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#70: President John Tyler Shows His Independence

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

The election of eighteen forty put a new president in the White House: William Henry Harrison. The defeat of President Martin Van Buren had been expected. Still, it was a sharp loss for his Democratic Party.

1840年,威廉.亨利.哈里森当选总统。虽然前任总统范布伦的落选是预料之中的事情,但还是让民主党人深受打击。

John Tyler
John Tyler

Harrison was a retired general and a member of the Whig Party. He became the ninth president of the United States. But he got sick and he died after just a month in office. His vice president, John Tyler, became president.

哈里森是一位退役将军,是辉格党成员。他就职一个月后就身患重病,不幸去世。副总统约翰.泰勒继任总统。

Whig leaders, especially Senator Henry Clay of Kentucky, tried to control the new president. Clay proposed detailed legislative programs for the new administration. Among them: the establishment of a national bank. This was high on Senator Clay's list of proposals.

辉格党领袖,特别是肯塔基州的参议员亨利.克莱试图控制新总统。克莱提出了具体的立法议案,其中最重要的一项就是建立一家国家银行。

But Tyler soon showed his independence. He did not approve the plans as proposed by Clay. Tyler vetoed two bills calling for the creation of a national bank. Tyler wanted peace and party unity. But he also wanted to show that he -- not Clay -- was president.

然而,新任总统泰勒一上台就表现出了自己的特立独行。他没有批准克莱提出的议案,并先后两次否决了相关议案。泰勒希望保持党内团结,但他同时也想显示,总统是他泰勒,而不是克莱。

This week in our series, Bud Steele and Lew Roland continue the story of John Tyler.

VOICE ONE:

Clay's supporters in the cabinet did their best to get Tyler to sign the bank bills. When the president refused to do so, Whig Party leaders urged the cabinet to resign. This would show that the president, alone, was responsible for the veto of the bills.

克莱在内阁里的支持者想方设法让泰勒在议案上签字。遭到总统拒绝后,辉格党领袖呼吁内阁辞职,以显示议案的否决是总统一人造成的。

Daniel Webster
Daniel Webster

All cabinet members, but one -- Daniel Webster -- resigned. Secretary of State Webster was with the president when one of the letters of resignation arrived.

最后,内阁里除了国务卿丹尼尔.韦伯斯特以外,全体辞职。其中一封辞呈送到总统手中时,韦伯斯特正跟泰勒在一起。

"What am I to do, Mr. President?" asked Webster.

韦伯斯特问:“总统先生,我该怎样做呢?”

"You must decide that for yourself," Tyler said.

泰勒回答说:“你要自己决定。”

"If you leave it to me, Mr. President, I will stay where I am." President Tyler stood up.

韦伯斯特说,“如果让我自己定的话,我愿意留下来。”泰勒站起身来说,

"Give me your hand on that," he said, "and I will say to you that Henry Clay is a doomed man from this hour."

“你如果保证的话,那我告诉你,从现在开始,克莱死定了。”

Tyler named a new cabinet. And there was not one Clay supporter in it.

泰勒重新任命了内阁,里面没有克莱的支持者。

VOICE TWO:

The president's veto of the second bank bill brought strong public protests from those who wanted a national bank. A large group of Whig congressmen met and voted to expel Tyler from the party.

泰勒第二次否决有关国家银行的议案后,引起了支持建立国家银行的人的强烈抗议。一大批辉格党议员甚至开会投票,要把泰勒开除出党。

During the struggle over the bank bills, the Whigs did not forget the other parts of Senator Clay's legislative program. Clay especially wanted approval of a bill to give the different states money from the sale of public land. Tyler liked this idea himself. Many of the states owed large amounts of money. The distribution bill, as it was called, would help them get out of debt.

围绕国家银行立法的斗争激烈进行之际,辉格党人也没有忘记克莱参议员提出的其他议案。克莱特别希望通过的一项议案是,把联邦政府出售公用土地得到的钱,分配给各州使用。总统泰勒支持这项议案,因为当时很多州都负债累累,这一所谓的“分配法案”能帮助它们摆脱困境。

VOICE ONE:

The president was willing to support the bill. But he saw one danger in it. If all the money from land sales was given to the states, the federal government might not have enough money.

泰勒虽然愿意支持议案,但又担心,如果把钱分给各州,联邦政府会出现资金短缺。

Tyler feared that Congress then would raise import taxes to get more money for the federal government. As a southerner, the president opposed taxes on imports. He finally agreed to accept the distribution bill, but on one condition. The distribution of money to the states would be suspended if import taxes rose higher than twenty percent.

泰勒尤其担心,那样一来,国会为资助联邦资金,可能会提高进口税。作为南方人,泰勒反对进口税。他最后决定接受分配法案,唯一条件是,如果进口税超过20%,联邦政府分配给各州的资金就要暂停。

Tyler signed the bill, and it became law.

