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        #70: President John Tyler Shows His Independence

        作者:Frank Beardsley 發布日期:4-22-2013

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

        The election of eighteen forty put a new president in the White House: William Henry Harrison. The defeat of President Martin Van Buren had been expected. Still, it was a sharp loss for his Democratic Party.

        1840年,威廉.亨利.哈里森當選總統。雖然前任總統范布倫的落選是預料之中的事情,但還是讓民主黨人深受打擊。

        John Tyler
        John Tyler

        Harrison was a retired general and a member of the Whig Party. He became the ninth president of the United States. But he got sick and he died after just a month in office. His vice president, John Tyler, became president.

        哈里森是一位退役將軍,是輝格黨成員。他就職一個月后就身患重病,不幸去世。副總統約翰.泰勒繼任總統。

        Whig leaders, especially Senator Henry Clay of Kentucky, tried to control the new president. Clay proposed detailed legislative programs for the new administration. Among them: the establishment of a national bank. This was high on Senator Clay's list of proposals.

        輝格黨領袖,特別是肯塔基州的參議員亨利.克萊試圖控制新總統??巳R提出了具體的立法議案,其中最重要的一項就是建立一家國家銀行。

        But Tyler soon showed his independence. He did not approve the plans as proposed by Clay. Tyler vetoed two bills calling for the creation of a national bank. Tyler wanted peace and party unity. But he also wanted to show that he -- not Clay -- was president.

        然而,新任總統泰勒一上臺就表現出了自己的特立獨行。他沒有批準克萊提出的議案,并先后兩次否決了相關議案。泰勒希望保持黨內團結,但他同時也想顯示,總統是他泰勒,而不是克萊。

        This week in our series, Bud Steele and Lew Roland continue the story of John Tyler.

        VOICE ONE:

        Clay's supporters in the cabinet did their best to get Tyler to sign the bank bills. When the president refused to do so, Whig Party leaders urged the cabinet to resign. This would show that the president, alone, was responsible for the veto of the bills.

        克萊在內閣里的支持者想方設法讓泰勒在議案上簽字。遭到總統拒絕后,輝格黨領袖呼吁內閣辭職,以顯示議案的否決是總統一人造成的。

        Daniel Webster
        Daniel Webster

        All cabinet members, but one -- Daniel Webster -- resigned. Secretary of State Webster was with the president when one of the letters of resignation arrived.

        最后,內閣里除了國務卿丹尼爾.韋伯斯特以外,全體辭職。其中一封辭呈送到總統手中時,韋伯斯特正跟泰勒在一起。

        "What am I to do, Mr. President?" asked Webster.

        韋伯斯特問:“總統先生,我該怎樣做呢?”

        "You must decide that for yourself," Tyler said.

        泰勒回答說:“你要自己決定。”

        "If you leave it to me, Mr. President, I will stay where I am." President Tyler stood up.

        韋伯斯特說,“如果讓我自己定的話,我愿意留下來。”泰勒站起身來說,

        "Give me your hand on that," he said, "and I will say to you that Henry Clay is a doomed man from this hour."

        “你如果保證的話,那我告訴你,從現在開始,克萊死定了。”

        Tyler named a new cabinet. And there was not one Clay supporter in it.

        泰勒重新任命了內閣,里面沒有克萊的支持者。

        VOICE TWO:

        The president's veto of the second bank bill brought strong public protests from those who wanted a national bank. A large group of Whig congressmen met and voted to expel Tyler from the party.

        泰勒第二次否決有關國家銀行的議案后,引起了支持建立國家銀行的人的強烈抗議。一大批輝格黨議員甚至開會投票,要把泰勒開除出黨。

        During the struggle over the bank bills, the Whigs did not forget the other parts of Senator Clay's legislative program. Clay especially wanted approval of a bill to give the different states money from the sale of public land. Tyler liked this idea himself. Many of the states owed large amounts of money. The distribution bill, as it was called, would help them get out of debt.

        圍繞國家銀行立法的斗爭激烈進行之際,輝格黨人也沒有忘記克萊參議員提出的其他議案??巳R特別希望通過的一項議案是,把聯邦政府出售公用土地得到的錢,分配給各州使用??偨y泰勒支持這項議案,因為當時很多州都負債累累,這一所謂的“分配法案”能幫助它們擺脫困境。

        VOICE ONE:

        The president was willing to support the bill. But he saw one danger in it. If all the money from land sales was given to the states, the federal government might not have enough money.

        泰勒雖然愿意支持議案,但又擔心,如果把錢分給各州,聯邦政府會出現資金短缺。

        Tyler feared that Congress then would raise import taxes to get more money for the federal government. As a southerner, the president opposed taxes on imports. He finally agreed to accept the distribution bill, but on one condition. The distribution of money to the states would be suspended if import taxes rose higher than twenty percent.

        泰勒尤其擔心,那樣一來,國會為資助聯邦資金,可能會提高進口稅。作為南方人,泰勒反對進口稅。他最后決定接受分配法案,唯一條件是,如果進口稅超過20%,聯邦政府分配給各州的資金就要暫停。

        Tyler signed the bill, and it became law.

