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        #186: American Foreign Policy in the 1930's

        作者:David Jarmul 發布日期:8-16-2013

        President Franklin Roosevelt aboard the U.S.S. Indianapolis in Trinidad, 1936
        President Franklin Roosevelt aboard the U.S.S. Indianapolis in Trinidad, 1936

        STEVE EMBER: Welcome to THE MAKING OF A NATION - American history in VOA Special English. I'm Steve Ember.

        This week in our series, we continue to discuss the events of the nineteen thirties, and American foreign policy during that time.

        For much of its history, the United States was not involved in world disputes. Only in the twentieth century did it become a powerful and influential nation.

        President Theodore Roosevelt was the first president to see America as a great power. A few years later, President Woodrow Wilson wanted the United States to become more involved in the world.

        Many Americans disagreed. They wanted to stay out of international conflicts. The presidents after Wilson stayed informed about world events. But they were much less willing to involve the United States than Roosevelt or Wilson had been. The great economic depression that began in nineteen twenty-nine reduced Americans' interest in the world even more.

        Now, here are Doug Johnson and Shirley Griffith.

        SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: Franklin Roosevelt became president in nineteen thirty-three. Franklin Roosevelt was not like most Americans. He knew the international situation well from his own experience.

        Like Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, he wanted to expand America's foreign policies. The terrible crisis of the depression, however, forced him to spend most of his time on national economic issues. He was able to deal with international issues only very slowly.

        One of his most important first efforts was to improve relations with Latin American nations.

        Eleanor Roosevelt with President Rafael Trujillo and Mrs. Trujillo in the Dominican Republic, 1934
        Eleanor Roosevelt with President Rafael Trujillo and Mrs. Trujillo in the Dominican Republic, 1934

        DOUG JOHNSON: Thirty years earlier, President Theodore Roosevelt said the United States had the right to intervene in Latin America. In the years that followed, the United States sent troops to several Latin American countries.

        Many political leaders in the area accused the United States of treating them like children. Leaders throughout Latin America criticized the United States bitterly at a conference in nineteen twenty-eight.

        When Franklin Roosevelt became president, he promised to treat Latin American nations as friends. He called this his "Good Neighbor" policy.

        FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT (FIRST INAUGURAL ADDRESS): "I would dedicate this nation to the policy of the Good Neighbor, the neighbor who resolutely respects himself and, because he does so, respects the rights of others. The neighbor who respects his obligations and respects the sanctity of his agreements, in and with a world of neighbors."

        SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: Roosevelt's new policy had an unfriendly beginning. His administration refused to recognize a government in Cuba that opposed the United States. Instead, it helped bring to power a new government that showed more support for the United States.

        After that, however, President Roosevelt was able to prove that he wanted to improve relations with the countries of Latin America.

        For example, his administration speeded up plans to withdraw American troops from Haiti. It rejected old treaties that gave the United States the right to intervene in Cuba. It recognized a revolutionary government in El Salvador. It recognized the right of Panama to help operate and protect the Panama Canal. And it helped establish the Export-Import Bank to increase trade throughout the Americas.

        DOUG JOHNSON: All of these actions did much to improve the opinion of Latin American leaders about the United States. However, the most important test of Franklin Roosevelt's new policies was in Mexico.

        The Mexican government seized control of oil companies owned by investors in the United States. A number of influential Americans wanted the president to take strong action. He refused. He only agreed to urge the Mexican government to pay American investors for the value of the oil companies.

        SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: As United States relations with Latin America improved, its relations with Britain got worse.

        Britain blamed Franklin Roosevelt for the failure of an international economic conference in nineteen thirty-three. It also felt the United States Congress was unwilling to take a strong position against international aggression by other nations.

        Some British leaders had so little faith in Roosevelt that they proposed seeking cooperation with Japan instead of the United States. New leaders in Japan, however, soon ended this possibility. They presented Britain with such strong military demands that the British government gave up any idea of cooperation with Japan.

        SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: One big question in American foreign policy in the nineteen thirties concerned the Soviet union.

        The United States had refused to recognize the government in Moscow after the Bolsheviks took control in nineteen seventeen. Yet Franklin Roosevelt saw the Soviet Union as a possible ally, if growing tensions in Europe and Asia burst into war.

        For this reason, he held talks in Washington with a top Soviet official. In nineteen thirty-three, he officially recognized the Soviet government.

        DOUG JOHNSON: President Roosevelt hoped recognition would lead to better relations. But the United States and the Soviet Union did not trust each other. They immediately began arguing about many issues.

