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#42: Jefferson Tries to Keep Trade Ban on Europe

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ANNOUNCER:

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

This week in our series, Steve Ember and Shirley Griffith have the story of Thomas Jefferson's final acts as president, and the election of James Madison.

(MUSIC)

VOICE TWO:

A proclamation written by Thomas Jefferson in April 1808 about the embargo laws
A proclamation written by Thomas Jefferson in April 1808 about the embargo laws

In the closing days of eighteen-oh-seven, President Thomas Jefferson signed a bill banning all trade with Europe. No ships could enter the United States, and no ships could leave. The purpose of the trade ban was to keep America out of the war between Britain and France.

上次我们讲到,1807年年底,托马斯.杰斐逊总统签署了一项法案,禁止跟欧洲的一切贸易,任何船只不得出入美国水域。这项贸易禁令的目的是为了防止美国卷入英法战争。

Jefferson acted to protect American traders, ship owners and sailors. Yet those were the people who protested loudest against the ban. They were willing to take the chance of having Britain or France seize their ship and goods. They could make no money without trade.

虽然杰斐逊此举的意图是要保护的商人、船主和水手,但他们恰恰是反对禁令呼声最高的人。这些人甘愿去冒被英国或是法国扣押的风险,因为没有贸易,他们就失去了生计。

VOICE ONE:

The situation quickly turned into a political battle between Jefferson's party, the Republicans, and the opposition Federalists.

这种局势迅速转化为杰斐逊总统所在的共和党和反对党联邦党之间的一场政治斗争。

Federalist newspapers attacked Jefferson. They charged that he supported the trade ban to help Napoleon Bonaparte. They called him a tool of France.

联邦党人的报纸攻击杰斐逊,指责他的贸易禁令是为了帮拿破仑的忙,说杰斐逊是法国的工具。

One Federalist senator wrote a pamphlet against the trade ban. He urged northeastern states to refuse to enforce it. Then he went even further. He met secretly with the British official sent to Washington to discuss the situation. He told the British official that President Jefferson would be forced out of office because of the trade ban.

一名联邦党参议员发表了一本小册子,攻击杰斐逊的贸易禁令。他号召东北部各州拒绝执行禁令。这位参议员还更进一步,他秘密会见了前来华盛顿讨论局势的英国官员,并告诉他们说,杰斐逊总统会因为这一贸易禁令被赶下台。

The Federalists tried hard to get Congress to end the ban. But they were not successful.

联邦党人努力说服国会停止禁令,但是没有成功。

(MUSIC)

VOICE TWO:

Detail of the cartoon
Detail of the cartoon "Intercourse or Impartial Dealings" in which President Jefferson is being held up for money by Napoleon of France and King George of Britain. The image makes fun of Jefferson's embargo policy.

President Jefferson did not believe that trade bans -- embargoes -- were the best way to settle America's problems with other nations. But at the time, he thought an embargo was the only way to deal with Britain and France, short of war. And he did not want war.

杰斐逊总统不相信贸易禁令是解决美国外交纠纷的最佳手段。但与此同时,他认为,要对付英国和法国,贸易禁运是除了战争以外最好的办法,而且他坚决不愿意卷入战争。

Jefferson's economic policies had brought much progress during his two terms as president. He had been able to pay much of the national debt, and still reduce taxes. He also had begun several projects to improve communication and transportation throughout the country. He was afraid that a war would destroy everything he had done.

杰斐逊两届任期内,经济政策取得了重大成就,不仅偿还了大部分国债,而且降低了赋税。他还启动了好几个项目,努力改善美国全国的通讯和交通。他担心,战争会让这些成绩毁于一旦。

VOICE ONE:

Jefferson simply wished to give the trade embargo a fair chance. "For a time," he wrote, "I think the embargo is less evil than war. But after a time, this will not be so. If the war should continue in Europe, and if Britain and France continue to act against us, then it will be for Congress to say if war would not be better than the embargo."

杰斐逊其实就是想看看贸易禁令是否会奏效。他曾经这样写道:“我认为,在短期内,贸易禁令要比战争强,但是一段时间过后,就不一定了。如果欧洲的战火继续下去,如果英国和法国继续对我们不利的话,那么就要由国会来决定,战争是否要比贸易禁令更为恰当。”

Jefferson hoped that the loss of American trade would force Britain and France to change their policies toward the United States. And he hoped the change would come quickly, for he knew the American people would not accept a long ban on trade.