泰勒签字后法案生效。

(MUSIC)

VOICE TWO:

The next year, the government found itself short of money. It was spending more than it had. Congress decided that import taxes should be raised, some even higher than twenty percent. The bill was passed by close votes in the House and Senate.

第二年,联邦政府入不敷出,出现资金短缺,国会决定提高进口税,有些甚至要超过20%。议案最后以微弱优势,在参众两院通过。

When it got to the White House, President Tyler vetoed it. He said it was wrong to raise the tax so high and, at the same time, continue to give the states the money from land sales. He said the federal government itself needed the land-sale money. The Whigs were angry.

然而,议案遭到了泰勒的否决。他指出,在继续将售地所得分配给各州的同时,把税率提高到如此高的水平是不对的。他说,联邦政府也需要这笔钱。泰勒的做法引起了辉格党人的愤怒。

Still, they did not have enough votes to pass the bill over the president's veto. Then they approved a new bill. This one raised import taxes, but said nothing about distribution of federal money to the states. And President Tyler signed it.

不过,他们在国会里没有得到足够支持, 无法推翻泰勒的否决,只好通过了另外一项法案,提高进口税,但是对联邦政府分配售地所得的问题只字不提。这项法案经泰勒总统签字生效。

VOICE ONE:

While the Whigs made bitter speeches about the failure of the party's legislative program, Tyler worked to improve relations with Britain. The United States and Britain disputed the border that separated Canada from the northeastern United States. Both Canada and the state of Maine claimed the disputed area. Britain was also angry because Americans had helped Canadian rebels.

辉格党人对立法议案的失败满腹牢骚的同时,泰勒则在设法改善跟英国的关系。美国和英国在美加边境的问题上存在争端,加拿大和美国北部的缅因州都声称对边界一带享有主权。英国人还对美国帮助加拿大反叛势力的做法非常不满。

Canadian soldiers had crossed the Niagara River and burned a boat that was used to carry supplies to the rebels. Secretary of State Daniel Webster wanted peace with Britain. And there was a new government in Britain. Its foreign minister, Lord Aberdeen, also wanted peace.

加拿大士兵曾跨越尼亚加拉河,烧毁了一艘向反叛力量输送供给的船只。美国国务卿丹尼尔.韦伯斯特希望跟英国和平相处。英国新政府的外交大臣阿伯丁也主张和平。

VOICE TWO:

Lord Aberdeen sent a special representative, Lord Ashburton, to the United States. Lord Ashburton had an American wife. And he was a friend of Daniel Webster. He arrived in Washington in the spring of eighteen hundred forty-two with the power to settle all disputes with the United States.

阿伯丁派遣自己的朋友阿什伯顿以特使身份前往美国。阿什伯顿的太太是美国人。1842年春天,阿什伯顿抵达华盛顿,全权代表英国政府处理跟美国的纠纷。

Lord Ashburton said Britain regretted that it had not made some explanation or apology for the sinking of an American boat in the Niagara River. The two men discussed the border dispute between Canada and Maine.

阿什伯顿告诉韦伯斯特说,美国船只在尼亚加拉河上被击沉一事发生后,英国没有做出解释,也没有表示道歉,对此他深感遗憾。他们两人就加拿大和缅因州的领土争端进行了讨论。

Webster proposed a compromise border line. Lord Ashburton accepted the compromise. The agreement gave almost eighteen-thousand square kilometers of the disputed area to Maine. Canada received more than twelve thousand square kilometers.

韦伯斯特提出的一份妥协方案,被阿什伯顿所接受。根据协议,将近1万8千平方公里的土地划归美国,1万2千多平方公里归加拿大。

VOICE ONE:

The Senate approved the Webster-Ashburton agreement. And American-British relations showed improvement. President Tyler then turned to another problem: Texas. Texas asked to become a state during President Van Buren's administration. But nothing was done about the request.

这一协议得到了美国国会参议院的批准。美英关系出现好转。随后,泰勒总统着手解决另外一个棘手的难题,也就是德克萨斯加入联邦的问题。前总统范布伦在职期间,德克萨斯就曾申请加入联邦,但是没有结果。

Tyler was interested in Texas and wanted to make it part of the Union. Secretary Webster was cool to the idea of Texas statehood.

泰勒对德克萨斯很感兴趣,希望把德克萨斯吸收进来。

As a northerner, he did not want another slave state in the Union. Webster and his supporters were Tyler's only real strength in the Whig Party outside of Virginia. The president, therefore, did not push the issue of Texas.

然而,国务卿韦伯斯特对此十分冷淡。作为北方人,他不希望美国增加更多的奴隶州。韦伯斯特和他的支持者是除了维吉尼亚以外,泰勒在辉格党里唯一可以依靠的力量,泰勒因此不敢过份推动德克萨斯加入联邦的问题。

After Senate approval of his treaty with Lord Ashburton, Webster decided that he could be of no more real use to the administration. He resigned as secretary of state. Tyler named one of his Virginia supporters, Abel Upshur, to the job in the summer of eighteen forty-three.

