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#121: Trial of Andrew Johnson

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

The Civil War ended in eighteen sixty-five. After that, tensions grew between Congress and the new president, Andrew Johnson.

美國南北戰爭1865年結束。國會和新總統安德魯·約翰遜之間的關系日趨緊張。

The Republican Party was still new. It was formed to oppose slavery. Radical members of the party controlled Congress. They wanted strong policies to punish the southern states that left the Union and lost the war.

當時,共和黨還是一個年輕的政黨,成立之初是為了反對奴隸制度。共和黨里的激進派掌握了國會控制權,希望對脫離聯邦的南方各州進行嚴厲責罰。

Standing in the way of the Republicans was Andrew Johnson, a Democrat. The president opposed radical efforts to force solutions on the South. He vetoed a number of programs that he thought interfered with rights given to the states by the Constitution.

然而,共和黨激進派的行動受到了約翰遜總統的阻擾。約翰遜是民主黨人, 反對采取激進手段解決南方問題。他否決了好幾項議案,認為這些議案干涉了南方各州根據憲法享有的權利。

This week in our series, Kay Gallant and Harry Monroe continue the story of President Andrew Johnson.

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

Andrew Johnson
Andrew Johnson

In the congressional elections of eighteen sixty-six, radicals won firm control of both houses of Congress. They were able to pass a number of bills over the president's veto. But Johnson refused to stand aside in the face of radical attempts to seize all powers of government.

在1866年的國會選舉中,激進派贏得了國會參眾兩院的控制權,從而可以推翻總統的否決,讓自己支持的議案暢通無阻。然而,面對激進派爭權政治權勢的行動,約翰遜拒絕袖手旁觀。

This conflict between Johnson and the Congress caused much bitterness. Finally, the radicals decided to get him out of the way. For the first time in American history, Congress would try to remove the President from office.

約翰遜和國會之間的意見沖突引起了諸多矛盾。激進派最后決定,必須把總統趕下臺。這是美國國會有史以來第一次設法彈劾總統。

Under the United States Constitution, the House of Representatives has the power to bring charges against the president. The Senate acts as the jury to decide if the president is guilty of the charges. The chief justice of the United States serves as judge. If two-thirds of the senators find the president guilty, he can be removed from office.

根據憲法規定,國會眾議院有權對總統提起訴訟,然后由聯邦最高法院首席大法官主持審理,參議院充當陪審團,決定罪名是否成立,如果三分之二的參議員做出有罪裁決,總統就要被罷免。

VOICE TWO:

Thaddeus Stevens speaks during the debate over impeachment in the House of Representatives
Thaddeus Stevens speaks during the debate over impeachment in the House of Representatives

Radicals in the House of Representatives brought eleven charges against President Johnson.

國會眾議院里的激進派對約翰遜提出十一項罪名。

Most of the charges were based on Johnson's removal from office of his secretary of war. Radicals charged that this violated a new law. The law said the president could not remove a cabinet officer without approval by the Senate.

其中大部分罪名都是因為約翰遜撤銷了戰爭部長的職務。共和黨激進派指出,約翰遜這樣做違反了一項新法,根據這項法律,未經參議院同意,總統不得撤銷內閣官員的職務。

Johnson refused to recognize the law. He said it was not constitutional.

約翰遜不承認這項法律的合法性,認為這項新法不符合憲法。

Radicals in the House of Representatives also charged Johnson with criticizing Congress. They said his statements dishonored Congress and the presidency.

眾議院激進派還指責約翰遜批評國會,說他的聲明有損國會和總統的榮譽。

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

The great impeachment trial began on March fifth, eighteen sixty-eight. The president refused to attend. But his lawyers were there to defend him.

這場彈劾總統案1868年3月5號開庭,約翰遜拒絕出庭,由律師代他出庭辯護。

One by one, the senators swore an oath to be just. They promised to make a fair and honest decision on the guilt or innocence of Andrew Johnson.

參議員們一個接一個地發誓要秉公執法,保證做出公正的裁決。

A congressman from Massachusetts opened the case for the radicals. He told the senators not to think of themselves as members of any court. He said the Senate was a political body that was being asked to settle a political question. Was Johnson the right man for the White House? He said it was clear that Johnson wanted to overthrow Congress.