杰斐逊希望,美国的贸易禁令能迫使英国和法国改变对美政策。他同时也希望,这种改变会尽快实现,因为他知道,美国人是不会接受长期贸易禁令的。

(MUSIC)

VOICE TWO:

A British traveler visiting New York City described what the embargo had done. He wrote: "The port is full of ships. But all of them are closed. Only a few sailors can be seen. Many of the counting houses are closed. The coffee houses are almost empty. The streets near the water are almost deserted. Grass has begun to grow upon the docks."

当时一位到过纽约的英国游客是这样形容贸易禁运给纽约带来的影响的。他说:“港口到处都是船,但是所有船只都停靠在那里,只能看到很少的几个水手,港口附近的街道空空荡荡,码头上野草丛生。”

VOICE ONE:

America's northern industrial states felt the loss of trade most strongly. But the agricultural South also was affected. Rich southern farmers and planters suddenly found themselves poor.

贸易禁运对美国自身经济产生了重大影响。美国北部工业州受到的冲击最大,但是南部的农业州也受到了波及。原本富有的南方农场主忽然感到了经济上的拮据。

Tobacco was one of their major crops. And Britain bought more American tobacco than any other country. Its price fell so low because of the embargo that it had almost no value. The price of wheat fell from two dollars a bushel to seven cents a bushel. Good farmland dropped in value until it was worth almost nothing. Opposition to the embargo was growing.

烟草是南方的主要作物之一,英国是最大的买家。贸易禁运造成烟草价格暴跌,几乎一文不值,小麦价格从一蒲式耳两美元跌到了七美分,良田的价值也一落千丈。因此,反对贸易禁运的呼声逐渐高涨。

(MUSIC)

VOICE TWO:

Albert Gallatin was treasury secretary from 1801-1814, under Jefferson and then President James Madison
Albert Gallatin was treasury secretary from 1801-1814, under Jefferson and then President James Madison

Opposition was strongest in the Northeast. Ship owners and traders there believed that the embargo was wrong. They continued to export goods secretly.

东北部各州的反对呼声最高。当地的船主和商人相信,贸易禁运是错误的,他们将商品出口转入地下。

Some traders began sending goods over land to Canada. From there, the goods were sent on to Britain. Congress passed a law against this kind of trade. But the shipments did not stop. Too many people were willing to violate the law for the large amounts of money they could make by trading secretly with Britain.

一些商人将商品运往加拿大,再从那里运往英国。美国国会通过立法,禁止这种运输渠道,但是毫无效果。大家为了巨额利润,不惜通过非法途径,跟英国秘密通商。

By August, eighteen-oh-eight, Treasury Secretary Albert Gallatin had lost all hope that the embargo would be successful. Gallatin told President Jefferson: "The embargo is now defeated by open violations, by ships sailing without permission of any kind."

到1808年8月的时候,美国财政部长阿尔伯特.加勒廷已经对贸易禁运失去了信心。他告诉杰斐逊说,“商船未经许可,公开违反禁令,已经让贸易禁运彻底失败了。”

VOICE ONE:

Another of Jefferson's supporters gave the president this advice: "If the trade ban could be enforced, and if the people would accept it, then I am sure it would be the wisest course. But if it cannot be enforced completely, and if the people will not accept it, then it will not answer its purpose. And it should not be continued."

杰斐逊的另外一位支持者建议说,“如果贸易禁运能够落实,如果大家能够接受,那我敢肯定,这是最好的方式,但如果贸易禁运无法彻底落实,不被大家接受的话,那就失去了意义,应该停止。”

VOICE TWO:

President Thomas Jefferson
President Thomas Jefferson

Jefferson, however, was not ready to give up his plan. In his last State of the Union message to Congress, he painted a bright picture of the nation.

但是杰斐逊还不想放弃。他在向国会发表的最后一次国情咨文中,描绘了一幅美景。

He reported that American industry was making progress. Many goods which had been imported before the embargo were now being made at home. He said almost all of the national debt had been paid. And he said more than one hundred gunboats had been built -- enough, he declared, to defend the country.

他报告说,美国工业发展昌盛,贸易禁运实施前的很多进口物资如今已经转为国产,美国的国债已经几乎还清,军队有了一百多艘炮舰,足够保护国家。

Jefferson said nothing about opposition to the embargo. Nor did he talk of the serious economic problems caused by it. He said only that Britain and France still refused to honor American neutrality, and so the embargo must continue.

