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#29: For a New Nation, Hamilton Seeks a Bank

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

He was the top planner and policy maker under President George Washington. He was also the nation's first secretary of the Treasury. Today, Maurice Joyce and Shep O'Neal continue the story of Alexander Hamilton.

在上次的建国史话中,我们讲述了乔治·华盛顿手下的重要决策和规划者之一,美国第一届财政部长亚历山大·汉密尔顿的故事。

VOICE TWO:

George Washington
George Washington

As we said in our last program, young Alexander Hamilton wanted to be a military commander. He hoped to demonstrate his bravery by fighting in a war. So, when the thirteen American colonies rebelled against Britain in the seventeen seventies, he joined a militia in New York state.

汉密尔顿年轻的时候想当一名军事指挥官,希望在战争中展现自己的勇气。因此,1776年北美十三个殖民地宣布独立后,他就加入了纽约州的民兵组织。

It was not long before Hamilton met the commander-in-chief of American forces, George Washington. General Washington invited Hamilton to become one of his assistants.

没过多久,汉密尔顿见到了当时大陆军统帅乔治·华盛顿。华盛顿将军邀请汉密尔顿给自己当助手。

One of Hamilton's jobs was to get money and supplies for the army. He asked the thirteen state governments. He also asked the Congress, which had little political power at that time. He got almost no help from either.

汉密尔顿欣然接受。他的任务就是为大陆军筹集资金和供给。汉密尔顿向十三个州的政府和当时并没有多少政治实权的国会求助,结果收效甚微。

Hamilton felt the American system of government was too weak and disorganized. He did not like democracy, rule by the people. Instead, he liked aristocracy, rule by a rich upper class.

汉密尔顿觉得,美国的政府体制过于松散薄弱,缺乏组织。他不喜欢由人民做主的民主,更趋向于由富裕的上层阶级统治的贵族政治。

VOICE ONE:

Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton was a proud man. He was quick to criticize others. He even criticized George Washington. Once, during the war, he was late to a meeting with the general. Washington protested. Hamilton resigned.

亚历山大·汉密尔顿是一个很骄傲的人,动不动就会批评别人,连乔治·华盛顿也不例外。有一次,他约好跟华盛顿开会,结果去晚了,华盛顿表示不满,汉密尔顿立即宣布辞职。

Washington was sorry. He had a high opinion of Hamilton's abilities. That is why he was willing to forget the incident and appoint Hamilton to the new Treasury Department.

华盛顿很后悔,因为他十分看重汉密尔顿的能力。这也就是为什么他后来不计前嫌,仍然任命汉密尔顿担任新政府的财政部长。

The job would be difficult. The new nation had to find ways to bring in money and pay what it owed. The new Constitution said the national government was responsible for re-paying the states' wartime loans.

这可不是什么好差事。美国建国之初,国库空虚,汉密尔顿必须设法找到投资,还要偿还战争贷款,因为宪法规定,这是联邦政府的职责。

One way to get money was to borrow it. But no one wanted to lend money to the United States unless they were sure they would get it back. So, the Congress asked Treasury Secretary Hamilton to write a report about how to build up the government's credit.

要筹集资金可以去借钱,但如果不保证偿还,就没有人愿意把钱借给你。因此,国会要求汉 密尔顿编写一份报告,说明如何建立政府的信用。

VOICE TWO:

Hamilton's report said the government must pay back the full amount of all its debts. This caused a dispute.

汉密尔顿在报告中说,政府必须全额偿还债务。这种提议引起了一场辩论。

Many of the debts were in the form of government notes. The notes promised to pay someone for supplying food, clothing, and weapons to the rebel army. Some promised to pay soldiers for joining the army.

当时,很多债务都是以国库券的形式发行的,凡是在战争期间为军队提供食物、服装和武器的人,就可以得到国库券,保证政府会把钱还给他们,有的国库券还保证参军的士兵能够得到补偿。

The notes really were worth nothing, however. The wartime Congress had no money. People who got them lost hope of ever getting re-paid. So they sold them to anyone willing to pay even part of the value.

这些国库券其实没什么价值,因为当时的大陆会议没有钱,所以大家也就失去了有朝一日能得到补偿的希望。但凡有人愿意出价,哪怕只有票面价值的一半,他们就会兴高采烈地把国库券卖掉。

Hamilton's plan would repay the full value of the notes to those who owned them last. This meant the people who first got the notes from the government would receive nothing. And the people who bought them at low cost would receive much more than they paid.