        泰勒簽字后法案生效。

        (MUSIC)

        VOICE TWO:

        The next year, the government found itself short of money. It was spending more than it had. Congress decided that import taxes should be raised, some even higher than twenty percent. The bill was passed by close votes in the House and Senate.

        第二年,聯邦政府入不敷出,出現資金短缺,國會決定提高進口稅,有些甚至要超過20%。議案最后以微弱優勢,在參眾兩院通過。

        When it got to the White House, President Tyler vetoed it. He said it was wrong to raise the tax so high and, at the same time, continue to give the states the money from land sales. He said the federal government itself needed the land-sale money. The Whigs were angry.

        然而,議案遭到了泰勒的否決。他指出,在繼續將售地所得分配給各州的同時,把稅率提高到如此高的水平是不對的。他說,聯邦政府也需要這筆錢。泰勒的做法引起了輝格黨人的憤怒。

        Still, they did not have enough votes to pass the bill over the president's veto. Then they approved a new bill. This one raised import taxes, but said nothing about distribution of federal money to the states. And President Tyler signed it.

        不過,他們在國會里沒有得到足夠支持, 無法推翻泰勒的否決,只好通過了另外一項法案,提高進口稅,但是對聯邦政府分配售地所得的問題只字不提。這項法案經泰勒總統簽字生效。

        VOICE ONE:

        While the Whigs made bitter speeches about the failure of the party's legislative program, Tyler worked to improve relations with Britain. The United States and Britain disputed the border that separated Canada from the northeastern United States. Both Canada and the state of Maine claimed the disputed area. Britain was also angry because Americans had helped Canadian rebels.

        輝格黨人對立法議案的失敗滿腹牢騷的同時,泰勒則在設法改善跟英國的關系。美國和英國在美加邊境的問題上存在爭端,加拿大和美國北部的緬因州都聲稱對邊界一帶享有主權。英國人還對美國幫助加拿大反叛勢力的做法非常不滿。

        Canadian soldiers had crossed the Niagara River and burned a boat that was used to carry supplies to the rebels. Secretary of State Daniel Webster wanted peace with Britain. And there was a new government in Britain. Its foreign minister, Lord Aberdeen, also wanted peace.

        加拿大士兵曾跨越尼亞加拉河,燒毀了一艘向反叛力量輸送供給的船只。美國國務卿丹尼爾.韋伯斯特希望跟英國和平相處。英國新政府的外交大臣阿伯丁也主張和平。

        VOICE TWO:

        Lord Aberdeen sent a special representative, Lord Ashburton, to the United States. Lord Ashburton had an American wife. And he was a friend of Daniel Webster. He arrived in Washington in the spring of eighteen hundred forty-two with the power to settle all disputes with the United States.

        阿伯丁派遣自己的朋友阿什伯頓以特使身份前往美國。阿什伯頓的太太是美國人。1842年春天,阿什伯頓抵達華盛頓,全權代表英國政府處理跟美國的糾紛。

        Lord Ashburton said Britain regretted that it had not made some explanation or apology for the sinking of an American boat in the Niagara River. The two men discussed the border dispute between Canada and Maine.

        阿什伯頓告訴韋伯斯特說,美國船只在尼亞加拉河上被擊沉一事發生后,英國沒有做出解釋,也沒有表示道歉,對此他深感遺憾。他們兩人就加拿大和緬因州的領土爭端進行了討論。

        Webster proposed a compromise border line. Lord Ashburton accepted the compromise. The agreement gave almost eighteen-thousand square kilometers of the disputed area to Maine. Canada received more than twelve thousand square kilometers.

        韋伯斯特提出的一份妥協方案,被阿什伯頓所接受。根據協議,將近1萬8千平方公里的土地劃歸美國,1萬2千多平方公里歸加拿大。

        VOICE ONE:

        The Senate approved the Webster-Ashburton agreement. And American-British relations showed improvement. President Tyler then turned to another problem: Texas. Texas asked to become a state during President Van Buren's administration. But nothing was done about the request.

        這一協議得到了美國國會參議院的批準。美英關系出現好轉。隨后,泰勒總統著手解決另外一個棘手的難題,也就是德克薩斯加入聯邦的問題。前總統范布倫在職期間,德克薩斯就曾申請加入聯邦,但是沒有結果。

        Tyler was interested in Texas and wanted to make it part of the Union. Secretary Webster was cool to the idea of Texas statehood.

        泰勒對德克薩斯很感興趣,希望把德克薩斯吸收進來。

        As a northerner, he did not want another slave state in the Union. Webster and his supporters were Tyler's only real strength in the Whig Party outside of Virginia. The president, therefore, did not push the issue of Texas.

