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        #45: Madison Declares War on Britain in 1812

        作者:Frank Beardsley 發布日期:3-28-2013

        ANNOUNCER:

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

        In the spring of eighteen twelve, the United States and Britain were moving closer to war. Congress had approved a ninety-day embargo to stop American ships from leaving home. And American ships in foreign ports and at sea were ordered to return to the United States. President James Madison requested the embargo to prevent the capture of these ships once a war started.

        1812年春天,英、美兩國間,戰火一觸即發。美國國會批準了一項九十天的禁運令,禁止美國船只出海,已經出海和停泊在外國港口的美國船只也被勒令返航。詹姆斯.麥迪遜總統這樣做,是為了保證戰爭爆發后,美國船只不被扣押。

        James Madison
        James Madison

        Today, Maurice Joyce and Stuart Spencer begin the story of the War of Eighteen Twelve.

        (MUSIC)

        VOICE ONE:

        The president was sure there would be war. He had seen the instructions from London to British minister Augustus Foster. The British foreign minister warned Foster to say nothing about any compromise. He wanted the United States to see how firmly Britain would continue its orders against neutral trade with the enemies of Britain.

        麥迪遜總統認為,戰爭一定會爆發。他知道,倫敦向英國使節奧古斯塔斯.福斯特下達了指令。英國外交大臣警告福斯特,不要擅自做出任何妥協。他希望美國明白,英國不允許美國以中立身份跟英國的敵人做生意,這種政策會堅持到底。

        VOICE TWO:

        President Madison had hoped for some sign of compromise. But there was none. Congress continued to prepare the nation for war. Lawmakers voted to increase the size of the army and to borrow money to pay for things the larger army would need.

        麥迪遜總統希望看到妥協的跡象,但是絲毫沒有。與此同時,國會繼續積極備戰。議員們投票決定擴大陸軍規模,借錢以滿足軍費的增加。

        But not all members of Congress wanted war with Britain. Many Federalists, especially, opposed it. Some of them tried to end the embargo only a month after it began.

        不過,國會成員并不全都主戰,尤其是聯邦黨人。禁運令生效一個月后,就遭到了很多人的抵制。

        Congressman Hermanus Bleecker showed the House a list of hundreds of names from his area of New York. He said all these people opposed the embargo and the idea of war with Britain. "It is impossible," he said, "that we can go to war when the embargo ends, sixty days from now. Where are our armies? Our navy? Have we the money to fight a war? Why, it would be treason to go to war this soon, so poorly prepared."

        國會眾議員赫曼努斯.布利克向眾議院遞交了一份數百人的名單,都是他所在的紐約地區的選民。他說,名單上的人都反對禁運,反對跟英國開戰。他提出,“禁運令六十天后結束時,我們根本不可能開戰,我們的陸軍在哪里?海軍又在哪里?我們有錢打仗嗎?在準備如此欠缺的情況下,這么快就決定去打仗,簡直就是叛國。”

        (MUSIC)

        VOICE ONE:

        Albert Gallatin
        Albert Gallatin

        Treasury Secretary Albert Gallatin was having a difficult time finding money to borrow. He could get almost no money at all from Federalist New England banks. Congress had approved borrowing eleven million dollars. But Gallatin found the banks would lend only six million to the United States government.

        美國財政部長阿爾伯特.加勒廷在籌集資金的問題上一愁莫展。他從聯邦黨人的新英格蘭銀行幾乎借不到一分錢。國會雖然批準,可以貸款1100萬美元,但是加勒廷發現,從銀行里只能借到600萬。

        The Federalists charged that Gallatin's difficulties showed the people did not want war, especially the people of New England. If the people of the West and the South wanted to fight, then let them pay for the war.

        聯邦黨人指出,這恰恰說明大家不愿意打仗,特別是新英格蘭的民眾。如果西部的人和南方人愿意打仗的話,那就讓他們出錢好了。

        Republican John Randolph also spoke against the war. "How could the administration speak of war when it did not even have the courage to order taxes to raise money? Are we to go to war without money, without men, without a navy? The people will not believe it."

        共和黨人約翰.倫道夫也反對戰爭。他提出,“政府如果連通過增稅集資的勇氣都沒有,還談什么打仗呢?我們難道要在沒有軍費、沒有士兵、沒有海軍的情況下開戰嗎?人民無法相信。”

        John C. Calhoun answered Randolph. "So far from being unprepared, sir, I believe that four weeks from the time war is declared, we will have captured much of British Canada."

