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#81: The Kansas-Nebraska Bill Divides the Country

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ANNOUNCER:

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

Franklin Pierce was elected the fourteenth president in eighteen fifty-two. He was forty-eight years old, one of America's youngest presidents.

富兰克林·皮尔斯1852年当选美国第14位总统。当时,皮尔斯只有48岁,是美国历史上最年轻的总统之一。

Pierce was the compromise candidate of the Democratic Party. He won the nomination on the forty-ninth ballot at the party's convention. He then won a big victory in the general election over the candidate of the Whig Party, General Winfield Scott. One of Pierce's friends, the writer Nathaniel Hawthorne, helped him with his campaign.

皮尔斯是民主党内部两派力量妥协的产物,民主党代表大会经过49次投票才最后决定推举皮尔斯为总统候选人。在总统大选中,皮尔斯以绝对优势击败辉格党候选人斯科特将军,高票当选。皮尔斯的好朋友、著名作家霍桑在皮尔斯的竞选中鼎力相助。

This week in our series, Steve Ember and Shirley Griffith talk about the presidency of Franklin Pierce.

VOICE ONE:

Franklin Pierce
Franklin Pierce

Franklin Pierce was from the northeastern state of New Hampshire. He was a lawyer and former state lawmaker. He also had served in the United States Senate and House of Representatives. He became an officer in the Army during America's war with Mexico in the late eighteen forties.

富兰克林·皮尔斯来自美国东北部的新罕布什尔州,是律师出身,曾任州议员和国会参、众两院议员,1840年代美墨战争期间是军队指挥官。

Pierce had been a public official for more than twenty years when he became president. Yet he was not a strong leader. He also faced a difficult situation in his personal life.

当选总统时,皮尔斯担任公职已经20多年了,但他并不是一个强势领袖,个人生活也不幸福。

VOICE TWO:

Two of his children had died when they were babies. A third child was killed in a train accident shortly before Pierce was inaugurated.

皮尔斯的两个孩子都在幼年时夭折,第三个孩子也在皮尔斯宣誓就职前不久的一次火车事故中丧生。

In addition, his wife Jane did not like the city of Washington. She did not support her husband's campaign for president. Years earlier, she had urged him to resign from the Senate and return to New Hampshire. She did not want to go back to Washington, even to be first lady.

除此以外,皮尔斯的妻子简不喜欢华盛顿的生活,不支持丈夫当总统。很多年前,简就曾劝说皮尔斯辞去参议员的职务,回新罕布什尔老家。她不愿意住在华盛顿,即使是作为第一夫人。

When her husband was elected, she agreed to live there. But she rarely saw anyone. One of her close friends took her place at public events.

皮尔斯当选后,简同意搬到华盛顿去,但是很少抛头露面,每次需要参加公开活动,都是由她的一个好朋友代替。

VOICE ONE:

Franklin Pierce was a young man. And his inauguration speech was about a young America. He promised strong support for expanding the territory of the United States. He also promised a strong foreign policy.

富兰克林·皮尔斯是一位年轻的总统,他的就职演说也是围绕一个年轻的美国。他保证继续拓展美国领土,推行强有力的外交政策。

In his foreign policy, President Pierce successfully negotiated with Britain to gain American fishing rights along the coast of Canada. However, he was unsuccessful in an attempt to buy Cuba from Spain.

皮尔斯跟英国交涉,成功地为美国争取到了加拿大沿海的渔业捕捞权,但是没能从西班牙手中把古巴买下来。

(MUSIC)

VOICE TWO:

Commodore Matthew Perry
Commodore Matthew Perry

One of the most important developments in foreign policy during Pierce's administration actually began earlier. Former president Millard Fillmore had sent Navy Commodore Matthew Perry to Asia. Perry finally sailed into Tokyo Bay in eighteen fifty-three. His arrival led to the establishment of diplomatic and trade relations between the United States and Japan.

皮尔斯政府一项最重大的外交进展其实要追溯到前总统菲尔莫尔任期内。菲尔莫尔派海军准将佩里到亚洲去。佩里1853年终于抵达东京湾,最终促成了美、日外交和贸易关系的建立。

VOICE ONE:

National issues presented President Pierce with more difficult decisions. The Compromise of eighteen fifty had settled the dispute over slavery in the western territories. But it did not end slavery. There was still a chance that the North and South would go to war over the issue.

皮尔斯在国内面临更为艰巨的挑战。1850年的妥协法案解决了西部新增领土围绕奴隶存废问题产生的纠纷,但是没有彻底废除奴隶制度,美国南、北双方为此兵戎相见的祸根并未铲除。

Another question linked slavery and the western territories. Where should the United States build its new railroads.

