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        #72: In 1845, Republic of Texas Faces a Choice

        作者:Frank Beardsley 發布日期:4-24-2013

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

        An 1836 map of Texas
        An 1836 map of Texas

        In eighteen thirty-six, Texas declared its independence from Mexico. Nine years later, in eighteen forty-five, the United States Congress passed a resolution inviting the Republic of Texas to join the Union as a state.

        德克薩斯地區1836年脫離墨西哥,宣布獨立。九年后,也就是1845年,美國國會通過決議,邀請德克薩斯共和國作為一個州,加入美國聯邦。

        President John Tyler signed the resolution on March first. That was just three days before his term ended and James Polk moved into the White House as the nation's eleventh president.

        泰勒總統3月1號在決議上簽字。三天過后,泰勒任期屆滿,新總統詹姆斯.波爾克入主白宮,成為美國第11任總統。

        Britain and France tried to prevent Texas from becoming a state. They got Mexico to agree to recognize the independence of Texas, but only if Texas agreed not to join the United States.

        英國和法國設法阻止德克薩斯加入美國聯邦。它們勸說墨西哥,同意承認德克薩斯的獨立,前提條件是,德克薩斯不能加入美國。

        Texas had two choices. It could become a state. Or it could remain a republic, with its independence recognized by Mexico. The Texas Congress chose statehood.

        德克薩斯面臨兩種選擇:第一,可以成為美國的一個州;第二,可以成為得到墨西哥承認的獨立共和國。德克薩斯國會最后選擇了美國。

        This week in our series, Lew Roland and Jack Weitzel talk about statehood for Texas and about the presidency of James Polk.

        VOICE ONE:

        James Polk
        James Polk

        James Polk had campaigned for the presidency on two promises. He declared that he would make all of Texas and all of Oregon part of the United States. The people had elected Polk because they shared his belief that the United States should extend from sea to sea -- from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans. They felt it was God's will, and their duty, to spread American democracy and freedom across the continent.

        詹姆斯.波爾克在競選期間,做出了兩項承諾。他宣布,要讓德克薩斯和俄勒岡成為美國的一部分。選民投票支持他,是因為他們贊成波爾克的理念,認為美國的疆域應該從大西洋直通太平洋,橫跨北美大陸。

        In the words of poet Walt Whitman: "It is for the interest of mankind that [America's] power and territory should be extended -- the farther, the better."

        他們覺得,將美國的民主和自由傳遍北美大陸,是上帝的意愿,也是他們的責任。正像著名詩人沃爾特.惠特曼所說的:美國勢力和疆域的擴展符合人類利益,越大就越好。

        VOICE TWO:

        Traders from New England were the first Americans to visit Oregon. They stopped on the Oregon coast to trade for animal skins.

        最早前往俄勒岡的是新英格蘭商人。他們在俄勒岡沿海地帶交換動物皮毛。

        Later, American explorers Lewis and Clark crossed the Louisiana territory to reach Oregon. And in eighteen hundred eleven, John Jacob Astor built a fur trading center at the mouth of Oregon's Columbia River.

        后來,美國探險家路易斯和克拉克橫穿路易斯安那,抵達俄勒岡。1811年,約翰.雅各布.阿斯特在俄勒岡的哥倫比亞河口修建了一個皮毛交易所。

        British explorers had given Britain claims to the same territory. The British Hudson's Bay Company also built a trading center on the Columbia and claimed a large area north of it. The two countries could not agree on how to divide Oregon between them. Since there were few settlers in Oregon, Britain and the United States agreed to occupy the territory jointly.

        英國探險家也到過俄勒岡,聲稱這片土地歸英國所有。英國的哈得遜灣公司也在哥倫比亞河口修建了交易所,并聲稱占有河口以北的大片地區。由于俄勒岡地區定居者稀少,所以英國和美國同意,兩國可以共同占有俄勒岡。

        This system worked well until the eighteen forties. Then, thousands of Americans began moving west to Oregon. The new settlers were not satisfied with the joint occupation agreement. They wanted all of Oregon to belong to the United States.

        根據這種共識,英美兩國一直相安無事。然而,十九世紀40年代,大批美國人開始向西部遷移,這些定居者對英美兩國共同占有俄勒岡地區的協議感到不滿,希望俄勒岡全歸美國所有。

        VOICE ONE:

        President Polk said he thought the United States had strong claims to all of the territory. But he said he would compromise. He offered to divide Oregon at the forty-ninth parallel of latitude. All north of this line would belong to Britain. All south of it -- including the Columbia River -- would belong to the United States.

        波爾克總統說,他覺得,美國有充分理由,可以對整個俄勒岡地區聲稱主權,但他同時表示,愿意做出妥協。他提議,以北緯49度為界,將俄勒岡地區一分為二,以北劃歸英國,包括哥倫比亞河在內的南部地區則歸美國所有。

        The offer was given to Britain's minister in Washington. He rejected it, refusing even to send it to London. He said Britain would accept nothing but the Columbia River as the southern border of British Oregon.

