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#52: Monroe Dislikes but Signs Missouri Compromise

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

In the spring of eighteen twenty, President James Monroe was coming to the end of his first four years as president. He wanted to be elected again. But he faced a difficult decision.

1820年春天,美国总统门罗的第一届四年任期即将结束。门罗希望连任,但是面临着一个非常棘手的问题--也就是密苏里申请加入联邦的问题。

Congress, after much debate between the North and the South, had approved a bill giving statehood to Missouri. Missouri was part of the Louisiana territory. Southern lawmakers wanted Missouri to permit slavery. Northerners wanted no slaves in Missouri. A compromise was reached. Missouri could have slaves. But nowhere else in the northern part of the Louisiana territory would slavery be permitted.

美国国会经过反复讨论,最终决定接受密苏里州加入联邦。密苏里是路易斯安那地区的一部分,美国南方的国会议员希望密苏里继续保留奴隶制,北方州则希望密苏里抛弃奴隶制。国会最终达成妥协,允许密苏里保留奴隶制,但是路易斯安那北部的其它地区不能再允许奴隶的存在。

Now, Sarah Long and Steve Ember continue our story of the presidency of James Monroe.

VOICE ONE:

James Monroe
James Monroe

Many southerners were not satisfied. The compromise closed the door against slavery entering large new areas of land. Southerners -- like all other Americans -- had a right to settle in the new territory. President Monroe was a slave-owner. He understood the feelings of the South. His friends urged him to veto the compromise bill, because it limited slavery in the territory.

很多南方人对此非常不满,因为这就意味着美国大片新增土地上不会再有奴隶的存在。门罗总统本人就是奴隶主,他完全理解南方人的立场。很多朋友都劝他否决这项限制奴隶制度的议案。

Monroe believed the compromise was wrong -- but not because it kept slaves out of the territory. The president did not believe the Constitution gave Congress the right to make such conditions.

门罗认为国会的妥协是错误的,并不是因为国会对奴隶制度说“不”,而是因为他觉得,根据宪法,国会无权向申请加入联邦的州预设条件。

Monroe even wrote a veto message explaining why he could not approve the compromise. But he did not use the veto. He also understood the strong feelings of those opposed to slavery.

门罗甚至撰写了一份否决说明,阐述自己的观点,但他最终还是没有否决议案,因为他同样理解反对奴隶制度的人的立场。

He believed there might be civil war if he rejected the compromise. So Monroe signed the bill. Missouri had permission to enter the union as a slave state.

他担心,否决议案会引发内战。门罗最终在议案上签了字,密苏里的申请得到批准,作为奴隶州,定于次年,1821年加入联邦

VOICE TWO:

The crisis seemed ended. But a few months later, a new problem developed. Missouri wrote a state constitution that it sent to Congress for approval. One part of this constitution did not permit free black men to enter the state. The constitution was immediately opposed by a number of congressmen. They charged that it violated the United States constitution.

从表面看来,这场危机已经平稳结束。然而,短短几个月后,又出现了新的问题。密苏里州向国会提交本州宪法,寻求国会批准,但是这部宪法禁止自由的黑人进入密苏里州。宪法立即遭到一部分国会议员的反对。他们指责说,密苏里的州宪法违反了美国的联邦宪法。

The United States Constitution said citizens of each state had the rights of citizens of each of the other states. And since free black men were citizens of some states, they should have the right to be citizens of Missouri. The debate over this lasted several months.

根据美国联邦宪法,任何一个州的居民都跟其它州的居民享有同等权利。因此,自由的黑人也应该跟密苏里州的居民享有同等权利。这场辩论持续了好几个月。

Former House speaker Henry Clay finally proposed a compromise that both sides accepted. Missouri could become a state if its legislature would make this promise: it would never pass any law that would violate the rights of any citizen of another state. This second compromise ended the dispute over slavery in Missouri and the Louisiana territory.

前国会众议院议长亨利.克莱提出一项妥协方案,被争执双方接受。根据妥协方案,密苏里1821年可以作为一个州加入联邦,但条件是,密苏里州议会必须保证,绝不能通过任何侵犯其它州公民权利的法律。这项措辞含糊的妥协方案给密苏里和路易斯安那地区围绕奴隶制度的争议暂时划上了句号。

VOICE ONE:

The compromise of eighteen twenty settled the crisis of slavery for more than twenty years. But everyone knew that the settlement was only temporary.

