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#49: War of 1812 Ends With Treaty of Ghent

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

Detail from
Detail from "The Battle of New Orleans" by E. Percy Morgan

The United States and Britain agreed late in December of eighteen fourteen to end the war between them. The peace treaty was signed the day before Christmas at Ghent, Belgium. It took several weeks for word of the agreement to reach Washington. This resulted in two events that would not have happened had communications across the Atlantic been faster.

美国和英国1814年12月同意停战。谈判双方圣诞节前夜在比利时的根特签署了和平协议。然而,和平的喜讯几个星期后才传到美国首都华盛顿。在这几个星期的时间里,发生了两件本来可以避免的事情。

One of the events was the battle of New Orleans. British forces had begun the attack about the time the peace treaty was being signed in Ghent. The American commander, General Andrew Jackson, had prepared his defenses well. He won a great victory against the British in a battle that was unnecessary, because the war was already over.

其中之一就是新奥尔良战役。和平协议签字的时候,英国军队正在发起进攻。美军指挥官安德鲁.杰克逊做好了充分的防御准备。他打个了完全没有必要的大胜仗,因为战争已经结束了。

Now, Maurice Joyce and Jack Moyles continue our story.

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

The other event was a convention of New England Federalists at Hartford, Connecticut. The meeting began in the middle of December and lasted through the first few days of January. Most of the representatives were from Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. There were a few from New Hampshire and Vermont.

另外一件本来可以避免的事情是新英格兰地区的联邦党人在康涅狄克州的哈特福德召开了一次反战大会。会议从12月中旬一直持续到次年的1月初。与会代表主要来自麻萨诸塞、罗德岛和康涅狄克州,还有几个来自新罕布什尔和佛蒙特。

The Federalists called the meeting to protest the war with Britain. Many of them had opposed the war from the beginning. Federalist state governments refused to put their soldiers under control of the central government. And Federalist banks refused to lend to the government in Washington.

参加这次大会的很多人从一开始就反对跟英国开战。联邦党人控制下的州政府拒绝让本州士兵服从联邦政府的调遣,联邦党人的银行也拒绝向联邦政府贷款。

During the early part of the war, many businessmen in the New England states traded with the enemy. All these things had caused people in other parts of the country to turn against the Federalists. This, in turn, caused some Federalist extremists to talk of taking the New England states out of the union.

战争初期,新英格兰各州的很多商人继续跟英国做生意。新英格兰各州的这些做法引起了美国其他地方的强烈不满,联邦党里的极端份子因此提出,新英格兰各州应该脱离联邦。

VOICE TWO:

There was some fear that representatives to the Hartford convention would propose a separate and independent government for New England. Such a proposal -- while the nation was at war with Britain -- would seriously threaten America's future. Not only were the representatives at Hartford to protest the war, they also were there to plan a convention to change the United States Constitution. They wanted changes that would protect the interests of the New England states. These states felt threatened because new states were being created from the western territories.

有人担心,在哈特福德大会上会有人提议,让新英格兰地区自立门户。在战争期间提出分裂,无疑会对美国的前途构成严峻挑战。在哈特福德开会的联邦党人不光是反战,还要筹备一次修宪大会。他们希望修改宪法,保护新英格兰各州的利益。这些州因为西部新州的出现而感到了威胁。

Timothy Pickering
Timothy Pickering

These new states would weaken the power of New England. Some of the more extreme Federalists, led by Timothy Pickering, believed Britain would capture New Orleans. By doing so, Britain could control the Mississippi River, which the western states needed to move their products to market.

