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#78: The Fresh Air of Liberty and Union

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ANNOUNCER:

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

Daniel Webster
Daniel Webster

In eighteen fifty, the United States faced the threat of a split between northern and southern states. The two sides disagreed strongly over the issue of slavery. At that time, owning slaves was legal in the southern states. But the question remained: should slavery be legal in new territories in the western part of the country?

1850年,美国面临南北分裂的危险。南北双方在废奴还是蓄奴的问题上水火不容。当时,在南方可以合法拥有奴隶,主要问题在于,美国西部新增领土上是否应该允许奴隶的存在。

The issue needed to be settled. There was a danger of civil war between the North and the South. Senator Henry Clay of Kentucky offered a compromise. Conservative southern lawmakers rejected it. Other lawmakers supported it; they believed it was the only way to save the union of states.

由于在这个问题上的分歧,南北双方日益走向内战的边缘。肯塔基州联邦参议员亨利·克莱提出了一项妥协方案,遭到南方保守派国会议员的反对,但是得到了其他地区议员的支持。他们相信,这是维护联邦完整的唯一途径。

This week in our series, Warren Scheer and Sarah Long continue our story of the Compromise of Eighteen Fifty.

VOICE ONE:

One of the nation's top political leaders, Senator Daniel Webster of Massachusetts, supported Henry Clay's compromise. Webster believed that slavery was evil. Yet he believed that national unity was more important. He did not want the nation to divide. He did not want to see the end of the United States of America.

当时一位非常重要的政治领袖、麻萨诸塞州联邦参议员丹尼尔·韦伯斯特支持克莱提出的妥协方案。韦伯斯特认为奴隶制度是邪恶的,但是国家统一更重要。他不希望看到国家分裂,不希望看到美国联邦分崩离析。

Daniel Webster spoke to other members of the Senate. His speech was an appeal to both sides in the dispute.

丹尼尔·韦伯斯特在参议院发表演讲,希望说服争议双方。

"I speak today," he said, "to save the Union. I speak today out of a concerned and troubled heart. I speak for the return of a spirit of unity. I speak for the return of that general feeling of agreement which makes the blessings of this union so special to us all."

他说:“我今天讲话是为了挽救联邦。我今天带着沉重的心情在这里讲话,希望能够重新唤起团结的热情,重新唤起意见的一致,因为正是共同的理念让联邦给我们带来福祉。”

VOICE TWO:

Senator Webster spoke of how he hated slavery. He spoke of his fight against the spread of slavery in America. But he disagreed with those who wanted laws making slavery illegal in new territories. It would not be wise to pass such laws, he said. They would only make the South angry. They would only push the South away from the Union.

韦伯斯特谈到了他对奴隶制度的痛恨,谈到了他为阻止奴隶制度在美国进一步蔓延而进行的斗争,但是他不同意通过立法禁止在新增领土蓄奴。他说,这样做不明智,只会激怒南方各州,只会让他们在脱离联邦的道路上越走越远。

Then Webster spoke about the things the North and South had done to make each other angry.

韦伯斯特还谈到了南北双方激怒对方的一些所作所为。

VOICE ONE:

One, he said, was the failure of the North to return runaway slaves. He said the South had good reason to protest. It was a matter of law. The law was contained in article four of the national constitution.

首先,北方没有将逃亡奴隶送还给他们的奴隶主,南方有权提出抗议,因为联邦宪法第四款里对此有具体规定。

"Every member of every northern legislature," Webster said, "has sworn to support the constitution of the United States. And the constitution says that states must return runaway slaves to their owners. This part of the constitution has as much power as any other part. It must be obeyed."

韦伯斯特说,“北方各州每一位议会成员都曾发誓,保证支持联邦宪法。宪法里明确规定,各州要将逃亡奴隶还给他们的奴隶主,宪法里的这一规定跟其他规定具有同等效力,必需遵守。”

VOICE TWO:

Next, Webster spoke about the Abolition societies. These were organizations that demanded an end to slavery everywhere in the country.

韦伯斯特接下来谈到废奴社团。

"I do not think that Abolition societies are useful," Webster said. "At the same time, I believe that thousands of their members are honest and good citizens who feel they must do something for liberty. However, their interference with the South has produced trouble."

