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#73: Polk Sends Troops to Border With Mexico

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

In the middle of the eighteen forties, the United States offered to buy California from Mexico. The government of Mexico refused to negotiate. American President James Polk felt that the use of force was the only way to make Mexico negotiate. So, in the spring of eighteen forty-six, he ordered American soldiers to the Rio Grande River. The Rio Grande formed part of the border between the United States and Mexico.

十九世纪四十年代中期,美国提出向墨西哥收购加利福尼亚。墨西哥政府拒绝谈判。当时的美国总统波尔克觉得,要想让墨西哥坐到谈判桌前来,唯一的办法就是使用武力。1846年春天,波尔克下令美军开往美墨边界的格兰德河。

This week in our series, Larry West and Maurice Joyce tell about the conflict between the United States and Mexico.

General Zachary Taylor
General Zachary Taylor

VOICE ONE:

General Zachary Taylor commanded the American force. He sent one of his officers across the river to meet with Mexican officials. The Mexicans protested the movement of the American troops to the Rio Grande. They said the area was Mexican territory. The movement of American troops there, they said, was an act of war.

美军指挥官扎卡里·泰勒将军派遣部下过河会见墨西哥官员。墨西哥提出抗议,认为当地是墨西哥领土,美军在当地的活动是战争行为。

For almost a month, the Americans and the Mexicans kept their positions. Then, on April twenty-fifth, General Taylor received word that a large Mexican force had crossed the border a few kilometers up the river. A small force of American soldiers went to investigate. They were attacked. All were killed, wounded, or captured. General Taylor quickly sent a message to President Polk in Washington. It said war had begun.

整整一个月的时间里,美国和墨西哥士兵都坚守阵地,相持不下。直到4月25号,泰勒将军得到报告,说墨西哥大批部队在上游几公里处跨过了边界。美军小股部队前去侦察,结果遭到袭击,全部伤亡或是被俘。泰勒将军立即向华盛顿的波尔克总统快信通报,战争打响了。

VOICE TWO:

The message arrived at the White House on May ninth. A few days later, President Polk asked Congress to recognize that war had started. He asked Congress to give him everything he needed to win the war and bring peace to the area. A few members of Congress did not want to declare war against Mexico. They believed the United States was responsible for the situation along the Rio Grande. They were out-voted. President Polk signed the war bill. Later, Polk wrote:

白宫5月9号收到通报。几天后,波尔克总统请求国会宣战。他要求国会答应他的一切请求,设法打赢这场战争,给当地带来和平。一些国会议员不希望向墨西哥宣战,因为他们觉得格兰德河沿岸的战事完全是由美国造成的。但是持这种看法的人毕竟是少数,最后国会还是通过了法案,由总统波尔克签字生效。波尔克后来曾经写道:

"We had not gone to war for conquest. But it was clear that in making peace we would, if possible, get California and other parts of Mexico."

“我们不是为了征服而战。但是很明显,在争取和平的同时,如果可能的话,我们会得到加利福尼亚和墨西哥的其他地区。”

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

James Polk
James Polk

Many Americans opposed what they called "Mr. Polk's war." Whig Party members and Abolitionists in the North believed that slave-owners and southerners in Polk's administration had planned the war. They believed the South wanted to win Mexican territory for the purpose of spreading and strengthening slavery.

很多美国人都持反战立场,称这场战争为“波尔克先生的战争”。辉格党成员和北方的废奴主义者认为,这场战争是由波尔克政府里的奴隶主和南方人一手策划的。他们相信,南方想得到墨西哥领土,是为了推广和加强奴隶制度。

President Polk was troubled by this opposition. But he did not think the war would last long. He thought the United States could quickly force Mexico to sell him the territory he wanted. Polk secretly sent a representative to former Mexican dictator Santa Ana. Santa Ana was living in exile in Cuba. Polk's representative said the United States wanted to buy California and some other Mexican territory. Santa Ana said he would agree to the sale, if the United States would help him return to power.

波尔克对民众的反战情绪十分不解。但是他觉得,这场战争不会继续很久。他估计美国很快就会迫使墨西哥把他想要的土地卖给他。波尔克还派遣密使前往古巴,会见流亡的前墨西哥独裁者圣安纳。波尔克的密使说,美国想从墨西哥手中收购加利福尼亚和其他一些土地。圣安纳表示同意,条件是要美国帮他重新掌权。

VOICE TWO:

President Polk ordered the United States navy to let Santa Ana return to Mexico. American ships that blocked the port of Vera Cruz permitted the Mexican dictator to land there. Once Santa Ana returned, he failed to honor his promises to Polk. He refused to end the war and sell California. Instead, Santa Ana organized an army to fight the United States.

