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        #76: Plan in 1850 on Slavery Aims to Save Union

        作者:Frank Beardsley 發布日期:4-28-2013

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

        The United States faced a deep national crisis in eighteen fifty. That crisis threatened to split the nation in two. It began over the issue of slavery in the new territories of California and Mexico. President Zachary Taylor had no clear policy on the issue. He tried to be neutral. He hoped the problem would solve itself.

        1850年,美國面臨一場深刻危機,將國家推向分裂的邊緣。這場危機是由加利福尼亞和新墨西哥這兩塊新增領土上的蓄奴問題引發的。在這個問題上,扎卡里·泰勒總統沒有明確的政策。泰勒總統努力保持中立,希望問題會自然消失。

        But he did not get his wish. The split between the North and South only got wider. There was a real danger that the South would declare its independence. Then, Senator Henry Clay of Kentucky stepped forward to save the Union.

        然而事與愿違,南北雙方間的裂痕日益加大。南方眼看就要宣布獨立。關鍵時刻,肯塔基州的聯邦參議員亨利·克萊挺身而出,設法挽救聯邦。

        This week in our series, Stuart Spencer and Jack Moyles begin the story of the Compromise of Eighteen Fifty.

        VOICE ONE:

        Henry Clay
        Henry Clay

        After being away from the Senate for almost eight years, Clay was surprised to find how bitter the two sections of the United States -- north and south -- had grown toward each other. Clay urged his friends in the border states between North and South to try to build public support for the Union. He felt this would help prevent the South from seceding.

        克萊將近八年前離開參議院。如今重返參議院時,他才意外地發現,南北雙方之間的敵對情緒日益加深??巳R敦促介于南北之間的臨界州里的政治友人,希望他們推動民眾支持聯邦??巳R覺得,這樣可以防止南方分裂。

        Clay also began to think about a compromise that might settle the differences between the two sections of the country.

        克萊同時也開始策劃妥協方案,設法解決南北雙方的意見分歧。

        VOICE TWO:

        Clay was a firm believer in the idea of compromise. He once said: "I go for honorable compromise whenever it can be made. Life itself is but a compromise between death and life. The struggle continues through our whole existence until the great destroyer finally wins. All legislation, all government, all society is formed upon the principle of mutual concession, politeness, and courtesy. Upon these, everything is based."

        克萊對妥協深信不疑。他曾說過,“我隨時愿意接受體面的妥協。生命本身就是生與死的妥協。生死之間的搏斗貫穿于我們的整個生命,直到死神獲勝為止。一切立法、一切政府、一切社會都是在相互讓步、相互尊敬、以禮相待的原則基礎上建立起來的,這是一切事物的基礎。”

        Clay was sure that a compromise between North and South was possible. Near the end of January, Clay completed work on his plan. Most parts of it already had been proposed as separate bills. Clay put them together in a way that both sides could accept.

        克萊堅信,南北雙方一定能夠達成妥協??斓揭辉碌椎臅r候,他終于制定出一項計劃,計劃的大部分內容以前都曾以單獨議案的形式出現,克萊把它們合并在一起,希望雙方都能接受。

        VOICE ONE:

        Clay offered his plan in a Senate speech on January twenty-ninth, eighteen fifty. Clay proposed that California join the Union as a free state. He said territorial governments should be formed in the other parts of the western territories, with no immediate decision on whether slavery would be permitted.

        1850年1月29號,克萊在參議院的一次講話中提出了自己的計劃??巳R建議,加利福尼亞作為自由州加入聯邦,其他西部地區建立地方政府,在廢奴還是蓄奴的問題上,暫時不做決定。

        Clay proposed that the western border of Texas be changed to give New Mexico most of the land disputed by them. In exchange for this, he said, the national government should agree to pay the public debts that Texas had when it became a state.

        克萊建議,修訂德克薩斯西部邊界,把大部分爭議土地劃分給新墨西哥,作為交換,聯邦政府同意替德克薩斯償還加入聯邦時的公共債務。

        He proposed that no more slaves be sold in the District of Columbia for use outside the federal district, but also proposed that slavery should not be ended in the district unless its citizens and those of Maryland approved. Clay said a better law was needed for the return of fugitive slaves to their owners.

        克萊建議,禁止在哥倫比亞特區進行用于特區以外的奴隸的交易,但同時提議,除非哥倫比亞特區和馬里蘭州居民認可,否則不應該結束哥倫比亞特區內的奴隸制度??巳R指出,需要制定一項更有效的法律,將逃跑的奴隸送還奴隸主。

        He also proposed that Congress declare that it had no power to interfere with the slave trade between states. Senator Clay believed these eight steps would satisfy the interests of both the North and the South.