他说,“我不认为废奴社团有什么用。数以千计的社团成员都是诚实善良的公民,觉得要为自由做些贡献,但是他们干预南方事务,反而带来了麻烦。”

As an example, Webster spoke about the state of Virginia. Slavery was legal there. Webster noted that public opinion in Virginia had been turning against slavery until Abolitionists angered the people. After that, he said, no one would talk openly against slavery. He said Abolitionists were not ending slavery, but helping it to continue.

韦伯斯特举例说,维吉尼亚是蓄奴州,当地人本来已经转向反对蓄奴,但是废奴主义者的言论激起了公愤,结果是,没人再愿意公开反对蓄奴。韦伯斯特说,废奴主义者不是在结束奴隶制,而是在帮助奴隶制继续下去。

VOICE ONE:

Then Webster said the North also had a right to protest about some things the South had done.

韦伯斯特指出,南方也有让北方不满的地方。

He said the South was wrong to try to take slaves into new American territories. He said attempts to do this violated earlier agreements to limit slavery to areas where it already existed.

南方试图把奴隶制推广到美国新增领土,这种做法是错误的,违背了先前达成的将奴隶制度限制在现存区域内的协议。

Webster said the North also had a right to protest statements by southern leaders about working conditions in the North. Southerners often said that slaves in the South lived better lives than free workers in the North.

另外,南方人常说,北方自由劳工的生活条件还不如南方奴隶的生活条件优越,北方人有权就这种说法表示抗议。

VOICE TWO:

Webster appealed to both sides to forgive each other. He urged them to come to an agreement. He said the South could never leave the Union without violence.

韦伯斯特恳请南北双方彼此谅解,设法达成协议。他表示,不通过暴力手段,南方是无法脱离联邦的。

Webster said the two sides were joined together socially, economically, culturally, and in many other ways. There was no way to divide them. No Congress, he said, could establish a border between the North and South that either side would accept.

南北双方在社会、经济、文化等方方面面都有着千丝万缕的联系,无法分割。国会绝对无法划分一道让双方都能接受的边界。

VOICE ONE:

Daniel Webster
Daniel Webster

In general, Webster's speech to the Senate was moderate. He wanted to appeal to reason, not emotion. Yet it was difficult for him to be unemotional. His voice rose as he finished.

韦伯斯特在参议院的演讲总体上还是温和的。他希望晓之以理,而不是动之以情。然而,讲到最后,韦伯斯特还是难以控制情绪,他激动地高喊:

"Secession!" He called out. "Peaceable secession! Your eyes and mine will never see that happen. There can be no such thing as peaceable secession. We live under a great constitution. Is it to be melted away by secession, as the snows of a mountain are melted away under the sun?

“脱离联邦!和平脱离联邦!这是我们永远不会看到的。绝不能让和平脱离联邦成为现实。”韦伯斯特继续说,“我们在一个伟大的宪法下共存,难道能让它因为南方的脱离,象阳光下的积雪一样融化消失吗?”

"Let us not speak of the possibility of secession. Let us not debate an idea so full of horror. Let us not live with the thought of such darkness. Instead, let us come out into the light of day. Let us enjoy the fresh air of liberty and union."

我们最好不要去讨论南方脱离联邦的可能性,不要去讨论如此可怕的想法,不要有这种阴暗的念头。让我们走进光明,享受自由和联邦带来的新鲜空气吧。

(MUSIC)

VOICE TWO:

Northern Abolitionists quickly criticized Daniel Webster's speech. They called him a traitor. Yet most people of the North accepted Webster's appeal for compromise. His speech cooled the debate that threatened a complete break between the North and South.

The dispute about slavery continued in the United States. It would, in time, lead to civil war. But historians say Webster's support for the compromise of eighteen fifty probably helped delay that crisis.

围绕蓄奴问题展开的辩论并未消失,最终引发了一场内战。然而历史学家认为,韦伯斯特对1850年妥协方案的支持有效延缓了危机的爆发。

VOICE ONE:

Daniel Webster's speech was not the end of debate on the compromise. Four days later, Senator William Seward of New York rose to speak.

韦伯斯特参议员的演讲没能给围绕妥协展开的辩论划上句号。四天过后,纽约州参议员威廉·苏厄德起身发言。

Seward said he opposed any compromise with the South. He said he did not want slavery in the new western territories. And he urged a national policy to start ending slavery everywhere -- peacefully.