麻薩諸塞的一位眾議員代表激進派發言。他告訴參議員們說,不要把自己看做是任何法庭的成員。他說,參議院是一個政治實體,被要求就一個政治問題做出裁決。這個問題是:約翰遜是總統的合適人選嗎?此人接著說,很顯然,約翰遜是想推翻國會。

Other radical Republicans then joined him in condemning Johnson. They made many charges. But they offered little evidence to support the charges.

其它激進派共和黨人也紛紛對約翰遜提出譴責,給約翰遜加上種種罪名,但卻拿不出有力的證據。

VOICE TWO:

Johnson's lawyers called for facts, instead of emotion. They said the Constitution required the radicals to prove that the president had committed serious crimes. Andrew Johnson had committed no crime, they said. This was purely a political trial.

約翰遜的辯護律師要求法庭重視事實,不要被情緒左右。律師指出,根據憲法,控方必須要證明,總統犯下了嚴重罪行,但是安德魯·約翰遜并沒有犯罪,這是一場純粹的政治審判。

They warned of serious damage to the American form of government if the president was removed for political reasons. No future president would be safe, they said, if opposed by a majority of the House and two-thirds of the Senate.

他們警告說,如果基于政治原因將總統彈劾掉的話,將對美國政府體制帶來嚴重傷害,今后不管誰當總統,一旦遇到國會眾議院多數和參議院三分之二人的反對,總統的位置都可能不保。

VOICE ONE:

The impeachment trial
The impeachment trial

The trial went on day after day. The decision would be close. Fifty-four senators would be voting. Thirty-six votes of guilty were needed to remove the president from office.

國會里的共和黨激進派為了搬掉絆腳石,對約翰遜提出彈劾。彈劾案的審理持續了很多天,最后結果十分接近。在54個投票表決的參議員中,如果有36票認為罪名成立的話,約翰遜就要被罷免。

It soon became clear that the radicals had thirty-five of these votes. Only seven senators remained undecided. If one of the seven voted guilty, Johnson would be removed.

沒過多久,激進派就掌握了35票,還有七人沒有定奪,只要其中一人認定約翰遜罪名成立,約翰遜就會被彈劾。

Radicals put great pressure on the seven men. They tried to buy their votes. Party leaders threatened them. Supporters in the senators' home states were told to write hundreds of letters demanding that Johnson be found guilty.

國會激進派對這七個人施加壓力,設法買通。黨派領袖也對他們威逼利誘,并鼓動這七位參議員所在州的選民,寫信給代表自己的參議員,要求他們做出總統有罪的裁決。

VOICE TWO:

A senator from Maine was one who felt the pressure. But he refused to let it force him to do what others wished. He answered one letter this way:

一個來自緬因州的參議員感受到了巨大壓力,但他拒絕按照別人的意愿行事。他在一封回信中說,

"Sir, I wish you and all my other friends to know that I, not they, am sitting in judgment upon the president. I, not they, have sworn to do impartial justice. I, not they, am responsible to God and man for my action and its results."

"先生,我希望你跟我的其他朋友都能理解,是我,而不是他們,要對總統做出裁決;是我,而不是他們,發誓要秉公執法;是我,而不是他們,要就我的行動及其后果對上帝和人民負責。"

A senator from Kansas was another who refused to let pressure decide his vote. He said, "I trust that I shall have the courage to vote as I judge best."

另外一位來自堪薩斯州的參議員也拒絕屈從于壓力。他說:"我相信,我會有勇氣按照我的判斷做出裁決。"

VOICE ONE:

In the final days before the vote, six of the seven remaining Republican senators let it be known that they would vote not guilty. But the senator from Kansas still refused to say what his vote would be. His was the only vote still in question. His vote would decide the issue.

投票前最后幾天,這七位參議員中有六個人公開表示,他們認為約翰遜無罪,只有來自堪薩斯州的參議員拒絕表明立場。他這一票是唯一的變數,將決定案件的最終結果。

Now, the pressure on him increased. His brother was offered twenty thousand dollars for information about how the senator would vote. Everywhere he turned, he found someone demanding that he vote guilty.

所有的壓力都集中在了他的身上。有人出兩萬美元,希望從他兄弟嘴里知道他的立場。不管走到哪里,都有人要求他投票認定約翰遜有罪。

The vote took place on May sixteenth. Every seat in the big Senate room was filled. The chief justice began to call on the senators. One by one, they answered guilty or not guilty. Finally, he called the name of the senator from Kansas.