如今,汉密尔顿提出,要全额兑换国库券,这就意味着,这些国库券最早的主人得不到任何补偿,反倒是低价收购这些国库券的人能狠狠地赚上一笔。

VOICE ONE:

Congressman James Madison of Virginia protested. He said the people who bought the notes at low cost should be paid, but not in full. Some of the money, he said, should go to those who got the notes in exchange for supplies or services.

维吉尼亚州国会众议员詹姆斯·麦迪逊表示反对。他指出,低价收购国库券的人应该得到补偿,但不是全额补偿。另外一部分钱,还是应该给那些最初提供供给和服务而得到国库券的人。

Madison made an emotional speech in Congress. He described the situation of former soldiers forced by hunger to sell their government notes for almost nothing. He noted that the Union was established to protect the people against such injustice.

麦迪逊在国会发表激情演进,描述了退伍老兵穷困潦倒,被迫低价出售国库券的现象。麦迪逊说,联邦的建立,就是要保护人民不再受到这种不公正的对待。

VOICE TWO:

Hamilton said the purpose of his plan was greater than simply paying debts. He said it was a way to build up the nation's credit so it could borrow money more easily in the future.

汉密尔顿指出,他的计划不仅是要偿还债务,同时也是为了建立国家的信用,让以后借钱更方便。

Hamilton believed that those who bought the notes had a right to earn money from them. These men took a chance that the worthless notes would be worth something, someday. The government could not deny them their profits.

汉密尔顿认为,低价收购国库券的人冒了很大的风险,他们把赌注压在了很可能一钱不值的国库券上,因此政府不能剥夺他们赚钱的权利。

Many members of Congress felt sorry for the poor soldiers and their families. Yet they voted against Madison's proposal and supported Hamilton's plan.

很多国会议员虽然同情那些穷困的士兵,但还是投票驳回了麦迪逊的提案,支持汉密尔顿的计划。

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

Hamilton's plan raised old fears. The agricultural south was sure he was trying to make the industrial north more powerful. Hamilton did not deny this. His purpose was to strengthen the nation. He believed all areas would be helped if industry and commerce were stronger.

汉密尔顿的计划重新燃起了某些人以前就有的顾虑。以农业为主的南方各州认为,汉密尔顿这样做是为了让工业化的北方更加强大。汉密尔顿并不否认。他的目的是让整个国家更强大。他认为,工商业的发展会让所有部门受益。

Still, to win support for his plan, Hamilton had to make a political deal with several Congressmen. They would support his financial plan. But he had to use his influence to get the capital of the United States moved.

尽管如此,汉密尔顿还是跟一些南方议员达成交易,只要他们支持他的财政计划,他就设法让美国迁都。

VOICE TWO:

At that time, the capital was in the north, in New York City. Two Congressmen from Virginia wanted it in the south near their homes along the Potomac River. Several Congressmen from Pennsylvania agreed. But they said the capital first must be moved to Philadelphia, the biggest city in their state. And it must remain there ten years.

当时,美国首都定在纽约。维吉尼亚的两名国会议员希望首都能迁到波托马克河沿岸。宾夕法尼亚州的几位国会议员表示赞成,但是他们提出,首都要先迁往宾州最大的城市费城,在费城待上十年。

Congress accepted this plan by a close vote. President Washington signed it.

国会以微弱多数通过了这项计划,经总统乔治·华盛顿签字生效。

It was well known that George Washington wanted the capital closer to his Virginia farm, Mount Vernon. Yet, there is no evidence that he ever asked any member of Congress -- or anyone else -- to help get it moved there.

众所周知,华盛顿很希望能把首都搬到自己的弗农山庄附近,但是没有任何历史证据显示,华盛顿曾要求任何一位国会议员提出议案,以达到自己的目的。

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

Alexander Hamilton's plan to re-pay the nation's debts caused much protest. However, another one of his financial plans caused even more. It was his plan to create a national bank.

亚历山大·汉密尔顿提出的偿还国债的计划引起了极大的争议。与此同时,他提出的建立中央银行的建议则掀起了更大的涟漪。

Hamilton argued that there were central banks in Britain, France, Germany, and the Netherlands. He said the banks greatly helped those countries' commerce, industry and agriculture.

汉密尔顿说,英国、法国、德国和荷兰都有中央银行,极大推动了这些国家的商业、工业和农业的发展。

Hamilton said a central bank in the United States would increase the flow of money throughout the country. It would help the national government negotiate loans and collect taxes.