苏厄德说,他反对跟南方的任何妥协。他不想在西部新增领土上看到奴隶制度,并敦促制定全国性政策,在美国境内,以和平手段彻底取缔奴隶制度。

Seward criticized Daniel Webster for speaking against the Abolition societies. He said such groups represented a moral movement that could not be stopped. He said the movement would continue until all the slaves in America were free.

苏厄德对韦伯斯特指责废奴社团的讲话提出批评。苏厄德说,废奴社团代表了一种道义运动,势不可挡,直到美国所有奴隶全部获得自由的那一天。

VOICE TWO:

John C. Calhoun
John C. Calhoun

Seward then criticized another senator, John C. Calhoun of South Carolina. He denounced Calhoun's demands for a political balance between the North and South. He said this would change the United States from a united, national democracy to an alliance of independent states. In such a system, he said, the minority would be able to veto actions of the majority.

随后,苏厄德又把矛头指向南卡罗来纳州参议员卡尔霍恩,谴责卡尔霍恩关于南方和北方保持政治平衡的诉求。他指出,这会把美国从一个统一的全民民主体制转变为一个独立的各州联盟。苏厄德说,在这种体制下,少数人能够否决多数人的行动。

VOICE ONE:

Many lawmakers seemed to support the idea of Clay's compromise. But they could not agree on which parts of it to pass first. Southern supporters were afraid that if a statehood bill for California was passed first, then northerners would refuse to pass the other parts of the compromise. So, southerners wanted to include all parts in one bill.

很多议员都赞成克莱提出的妥协方案,但是在先批准哪部分内容的问题上存在意见分歧。南方支持者担心,如果先批准加利福尼亚成为一个州的话,北方人就会拒绝妥协方案的其它内容。因此,南方人希望把所有内容放在一项议案中。

(MUSIC)

VOICE TWO:

Hopes for the compromise increased after the death of John C. Calhoun on the last day of March, eighteen-fifty. Calhoun was pro-slavery. He had refused to compromise on the issue. One newspaper in Calhoun's state of South Carolina said: "The senator's death is best for the country and his own honor. The slavery question will now be settled. Calhoun would have blocked a settlement."

卡尔霍恩1850年3月31号去世后,达成妥协的可能性增加了,因为卡尔霍恩生前支持奴隶制度,在奴隶制度的问题上始终不肯让步。卡尔霍恩所在的南卡罗来纳州的一份报纸说,“卡尔霍恩参议员去世,对国家和他个人的荣誉都是最好的结局。奴隶制度的问题终于可以解决了。如果卡尔霍恩健在的话,他一定会设法阻拦。”

VOICE ONE:

A committee of thirteen men was named to write a bill based on Henry Clay's compromise. The committee had six members from slave states and six from free states. Henry Clay was named to lead it.

国会任命了一个十三人小组委员会,根据亨利·克莱的妥协方案,撰写议案。委员会里有六个人来自蓄奴州,六个人来自自由州。亨利·克莱是委员会负责人。

Three weeks later, the committee offered its bill. It was much like the compromise Clay had first proposed. It made California a free state. It created territorial governments for New Mexico and Utah. It settled the border dispute between Texas and New Mexico. It ended the slave trade in the District of Columbia. And it urged approval of a new law dealing with runaway slaves.

三个星期过后,草案完成了。草案内容跟克莱最早提出的基本一致:让加利福尼亚成为一个自由州,在新墨西哥和犹他州建立地方政府;提案还解决了德克萨斯和新墨西哥之间的边界争端,终止了哥伦比亚特区的奴隶买卖,并敦促国会批准有关逃亡奴隶的新法。

VOICE TWO:

For about a month, the proposed bill seemed to have the support of the administration of President Zachary Taylor. But then, President Taylor made it clear that he would do everything he could to defeat it.

草案出台后的头一个月,似乎得到了泰勒政府的全面支持,但是一个月后,泰勒总统却明确表示,他会不惜一切代价,阻止草案的通过。

That will be our story next week.

(MUSIC)

ANNOUNCER:

Our program was written by Frank Beardsley. The narrators were Warren Scheer and Sarah Long. 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 #78 of THE MAKING OF A NATION

网友的学习评论(1条):
作者:Alumni
the civil war was on its way to the ripe while the two sides--- the noth and south--- couldn't come to agreement on the issue of slavery. so it seems that something that is against one's basic intestests could not come to comprise, never, and then the Civil War broke out and then the "goen with the wind" produced.
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