与此相关的另外一个问题是:美国应当在哪里修筑铁路。

VOICE TWO:

As America grew and white settlers moved west, many felt a great need for good transportation. They wanted railroads that reached across the continent from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. Engineers decided that four new rail lines would be possible.

随着领土的扩大和白人定居者的西进,很多人都感到了改善交通的迫切性。他们希望看到从大西洋直通太平洋、贯穿美国大陆的铁路线,工程人员提议,可以修筑四条铁路。

One could cross the northern part of the country, connecting the cities of Saint Paul and Seattle. Another could cross the middle, connecting Saint Louis and San Francisco. A third could connect Memphis and San Francisco. And a fourth could be far to the south, connecting New Orleans and San Diego.

四条路线分别是:一条横跨美国北部,连接圣保罗和西雅图;一条横跨中部,连接圣路易斯和旧金山;一条连接孟菲斯和旧金山;一条在南部,连接新奥尔良和圣迭哥。

VOICE ONE:

Stephen Douglas
Stephen Douglas

Democratic Senator Stephen Douglas of Illinois proposed that three lines be built. He said the government could give land to the railroad companies. The companies could then sell the land to get the money they needed to build the lines.

伊利诺伊州民主党参议员史蒂文·道格拉斯建议只修三条,并提出,政府可以把土地拨给铁路公司,铁路公司通过出售土地来融资,然后拿这些钱来修筑铁路。

A Senate committee discussed the situation. It decided that building three railroads at the same time would be too difficult. It proposed that only one be built. But which one?

美国国会参议院的一个小组委员会就此展开讨论,最后决定,同时修筑三条铁路可能有困难,最好先修一条,但是修哪条好呢?

VOICE TWO:

Many congressmen believed that a southern line would be best. There would be little snow in winter. And the railroad would cross lands already organized as states or official territories. A northern or central line would face severe winter weather. And it would have to cross a wild area called Nebraska. Nebraska was neither a state nor a territory.

很多国会议员认为,在南方修筑铁路最合适,那里冬天不下雪,区域划分也都已经得到了联邦政府的认可。如果在北方或是中部修铁路的话,难免遇到暴风雪的天气,而且一定要经过内布拉斯加,当时的内布拉斯加还是一片荒芜地带,既不是一个州,也不是一块领地。

In trying to settle the question of railroads, the issue of slavery rose once again.

选择铁路路线时,奴隶存废问题再次浮出水面。

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

Nebraska lay north of the Missouri compromise line, which had been established in eighteen twenty. Slavery was not permitted there.

内布拉斯加位于1820年确立的密苏里妥协界线以北,不允许奴隶的存在。

The state of Missouri lay next to Nebraska. Missouri was a slave state. Slave-holders in Missouri did not want the Nebraska area to become a free territory. They were afraid their slaves would flee to it. They felt threatened by the free states and free territories all around them.

但是内布拉斯加旁边的密苏里州则是一个奴隶州。密苏里州的奴隶主不希望让内布拉斯加成为一个自由区。他们担心,这样的话,自己的奴隶就会跑到内布拉斯加去。周围出现任何自由州或是自由领地,都会让他们觉得自身利益受到威胁。

VOICE TWO:

For years, Congressmen from Missouri had defeated all attempts to make Nebraska an official territory. When Congress met in eighteen fifty-three, it considered a new bill on Nebraska. Instead of creating one large territory, the bill would create two. The northern part would be called the Nebraska territory. The southern part would be called the Kansas territory. The proposal to split them was called the Kansas-Nebraska bill.

多年来,密苏里州国会议员一直有效地阻止了让内布拉斯加正式成为一块领土的所有努力。1853年国会开会,讨论一项有关内布拉斯加的新议案。议案建议,将内布拉斯加一分为二,北边叫内布拉斯加领土,南边叫堪萨斯领土。这份议案因此被称为堪萨斯-内布拉斯加议案。

The bill did not clearly say if slavery would be legal, or illegal, in the two new territories.

议案没有明确说明奴隶制度在这两个地区内是合法还是非法。

VOICE ONE:

A map of the United States from 1856. Slave states are shown in gray, free states in pink and territories in green.
A map of the United States from 1856. Slave states are shown in gray, free states in pink and territories in green.

The purpose of the Kansas-Nebraska bill reportedly was to settle differences among opposing railroad interests in the area. Yet many Americans believed the real purpose was to permit the spread of slavery.