波尔克总统下令美国海军,让圣安纳返回墨西哥。封锁韦拉克鲁斯港的美国舰只允许圣安纳在那里登陆。然而,返回墨西哥后,圣安纳立刻翻脸,不仅没有恪守停战和出售加利福尼亚的承诺,反而组建军队,跟美国作战。

American General Zachary Taylor moved against the Mexicans. He crossed the Rio Grande River. He marched toward Monterrey, the major trading and transportation center of northeast Mexico. The battle for Monterrey lasted three days. The Mexicans surrendered.

美军将领扎卡里·泰勒发动进攻,他率兵跨过格兰德河,向蒙特里进发。蒙特里是墨西哥东北部的主要贸易和交通枢纽。蒙特里一役持续了三天,最后以墨西哥投降告终。

VOICE ONE:

Then General Taylor got orders to send most of his forces back to the coast. They were to join other American forces for the invasion of Vera Cruz. While this was happening, Santa Ana was moving his army north. In four months, he had built an army of twenty thousand men. When General Taylor learned that Santa Ana was preparing to attack, he left Vera Cruz. He moved his forces into a position to fight Santa Ana.

泰勒将军奉命率领大部分兵力返回沿海地区,跟其他美军部队会师,准备进攻韦拉克鲁斯。与此同时,圣安纳率军北上,在短短四个月里,就组建了一支两万人的队伍。泰勒得知圣安纳准备进攻,于是率部离开韦拉克鲁斯,选好阵地,准备跟圣安纳交战。

(MUSIC)

VOICE TWO:

Santa Ana sent a representative to meet with General Taylor. The representative said the American force had one hour to surrender. Taylor's answer was short: "Tell Santa Ana to go to hell."

圣安纳派特使前去会见泰勒将军,告诉泰勒,限美军在一小时内投降。泰勒简单地回答说,“告诉圣安纳,让他见鬼去吧。”

The battle between the United States and Mexican forces lasted two days. Losses were heavy on both sides. On the second night, Santa Ana's army withdrew from the battlefield. Taylor had won another victory.

美国和墨西哥部队之间的战争持续了两天,双方伤亡都很惨重。第二天晚上,圣安纳的部队撤退,泰勒赢得了战斗的胜利。

A drawing of a battle during the war with Mexico
A drawing of a battle during the war with Mexico

VOICE ONE:

Other American forces were victorious, too. General Winfield Scott had captured the port of Vera Cruz and was ready to attack Mexico City. Commodore Robert Stockton had invaded California and had raised the American flag over the territory.

与此同时,其他美军部队也捷报频传。温菲尔德·斯科特将军占领了韦拉克鲁斯港,直逼墨西哥城。科莫达里·罗伯特·斯托克顿进攻加利福尼亚,在那里升起了美国国旗。

Stephen Kearny had seized Santa Fe, the capital of New Mexico, without firing a shot. Still, the war was not over. President Polk's "short" war already had lasted for more than a year. Polk decided to send a special diplomatic representative to Mexico. He gave the diplomat the power to negotiate a peace treaty whenever Mexico wanted to stop fighting.

史蒂文·卡尼没用一枪一弹,就占领了新墨西哥首府圣菲。然而,战争尚未结束。波尔克原以为会速战速决的战争,持续了一年多。波尔克决定派特使前往墨西哥,只要墨西哥同意停战,就可以全权代表美国政府,跟墨西哥谈判达成和平协议。

VOICE TWO:

A ceasefire was declared. But attempts to negotiate a peace treaty failed. Santa Ana tried to use the ceasefire to prepare for more fighting. So General Scott ended the ceasefire. His men began their attack on Mexico City. The fighting lasted one week. The government of Mexico surrendered. Santa Ana stepped down as president. Manuel de la Pena y Pena -- president of the supreme court -- became acting president.

交战双方宣布停火,但是没能达成和平协议。圣安纳打算利用停战的时机重整旗鼓。因此,斯科特将军放弃停火,对墨西哥城发动进攻。战斗持续了整整一个星期。最后墨西哥政府投降,圣安纳下台,由最高法院院长代理总统职务。

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

On February second, eighteen forty-eight, the United States and Mexico signed a peace treaty. Mexico agreed to give up California and New Mexico. It would recognize the Rio Grande River as the southern border of Texas. The United States would pay Mexico fifteen million dollars. It also would pay more than three million dollars in damage claims that Mexico owed American citizens.

