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#94: South Carolina Leaves Union, Tensions Increase

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

South Carolina withdrew from the United States on December twentieth, eighteen sixty. The state seceded because a Republican, Abraham Lincoln, had been elected president. The Republicans were a new party, and Lincoln was the first to be elected president. They wanted to stop slavery from spreading into the western territories.

1860年12月20号,南卡罗来纳州宣布退出联邦,因为共和党人亚伯拉罕.林肯当选了美国总统。共和党成立不久,林肯是第一个共和党籍总统。共和党反对奴隶制向西部新增领土扩张。

Southern states believed they had a constitutional right to take property -- including slaves -- anywhere. They also feared that any interference with slavery would end their way of life.

南方人认为,根据宪法,他们有权把包括奴隶在内的财产带到任何地方去。南方人还担心,北方人插手蓄奴制度,终将毁掉他们的生活方式。

This week in our series, Frank Oliver and Larry West tell what happened after South Carolina left the Union.

VOICE ONE:

South Carolina faced several problems after it seceded. The most serious problem was what to do with property owned by the federal government. There were several United States forts in and around the Port of Charleston. Fort Moultrie had fewer than seventy soldiers. Castle Pinckney had only one. And Fort Sumter -- which was still being built -- had none.

南卡罗来纳州退出联邦后,面临着一些问题,其中最棘手的是如何处理联邦政府的财产。当时,查尔斯顿港附近有三个联邦所有的城堡,摩特里堡有不到七十名士兵把守,平克尼堡有一名士兵,萨姆特堡仍在兴建当中,尚未驻军。

The commander of the forts asked for more men. Without them, he said, he could not defend the forts. The army refused. It told the commander to defend the forts as best he could. He was told to do nothing that might cause South Carolina to attack. If South Carolina attacked, or planned to attack, then he could move his men into the fort that would be easiest to defend. That would probably be the new one, Fort Sumter.

城堡指挥官要求增兵防守,遭到了军方的拒绝。这位指挥官被告知,现有兵力,尽力而为,不要采取任何刺激南卡罗来纳州的行动,如果南卡罗来纳州武装力量主动进攻,或是准备进攻,就率兵进驻最易防守的城堡---新建的萨姆特堡。

VOICE TWO:

A cartoon making fun of both South Carolina Governor Francis Pickens and President Buchanan over the Fort Sumter issue
A cartoon making fun of both South Carolina Governor Francis Pickens and President Buchanan over the Fort Sumter issue

The governor of South Carolina planned to stop any movement of federal troops. He ordered state soldiers to stop every boat in Charleston Harbor. They were to permit no United States troops to reach Fort Sumter. If any boat carrying troops refused to stop, the state soldiers were to sink it and seize the fort.

南卡罗来纳州州长也积极防范联邦部队的任何部署。他下令南卡罗来纳州的士兵,拦截所有进出查尔斯顿港的船只,不让一个联邦士兵进驻萨姆特堡。如果运兵船拒绝停靠,南卡罗来纳州的士兵就可以击沉兵船,夺取城堡。

Six days after South Carolina seceded from the Union, the commander of Charleston's forts decided to move his men to Fort Sumter. They would move as soon as it was dark. The federal troops crossed the port in small boats. The state soldiers did not see them.

南卡罗来纳州退出联邦六天后,查尔斯顿的联邦部队指挥官决定率兵进入萨姆特堡,天一黑就走。他们分批,乘小船行动,结果躲过了南卡罗来纳州士兵的耳目,安全抵达萨姆特堡。

The governor was furious when he learned what had happened. He demanded that the federal troops leave Fort Sumter. The commander said they would stay.

南卡罗来纳州州长得知这一消息后,大发雷霆,要求联邦士兵离开萨姆特堡,遭到联邦部队指挥官的拒绝。

The governor then ordered state soldiers to seize the other two forts in Charleston Harbor. And he ordered the state flag raised over all other federal property in the city.

南卡罗来纳州州长又下令州里的士兵夺取查尔斯顿港口附近的另外两座城堡,并在查尔斯顿所有联邦属地和财产上悬挂州旗。

(MUSIC)

James Buchanan
James Buchanan

VOICE ONE:

President James Buchanan, who would leave office in just a few months, was forced to deal with the situation. His cabinet was deeply divided on the issue. The southerners wanted him to recognize South Carolina and order all federal troops out of Charleston Harbor. The northerners said he must not give up any federal property or rights.