议案表面上的目的是为了解决该地区各方在修铁路问题上的分歧,但很多美国人都觉得,议案的真正目的是允许奴隶制进一步扩张。

A group of anti-slavery Senators denounced the bill. They said it was part of a southern plan to spread slavery wherever possible. They also said it was being used by Senator Stephen Douglas for political purposes. They said he was trying to gain southern support for himself in the next presidential election. When the Senate began debate on the Kansas-Nebraska bill, Stephen Douglas was the first to defend it.

参议院里一批主张废奴的议员反对堪萨斯-内布拉斯加议案,说议案是南方推广奴隶制度的行动方案的一部分。他们还说,这份议案被伊利诺伊州参议员道格拉斯用来达到政治目的,为自己参选下届总统争取南方的支持。参议院围绕议案进行讨论,道格拉斯第一个站出来为议案提出辩护。

VOICE TWO:

Douglas said the bill would give people in the Kansas and Nebraska territories the right to decide if slavery would be permitted. He said the same right had been given to people in New Mexico and Utah by the compromise of eighteen fifty. And he said that same right was meant for people of all future territories.

道格拉斯说,议案将奴隶制的存废权交给了堪萨斯和内布拉斯加地区居民。他说,1850年妥协法案让新墨西哥和犹他地区居民享有了同样的权利,今后所有新增土地上的人也都应该享受。

In the past, he noted, the national government had tried to divide free states from slave states by a line across a map. He said a geographical line was not the answer. He said the people of a state or territory had the right to decide for themselves.

道格拉斯还说,联邦政府过去一直试图在地图上把自由州和奴隶州区分开来,但是地理划界不能从根本上解决问题。他说,这个问题还是应该由各州或是各地区的居民自行做出选择。

Douglas argued that the compromise of eighteen fifty took the place of the earlier Missouri compromise of eighteen twenty. The new Kansas-Nebraska bill, he said, simply recognized the fact that the Missouri compromise was dead.

道格拉斯说,1850年妥协法案取代了1820年密苏里协定,而新的堪萨斯-内布拉斯加议案只不过是明确了密苏里协定寿终正寝的事实。

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

Opponents of the Kansas-Nebraska bill quickly rejected the Senator's argument. They said Douglas was not honest in his statements about the eighteen fifty compromise. True, they said, the compromise gave the people of Utah and New Mexico the right to decide about slavery. But they said it did not give that right to the people of all future territories.

堪萨斯-内布拉斯加议案的反对者立即提出反驳。他们表示,道格拉斯有关1850年妥协法案的说法不准确。没错,法案确实是将奴隶存废的选择权交给了犹他和新墨西哥居民,但是没说今后所有新增土地上的居民都能享受这种权利。

VOICE TWO:

Opposition to the Kansas-Nebraska bill was extremely strong in the northern United States. In city after city, big public meetings were held. Businessmen organized many of the meetings. They were angry at Senator Douglas because he had re-opened the dispute about slavery. They feared that the dispute would hurt the economy.

反对堪萨斯-内布拉斯加议案的势力在北方非常强大,他们在很多城市组织公开集会。商人们也召集了多次大会。他们对道格拉斯参议员非常不满,因为道格拉斯重新挑起了围绕奴隶制度的争议。生意人担心,这种情况会伤害到美国经济。

Northern churchmen also united against the Kansas-Nebraska bill. Thousands signed protests and sent them to Congress. Senator Douglas criticized the churchmen. He said they should stay out of politics.

北方很多教会领袖也联合起来反对堪萨斯-内布拉斯加议案。数以千计的人签署抗议书,送交国会。道格拉斯批评教会领袖,说他们不应该参与政治。

In the southern United States, the Kansas-Nebraska bill caused little excitement. Most southerners were not greatly interested in it. They believed it might help the cause of slavery. But they also believed it might lead to trouble.

堪萨斯-内布拉斯加议案在南方没有引起什么反响,大多数南方人对此不感兴趣。他们相信,这个议案有助于奴隶制度的继续,但是他们同时也觉得,议案可能会带来麻烦。

VOICE ONE:

Senate debate on the bill continued for more than a month. Senator Stephen Douglas was sure it would be approved. We will continue the story of the Kansas-Nebraska bill, and the administration of President Franklin Pierce, next time

参议院围绕堪萨斯-内布拉斯加议案的辩论持续了一个多月。史蒂文·道格拉斯参议员以为,议案一定能通过。

(MUSIC)

ANNOUNCER:

Our program was written by Frank Beardsley. The narrators were Steve Ember and Shirley Griffith. Transcripts, MP3s and podcasts of our programs can be found 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 #81 of THE MAKING OF A NATION

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