西部地区新出现的州会削弱新英格兰地区的势力。以蒂莫西.皮克林为首的联邦党极端份子相信,英国肯定会攻下新奥尔良。这样一来,英国就会控制密西西比河,阻断美国西部各州把商品运往市场的水路。

"If the British succeed against New Orleans," wrote Pickering, "and I see no reason to question that they will be successful, then I shall consider the Union as cut in two. I do not expect to see a single representative in the next Congress from the western states. "

皮克林曾经写道:“如果英国成功占领新奥尔良,我看不出他们有什么失败的理由,如果真是这样的话,我认为,联邦就已经一分为二了,在下届国会里,不会有任何来自西部地区的国会代表。”

VOICE ONE:

Not all the representatives at the convention were as extreme as Pickering. The majority of them were more moderate. They did not want to split the union. They only wanted to protect the interests of the New England states. These more moderate federalists controlled the secret meetings and prevented any extreme proposals.

并非所有人都象皮克林那么极端,参加大会的绝大多数其实都是温和派,他们不希望分裂国家,只想捍卫新英格兰各州的利益。这些联邦党里的温和派控制了秘密会议的局面,防止了极端提议的出现。

They were able to do so because of the Republican strength in New England. True, the federalists controlled the governments of these states, but only by small majorities. There would surely have been violence had the federalists tried to take these states out of the union.

他们之所以能够做到这一点,也要感谢新英格兰地区共和党人的势力。没错,这些州的政府确实掌握在联邦党人手中,但是他们只占很小的优势。如果联邦党人试图分裂的话,肯定会发生暴力冲突。

VOICE TWO:

The federalist leaders made a public statement at Hartford, January fifth. They sharply criticized the war and President Madison. But they said there was no real reason to withdraw from the central government. New England's problems, they said, resulted from the war and from the Republican government in Washington.

联邦党领袖1月5号在哈特福德发表公开声明,对战争和麦迪逊总统提出了严厉的批评,但他们同时表示,没有理由退出联邦政府,因为新英格兰的问题完全是由战争和共和党政府造成的。

Then the Federalists listed the changes they wanted in the Constitution. They wanted to reduce the congressional representation of the southern states, where slavery was permitted. They wanted new states added to the Union only if two-thirds of Congress approved. They wished to reduce the power of the central government to interfere with trade.

联邦党人提出了一系列修宪内容:他们要求减少南部奴隶州的国会议员人数;要求新州加入联邦,需要至少三分之二国会议员的批准;还希望减少联邦政府干预贸易的权力。

The Federalists wished to limit to four years the time that a man could serve as president. And they wanted only men born in the United States to serve in the government. Three of the Federalists were chosen to take this list of proposals to Washington and give it to President Madison. By the time they arrived, Washington had received the news of the peace treaty signed at Ghent. The war was over.

除此之外,联邦党人提出,希望将总统任期限制在四年以内,只有在美国本土出生的男性才能担任公职。与会代表推举三位联邦党人,把上述要求送到首都华盛顿去,交给麦迪逊。谁知道,他们抵达华盛顿的时候,停战的消息已经传来了。

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

The three Federalists met with Madison. They made only small talk and said nothing about the demands of the Hartford convention.

这三个人见到麦迪逊总统后,只聊了一些不关痛痒的琐事,根本没有谈到新英格兰地区联邦党人的要求。

The Federalist Party found itself greatly embarrassed by the peace. Its leaders had long denounced the war and said Britain could not be defeated. Many of them had traded with the enemy. Some had even worked with the British against their own country. They had even threatened to break up the Union. While there was some question about how the war would end, the Federalist Party had supporters. But once the war was over, its supporters vanished. And the party itself soon disappeared, even in New England.

英美签署的和平协议让联邦党人很没面子。联邦党领袖一直谴责这场战争,认为英国人不可能被打败,很多联邦党人跟英国人通商,甚至有些人反过去帮助英国,还威胁说要分裂联邦。战争没有结束前,联邦党人有不少支持者,但是战争结束后,这些支持者一下子都不见了。联邦党没过多久也不复存在,甚至是在新英格兰地区。

VOICE TWO:

Albert Gallatin
Albert Gallatin

The Senate acted quickly to approve the treaty with Britain. On February seventeenth, eighteen fifteen, President Madison declared the war officially ended. It had lasted two years and eight months. The United States had suffered thirty thousand casualties -- killed, wounded, or captured. But the war had united the American people. Albert Gallatin, Madison's treasury secretary and one of the negotiators at Ghent, explained it this way:

国会参议院迅速批准了和平协议。1815年2月17号,麦迪逊总统正式宣布战争结束。这场战争先后持续了两年八个月,美军伤亡和被俘人数多达三万,但是这场战争也团结了美国人民。当时美国的财政部长加勒廷参加了在比利时的和谈。

"The war has renewed and reinstated the national feelings and character which the revolution had given and which were becoming weaker. The people now have more general objects of attachment with which their pride and political opinions are joined. They are more American. They feel and act more like a nation."

加勒比廷解释说:“这场战争重新燃起了独立战争中形成的,后来日渐消失的爱国情感。如今,人民的骄傲和政见有了更实在的寄托。他们变得更美国化了,感情和行动都更象一个国家。”

VOICE ONE:

On the following Fourth of July, the nation celebrated its thirty-ninth anniversary of independence. In Washington, the man who wrote the "Star-Spangled Banner," Francis Scott Key, spoke at the celebrations.

1815年7月4号,美国举国欢庆独立建国39周年。“星条旗”一曲的作者弗朗西斯.斯科特.克伊发表了讲话。

"My countrymen," he said, "we hold something rich in trust for ourselves and all the rest of mankind. It is the fire of liberty. If it is ever put out, our darkened land will cast a sad shadow over the nations. If it lives, its blaze will enlighten and gladden the whole earth. "

他说:“同胞们,我们要看管一件非常珍贵的物品---自由的火焰。如果自由之火熄灭了,我们这片土地上的黑暗会给其他国家笼罩上一层阴影,如果自由之火持续燃烧,整个地球都会感受到光明和喜悦。”

(MUSIC)

VOICE TWO:

President Madison had been elected to his second term in eighteen twelve, the year the war started. The next presidential election was in eighteen sixteen. Madison continued the tradition, begun by Washington and followed by Jefferson, of only serving eight years as president. Republican members of the House and Senate met March fifteenth to choose their presidential and vice presidential candidates.

1812年英美战争打响的那一年,麦迪逊当选连任。四年后的1816年大选年,麦迪逊决定秉承前总统华盛顿和杰斐逊开创的最多只干八年的传统,全身而退。国会共和党参、众两院议员3月15号开会,推选共和党的总统和副总统候选人。

Three Republicans wanted to be president: Secretary of State James Monroe, former Senator and Secretary of War William Crawford, and New York Governor Daniel Tompkins. Monroe received sixty-five votes. Fifty-four of the lawmakers voted for Crawford. With Monroe chosen as the presidential candidate, the Republicans then chose Governor Tompkins as their vice presidential candidate.

有意参加总统竞选的三个共和党人是:当时的国务卿詹姆斯.门罗;前参议员和战争部长威廉.克劳福德,以及纽约州长丹尼尔.汤普金斯。结果,门罗得到了65张支持票,克劳福德54张。共和党人最后推举门罗和汤普金斯为共和党总统和副总统候选人。

The Federalists did not meet to choose a presidential candidate. But electors from three of the New England states promised to vote for a New York Federalist, Rufus King. Nineteen states voted in the elections of eighteen sixteen. That will be our story next week.

联邦党人没有开会推选候选人,但是新英格兰地区三个州的选举人保证,会把票投给纽约的联邦党人鲁弗斯.金。1816年美国总统大选,一共有19个州投票。

(MUSIC)

ANNOUNCER:

Our program was written by Frank Beardsley. The narrators were Maurice Joyce and Jack Moyles. For transcripts, MP3 and podcasts of our programs, along with historical images, go to www.unsv.com. 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(1条):
作者:Charles
Become more and more clear about the evouotion of the United States, let the presidential election to be the clue, we can find that the history of the US could be actuallt divided into many parts, during every two president , many events and splendid conventions and thriling wars happended ,keep learning about it ...
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