        Within two years, the American ambassador to Moscow urged President Roosevelt to cut diplomatic relations with the Soviets. Roosevelt refused. Relations between the two countries became even worse. Yet Roosevelt believed it was better to continue relations in case of an emergency. That emergency -- World War Two -- was just a few years away.

        SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: Economic issues played an important part in American foreign policy during the early nineteen thirties. In nineteen thirty-three, a major international economic conference was held in London.

        France and Italy led a movement to link the value of every nation's money to the price of gold. American delegates to the conference rejected the idea. They argued that it would slow America's recovery from the great depression. As a result, the London conference failed.

        Although President Roosevelt opposed linking the value of the American dollar to the price of gold, he did not oppose international trade. During the nineteen thirties, his administration negotiated new trade agreements with more than twenty countries.

        Benito Mussolini, left , and Adolf Hitler in 1938
        Benito Mussolini, left , and Adolf Hitler in 1938

        DOUG JOHNSON: The nineteen thirties saw major political changes in Asia and Europe. President Roosevelt watched these developments with great interest. In Japan, military leaders gained control of the government. Their goal was to make Japan Asia's leading power.

        In Italy, the government was headed by fascist Benito Mussolini. Another fascist, Francisco Franco, seized power in Spain. And, most important, Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party increased their strength in Germany. Franklin Roosevelt understood much sooner than most western leaders the threat that these new leaders represented.

        SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: Most Americans shared Roosevelt's dislike for the new fascist movements. However, Americans felt another emotion much more strongly. It was their desire to stay out of war.

        World War One had ended just fifteen years earlier. It was still fresh in the minds of many Americans. A majority of the population opposed any policy that could involve the United States in another bloody conflict.

        DOUG JOHNSON: A public opinion study was made in nineteen thirty-seven. The study showed that seventy-one percent of Americans believed it had been a mistake for the United States to fight in World War One.

        So, President Roosevelt was not surprised when Congress passed a law ordering the administration to remain neutral in any foreign conflict. Congress also refused an administration proposal that the United States join the World Court.

        Franklin Roosevelt shared the hope that the United States would stay out of foreign conflicts. However, Adolf Hitler and other fascists continued to grow more powerful. The situation forced Americans to begin to consider the need for military strength.

        (MUSIC)

        STEVE EMBER: Americans did not want to become involved in another world war. They called on President Roosevelt and their representatives in Congress to remain neutral in world affairs. But aggression by Germany and Japan would force Americans to choose between their desire for democracy and their desire for peace. That will be our story next week.

        Our program was written by David Jarmul. The narrators were Shirley Griffith and Doug Johnson. You can find our series online with transcripts, MP3s, podcasts and pictures 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. I'm Steve Ember.

        ___

        This is program #186

        自建國以來,美國絕大部分時間里都沒有卷入國際爭端。直到二十世紀,美國才成為世界上一個強大的,有影響的國家。西奧多.羅斯福是第一個把美國視為這種大國的總統。幾年后,伍德羅.威爾遜總統想讓美國進一步介入國際事務。

        許多美國人持反對意見。他們想置身于國際沖突之外。威爾遜之后的幾任美國總統始終關心國際事務,但他們不像羅斯?;蛲栠d那樣愿意參與到這些事務中去。1929年經濟大蕭條開始后,美國人對國際事務更加缺少興趣了。

        富蘭克林.羅斯福1933年就任總統,他和大多數美國人不同,他通過親身經歷對世界局勢十分了解。他和西奧多.羅斯福、伍德羅.威爾遜一樣,想讓美國的對外政策更活躍,影響更廣泛。然而,可怕的經濟大蕭條使他不得不集中精力解決國內的經濟問題,對國際問題,只能慢慢來。

        羅斯福最早采取的重要對外行動之一是改善美國與拉丁美洲各國之間的關系。三十年前,西奧多.羅斯??偨y曾經說過,美國有權干涉拉丁美洲各國的事務。此后,美國曾先后向多個拉美國家派過兵。拉美國家的許多政治領導人指責美國像對孩子一樣對待他們的國家。

        在1928年的一次國際會議上,拉美各地領導人猛烈批評美國。富蘭克林.羅斯福當選總統后,承諾要把拉美各國當朋友看待,并稱其為他的"友邦"政策。

        富蘭克林.羅斯福在第一次就職演說中講到:"我將讓美國致力于奉行友好鄰邦的政策,做一個決心自重并因此而尊重它國的國家。做一個履行義務,尊重與世界各友邦所簽協議神圣性的國家。"

        然而,羅斯福的新政策卻有個不友好的開端。美國政府拒絕承認反美的古巴政府,反而幫助一個親美的古巴新政府上臺。然而,自那以后,羅斯??偨y開始遵照諾言,改善與拉美各國的關系。

