人、宾夕法尼亚州的杰里迈亚·布莱克担任司法部长。

In forming his cabinet, Buchanan did not ask for advice from Senator Stephen Douglas of Illinois. Douglas was the party's leader in the Senate and the most powerful Democrat in the northwest.

布坎南在组建内阁的问题上,没有征求伊利诺伊州参议员史蒂文·道格拉斯的意见。道格拉斯是参议院民主党领袖,也是西北地区最有影响力的民主党人。

Douglas believed that the northwest should have two representatives in the cabinet. He said Cass could be one of them. But Douglas wanted one of his own supporters to be the other. Buchanan refused what Douglas wanted. And he gave the administration's support to a political enemy of Douglas.

道格拉斯认为,西北部地区在内阁里应该有两个代表,卡斯算一个,另一个应该是自己的支持者。布坎南驳回了道格拉斯的要求,转而支持道格拉斯的政敌。

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

James Buchanan was sworn-in as president on March fourth, eighteen fifty-seven. In his inaugural speech, the new president denounced the long dispute over slavery. He said he hoped it would end soon.

詹姆斯·布坎南1857年3月4号宣誓就职。布坎南在就职演说中严辞批评围绕奴隶制度展开的长期争议,并表示,他希望争议能够早日结束。

Buchanan said the dispute could be settled easily by doing two things: by ending interference with slavery in states where it was legal. And by letting the people of a territory decide if they wanted slavery.

布坎南说,要解决争议很简单,只要做好两件事:第一,停止干涉奴隶州的事务;第二,让新增土地上的居民自行决定是否接受奴隶制度。

Buchanan said he expected the Supreme Court to rule soon on the right of the people of a territory to decide this. He said he was sure that all good citizens -- North and South -- would accept the high court's ruling.

布坎南说,他希望联邦最高法院迅速就新增土地居民选择奴隶制度的权利做出裁决。布坎南说,他敢肯定,不论是南方还是北方,所有正直的美国公民,都会接受联邦最高法院的裁决。

VOICE TWO:

Dred Scott
Dred Scott

At the time he said this, Buchanan already knew what the court's decision would be. He had even used his influence to help one member of the court to decide. The decision was made in the case of Dred Scott, a negro slave.

其实,布坎南讲这番话的时候已经知道了最高法院的裁决结果,而且还亲自插手,对裁决结果施加了影响。这一裁决针对的是黑奴德雷德·斯科特的案件。

Scott was sold in Missouri to an army doctor who took him to Illinois and then went into the Wisconsin territory. Scott lived in these two places for almost four years before he was returned to Missouri.

斯科特是一个军队医生在密苏里州买的,后来被带到伊利诺伊和威斯康辛。斯科特在这两个地方生活了将近四年后回到密苏里。

Scott asked a court in Missouri to give him his freedom. He claimed that living in Illinois and Wisconsin -- where slavery was illegal -- had made him a free man.

斯科特要求法院给他自由,因为奴隶在伊利诺伊和威斯康辛是非法的,所以在那里的生活让他成了自由人。

VOICE ONE:

The court agreed with Scott and gave him his freedom. But the decision was appealed, and the Supreme Court of Missouri ruled against him. Scott then took his case to a federal court. Finally, he asked the United States Supreme Court to decide if he was a slave or a free man.

法院裁定,斯科特的要求合理,并宣布他为自由人,但是这一裁决经上诉,被密苏里州最高法院推翻。斯科特不肯放弃,把官司打到联邦法院,要求联邦最高法院决定他是奴隶还是自由人。

The Supreme Court took up the case in December, eighteen fifty-six. The judges studied it carefully because it raised serious constitutional questions.

联邦最高法院1856年12月受理此案。联邦法院大法官们进行了认真的研究,因为这个案子牵涉十分严肃的宪法问题。

Scott claimed he was free because he had lived in free territory. It was free because Congress -- in the Missouri Compromise of Eighteen Twenty -- made slavery illegal in that area. Scott's owner raised the questions: Did Congress have the Constitutional power to close a territory to slavery? Was the Missouri Compromise legal?

斯科特之所以声称自己是自由人,理由是他在不承认奴隶的地方生活过。而这些地方之所以是自由人的地区,依据是国会1820年的密苏里协定。但斯科特的主人提出质疑:根据宪法,国会有权宣布一片地区杜绝奴隶制度吗?1820年的密苏里协定具有合法性吗?

VOICE TWO:

At first, most of the nine Supreme Court judges had planned to give a decision without answering this question. They did not want to involve the court in this bitter dispute. The majority decided that a negro was not a citizen. Therefore, they said, Dred Scott had no right to ask the court to hear his case.

起初,联邦最高法院九位大法官里,大多数人都不想回答这个问题,不想让最高法院卷入这个烂摊子,希望草草了事,既然黑奴不是公民,就无权要求联邦最高法院受理他的申诉。

In this way, the case could be settled without deciding on the power of Congress to act on slavery in the territories.

这样做既了结了案子,又不必回答国会是否有权决定新增领土上的奴隶存废问题。

But two of the nine Supreme Court judges opposed this ruling. Both were from the North. They had said they would write a minority decision. They said their decision would include a statement that Congress did have power over slavery in the territories.

然而,这种做法遭到了两位联邦大法官的反对。这两个人都是北方人。他们认为,国会有权决定新增领土上的奴隶存废问题,并准备发表少数意见。

VOICE ONE:

Since two members of the court had planned to offer views on this question, the other seven decided the majority also should do so.

Of the seven, five were from the South. They did not believe Congress had any power over territorial slavery. The remaining two judges -- both from the North -- did not want to make what they felt would be a political decision.