        這一提議遭到了英國駐華盛頓大使的拒絕,甚至沒有報呈倫敦。這位大使明確表示,除非把哥倫比亞河作為南部邊界,劃歸英國所有,否則英國是絕對不會接受提議的。

        President Polk withdrew the offer. He said America had no choice but to claim all of Oregon. He used strong language and seemed to say that the United States would fight, if necessary, to defend its claim.

        波爾克總統立即撤回提議,并表示,美國除了聲稱對俄勒岡全部地區享有主權外別無選擇。波爾克措辭強烈,似乎是在暗示,如果必要的話,美國不惜動用武力,也要保護自己的領地。

        VOICE TWO:

        Polk really did not want war. But he thought a strong position was necessary in negotiating with Britain. He said softer treatment only led to stronger demands from Britain. Polk asked Congress to give him permission to end the joint occupation agreement. It did so in the spring of eighteen hundred forty-six.

        實際上,波爾克并不希望打仗。但是他覺得,跟英國交涉,只能采取強硬立場。他表示,美國立場溫和,只會導致英國提出更強硬的要求。波爾克請求國會批準,最終于1846年春天宣布,結束跟英國共同占有俄勒岡的協議。

        In London, the British government decided that Oregon was not worth a war with the United States. It had demanded the Columbia River border because of the Hudson's Bay trading center on the river. The center had been moved farther north to Vancouver Island. So there was no real reason to continue this demand.

        與此同時,英國政府覺得,因為俄勒岡跟美國開戰不值得。英國當初之所以堅持要求把哥倫比亞河劃給英國,作為跟美國的邊界,是因為英國哈得遜灣公司的交易所設在那里。但是后來,那個交易所搬到了更靠北面的溫哥華島,這樣一來,也就沒有理由堅持原來的要求了。

        The British foreign minister proposed a treaty that would make the forty-ninth parallel of latitude the border between the United States and British Oregon. The proposal was almost the same that President Polk had made earlier.

        英國外交大臣提出一項提案,以北緯49度為界,把俄勒岡一分為二,分屬英美兩國,跟波爾克事前提出的議案幾乎完全相同。

        (MUSIC)

        VOICE ONE:

        Leaders in the western United States demanded that Polk reject the British offer. They wanted all of Oregon. Polk decided to let the Senate vote on the British proposal. The Senate accepted the treaty, and Polk signed it.

        美國西部領袖要求波爾克拒絕英國的提案。他們希望占有俄勒岡的全部地區。波爾克讓參議院投票表決,結果參議院接受了英國的提案,經波爾克簽字生效。

        The treaty made the forty-ninth parallel the border from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. The southern border of the Oregon territory was the forty-second parallel. South of this was California.

        The United States, for some time, had wanted to buy California from Mexico. Former President Tyler had asked his minister to Mexico to try to buy California. The minister, Waddy Thompson, had been to California. He described it as the richest, the most beautiful, the healthiest country in the world. Thompson said the port of San Francisco was big enough to hold all the navies of the world. He said San Francisco, some day, would control the trade of all of the Pacific Ocean.

        美國早就希望向墨西哥收購加利福尼亞。美國前總統泰勒曾要求美國駐墨西哥大使沃迪.湯普森設法收購加利福尼亞。湯普森到過加利福尼亞,他描述說,加利福尼亞是世界上最富有、最美麗、最健康的土地。湯普森說,舊金山港足以容納世界上的所有海軍,有朝一日,舊金山將控制太平洋的全部貿易。

        VOICE TWO:

        There was little chance that Thompson could get California from Mexico. But then something happened that destroyed any chance of getting California peacefully. The commander of a United States navy force in the Pacific, Thomas Jones, received news that led him to believe the United States was at war with Mexico.

        湯普森想從墨西哥手中收購加利福尼亞本來就沒有什么希望。一起意外事件的發生更是讓和平取得加利福尼亞的一線希望消失殆盡。當時美國駐太平洋的海軍指揮官是托馬斯.瓊斯。他得到消息,以為美國跟墨西哥開戰了。

        He sailed to Monterey, the capital of California. The navy force arrived there in October, eighteen hundred forty-two. Jones and his men seized Monterey and held it for two days. He found he had made a mistake and returned the town to Mexican officials. Jones apologized. But his actions greatly angered Mexican leaders. They refused even to talk about selling California to the United States.

        瓊斯立即率領美國海軍艦艇駛往加利福尼亞首府蒙特里,1842年10月抵達后占領了蒙特里。兩天后,瓊斯發現自己錯了。他立即將蒙特里歸還給墨西哥,并表示道歉,但是他的行動激怒了墨西哥領導人,他們對美國收購加利福尼亞進行談判的要求一口回絕。

        (MUSIC)

        VOICE ONE:

        Mexico broke relations with the United States when Congress approved statehood for Texas. Mexican officials had warned that Texas statehood would lead to war. After Polk became president, he sent a representative to Mexico to try to establish diplomatic relations again. A weak government was in power in Mexico, headed by President Jose Joaquin Herrera.