        約翰.卡爾霍恩回答說,“恰恰相反,我們絕不是毫無準備,我相信,開戰四個星期內,我們就能占領加拿大的大部分地區。”

        VOICE TWO:

        Sure that Britain would not change its hostile policies, President Madison sent a secret message to Congress on June first, proposing that war be declared. Madison listed the reasons for war:

        麥迪遜總統堅信,英國不會改變對美國的敵對政策。他于6月1號捎給國會一份密信,建議對英宣戰。麥迪遜提出的宣戰理由是:

        British warships had violated the American flag at sea. The British navy had seized and carried off persons protected by this flag. British warships also violated United States waters, interfering with American ships as they entered and left port. Another reason, he said, was Britain's orders against trade with France or allies of France. International law, he said, gave Britain no right to make such orders.

        英國戰艦在海上侵犯了美國國旗的尊嚴、英國海軍扣押并強行帶走受美國國旗保護的人、英國戰艦還侵犯美國水域,干涉美國船只進出海港、還有一個原因是,英國禁止美國跟法國及其盟國的商業往來。麥迪遜說,根據國際法的規定,英國無權這樣做。

        Madison also spoke of the hostile Indians of the northwest territory, and seemed to charge British Canada with helping the Indians.

        麥迪遜還提到了美國西北部印第安人的反抗,話里話外指責加拿大的英國勢力是印第安人的后臺。

        (MUSIC)

        VOICE ONE:

        The Battle of Queenston Heights was a British victory during the War of 1812
        The Battle of Queenston Heights was a British victory during the War of 1812

        The president's message was sent to the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House for discussion. The committee's report was made two days later by chairman John C. Calhoun. He proposed that the House declare war.

        麥迪遜主張對英宣戰。麥迪遜致密函給國會眾議院外交事務委員會,要求他們展開討論。該委員會主席約翰.卡爾霍恩兩天后提交報告,建議眾議院支持宣戰。

        The House, meeting in secret, heard the report. Federalist Josiah Quincy proposed that the debate should be made public. This proposal was defeated. The final vote on declaring war was seventy-nine for and forty-nine against. In the Senate, the vote was even closer: nineteen for and thirteen against.

        眾議院秘密召集會議,聽取報告。聯邦黨人喬賽亞.昆西建議將辯論公諸于眾,但是遭到了反對。美國國會投票表決,眾議院79票贊成49票反對;參議院19票贊成,13票反對。

        President Madison signed the bill on June eighteenth. The War of 1812 had begun.

        麥迪遜總統6月18號簽署法案,1812年戰爭拉開了戰幕。

        (MUSIC)

        VOICE TWO:

        The leaders in Washington did not know it, but Britain -- two days earlier -- had ended its orders against neutral American trade. The orders might have been withdrawn earlier, except for a number of events.

        其實,就在美國宣戰的兩天前,英國已經結束了對美國中立貿易的禁令。禁令的取消原本會更早,但是因為一系列突發事件,被耽誤了。

        British Prime Minister Spencer Perceval, under great political pressure, had decided to end the British orders on neutral trade. Businessmen and traders were loudly protesting that the orders were destroying England's economy. On May eleventh, before Perceval could act, he was shot to death. Not until June eighth was agreement reached on a new prime minister, Lord Liverpool.

        當時,英國商界大聲疾呼,要求取消對美國的貿易禁令。他們指出,貿易禁令正在摧毀英國經濟。英國首相斯潘瑟.帕西瓦爾在巨大的政治壓力下,決定取消禁令,但是還沒來得及宣布,就于5月11號遭到了暗殺。新首相人選直到6月8號才敲定,由利物浦勛爵擔任。

        Eight days later, his government announced that the orders were ended immediately. This was only two days before war was to be declared in Washington. And, with ships the only method of communication, the British action was not learned of in time.

        利物浦勛爵走馬上任后的第八天,英國政府宣布立即取消貿易禁令,但是因為當時的通訊完全依靠船只,所以英國政府的決定沒有傳到美國。兩天后,美國宣戰了。

        VOICE ONE:

        If the United States had had a minister in London during the spring of eighteen twelve, he would have been able to report progress toward ending the orders. But the American minister, William Pinkney, had returned home a year earlier.

        如果1812年,倫敦設有美國使節的話,他肯定會將取消貿易禁令的消息及時報告回去,但是美國駐英大使平克尼早在一年前就返回了美國。

        On the day that war was declared, the United States was far from ready to fight. There were only about eight thousand American soldiers. And most of them were serving in the West. The United States had only a few warships and gunboats with which to face the British navy -- the most powerful naval force in the world.

        美國雖然宣戰,但是完全沒有做好打仗的準備。當時,美國只有大約八千名士兵,大多數都在西部執行任務。海上作戰能力僅限于屈指可數的幾艘戰艦,而英國卻擁有世界上最強大的海軍。

        Worst of all was the division among the people of the United States about the war. It was strongly opposed in the Northeast. Church bells were rung and flags lowered in New England when the declaration of war was announced. Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut refused to let their state soldiers follow the orders of the national government.

