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        #141: Cleveland Backs Gold Standard to Cure Economic Downturn

        作者:Frank Beardsley 發布日期:7-2-2013

        Grover Cleveland
        Grover Cleveland

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

        In March of eighteen eighty-nine, Grover Cleveland left the White House after four years as president. He had been defeated by Benjamin Harrison.

        1889年3月,克利夫蘭在當了四年總統后離開了白宮,因為他在選舉中輸給了哈里森。

        As they were leaving, Cleveland's wife, Caroline, spoke with a member of the White House staff. She said: "I want you to take good care of everything. I want to find it the same when we come back. And we will be back -- in four years."

        就在離開白宮時,克利夫蘭夫人卡羅琳對一位白宮工作人員說:"我希望你們好好照看這里的一切,我希望當我們回來時,這里還能和以前一樣。四年后我們就會回來。"

        Caroline Cleveland was right. She and her husband moved back into the White House after he became president again in eighteen ninety-three. Grover Cleveland is the only man to serve two terms separated by the administration of a different president.

        卡羅琳·克利夫蘭說對了??死蛱m1893年再次當選總統,和夫人重返白宮??死蛱m也成為美國歷史上唯一經歷過"第一個任期、離職4年、又重新入主白宮"的總統。

        This week in our series, Shirley Griffith and Frank Oliver begin the story of Grover Cleveland's second presidency.

        SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: Grover Cleveland did not want to be president again. But he was worried about the future of the United States. He did not think President Harrison could solve the serious economic problems the country faced.

        其實,克利夫蘭已經不想再當總統了,但他為美國的未來擔心。他認為,哈里森總統無法解決美國面臨的嚴重經濟問題。

        President Harrison had approved very high taxes on imports. He also had approved an increase in the supply of silver money. Grover Cleveland said both actions had hurt the economy. He also feared that Harrison was not strong enough to oppose the demands of special interest groups in the Republican Party.

        此前,哈里森總統批準對進口產品征收高額關稅,還批準增加銀幣供應量??死蛱m認為這兩項政策都傷害了美國經濟。他還擔心哈里森的力量不夠強大,無法反對共和黨內部各種特殊利益集團提出的要求。

        Cleveland believed he was the only Democrat who could defeat Harrison. He won his party's nomination. And he was easily elected to a second presidency.

        克利夫蘭認為自己是民主黨內唯一能夠在競選中擊敗哈里森的人。他獲得了民主黨的總統候選人提名,并輕松當選,第二次成為美國總統。

        FRANK OLIVER: Grover Cleveland immediately turned to the nation's economic problems. The country seemed headed for a serious depression.

        他一上臺就立即將注意力轉向了國家的經濟問題。當時,整個美國似乎正走向嚴重的經濟蕭條。

        Disorder on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in May 1893. The failure of a railroad and other companies started panic selling
        Disorder on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in May 1893. The failure of a railroad and other companies started panic selling

        Only a few days before Cleveland's second inauguration in eighteen ninety-three, a major railroad failed. Then another big company declared failure. This set off a selling panic on the stock market.

        1893年,就在克利夫蘭宣誓第二次就任總統的前幾天,美國一家主要的鐵路公司倒閉,隨后又有另一家大型公司宣布破產,這引發了股票市場上的瘋狂拋售。

        In the next few months, almost eight thousand businesses failed in the United States. Four hundred banks closed. One million workers lost their jobs. The prices of farm products fell lower than ever before. And thousands of farmers -- unable to pay their debts -- had to give up their farms.

        在短短幾個月內,全美國有近8000家企業倒閉,400家銀行關門,100萬工人失業。農產品價格跌到歷史最低點,成千上萬的農民無力償還債務,只好出讓農田抵債。

        SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: Experts offered a number of different reasons for the depression. Some said it was a plot by members of the stock market to ruin farmers and seize their land. Some said it happened because American factories were producing more goods than people could use. Still others said the problem was caused by the government's money policy.

        專家們對這次經濟蕭條提出了許多不同的解釋。有些人說,這次大蕭條是股市大炒家策劃的一場陰謀,目的是逼農民破產,好掠奪他們的土地。還有人說,經濟蕭條的起因美國工廠產量過剩,超過了需求。還有人說,大蕭條是政府的貨幣政策引起的。

        For many years, the United States and other nations used both gold and silver as money. Paper money was used to represent a nation's gold and silver holdings. The value of silver was tied to the value of gold.