杰斐逊对反对贸易禁运的呼声只字未提,也没有涉及禁运带来的严重问题,他只是说,英国和法国依然不承认美国的中立,因此贸易禁运必须继续下去。

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

The rest of the nation was not so sure. Congress began debating a number of proposals to either lift or amend the embargo. And the opposition Federalist Party used the issue to increase its strength in northeastern states. Eighteen-oh-eight was, after all, a presidential election year.

然而,杰斐逊的看法并不代表民意。美国国会随后出台了好几项提案,要求取消禁运,或是对禁运进行修正。反对党联邦党人也利用这个问题,来加强他们在美国东北部各州的势力。因为毕竟,1808年是大选之年。

VOICE TWO:

Thomas Jefferson had served two four-year terms as president. No law prevented him from running again. But Jefferson had decided years before that a man should be limited to two terms as president.

杰斐逊已经担任了两届总统,虽然当时并没有法律禁止他再次参选,但是杰斐逊很多年前就已经决定,总统任期不应该超过两届。

Without such a limit, Jefferson believed, a powerful man might be able to keep the position for as long as he wished. George Washington had served two terms, and then retired. Jefferson would do the same.

杰斐逊认为,如果没有这种限制,一位伟大的领导人就会无限期地连任下去。美国开国总统乔治.华盛顿就是干了两届后引退的,杰斐逊也准备这样做。

VOICE ONE:

Three members of Jefferson's Republican Party wanted to be president. One was James Madison, the secretary of state. The second was James Monroe, who had served as a special assistant to the president. The third was George Clinton, who was vice president during Jefferson's second term.

杰斐逊所在的共和党有三个人希望参选。他们分别是当时的国务卿詹姆斯.麦迪逊、曾任总统特别助理的詹姆斯.门罗、以及杰斐逊第二任期的副总统乔治.克林顿。

The Republican Party chose Madison as its candidate for president. It chose Clinton as its candidate for vice president. The Federalist Party named the same candidates it had chosen four years earlier: Charles Cotesworth Pinckney for president, and Rufus King for vice president.

共和党最后选择了麦迪逊作为党内总统候选人,由乔治.克林顿作为副总统候选人。联邦党提名四年前的人选平克尼和鲁弗斯.金作为总统和副总统候选人。

VOICE TWO:

The Federalists were sure of victory in the election. They thought that Jefferson's embargo on trade had angered the people and turned them away from the Republican Party. Even some Republicans felt the election could go very badly for their party.

联邦党人觉得自己必胜无疑。他们认为,杰斐逊的贸易禁运引起了很多人的不满,因此失去了民心,就连一些共和党人也觉得,这次选举大势已去。

But Jefferson remained calm. He believed that most Americans understood what he was trying to do with the embargo. And he believed they would vote for his party's candidate. Jefferson was right. Madison was elected.

但是杰斐逊却稳如泰山。他坚信,大多数美国人都了解他实施贸易禁运的意图,一定会把票投给共和党候选人。结果证明他是正确的,麦迪逊顺利当选。

VOICE ONE:

As we said earlier, Congress was trying to resolve the issue of the embargo before Jefferson left office.

我们上面说到,美国国会试图在杰斐逊离任前解决贸易禁运的问题。

In the first months of eighteen-oh-nine, it finally approved a bill. The bill lifted the ban on trade with all European countries except Britain and France.

1809年头两个月,国会终于通过了一项法案,取消了除英、法两国外,美国跟其它欧洲国家的贸易禁运。

Jefferson had hoped to continue the embargo a little longer and with more powers to enforce it. He was not satisfied with the final bill. But he signed it anyway on March first. Three days later, the fifteen-month-old embargo was dead. And the United States had a new president.

杰斐逊原本希望禁运能延续得再久一些,实施力度再大一些。虽然杰斐逊对最后的法案很不满意,但3月1号还是在法案上签了字。三天过后,执行了15个月的贸易禁运宣告结束。美国也迎来了一位新总统。

That will be our story next week.

(MUSIC)

ANNOUNCER:

Our program was written by Frank Beardsley. The narrators were Steve Ember and Shirley Griffith. Join us each week for THE MAKING OF A NATION – an American history series in VOA Special English. Transcripts, podcasts and MP3s of our programs are at www.unsv.com.

网友的学习评论(2条):
作者:xuding45
During the second presidency Thomas Jefferson tried to keep trade ban on Europe. But this policy was opposited by many people. They wanted to get money by the trade between American and European countries.
作者:Alumni
Jefferson went and Madison came.
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