还有几个月就要卸任的布坎南总统被迫处理这个烂摊子。在这个问题上,内阁存在严重分歧。内阁里的南方人要求布坎南承认南卡罗来纳的独立,下令联邦部队撤离查尔斯顿。内阁里的北方人则表示,不能放弃任何联邦财产或权利。

The president agreed to meet with three representatives from South Carolina. They had come to Washington to negotiate the future of federal property in their state. The attorney general said the meeting was a mistake.

布坎南总统同意跟三名南卡罗来纳州的代表见面。这三个人来华盛顿目的是要讨论如何处理南卡罗来纳州境内的联邦财产。美国联邦司法部长觉得,这次会面是一个错误。

"These gentlemen," he said, "claim to be ambassadors of South Carolina. This is foolish. They cannot be ambassadors. They are lawbreakers, traitors, and should be arrested. You cannot negotiate with them."

他说,“这几位先生自称是南卡罗来纳州的大使,这太荒唐了,他们不是什么大使,而是罪犯,是叛国贼,应该把他们抓起来,不能跟他们谈判”。

VOICE TWO:

The attorney general and the secretary of state threatened to resign if President Buchanan gave in to South Carolina's demands. The president finally agreed not to give in. He said he would keep federal troops in Charleston Harbor. And he said Fort Sumter would be defended against all hostile action. On the last day of eighteen sixty, he ordered two hundred troops and extra supplies sent to Fort Sumter.

司法部长和国务卿都威胁说,如果布坎南接受南卡罗来纳的要求,他们就辞职,布坎南只好保证,绝不让步,保留查尔斯顿港口的联邦驻军,保卫萨姆特堡不受攻击。1860年除夕,布坎南下令向萨姆特堡增派两百名士兵,运送额外供给。

The War Department wanted to keep the operation secret. So the troops and supplies were put on a fast civilian ship, instead of a slower warship. It was thought that a civilian ship could get into Charleston Harbor before state forces could act.

战争部为保密,决定不用慢吞吞的战舰,而是用速度更快的民用船只运输士兵和供给,避免被守卫在查尔斯顿港口的南卡罗来纳州武装力量拦截。

But a southern Senator learned of the operation. He warned the governor of South Carolina. When the ship arrived in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina soldiers were waiting.

然而,一位南方参议员听到了风声,私下里通知了南卡罗来纳州州长。运输船抵达查尔斯顿港时,南卡罗来纳州的士兵已经恭候很久了。

VOICE ONE:

The soldiers lit a cannon and fired a warning shot. The ship refused to stop. Other cannons then opened fire.

南卡罗来纳州的守军放炮示警,但是运输船拒绝停船,守军于是向运输船开火。

The commander of federal troops at Fort Sumter had a difficult decision to make. He had received permission to defend the fort, if attacked. But his orders said nothing about defending ships. He knew that if he opened fire, the United States and South Carolina would be at war.

萨姆特堡的指挥官必需当机立断。他先前得到的命令是,如果受到袭击,就要保卫萨姆特堡,但是命令里没有提到运输船。他很清楚,只要他下令开火,联邦和南卡罗来纳州的战斗就打响了。

The decision was made for him. South Carolina's cannons finally hit the ship. The ship slowed, then turned back to sea. It returned north with all the troops and supplies.

VOICE TWO:

Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor
Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor

The commander of Fort Sumter sent a message to the governor of South Carolina.

萨姆特堡指挥官写信给南卡罗来纳州州长。

"Your forces," he wrote, "fired this morning on a civilian ship flying the flag of my government. Since I have not been informed that South Carolina declared war on the United States, I can only believe that this hostile act was done without your knowledge or permission. For this reason -- and only this -- I did not fire on your guns."

信中说,“你的部队今天早上向一艘悬挂着我们政府旗帜的民用船只开火。我没听说南卡罗来纳对美国联邦宣战,所以我相信,这一敌对行动并未经过你的批准。这是我唯一没有还击的原因”。

If, the commander said, the governor had approved the shelling, it would be an act of war. And he would be forced to close the Port of Charleston. No ship would be permitted to enter or leave.