        例如,羅斯福政府加快了從海地撤軍的速度,否決了原先簽訂的允許美國干涉古巴事務的條約,承認了薩爾瓦多的革命政府,認可巴拿馬有權幫助經營和保護巴拿馬運河,并且幫助建立了進出口銀行,以促進整個美洲的貿易發展。

        羅斯福政府所采取的這些行動改善了拉美各國領導人對美國的看法。然而,富蘭克林.羅斯福新的對外政策所面臨的最大考驗在墨西哥。墨西哥政府奪取了美國投資者所擁有的石油公司的控制權。一些很有影響力的美國人要求總統采取強硬措施,但羅斯福拒絕了。他只同意敦促墨西哥政府賠償美國投資者在石油公司中的股份金額。

        富蘭克林.羅斯福上臺后,開始實行積極擴張的對外政策,讓美國參與國際事務。他通過"友邦政策"改善了同拉美各國的關系,然而與此同時,美國與英國的關系卻出現了問題。

        英國認為,富蘭克林.羅斯福應該為1933年一次國際經濟會議的失敗負責。英國還覺得,美國國會對一些國家的國際侵略行為不愿采取強硬立場。有些英國領導人絲毫不信任羅斯福,他們希望拋開美國,同日本合作。然而,日本的新領導人很快就讓英國人打消了念頭。日本人提出,如果要合作,英國必須滿足日本非??量痰能娛乱?,英國政府只好放棄了一切同日本合作的念頭。

        上個世紀三十年代,美國對外政策上的一個重大問題是如何處理與蘇聯的關系。1917年布爾什維克掌權后,美國拒絕承認莫斯科政府。然而,富蘭克林.羅斯福認識到,如果歐亞的緊張局勢引發戰爭的話,蘇聯可能成為美國的盟友。

        基于這個原因,他在華盛頓與蘇聯一位高級官員舉行會談。1933年,正式承認蘇聯政府。羅斯福希望這么做能改善兩國關系,但美國與蘇聯互不信任,很快開始在許多問題上發生爭執。

        不到兩年,美國駐蘇聯大使就敦促羅斯福斷絕與蘇聯的外交關系。但羅斯福拒絕這么做。此后,美國與蘇聯的關系進一步惡化,但是羅斯福堅持保持兩國關系,以備不時之需,而不時之需----第二次世界大戰──幾年后真的發生了。

        上個世紀三十年代初期,經濟問題在美國對外政策走向上扮演了重要角色。1933年,一個重要的國際經濟會議在倫敦舉行。法國和意大利挑頭,主張將所有國家的貨幣都與黃金價格掛鉤,參加會議的美國代表反對。他們說,這么做會減緩美國經濟從大蕭條中復蘇的速度。結果,倫敦會議以失敗告終。

        盡管羅斯福反對將美元與黃金價格掛鉤,但他并不反對國際貿易。上個世紀三十年代,他領導下的政府與二十多個國家簽訂了新的國際貿易協定。上個世紀三十年代,歐亞政治出現重大變化,羅斯福以極大的興趣注視著這些事態的發展。

        在日本,軍方領導人掌控了政府,他們的目標是要讓日本成為亞洲頭號強國。在意大利,法西斯頭子墨索里尼成為政府首腦,而另一個法西斯分子弗朗西斯科.佛朗哥則奪取了西班牙政權。更為重要的是,阿道夫.希特勒和他的納粹黨在德國的力量日益強大。富蘭克林.羅斯福比大多數西方國家領導人更早地看出了這些新的領導層意味著怎樣的威脅。

        大多數美國人與羅斯福同樣不喜歡這一新的法西斯浪潮,然而,美國人的另一種情緒占了上風,那就是他們渴望置身于戰爭之外。第一次世界大戰才結束15年,許多美國人對一戰記憶猶新。絕大多數美國人反對任何可能將美國卷入另一場血腥沖突的政策。

        1937年美國一項民意調查發現,百分之71的美國人認為美國參加第一次世界大戰是一個錯誤。所以,當國會通過立法,要求美國政府在世界沖突面前保持中立的時候,羅斯福并不感到驚訝。美國國會還否決了政府建議加入國際法庭的提案。

        富蘭克林.羅斯福和其他美國人一樣,也希望美國能置身于外國沖突之外。然而,阿道夫.希特勒和其他法西斯勢力不斷強大,形勢發展迫使美國開始考慮加強其軍事力量的必要性。

        美國人不想卷入另一場世界大戰,他們呼吁羅斯??偨y和國會議員在國際事務中保持中立。但德國和日本的侵略將迫使美國人在要民主還是要和平中做出選擇。

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