5月16號最后表決的日子終于到了,參議院全體出席會議。聯邦最高法院首席大法官一個接一個宣讀參議員的名字,被叫到的人宣布有罪或是無罪,最后叫到了堪薩斯州的那位參議員。

VOICE TWO:

The vote of Senator Edmund Ross of Kansas saved the presidency of Andrew Johnson
The vote of Senator Edmund Ross of Kansas saved the presidency of Andrew Johnson

The senator stood up. He looked about him. Every voice was still. Every eye was upon him.

那位參議員站起身來,環顧四周,整個大廳鴉雀無聲,每一雙眼睛都看著他。

"It was like looking down into an open grave," he said later. "Friendship, position, wealth -- everything that makes life desirable to an ambitious man -- were about to be swept away by my answer."

他后來說:"當時就好像在俯視一個大開著的墳墓,友誼、地位、財富、對一個雄心勃勃的人來說,生活中這些可貴的東西都會因為我的回答被一掃而光。"

He spoke softly. Many could not hear him. The chief justice asked him to repeat his vote. This time, the answer was clearly heard across the room: "Not guilty."

他輕輕地說出了自己的裁決,很多人都沒有聽清。首席大法官讓他重復一遍,這次,整個大廳等能清楚地聽到他的回答,那就是,"無罪"。

VOICE ONE:

The trial was all but done. Remaining senators voted as expected. The chief justice announced the result. On the first charge, thirty-five senators voted that President Johnson was guilty. Nineteen voted that he was not guilty. The radicals had failed by one vote.

接下來,其他參議員都按照自己的原定立場投了票。聯邦最高法院首席大法官最后宣布結果。第一項罪名,35人認為罪名成立,19人認為無罪,激進派以一票之差彈劾失敗。

When the Senate voted on the other charges, the result was the same. The radicals could not get the two-thirds majority they needed. President Johnson was declared not guilty.

接下來的其它罪名,表決結果完全一樣。共和黨激進派最終沒能得到三分之二多數票,約翰遜被宣告無罪。

(MUSIC)

VOICE TWO:

Radical leaders and newspapers bitterly denounced the small group of Republican senators who refused to vote guilty. They called them traitors. Friends and supporters condemned them. None was re-elected to the Senate or to any other government office.

激進派領導人和激進派報紙嚴辭指責一小批拒絕投票支持彈劾的共和黨參議員,說他們是叛徒。朋友和支持者也都紛紛指責他們。這些人里后來沒有任何人連任或是擔任其它政府官職。

It was a heavy price to pay. And yet, they were sure they had done the right thing. The senator from Kansas told his wife, "The millions of men cursing me today will bless me tomorrow for having saved the country from the greatest threat it ever faced."

雖然付出了沉重的代價,但他們都覺得自己做出了正確的決定。來自堪薩斯州的那位參議員告訴自己的妻子說:"今天詛咒我的幾百萬人明天會感謝我把國家從最大的威脅中挽救過來。"

VOICE ONE:

He was right. The trial of Andrew Johnson was an important turning point in the making of the American nation.

他說的一點沒錯。安德魯·約翰遜總統的彈劾案是美國建國史上一個重要轉折點。

His removal from office would have established the idea that the president could serve only with the approval of Congress. The president would have become, in effect, a prime minister. He would have to depend on the support of Congress to remain in office. Johnson's victory kept alive the idea of an independent presidency.

約翰遜如果真的遭到彈劾,那就意味著,總統必須得到國會的認可才能夠工作,總統也就變成了首相,要做下去,就一定要有國會的支持。安德魯·約翰遜的勝利,等于是鞏固了總統的獨立地位。

However, the vote did not end the conflict between Congress and the White House over the future of the South.

總統彈劾案雖然結束了,但是國會和白宮間在南方前途問題上的沖突并沒有消失。

That will be our story in the next program of THE MAKING OF A NATION.

(MUSIC)

ANNOUNCER:

Our program was written by David Jarmul and Frank Beardsley. The narrators were Kay Gallant and Harry Monroe. Transcripts, podcasts and historical images from our series are at www.666321.live. You can also comment on our programs. And you can follow us on Twitter at VOA Learning English. Join us again next week for THE MAKING OF A NATION -- an American history series in VOA Special English.

___

This is program #121 of THE MAKING OF A NATION

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