他说,美国建立中央银行能增加全国的资金流动,能帮助联邦政府交涉贷款,征收税务。

VOICE TWO:

Critics argued that a national bank would give too much power to a few rich men in the north. It would take control of state banks, on which southern farmers and small businessmen depended. It would increase the use of paper money, instead of gold and silver.

批判者强调,中央银行会让北方一些有钱人享有特权,会控制南方农民和小生意人高度依赖的州立银行,会增加纸币,而不是金币和银币的流通。

James Madison led the opposition against Hamilton's plan in Congress.

詹姆斯·麦迪逊带头反对汉密尔顿的提案。

Madison believed the United States should not put all its wealth in one place. So, he proposed a system of many smaller banks in different parts of the country. He also argued that the idea of a central bank was unconstitutional.

他认为,美国不应该把财富集中在一个地方,而是应该建立很多规模较小的银行,分散在全国各地,他还指出,建立中央银行是违宪的。

VOICE ONE:

No one knew more about the American Constitution than James Madison. He was given credit for most of the ideas in it. Everyone respected his explanation of its wording.

说到美国宪法,没有人能跟詹姆斯·麦迪逊相提并论。宪法里的很多主张就来自于麦迪逊,大家都很尊重他对宪法的解释。

Madison noted that the Constitution gives Congress a number of powers, which are stated. Congress has no powers beyond this. For example, he said, Congress has the power to borrow money. But it is permitted to borrow money only to re-pay debts, to defend the country, and to provide for the general good of the people.

麦迪逊指出,宪法赋予国会一系列权力,白纸黑字写在那里。比如说,国会有权借钱,但借钱的目的只能有三种:偿还债务、保家卫国、改善民生。

Madison rejected the idea that the right to create a central bank came from the power to provide for the general good of the people. He said such an idea twisted the meaning and purpose of the Constitution. That, he said, was most dangerous.

麦迪逊说,以改善民生为由建立中央银行说不过去。他认为,这种说法是对宪法意思和目的的歪曲,很危险。

VOICE TWO:

Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson

Madison's argument was powerful. Yet, once again, Hamilton won more Congressional support. He got enough votes to approve his proposal to establish a national bank. Still, President Washington had to sign the bill into law. He worried about the possibility that the bill was not constitutional.

So he asked three men for advice: Attorney General Edmund Randolph. Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson. And Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton.

麦迪逊的分析虽然很有理,但最后汉密尔顿还是赢得了足够国会议员的支持,使建立中央银行的提案获得了通过。乔治·华盛顿总统要在相关法案上签字之前,因为担心法案不符合宪法的规定,咨询了三个人,他们分别是司法部长埃德蒙·伦道夫、国务卿托马斯·杰斐逊和财政部长亚历山大·汉密尔顿。

VOICE ONE:

Randolph had no firm answer. Jefferson agreed with Madison. Creating a national bank violated the Constitution.

Hamilton, of course, disagreed. He said the Constitution gave the government certain powers, and named them. But it included others, without naming them. It did this so the government could put its powers to work and act like a government. Such was the purpose of the Constitution, Hamilton said.

伦道夫对此不置可否。杰斐逊同意麦迪逊的看法,认为建立中央银行实属违宪,但是汉密尔顿表达了不同意见。他指出,宪法赋予政府特定权力,把它们白纸黑字地写下来,但是宪法同时也给了政府另外一些没有明确规定的权力,只有这样,政府才能投入工作,这就是宪法的目的。

These arguments did not completely answer all of President Washington's questions. But he went ahead and signed the bill to establish a national bank in America.

汉密尔顿的解释并没有回答华盛顿总统的所有问题,但他还是签署法案,在美国建立了中央银行。

VOICE TWO:

Hamilton and Jefferson came to disagree on most issues. Their struggle for power in the new government led to the creation of America's political party system. That will be our story next week.

汉密尔顿和杰斐逊在很多问题上都存在意见分歧。他们在美国新政府里的权力之争是美国政党体制形成的起点。

(MUSIC)

ANNOUNCER:

Our program was written by Christine Johnson. The narrators were Maurice Joyce and Shep O'Neal. Join us again next week for THE MAKING OF A NATION, an American history series in VOA Special English.

网友的学习评论(3条):
作者:xuding45
Alexander Hamilton sought a central bank in the United States. He got enough support to approve the bill. Though CHristine Johnson epressed a strong against. At final the finance bill was signed byGeorge Washington and it became law.
作者:Alumni
Here it mentioned America's party system. Next time we would know how it come to birth.
作者:Alumni
it should be: ...how it came to birth instead of " how it come to birth"
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