1820年解决奴隶危机的妥协方案维持了二十多年,但是所有人都知道,平静只是暂时的。

[Former President] Thomas Jefferson used these words to explain his feelings about the compromise: "This question -- like a fire bell in the night -- awakened and filled me with terror. I understood it at once as the threat of death to the union. It is hushed, indeed, for the moment.

"But," said Jefferson, "this is a reprieve only. Not a final settlement."

美国前总统托马斯.杰斐逊曾说,“这个问题,就像黑夜的火球,让我惊醒,充满恐惧。我知道,这是对联邦的死亡威胁,被暂时平息了下去,但这只是间歇而已,并没有得到根本解决。”

Monroe's decision to approve the compromise did not hurt his election chances in eighteen twenty. There was at this time really only one party -- the Republican -- and he was its leader. The opposition Federalist Party was dead. It was no longer an election threat.

门罗总统批准妥协方案的决定并没有伤害他在1820年大选中参选连任的机会。当时美国其实只有一个政党:共和党,而门罗就是共和党的领袖。反对派政党联邦党名存实亡,在大选中并不构成威胁。

Monroe was the only presidential candidate in the election of eighteen twenty. He received the vote of every elector, but one. William Plumer of New Hampshire voted for John Quincy Adams. He explained later that George Washington had been the only president to get all the electoral votes. Plumer said he did not want anyone to share this honor given to Washington.

门罗是1820年总统大选唯一的候选人,在所有选举人票中,只丢掉了一票。新罕布什尔州的威廉.普卢默将这唯一的一票投给了约翰.昆西.亚当斯。他后来解释说,乔治.华盛顿是唯一全票当选的总统,他不希望任何人分享这一荣誉。

VOICE TWO:

Monroe's first four years as president had been successful. He had increased the size of the United States. Florida now was part of the country. And the problem of slavery had been temporarily settled. There had been economic problems -- some of the worst in the nation's history. But the situation was getting better.

门罗第一届四年任期非常成功,不仅扩大了美国的疆域,吸收了佛罗里达;暂时缓解了奴隶制度引起的争端,而且改善了国家的经济状况。

The nation was growing. As it grew, new problems developed between its different sections. There were really three separate areas with very different interests. The northeastern states had become the industrial center of the nation. The southern states were agricultural with large farms that produced cotton, rice and tobacco. Much of the work on these farms was done by slave labor.

然而,随着国家的成长,新问题也不断出现。当时,美国三大地域间存在利益分歧:东北部是国家的工业中心;南部农业发达,是棉花、稻米和烟草大农场的集中地,主要劳动力是黑奴。

The western states were areas of small farms where grain was produced with free labor. It was a place where a man could make a new start. Could build a new life. The land did not cost much. And the fruits of a man's labor were his own.

西部有很多小农场,种植谷物,土地便宜,是一个白手起家,开创新生活的好地方。

VOICE ONE:

This division of the nation into different sections with opposing interests ended the one-party system of Monroe's administration. The industrial Northeast wanted high taxes on imported products to protect its industry from foreign competition. This part of the country also believed the national government should pay for roads and waterways to get their products to markets.

地域之间的利益冲突,使门罗任期内的一党体制走到了尽头。美国东北部工业化地区主张对进口产品征收高额关税,保护当地产业不受外部竞争的威胁;东北部工业化地区还认为,联邦政府应该负责修路,让他们将商品运往市场。

The South did not agree to high import taxes. These taxes raised the prices on all goods. And import taxes on foreign goods might cause foreign nations to raise import taxes on southern cotton and tobacco. The South also opposed spending federal money for roads and canals. The mountains through the southern Atlantic states would make road-building difficult and canals impossible.

南方反对进口关税,因为征收进口关税不仅会让进口商品的价格提高,还会使南方出口的棉花和烟草面临别国征收的对等性关税。南方各州也反对动用联邦资金修建道路和运河,因为南方大西洋沿岸各州的山区地形不适合修建道路,更不用说是运河了。

The western states supported government aid in the building of roads and canals. The Ohio and Mississippi rivers were the only inexpensive transportation systems for moving their products to markets. The westerners also supported high taxes on imports, because they believed such taxes would raise the prices of their agricultural products.

西部各州支持联邦政府出钱修建道路和运河,因为他们要将商品运往市场,他们的廉价运输手段只有俄亥俄河和密西西比河。西部也支持对进口商品征收关税,因为他们认为,这样做会提高他们自己的农产品的价格。

VOICE TWO:

The separate interests of these different sections produced an exciting presidential election campaign in eighteen twenty-four. Each section had at least one candidate. Several had more than one. The campaign began almost as soon as Monroe was elected for the second time.