信中还说,如果这一行动是经过州长批准的话,就属于战争行动,他就要被迫关闭查尔斯顿港,不允许任何船只进出。

The governor's answer came back within hours. He said South Carolina was now independent. He said the attempt by the United States to strengthen its force at Fort Sumter was clearly an act of aggression. And he demanded that the commander surrender.

南卡罗来纳州州长几小时后就回了信。信中说,南卡罗来纳已经独立,联邦政府试图加强萨姆特堡兵力的做法实属侵略行径,他要求萨姆特堡指挥官投降。

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

During the crisis over Fort Sumter, Congress tried to find a compromise that might prevent war. Lawmakers proposed a new line across the country. South of the line, slavery would be permitted. North of the line, slavery would be illegal.

面对萨姆特堡危机,国会试图找到一个可以防止战争的妥协方案。国会议员建议,将国家一线分开,界线以南允许蓄奴,界线以北禁止蓄奴。

Many Republicans supported the proposal, even though the Republican Party opposed the spread of slavery into the western territories.

尽管共和党反对奴隶制度向西部领地扩张,但是这项提案还是得到了很多国会共和党人的支持。

One Republican, however, rejected the idea completely. He was Abraham Lincoln, who would take office as president in March. Lincoln said there could be no compromise on extending slavery. "If there is," he said, "then all our hard work is lost. If trouble comes, it is better to let it come now than at some later time."

不过,三月即将宣誓就职的下届总统亚伯拉罕.林肯坚决反对。林肯说,在限制奴隶制度蔓延的问题上,绝对不能妥协。他说,“如果做出让步,那我们所有的辛勤工作就都付之东流了。该来的问题迟早回来,晚来不如早来。”

VOICE TWO:

The trouble would come soon. One by one, the states of the South seceded.

林肯不幸言中,问题接踵而来。

By February first, eighteen sixty-one, six states had followed South Carolina out of the Union. A few days later, representatives from the states met in Montgomery, Alabama. Their job was to create a new nation. It would be an independent republic called the Confederate States of America.

到1861年2月1号,南方已先后有六个州步南卡罗来纳州的后尘,退出了联邦。几天后,这些州的代表在阿拉巴马的蒙特马利市开会,准备成立一个新的国家,一个独立共和国,取名美国南部邦联。

Jefferson Davis
Jefferson Davis

The convention approved a constitution for the new nation. The document was like the Constitution of the United States, but with major changes. The southern constitution gave greater importance to the rights of states. And it said there could be no laws against slavery.

代表们通过了一部宪法,跟美国宪法很象,但又存在重大区别。南方宪法更加重视各州的权利,规定不会有任何禁止蓄奴的法律。

The convention named former United States Senator Jefferson Davis to be president of the Confederate States of America.

大会还任命美国前联邦参议员杰斐逊.戴维斯担任总统。

Davis did not want civil war. But he was not afraid of it. He said: "Our separation from the old Union is complete. The time for compromise has passed. Should others try to change our decision with force, they will smell southern gunpowder and feel the steel of southern swords."

戴维斯虽然不愿意看到内战,但是也不害怕内战的爆发。他说,“我们跟联邦已经一刀两断,谈判妥协的时机已去,如果别人想用武力来改变我们的决定,我们就让他们闻闻南方人弹药的气味,让他们体验一下南方人刀剑的锋利。”

VOICE ONE:

Jefferson Davis left his farm in Mississippi to become president of the Confederate States of America on February eleventh. On that same day, Abraham Lincoln left his home in Illinois to become president of the United States.

杰斐逊.戴维斯离开位于密西西比的庄园,2月11号宣誓就职美国南部邦联总统。亚伯拉罕.林肯同一天离开伊利诺伊家乡,就任美国总统。

As Lincoln got on the train that would take him to Washington, he said:

"I now leave, not knowing when -- or whether ever -- I may return. The task before me is greater than that which rested upon our first president. Without the help of God, I cannot succeed. With that assistance, I cannot fail. Let us hope that all yet will be well."

林肯登上驶往华盛顿的火车时说,“我这一去,不知道什么时候回来,也不知道会不会回来,我面对的重任比开国第一任总统所面临的还要严峻。没有上帝的帮助,我无法成功。有了上帝的帮助,我绝不会失败。让我们希望一切顺利。”

(MUSIC)

ANNOUNCER:

Our program was written by Frank Beardsley. The narrators were Frank Oliver and Larry West. 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 #94 of THE MAKING OF A NATION

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