参议院通过了美英关于美加边界协议后,韦伯斯特觉得,自己对泰勒政府已经没有多大用处了,决定解甲归田。泰勒1843年夏天提名自己在维吉尼亚的支持者埃布尔.厄普舍出任国务卿。

Abel Upshur
Abel Upshur

VOICE TWO:

Upshur was a firm believer in slavery. He felt slaves were necessary in the agricultural economy of the South. Upshur was worried about reports that Britain was interested in ending slavery in Texas. These reports said Britain had promised to defend Texas independence and to give economic aid, if the slaves were freed.

厄普舍对奴隶制度坚信不移。他认为,奴隶对南方农业经济来说,必不可少。有报导说,英国希望结束德克萨斯的奴隶制,这一消息让厄普舍十分担心。报导还说,英国保证,如果奴隶获得自由,英国就会保障德克萨斯的独立,并向德克萨斯提供经济援助。

Upshur and other southerners feared what might happen if this were done. Slaves from nearby southern states would try to escape to freedom in Texas. And the abolitionists might use Texas as a base for propaganda against the South.

厄普舍等南方人担心,如果德克萨斯取消奴隶制,南方其他州的奴隶就会跑到德克萨斯,投奔自由。废奴主义者就可能会把德克萨斯作为基地,对南方发动宣传攻势。

VOICE ONE:

There was another reason for President Tyler's interest in Texas. He believed it possible to make political use of the question of Texas statehood. It could help him build a new political party, a party that might elect him president for another four years. Four months after becoming secretary of state, Upshur offered a statehood treaty to Texas.

泰勒对德克萨斯感兴趣的另外一个原因是,他觉得,可以利用德克萨斯加入联邦的问题建立一个新政党,帮助他当选连任。厄普舍就任国务卿仅仅四个月后,就提出了一项接受德克萨斯加入联邦的条约。

At first, Texas President Sam Houston refused the offer. He finally agreed to negotiate, but said the United States must accept two conditions. It must agree to protect Texas if Mexico attacked it. And it must promise that the United States Senate would approve the treaty.

德克萨斯总统休斯顿起初断然拒绝,但最终还是同意谈判,他提出的两个条件是:一,如果墨西哥发动攻击,美国必须同意保护德克萨斯的安全;二,美国参议院一定要保证批准条约。

Upshur told the Texas representative in Washington that Texas would be given military protection just as soon as the treaty was signed. And he said the necessary two-thirds of the senators would approve the statehood treaty. Houston was satisfied. And his representative began secret negotiations with Upshur.

厄普舍告诉驻华盛顿的德克萨斯代表说,只要在条约上签字,德克萨斯将立即获得美国的军事保护,而且参议院肯定会有三分之二的议员批准。休斯顿对此感到满意,下令特使展开秘密协商。

John C. Calhoun
John C. Calhoun

VOICE TWO:

A few weeks later, before the talks could be completed, Upshur joined the president and congressional leaders for a trip down the Potomac River. They sailed on a new American warship that carried two large cannons. The new guns were to be fired for the president.

几个星期后,就在谈判结束前,厄普舍跟泰勒总统和一些国会领袖畅游波托马克河。他们乘坐的美国新战舰上装备了两尊大炮,为总统鸣炮。

Upshur was standing near one of the cannons during the firing. He and two other men were killed when the gun exploded. The president was not injured. But nineteen others were hurt.

鸣炮时,厄普舍站在一尊大炮旁边,炮弹爆炸,厄普舍和其余两人当场毙命,还有19人受伤,但是泰勒总统安然无恙。

President Tyler named John C. Calhoun -- a Democrat -- as his new secretary of state. He did so for two reasons: Calhoun believed that Texas should be part of the United States. And Tyler -- a Whig -- hoped that Calhoun might be able to get him nominated as the presidential candidate of the Democratic Party.

泰勒任命民主党人卡尔霍恩出任国务卿。他这样做出于两个原因:第一,卡尔霍恩主张德克萨斯加入美国;第二,泰勒虽然是辉格党人,但是他希望卡尔霍恩能让自己获得民主党的总统候选人提名。

(MUSIC)

ANNOUNCER:

Our program was written by Frank Beardsley. The narrators were Bud Steele and Lew Roland. Transcripts, MP3s and podcasts of our programs, along with historical images, are at www.unsv.com. Join us again next week for THE MAKING OF A NATION -- an American history series in VOA Special English.

___

This is program #70 of THE MAKING OF A NATION

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作者:Alumni
Lord Aberdeen sent a special representative, Lord Ashburton, to the United States. Lord Ashburton had an American wife. so the Britian and the America were and are family of sharing common language and same cultures.
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