1848年2月2号,美国和墨西哥签署和平协议。墨西哥同意放弃加利福尼亚和新墨西哥,承认格兰德河是德克萨斯南部边界。美国向墨西哥支付一千五百万美元,并且替墨西哥向美国公民支付三百多万美元的赔偿费用。

The terms of the treaty were those set by President Polk. Yet he was not satisfied with just California and New Mexico. He wanted even more territory. But he realized he probably would have to fight for it. And he did not think Congress would agree to extend the war. So Polk sent the peace treaty to the Senate. It was approved. The Mexican Congress also approved it. The war was officially over.

协议内容是波尔克总统定的,但是他并不满足于加利福尼亚和新墨西哥,希望得到更多的领土,但他同时也意识到,这就要打仗,而国会不会同意延长战争。波尔克因此决定将和平协议提交参议院,并得到参议院的批准,墨西哥国会也批准了和平协议,战争正式宣告结束。

VOICE TWO:

The United States now faced the problem of what to do with the new lands. President Polk wanted to form territorial governments in California and New Mexico. He asked Congress for immediate permission to do that. But the question of slavery delayed quick congressional action. Should the new territories be opened or closed to slavery. Southerners argued that they had the right to take slaves into the new territories. Northerners disagreed. They opposed any further spread of slavery. The real question was this: did Congress have the power to control or bar slavery in the territories.

美国要决定如何处理这些新添的土地。波尔克总统希望在加利福尼亚和新墨西哥建立地方政府,希望立即得到国会批准。但是国会的决定再次因为蓄奴问题而受到了拖延。新领地上应该允许奴隶的存在吗?美国南方人认为,他们有权把奴隶带到新领地上去,但是北方人却反对奴隶的进一步推广。问题关键在于,国会是否有权控制或禁止新领地上的蓄奴问题。

VOICE ONE:

Until Texas became a state, almost all national leaders seemed to accept the idea that Congress did have this power. For fifty years, Congress had passed resolutions and laws controlling slavery in United States territories. Northerners believed Congress received the power from the constitution. Southern slave owners disagreed. They believed the power to control slavery remained with the states.

德克萨斯加入美国之前,几乎所有美国领导人都认为,国会有权控制领土上奴隶制度的存在与否。五十多年来,国会通过了很多决议和法律,都是为了控制美国土地上的奴隶制度。北方人认为,国会的这一权力是由宪法赋予的,但是南方奴隶主却不同意这种看法。他们认为,控制奴隶制度的权力应该掌握在州政府手中。

VOICE TWO:

There were some who thought the earlier Missouri Compromise could be used to settle the issue of slavery in California, Oregon, and New Mexico. They proposed that the line of the Missouri Compromise be pushed west, all the way to the Pacific Coast. Territory north of the line would be free of slavery. South of the line, slavery would be permitted.

有人认为,加利福尼亚、俄勒冈和新墨西哥,可以依据早先的密苏里协定来解决蓄奴问题。他们建议将密苏里协定的范围向西推,直到太平洋沿岸,以北地区禁止蓄奴,以南地区允许蓄奴。

Everyone agreed that governments had to be organized in the territories. But there seemed to be no way to settle the issue of slavery. Then a senator from Delaware agreed to be chairman of a special committee on the question of slavery in the new territories. The Senate committee included four Whigs and four Democrats. North and South were equally represented. Within six days, the committee had agreed on a compromise bill. That will be our story next week.

大家一致认为,这些新增领土必需组建地方政府,但是蓄奴问题似乎无法解决。德拉瓦州的一位参议员同意领导一个特别委员会,寻找问题的答案。这个特别委员会包括四个辉格党人和四个民主党人,四个南方人,四个北方人,短短六天里,委员会成员就达成了协议。

(MUSIC)

ANNOUNCER:

Our program was written by Frank Beardsley. The narrators were Larry West and Maurice Joyce.Transcripts, MP3s and podcasts of our programs are online, along with historical images, 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 #73 of THE MAKING OF A NATION

网友的学习评论(2条):
作者:Wanigfuney
录音不完全,中间就到结束了。请负责管理的人重新检查一下。
作者:Alumni
at John Polk's Presidency, the America and Mexio were at war and Mexio was defeated. as a result, the America got the territories of Califorina and New Mexio from Mexio. the force of the America was more power than the Mixio in the war as i had thought.
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