        許多年來,美國和其它國家采用金銀作為貨幣,紙幣只用來代表一個國家金銀的擁有量。銀價一直與金價掛鉤。

        In the United States in the early eighteen hundreds, fifteen ounces of silver had the same value as one ounce of gold. This value did not change until after eighteen sixty. That was when mines in the western United States began to produce large amounts of silver. The extra silver caused the price of the metal to fall.

        在十九世紀初葉,一盎司黃金等于15盎司白銀,這種比價一直到1860年都沒有變化。但從1860年開始,美國西部的銀礦開始大量開采白銀,白銀數量過多導致銀價下跌。

        FRANK OLIVER: In eighteen seventy-one, Germany declared that it would no longer support its paper money with silver. Instead, it would use only gold. Other European countries quickly did the same thing.

        1871年,德國宣布不再用白銀支持紙幣,而只使用黃金。其它歐洲國家很快也效仿德國。

        A cartoon from the political magazine Puck in support of ending silver purchases which were expanding the money supply
        A cartoon from the political magazine Puck in support of ending silver purchases which were expanding the money supply

        The United States did, too. In eighteen seventy-three, Congress passed a law that stopped the government from using silver as money. Western silver producers protested. They put great pressure on lawmakers to change the law. Five years later, Congress passed a compromise bill.

        美國也采取了這種做法。1873年,國會通過法律,禁止政府將白銀作為貨幣使用。美國西部的白銀生產者對此表示反對,他們向國會議員施加巨大的壓力,要求改變這項法律。五年后,國會通過了一項妥協法案。

        The compromise bill said the government could issue limited amounts of silver money. It said the government must buy two million dollars' worth of silver each month for that purpose.

        妥協法案規定,政府可以發行限量的銀幣,還規定政府為此必須每個月采購價值200萬美元的白銀。

        SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: Twelve years later, during President Benjamin Harrison's administration, Congress passed a new silver purchase bill.

        12年后,在哈里森當總統期間,國會通過了一項新的白銀采購法。

        It said the government must buy four-and-one-half million ounces of silver each month. The Treasury Department would buy the silver with new paper money that could be exchanged for silver or gold. The new law increased the amount of silver money used in the United States.

        法案規定政府每個月必須購買450萬盎司的白銀,財政部要用新發行的、可以直接兌換白銀或黃金的紙幣來購買這些白銀。這項法案增加了美國銀幣的使用量。

        The country soon became sharply divided on the issue of silver money.

        而美國在銀幣問題上很快就分成了針鋒相對的兩大派。

        Wealthy businessmen and bankers did not want to use silver money at all. They wanted the country's economy to be based only on gold. This was what was known as the gold standard. They believed the gold standard would keep the value of the dollar high. Using silver, they said, made the dollar less valuable.

        有錢的商人和銀行家根本就不想使用銀幣。他們希望美國經濟只以黃金為基礎,這也就是所謂的"金本位制"。他們認為,金本位能夠確保美元的高價值,而如果使用銀幣,就會使美元貶值。

        FRANK OLIVER: Farmers, laborers and others wanted to use silver money. And they wanted an unlimited supply of it. Without silver, they said, the country's money supply would be too small. Gold would increase in value. People who had borrowed money would be hurt. They would have to pay back loans with dollars that were more valuable than those they had borrowed.

        而農民、工人和其他行業的人則希望使用銀幣,而且他們希望可以無限制地發行銀幣。他們說,如果沒有銀幣,美國的貨幣供應量就會太少,黃金的價格將提高,這樣,借貸人的利益就會受損,因為他們將不得不用已經升值的美元來償還他們在美元低位時所借的債務。

        President Cleveland supported the gold standard. He opposed any use of silver for money. He said the United States should use only gold, as other nations did.

        克利夫蘭總統支持金本位制,反對以任何形式使用銀幣。他說,美國應該和其它國家一樣,只使用金幣。

        SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: President Cleveland was sure the silver purchase law of eighteen ninety had caused the economic depression. He explained the situation in this way:

        他堅定地認為,是1890年的白銀采購法引起了美國的經濟蕭條。他這樣解釋道:

        The law had caused businessmen and investors to lose faith in the government's money policy. They were afraid their money would drop in value, as more silver money was put into use.

        這部法案使商人和投資者不再信任政府的貨幣政策。他們擔心,由于越來越多的銀幣投入使用,他們手中的貨幣會貶值。

        Investors began to withdraw their money from businesses. Banks began demanding early payment of loans. Everyone wanted gold. They took their paper money and their silver to the government and exchanged them for gold.