        他還建議國會宣布,無權干涉州與州之間的奴隸交易??巳R參議員相信,這八點步驟會讓南部和北部的利益都得到滿足。

        (MUSIC)

        VOICE TWO:

        Jefferson Davis
        Jefferson Davis

        Senator Jefferson Davis of Mississippi declared that Clay's compromises did not offer anything of value to the South. He said the South would accept nothing less than extending the Missouri compromise line west to the Pacific Ocean. This meant that land south of the line would be open to slavery.

        密西西比州的參議員杰斐遜·戴維斯宣稱,克萊提出的妥協方案沒有給南方任何實惠。他說,南方人唯一可以接受的方案就是將密蘇里協定的適用范圍向西延展,直到太平洋,這就意味著密蘇里協定分界線以南地區允許奴隸的存在。

        Clay answered that no power on earth could force him to vote to establish slavery where it did not exist. He said Americans had blamed Britain for forcing African slavery on the colonists. He said he would not have the future citizens of California and New Mexico blaming Henry Clay for slavery there.

        克萊回答說,世界上沒有任何力量能讓他投票支持在沒有奴隸制的地方建立奴隸制度。他說,美國人指責英國將非洲奴隸強加給美洲定居者,他絕不會讓加利福尼亞和新墨西哥今后的定居者說,是克萊造成了那里奴隸制度的出現。

        VOICE ONE:

        Clay said he did not want to debate, but wished that the senators would think carefully about his proposals. He said he hoped they would decide on them only after careful study. He asked them to see the proposals as a system of compromise, not as separate bills. Clay expected extremists on both sides to denounce the compromise. But he believed the more reasonable leaders of the North and South would accept it.

        克萊表示,他不愿意參加辯論,但是希望參議員們能認真考慮他的提案,然后再做決定。他要求參議員們從整體出發研究這些提案,而不是把它們分開考慮??巳R估計,南北雙方的極端份子都會極力反對,但是議案會得到南北雙方通情達理的領導人的接受。

        One week after Clay first proposed the compromise, he rose in the Senate to speak in its defense. The Senate hall was crowded. People had come from as far away as Boston and New York to hear Clay speak. Some senators said there had not been such a crowd in the capitol building since the day Clay said goodbye to the Senate eight years earlier.

        提出議案一個星期后,克萊在參議院發表講話,為議案提出辯護。當時,參議院大廳里擠得水泄不通,很多人長途跋涉,從波士頓和紐約趕來,聽克萊講話。有些參議員說,克萊八年前告別參議院以來,國會大廈里還沒有出現過這么多的人。

        Clay had to rest several times as he climbed the steps of the capitol. He told a friend that he felt very tired and weak. His friend advised Clay to rest and make his speech later. "No," Clay said. "My country is in danger. If I can be the one to save it from that danger, then my health and life are not important."

        克萊順著臺階走上國會大廈,途中不得不多次停下來休息,他告訴一個朋友說,感覺疲憊不堪。朋友建議他推遲講話,克萊回答說:“那可不行。我的國家面臨危險,如果我能夠挽救國家命運的話,那么我的健康和生命都不重要。”

        (MUSIC)

        VOICE TWO:

        Henry Clay speaks before the United States Senate
        Henry Clay speaks before the United States Senate

        Clay began his speech by talking of the serious crisis that faced the nation. He said that never before had he spoken to a group as troubled and worried as the one he spoke to now. Clay listed his eight resolutions. Then he said: "No man on earth is more ready than I am to surrender anything which I have proposed and to accept in its place anything that is better. But I ask the honorable senators whether their duty will be done by simply limiting themselves to opposing any one or all of the resolutions I have offered."

        克萊一上來,首先談到了國家面臨的嚴重危機。他說,他以前面對的聽眾,從來沒有象現在這樣憂心忡忡??巳R提出了自己的八點妥協方案,然后說,“如果有什么更好的建議,我比任何人都更愿意接受,但是我要問問尊貴的參議員們,如果光是反對一項或是全盤否定我的提議,你們能算是履行了自己的義務嗎?”

        "If my plan of peace and unity is not right, give us your plan. Let us see how all the questions that have arisen out of this unhappy subject of slavery can be better settled more fairly and justly than the plan I have offered. Present me with such a plan, and I will praise it with pleasure and accept it without the slightest feeling of regret."