其它七位大法官中,五个是南方人。他们觉得国会无权决定新增领土上的奴隶存废问题,另外两人是北方人,觉得这是一个政治决策,因此不愿插手。

One southern member of the Supreme Court was James Catron, a good friend of James Buchanan. Buchanan had written to him asking when the court would act on the Dred Scott case.

大法官詹姆斯·卡特伦是南方人,是总统布坎南的好朋友。布坎南写信给他,问他联邦最高法院什么时候对斯科特一案做出裁决。

VOICE TWO:

Justice Robert Grier
Justice Robert Grier

Catron had answered that the court would rule soon. Then he asked for Buchanan's help in getting one of the northern members of the court to vote with the five from the South. He told the president that the country would more easily accept the court's ruling if one of the northern judges gave his support. Catron proposed that Buchanan write to Justice Robert Grier of Pennsylvania.

卡特伦回答说,很快,然后请求布坎南协助他说服一位北方大法官,跟五位南方大法官站在一条战线上。卡特伦说,如果能有一位北方大法官的支持,最高法院的裁决就更容易被人们接受。卡特伦建议布坎南写信给宾夕法尼亚州的大法官罗伯特·格里尔。

So Buchanan wrote to Grier. He told him that a strong decision in the Dred Scott case might do much to bring peace to the country. Grier agreed. He said he would vote with the five southerners. They would rule that the Constitution did not give Congress power over slavery in the territories.

布坎南写信给格里尔,告诉他说,斯科特一案的有力裁决对国家和平至关重要。格里尔表示赞同,保证跟五位南方大法官站在一起,宣布宪法没有授权国会去决定新增土地上的奴隶存废。

All this had happened in the few weeks before Buchanan became president.

所有这些幕后事件,都发生在布坎南就职前的几周时间里。

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

The Supreme Court finally announced its decision just two days after Buchanan moved into the White House. Chief Justice Roger Taney read the decision in the small courtroom in the Capitol building.

布坎南入主白宫两天后,联邦最高法院就宣布了决定。首席大法官托尼在国会大厦的一个小法庭上宣读了最高法院的裁决。

The room was crowded with congressmen, senators, government officials, and newspapermen. Chief Justice Taney began reading the decision at eleven o'clock. He read for more than two and a half hours.

当时,屋里挤满了国会议员、政府官员和记者。首席大法官托尼从十一点开始宣读,整整读了两个半小时。

He said the high court rejected Scott's claim of freedom for three reasons. First, Scott was not a citizen. Taney said the Constitution gave the right of citizenship only to members of the white race. Because he was not a citizen, he had no right to ask the court to hear his case.

他表示,联邦最高法院驳回斯科特的申诉基于三个原因。第一,斯科特不是美国公民,根据宪法,只有白种人才享有公民权。既然不是公民,斯科特就无权要求联邦最高法院受理他的案件。

Secondly, Taney said Scott was ruled by the laws of Missouri, the state in which he lived. Missouri laws did not give freedom to slaves who lived temporarily in free territory. Therefore, said Taney, Scott was still a slave.

第二,托尼说,斯科特是密苏里州居民,受密苏里州法律管辖。根据密苏里法律,短期在自由州居住并不意味着奴隶就自动获得自由,因此斯科特还是奴隶。

VOICE TWO:

Chief Justice Roger Taney
Chief Justice Roger Taney

Then the chief justice took up the question of the free territory in which Scott had lived. It had become free territory under the Missouri Compromise. This was the law that Congress passed in eighteen twenty. This law kept slavery out of the northern part of the territory which the United States bought from France.

托尼大法官接下来谈到了斯科特生活过的两个自由区。他说,这两个地区禁止奴隶,根据的是1820年国会通过的密苏里协定。协定规定,美国从法国手里收购的北部地区禁止奴隶的存在。

Justice Taney said Congress did not have the constitutional power to pass such a law. He said when new territory was won, it belonged to all citizens. He said Congress had the right to govern such territory until it became a state. But he said Congress did not have power to close new territory to any American citizen. He said the citizen from Georgia had as much right to settle in this territory with his slaves as a citizen of Maine with his horse.

托尼大法官说,宪法没有赋予国会通过这类法律的权力。新增领土属于所有公民,在这些地区成为美国一个州之前,国会有权管辖,但是无权禁止任何美国公民进入。托尼大法官说,带着奴隶的乔治亚人,跟带着马匹的缅因州公民,应该享受搬到新增领土去定居的同等权利。

Taney said there was no word in the Constitution that gave Congress greater power over slave property than over any other kind of property. The only such power Congress held was the power to guard and protect the rights of the property owner.

宪法里没有任何规定提到,国会对奴隶财产比对其它财产的权力更大,国会唯一的权力就是保护财产所有者的权利。

To close territory to slaves, Taney said, violated the constitutional rights of slaveholding citizens. Therefore, the Missouri Compromise was unconstitutional. Congress did not have power to act on slavery in the territories.

托尼还说,不让奴隶到特定地区去的规定侵犯了奴隶主的宪法权。因此,密苏里协定不符合宪法,国会无权在新增领土奴隶存废的问题上做出决定。

(MUSIC)

ANNOUNCER:

Our program was written by Frank Beardsley. The narrators were Jack Moyles and Stan Busby. Transcripts, MP3s and podcasts of our programs can be found, along with historical images, at www.unsv.com. And you can follow our series on Twitter at twitter.com/voalearnenglish, spelled as one word. Join us again next week for THE MAKING OF A NATION -- an American history series in VOA Special English.

___

This is program #84 of THE MAKING OF A NATION

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