        然而,國務卿韋伯斯特對此十分冷淡。作為北方人,他不希望美國增加更多的奴隸州。韋伯斯特和他的支持者是除了維吉尼亞以外,泰勒在輝格黨里唯一可以依靠的力量,泰勒因此不敢過份推動德克薩斯加入聯邦的問題。

        After Senate approval of his treaty with Lord Ashburton, Webster decided that he could be of no more real use to the administration. He resigned as secretary of state. Tyler named one of his Virginia supporters, Abel Upshur, to the job in the summer of eighteen forty-three.

        參議院通過了美英關于美加邊界協議后,韋伯斯特覺得,自己對泰勒政府已經沒有多大用處了,決定解甲歸田。泰勒1843年夏天提名自己在維吉尼亞的支持者埃布爾.厄普舍出任國務卿。

        Abel Upshur
        Abel Upshur

        VOICE TWO:

        Upshur was a firm believer in slavery. He felt slaves were necessary in the agricultural economy of the South. Upshur was worried about reports that Britain was interested in ending slavery in Texas. These reports said Britain had promised to defend Texas independence and to give economic aid, if the slaves were freed.

        厄普舍對奴隸制度堅信不移。他認為,奴隸對南方農業經濟來說,必不可少。有報導說,英國希望結束德克薩斯的奴隸制,這一消息讓厄普舍十分擔心。報導還說,英國保證,如果奴隸獲得自由,英國就會保障德克薩斯的獨立,并向德克薩斯提供經濟援助。

        Upshur and other southerners feared what might happen if this were done. Slaves from nearby southern states would try to escape to freedom in Texas. And the abolitionists might use Texas as a base for propaganda against the South.

        厄普舍等南方人擔心,如果德克薩斯取消奴隸制,南方其他州的奴隸就會跑到德克薩斯,投奔自由。廢奴主義者就可能會把德克薩斯作為基地,對南方發動宣傳攻勢。

        VOICE ONE:

        There was another reason for President Tyler's interest in Texas. He believed it possible to make political use of the question of Texas statehood. It could help him build a new political party, a party that might elect him president for another four years. Four months after becoming secretary of state, Upshur offered a statehood treaty to Texas.

        泰勒對德克薩斯感興趣的另外一個原因是,他覺得,可以利用德克薩斯加入聯邦的問題建立一個新政黨,幫助他當選連任。厄普舍就任國務卿僅僅四個月后,就提出了一項接受德克薩斯加入聯邦的條約。

        At first, Texas President Sam Houston refused the offer. He finally agreed to negotiate, but said the United States must accept two conditions. It must agree to protect Texas if Mexico attacked it. And it must promise that the United States Senate would approve the treaty.

        德克薩斯總統休斯頓起初斷然拒絕,但最終還是同意談判,他提出的兩個條件是:一,如果墨西哥發動攻擊,美國必須同意保護德克薩斯的安全;二,美國參議院一定要保證批準條約。

        Upshur told the Texas representative in Washington that Texas would be given military protection just as soon as the treaty was signed. And he said the necessary two-thirds of the senators would approve the statehood treaty. Houston was satisfied. And his representative began secret negotiations with Upshur.

        厄普舍告訴駐華盛頓的德克薩斯代表說,只要在條約上簽字,德克薩斯將立即獲得美國的軍事保護,而且參議院肯定會有三分之二的議員批準。休斯頓對此感到滿意,下令特使展開秘密協商。

        John C. Calhoun
        John C. Calhoun

        VOICE TWO:

        A few weeks later, before the talks could be completed, Upshur joined the president and congressional leaders for a trip down the Potomac River. They sailed on a new American warship that carried two large cannons. The new guns were to be fired for the president.

        幾個星期后,就在談判結束前,厄普舍跟泰勒總統和一些國會領袖暢游波托馬克河。他們乘坐的美國新戰艦上裝備了兩尊大炮,為總統鳴炮。

        Upshur was standing near one of the cannons during the firing. He and two other men were killed when the gun exploded. The president was not injured. But nineteen others were hurt.

        鳴炮時,厄普舍站在一尊大炮旁邊,炮彈爆炸,厄普舍和其余兩人當場斃命,還有19人受傷,但是泰勒總統安然無恙。

        President Tyler named John C. Calhoun -- a Democrat -- as his new secretary of state. He did so for two reasons: Calhoun believed that Texas should be part of the United States. And Tyler -- a Whig -- hoped that Calhoun might be able to get him nominated as the presidential candidate of the Democratic Party.

        泰勒任命民主黨人卡爾霍恩出任國務卿。他這樣做出于兩個原因:第一,卡爾霍恩主張德克薩斯加入美國;第二,泰勒雖然是輝格黨人,但是他希望卡爾霍恩能讓自己獲得民主黨的總統候選人提名。

        (MUSIC)

        ANNOUNCER:

        Our program was written by Frank Beardsley. The narrators were Bud Steele and Lew Roland. Transcripts, MP3s and podcasts of our programs, along with historical images, are at www.squishedblueberries.com. Join us again next week for THE MAKING OF A NATION -- an American history series in VOA Special English.

        ___

        This is program #70 of THE MAKING OF A NATION

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