        于是,投資者開始從企業里撤出資金,銀行開始要求債務人提早還款。每個人都只要黃金。他們把自己手中的紙幣和銀幣拿到政府那里,兌換黃金。

        In eighteen ninety, when the Silver Purchase Act was passed, the government held almost two hundred ninety million dollars in gold. After two years, withdrawals had cut that amount to one hundred million dollars.

        1890年,也就是國會通過白銀采購法案時,美國政府擁有近二億九千萬美元的黃金,而兩年后,由于人們大量的兌換,政府手里只剩下了一億美元的黃金。

        FRANK OLIVER: President Cleveland and other administration officials began to worry. It was possible that gold holdings might fall so low the government could not support the dollar.

        克利夫蘭總統和政府其他官員開始擔心了,因為黃金儲備量可能降低到使政府無法再支撐美元的程度。

        Cleveland decided the only answer was to get Congress to kill the silver purchase law. Then the government could stop buying silver. It could return to the gold standard.

        克利夫蘭認定,唯一的解決辦法就是讓國會撤銷白銀采購法,這樣,政府就可以停止采購白銀,從而回到金本位上來。

        The Congress was not in session, however. It would not meet again for several months. President Cleveland did not want to wait. He believed the problem was too serious. So, he called a special session of Congress.

        但當時國會正在休會,幾個月后才能復會??死蛱m總統不想等。他認為,問題太嚴重了,所以要求國會召開特別會議。

        The president did not expect an easy time with the Congress. Many congressmen supported silver money -- especially those congressmen from silver-producing states in the west.

        克利夫蘭總統并不期望國會能輕易批準他的要求,因為許多國會議員,特別是那些來自白銀生產地的議員都支持使用銀幣。

        SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: President Cleveland believed he could get Congress to kill the silver purchase law. But if he showed any weakness, the fight would be lost. Then, just before the congressional debate, he learned he would need an operation.

        克利夫蘭總統堅信,他能讓國會撤銷白銀采購法。但是,如果稍微表現出軟弱的話,他與國會的斗爭就會失敗。然而,就在國會辯論即將開始之時,他卻得知自己要接受一個手術。

        He felt a rough spot in the top of his mouth. It got bigger and more painful. Doctors examined the spot. It was a cancer. President Cleveland asked how long he could wait to have the cancer removed. "If it were in my mouth," one of the doctors said, "I would have it removed immediately."

        他覺得上顎有一個硬塊,而且越來越大,越來越疼。醫生檢查了這個硬塊,確診是癌??死蛱m總統問,他可以等多長時間再將這個腫瘤切除。一位醫生說:"如果這個癌腫長在我自己嘴里,我馬上就要切除它。"

        FRANK OLIVER: Cleveland agreed. But he said the operation would have to be kept secret. News from the White House often affected short-term activity on the stock market. News that the president's life was in danger could cause the nation's economic crisis to become worse.

        克利夫蘭總統同意做手術,但他說,手術必須保密,因為白宮的任何風吹草動都能影響股市的短期交易行為,而"總統生命堪憂"這樣的消息則會使美國的經濟危機雪上加霜。

        Cleveland decided to have the operation on a friend's boat in New York Harbor. Newsmen were told he was going sailing with his friend.

        克利夫蘭總統決定在朋友停泊在紐約港的一艘船上做手術,而對媒體就說,他和朋友一起出海去了。

        Doctors made final preparations. They were not afraid of the operation. But they were afraid of what would happen if news of the operation were leaked to the press.

        醫生們做好了手術前的最后準備,他們并不擔心手術,他們擔心的是,如果總統做手術的消息泄露給媒體,將會發生什么情況。

        One of them spoke with the boat's captain. "If you hit an underwater rock," he said, "hit it good and hard, so we will all go to the bottom."

        一位醫生對船長說:"如果你觸礁,就狠狠地撞上去,讓我們都沉入河底淹死。"

        SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: As the boat moved slowly up the East River in New York, the doctors put President Cleveland to sleep with an anesthetic drug. Then they began the operation. That will be our story in the next program of THE MAKING OF A NATION.

        當船緩慢地沿紐約東河行駛時,醫生們給克利夫蘭總統注射麻醉藥,讓他入睡。然后,他們開始了手術。

        (MUSIC)

        BOB DOUGHTY: Our program was written by Frank Beardsley. The narrators were Shirley Griffith and Frank Oliver. You can find our series online with transcripts, MP3s, podcasts and images at www.squishedblueberries.com. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter at VOA Learning English. Join us again next week for THE MAKING OF A NATION -- an American history series in VOA Special English.

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