这三大地域间的利益冲突,促成了1824年激烈的总统选战。每个地区都有至少一位候选人,门罗第二任期刚开始,竞选就拉开了战幕。

John Quincy Adams
John Quincy Adams

At one time, as many as sixteen men thought of themselves as presidential possibilities. By eighteen twenty-two, the number had been reduced to six men. Three of them were members of Monroe's cabinet: Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, Treasury Secretary William Crawford, and Secretary of War John C. Calhoun.

一度曾有16个人考虑参选,到1822年的时候,候选人的数目才减少到六名,其中三位是门罗的内阁成员:国务卿约翰.昆西.亚当斯、财政部长威廉.克劳福德、和战争部长约翰.卡尔霍恩。

Adams was the only northern candidate. He was an extremely able man. There were few jobs in government he could not do, and do well. But he was not the kind of man that people liked. He was cold, questioning, and had a sharp tongue. His father was John Adams, the second president of the United States.

亚当斯是唯一来自北方的候选人,他能力过人,胜任任何政府要职,但他不招人喜欢,对人冷淡,多疑,说话刻薄。他父亲是美国第二位总统,约翰.亚当斯。

VOICE ONE:

Treasury Secretary Crawford was a southerner -- born in Virginia -- and a large landowner in Georgia. Crawford had received some votes when the Republicans chose Monroe as their presidential candidate in eighteen sixteen. He was a good politician and supported by most southern Republicans.

财政部长克劳福德是南方人,在维吉尼亚出生,在乔治亚州拥有大片土地,1816年共和党人推举门罗为总统候选人的时候,克劳福德也得到了一部分选票。他是一位出色的政治人物,深受南方大部分共和党人的支持。

War Secretary Calhoun also was a southern candidate. But he had much less support than Crawford. His home state -- South Carolina -- first named another man as its candidate. When that man died, they named Calhoun.

战争部长卡尔霍恩也是南方人,但是没有克劳福德那么受欢迎。他所在的南卡罗来纳原本推举的是另外一个人,那个候选人不幸身亡后,才轮到卡尔霍恩。

The West had two candidates in the election of eighteen twenty-four. One was Henry Clay of Kentucky -- "Harry of the West" -- a great lawyer, congressman, speaker of the House and senator. The other was Andrew Jackson -- "Old Hickory" -- the hero of New Orleans [the Battle of New Orleans during the war of 1812]. Jackson was poorly educated, knew little about government, and had a terrible temper. He was a fighter, a man of the people.

1824年的总统候选人里,还有两个来自西部。其中一个是肯塔基州的亨利.克莱,人称“西部哈里”。他做过律师、国会议员、众议院议长和参议员。另外一位是安德鲁.杰克逊,人称“老胡桃木”,是1812年战争中新奥尔良一役的英雄。杰克逊没读过什么书,对政府运作知之甚少,而且脾气暴躁。他是一位斗士,是普通民众的一员。

The sixth candidate was Dewitt Clinton of New York. He was governor of that state and leader of the commission that built the Erie Canal. But New York presidential electors were chosen by the legislature, which was controlled by Clinton's enemies. So Clinton's chances were poor.

最后一位候选人是纽约的德威特.克林顿。他是纽约州州长,是伊利运河委员会的负责人。但是,纽约总统选举人是由州议会选择的,而州议会在克林顿政敌的控制之下,因此他的机会渺茫。

VOICE TWO:

William Crawford
William Crawford

Treasury Secretary Crawford was clearly the leading candidate two years before the election. But he had a serious illness in the autumn of eighteen twenty-three. He could not meet with the cabinet for months. He could not sign official papers.

大选两年前,财政部长克劳福德显然是最看好的候选人。然而,克劳福德1823年秋天身患重病,好几个月不能参加内阁会议,不能签署任何官方文件。

Crawford did go back to work. But he was only a shadow of the man he had been. "He walks slowly, like a blind man," wrote one reporter. So that took secretary Crawford out as a possible candidate for the coming election.

克劳福德后来虽然回去工作,但是身体远不如前,当时一位记者曾经这样写道:“他走得很慢,象个盲人”。克劳福德参选无望。

(MUSIC)

ANNOUNCER:

Our program was written by Frank Beardsley. The narrators were Steve Ember and Sarah Long. To learn more about American history, go to www.unsv.com. We have transcripts, MP3s and podcasts of our programs as well as historical images. 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:Alumni
at that time, the presidents were often produced among the cabinet members, such as the secretary of state, secretary of treasury and secretary of war. e.g. Thomas Jefferson was as well as James Monroe.
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