        克萊繼續說,“如果我提出的實現和平與團結的計劃不好,那你說說你的計劃,讓我們看看你有什么更好的辦法,能解決蓄奴問題引起的所有麻煩。如果你能提出這樣的計劃,我會高興地大加贊揚,不帶一絲懊悔,誠心誠意地接受。”

        VOICE ONE:

        Clay said the major differences separating the country could be settled by facing facts. He said the first great fact was that laws were not necessary to keep slavery out of California and New Mexico. He said the people of California already had approved an anti-slavery state constitution. And he said the nature of land in New Mexico was such that slaves could not be used.

        克萊說,只要面對現實,就能解決南北之間的主要分歧。他說,第一個重大現實是,要想不讓加利福尼亞和新墨西哥成為蓄奴州,完全不必立法??巳R說,加利福尼亞已經通過了反蓄奴的州憲法;而新墨西哥的地況并不適合使用奴隸。

        Clay said there was justice in the borders he proposed for Texas, that it would still be a very large state after losing the area it disputed with New Mexico. And he said it was right for the United States to pay the debts of Texas, because that state no longer could collect taxes on trade as an independent country.

        克萊說,他建議將德克薩斯重新劃界,把爭議領土劃給新墨西哥是有道理的。他說,即使重新劃界后,德克薩斯依然是一個地域廣闊的大州,他說,美國幫助德克薩斯償還債務也沒有錯,因為德克薩斯加入美國后,就失去了作為一個獨立國家對貿易征收稅務的權力。

        VOICE TWO:

        Clay said there was equal justice in his resolutions ending the slave trade in the District of Columbia and strengthening laws on the return of runaway slaves. He said the South, perhaps, would be helped more than the North by his proposals. But the North, he said, was richer and had more money and power.

        克萊說,他提出,一方面禁止在哥倫比亞特區內進行奴隸交易,另一方面加強遣送逃逸奴隸,這也是十分公正的。他表示,他的提議可能對南方更有好處,但是北方更富有,權力也更大。

        To the North, slavery was a matter of feeling. But to the South, Clay said, it was a hard social and economic fact. He said the North could look on in safety while the actions of some of its people were producing flames of bitterness throughout the southern states.

        克萊說,對于北方人來說,奴隸問題只是一個情感的問題,但是對于南方人來說,則是一個實實在在的社會和經濟果實??巳R說,北方人可以安全地在一旁隔岸觀望,而北方人的一些行動卻會在南方各州點燃憤怒的火種。

        Then Clay attacked the South's claim that it had the right to leave the Union. He said the Union of states was permanent -- that the men who built the Union did not do so only for themselves, but for all future Americans.

        接下來,克萊又批判南方,說他們沒有權利脫離聯邦??巳R說,美國聯邦是永久的,美國的立國元老建立聯邦并不是為了自身的利益,而是為了子孫后代。

        VOICE ONE:

        Clay warned that if the South seceded, there would be war within sixty days. He said the slaves of the South would escape by the thousands to freedom in the North. Their owners would follow them and try to return them to slavery by force. This, he said, would lead to war between the slave-holding and free states. He said this would not be a war of only two or three years. History had shown, he said, that such wars lasted many years and often destroyed both sides.

        克萊警告說,如果南方宣布脫離聯邦,六十天內就會爆發戰爭。他說,成千上萬的南方奴隸會逃往北方投奔自由。奴隸主則將緊追不舍。這就會引起蓄奴州和自由州之間的戰爭。這場戰爭不會在兩三年內結束,歷史證明,這樣的戰爭往往會持續多年,讓沖突雙方兩敗俱傷。

        Even if the south could secede without war, he said, it still would not get any of the things it demanded. Secession would not open the territories to slavery. It would not continue the slave trade in the District of Columbia. And it would not lead to the return of slaves who escaped to the North.

        克萊還說,即使南方和平地脫離了聯邦,南方的要求也不會得到任何滿足??巳R說,脫離聯邦不會讓新增土地實現蓄奴,不會讓哥倫比亞的奴隸交易繼續下去,不會讓逃亡奴隸回到奴隸主身邊。

        So, said Clay, the South would not help itself by leaving the Union. Clay's two-day speech gave new hope to many that the Union could be saved.

        因此,脫離聯邦對南方沒有好處??巳R兩天的演說給很多人帶來了希望,他們覺得,聯邦這下子可能有救了。

        (MUSIC)

        ANNOUNCER:

        Senator Henry Clay's compromise seemed to be a way to settle the dispute. But extremists on both sides opposed it. That will be our story next week.

        Our program was written by Frank Beardsley. The narrators were Stuart Spencer and Jack Moyles. Transcripts, MP3s and podcasts of our programs 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 #76 of THE MAKING OF A NATION

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