        最糟糕的是,美國人民對戰爭存在意見分歧。東北地區堅決反對戰爭。宣戰的時候,新英格蘭教堂鳴鐘,降旗;麻薩諸塞、羅德島和康涅迪克州拒絕讓本州士兵聽從聯邦政府的指揮。

        (MUSIC)

        VOICE TWO:

        The United States could not have lasted long against the military power of Britain had it not been for the war in Europe. Most of Britain's forces were battling the soldiers of Napoleon Bonaparte. Britain could send only small forces to fight the Americans.

        如果不是英法戰爭,美國面對英國強大的軍事實力,根本沒有希望。然而,當時英國全力以赴對付拿破侖,只能派遣很少的部隊跟美國周旋。

        The United States tried to increase the size of its army. But the United States had not fought a war, or needed an army, for a long time.

        美國雖然努力擴大軍隊規模,但是多年來,美國一直不需要軍隊的存在。

        The officers who led troops in the Revolutionary War were old men, and tired. The young men had never fought and knew little about the ways of war. Two top generals were named by President Madison: sixty-two-year-old Henry Dearborn, and Thomas Pinckney, sixty-three. Most of the other generals were almost as old.

        如今,參加過獨立戰爭的人都已經年老體衰,年輕人又對戰爭一竅不通。麥迪遜總統任命了62歲的亨利.迪爾伯恩和63歲的托馬斯.平克尼擔任最高指揮官,其他將領的年齡也都跟他們不相上下。

        There also was the problem of getting enough men to serve as soldiers. Congress had approved an increase of twenty-five thousand men. Only five thousand agreed to serve. Members of Congress from the western states had spoken proudly of how their people would rush to fight the British. This did not happen. The first request to Kentucky for soldiers produced only four hundred men.

        戰爭的兵源也出現了問題。美國國會投票,批準增加兩萬五千名士兵,但是只有五千人愿意參軍。西部各州的國會議員曾經驕傲地說,西部居民會爭先恐后地打擊英軍,但是這種情況并沒有發生??纤莸谝淮握鞅?,只有四百人報名。

        VOICE ONE:

        The United States decided the first attacks should be made against Canada. There were only about twenty-five hundred British soldiers guarding the border between the United States and Canada. Four campaigns were planned. The first of these was led by an old Revolutionary War soldier, General William Hull.

        美國決定,首先進攻加拿大,因為美加邊境上只駐扎著兩千五百名英軍士兵。美軍策劃了四場戰役,首戰由參加過獨立戰爭的威廉.赫爾將軍指揮。

        General Hull and his two thousand men were ordered to march from southern Ohio to the city of Detroit, in the Michigan territory. They had completed the three hundred kilometer march before war was declared. Hull was given immediate orders to invade Canada.

        赫爾率領兩千人從俄亥俄州南部出發,行軍三百公里,在美國宣戰前抵達密西根州的底特律。赫爾奉命,立即入侵加拿大。

        The old general crossed the border and attacked the British at Malden. But the British general there was prepared, and the attack failed. Hull retreated back to Detroit. He was chased by a smaller force of British soldiers and Indians.

        赫爾率兵跨過邊境,在莫爾登對英軍發起進攻。但是英軍早有防備,一舉擊退了赫爾。赫爾撤回底特律,后面還跟著一小批英軍和印第安人的追兵。

        Although Hull had the stronger force and plenty of supplies, he surrendered Detroit to the British. After the war, Hull was tried by a military court on charges of cowardice. The court found him guilty and ordered him shot. The president, because of Hull's service during the Revolutionary War, permitted the old soldier to live.

        雖然赫爾的兵力和供給都很充沛,但還是沒能守住底特律。戰爭結束后,赫爾因為懦弱,接受軍事法庭的裁決,最后罪名成立,被判死刑。麥迪遜看在赫爾參加過獨立戰爭的份上,決定免他一死。

        (MUSIC)

        ANNOUNCER:

        Our program was written by Frank Beardsley. The narrators were Maurice Joyce and Stuart Spencer. Join us each week for THEMAKING OF A NATION – an American history series in VOA Special English.

        網友的學習評論(2條):
        作者:xuding45
        7-8-2013 5:44:4
        Madison declared war on Britain in 1812. Athough they had not enough preparation, the president order his soldiers to attack Canada. The battle was defeated by Britain and the commander lost Detroit.
        作者:Alumni
        8-7-2013 22:31:18
        at that time the American military force was weak because of no war almost fifty years after the Independence war. Fortunatly, the British was in the war with French, so they coudn't concentrate their whole power to fight America. it was lucky to America.
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