        美國國會通過決議吸收德克薩斯加入美國聯邦后,墨西哥斷絕了與美國的關系。墨西哥官員早就警告說,德克薩斯加入美國會導致戰爭。波爾克宣誓就職總統后,派特使前往墨西哥,努力修補兩國間的外交關系。當時,墨西哥總統是何塞.華金.埃雷拉,他領導的政府不堪一擊。

        Herrera at first agreed to meet with the American, John Slidell, to discuss four offers from President Polk. Earlier, Mexico had agreed to pay more than two million dollars for damages claimed by Americans. But it did not have the money.

        埃雷拉起初同意跟美國特使約翰.斯萊德爾討論波爾克總統提出的四項提案。在此之前,墨西哥曾經答應向美國人做出200多萬美元的賠償,但是沒有錢。

        Slidell was to offer to pay these claims if Mexico would accept the Rio Grande River as the border between Texas and Mexico. And America would pay Mexico five million dollars for New Mexico and twenty-five million more for California. If these offers were rejected, Slidell was to try to buy part of California for five million dollars.

        斯萊德爾提議,只要墨西哥同意將格蘭德河做為德克薩斯跟墨西哥之間的邊界,美國政府就愿意承認這200多萬美元的賠償費用。此外,美國還提議,出價500萬美元,收購新墨西哥,出價2500萬美元,收購加利福尼亞。如果這些提案全部遭到拒絕的話,斯萊德爾就要試著用500萬美元,收購部分加利福尼亞。

        VOICE TWO:

        Slidell arrived in Mexico City in December, eighteen hundred forty-five. The Mexican government had grown even weaker. And Herrera was afraid he would be forced from power if he met with the American diplomat.

        斯萊德爾1845年12月抵達墨西哥城。當時,埃雷拉政府日漸脆弱。埃雷拉擔心,如果會見美國使節,就會被趕下臺,所以拒絕接見斯萊德爾。

        The Herrera government fell anyway. And the new Mexican government refused to talk with the American representative. Slidell returned to the United States, firm in the belief that only force could win the Mexican territories the United States wanted.

        然而,拒絕接見斯萊德爾也沒能挽救他的政治命運,埃雷拉政府最終還是垮臺了。新上臺的墨西哥政府拒絕跟美國使節見面。斯萊德爾無可奈何,只好啟程回國。他堅信,美國要想得到這些墨西哥領土,只能使用武力。

        President Polk shared Slidell's belief. He learned in January, eighteen hundred forty-six, that Mexico had refused to negotiate with his representative. Polk had wanted a peaceful settlement of the differences with Mexico. This now seemed impossible. Perhaps, he thought, a more forceful policy would make Mexico negotiate.

        波爾克總統同意斯萊德爾的看法。他1846年1月得知,墨西哥政府拒絕跟美國特使談判。波爾克原本希望和平解決跟墨西哥的分歧,結果看來希望渺茫。波爾克因此覺得,可能只有采取更加強硬的政策,才能迫使墨西哥參加談判。

        VOICE ONE:

        President Polk had sent several thousand American soldiers to Texas six months before, when Texas accepted statehood. This force, led by General Zachary Taylor, had camped near the town of Corpus Christi at the mouth of the Nueces River. Polk now ordered Taylor's soldiers to the Rio Grande River. He told them to stay on the north side of the river.

        半年前,德克薩斯同意加入美國時,波爾克總統曾調遣數千名美國士兵,由扎卡里.泰勒將軍率領,在紐埃西斯河口處的科珀斯克里斯蒂鎮安營扎寨。波爾克總統下令泰勒率兵趕往格蘭德河,鎮守北岸。

        Should Mexico attack, Taylor and his men were to strike back as hard as possible. General Taylor was glad to get his orders. For months, his men had been training at Corpus Christi. They were ready for action.

        如果墨西哥發動攻擊,就狠狠地予以還擊。泰勒將軍十分興奮,他的部下在科珀斯克里斯蒂訓練多時,早就按捺不住了。

        (MUSIC)

        ANNOUNCER:

        Our program was written by Frank Beardsley. The narrators were Lew Roland and Jack Weitzel. Transcripts, MP3s and podcasts of our series can be found along with historical images 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 #72 of THE MAKING OF A NATION

        網友的學習評論(1條):
        作者:Alumni
        9-4-2013 21:6:18
        at that time, the America would negotiate to buy that extensive territory , like California, only with twenty-five million dollars and they did it before long. it was really an exellent deal with the proof of history. from then on, the America extended his territory from sea to sea--- from the shore of the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean.
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