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#124: Grant's Political Battles

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

Ulysses Grant was elected president of the United States in eighteen sixty-eight. Grant was a military hero. He led Union troops of the North to victory over Confederate troops of the South in the Civil War.

1868年,尤利塞斯·格蘭特當選美國總統。格蘭特是一位軍事英雄,在內戰中領導北方聯邦軍擊敗了南方邦聯軍。

Grant was extremely popular. But he was a much better general than he was a politician. As president, it was not long before he got into trouble in the battles of politics and government.

格蘭特威望很高,但是,他的治國才能遠不如他的領軍才能。當上總統之后沒多久,他就在政治斗爭和權力糾紛中遇到了許多問題。

This week in our series, Larry West and Frank Oliver talk about the first term of President Ulysses Grant.

(MUSIC)

LARRY WEST:

Ulysses Grant
Ulysses Grant

Grant resigned from the army to run for president. However, he ran on his record as a winning general. "Let us have peace," he often said. And the people believed he would guarantee peace.

為了參加總統競選,格蘭特離開了軍隊。不過,常勝將軍的光輝戰績是他競選的資本。他常說的一句話是:"讓我們擁有和平。"而民眾也相信,他的當選能保證和平的到來。

In fact, Grant guaranteed nothing. As a presidential candidate, he offered no new national programs. So, as president, he had no new policies to carry out. He had few struggles with Congress, because he rarely asked Congress to do anything.

但事實上,格蘭特什么也沒有保證。作為總統候選人,他沒有提出任何新的國家計劃。所以,當上總統之后,他也就沒有任何新的政策需要執行。他和國會之間幾乎沒有矛盾,因為他很少要求國會做事。

Many events took place during Grant's two administrations. But he usually was not involved directly. He had problems only because he was linked indirectly to the men who were responsible.

在格蘭特的兩個任期里,美國發生了很多重大事件,但格蘭特本人通常都不會直接參與。他僅僅同當事人有間接關聯。但就算是這樣,仍然有麻煩找上他。

FRANK OLIVER:

Jay Gould
Jay Gould

One of President Grant's first problems was caused by two of his friends. They tried to take control of the gold market. The men were Jay Gould and James Fisk. Both were extremely rich.

頭一個麻煩是他的兩個朋友惹出來的。他們是杰.古爾德和詹姆斯.菲斯克。兩人都是超級富翁,企圖控制美國的黃金市場。

Gould and Fisk developed a plan to buy a large part of the nation's gold supply when the price was low. They would hold the gold until demand greatly increased the price. Then they would sell it and make a lot of money.

他們的計劃是,在低價的時候買入并囤積美國市場上的大部分黃金,等市場需求把金價大幅抬高時再出售,以此牟取暴利。

To be successful, they had to prevent the government from selling gold on the market. Government sales of gold would keep the price down. So, Gould and Fisk urged President Grant to stop the Treasury Department from selling gold. Grant refused to give them a firm promise.

要想計劃成功,他們必須阻止政府在市場上出售黃金,因為政府這么做會壓低金價。所以,古爾德和菲斯克就拜托他們的朋友格蘭特總統,讓他下令,不讓財政部出售黃金。不過,格蘭特并沒有明確答應他們的要求。

LARRY WEST:

The two men brought one of Grant's relatives into their plan. They paid him to write a letter to the president. It asked the president to halt government sales of gold.

于是,古爾德和菲斯克把格蘭特的一個親戚拉了進來。他們給這個人錢,讓他給格蘭特寫信,要求格蘭特停止政府出售黃金。

James Fisk
James Fisk

A messenger took the letter to the White House. He then sent a telegram to James Fisk saying the letter had been delivered. The telegram said: "Letter delivered, all right." Fisk thought this meant that President Grant had agreed to halt government sales of gold. So he began buying gold in huge amounts.

信差把信送進了白宮。這位親戚隨后給菲斯克發了封電報,說"信已送達,一切順利"。菲斯克以為,這表示格蘭特總統已經同意停止政府出售黃金了。于是,他開始大量地買入黃金。

Fisk was wrong. The words "all right" meant only that the letter had been delivered. They did not mean that Grant had agreed to the plan. In fact, Grant did not agree. He ordered the Treasury Department to sell gold to block the attempt by Gould and Fisk to control the gold market.

可是,他領會錯了。電報上的"一切順利"僅僅表示信送到了,并不是說格蘭特已經同意了古爾德和菲斯克的計劃。相反,格蘭特并沒有同意這么做,而是下令財政部拋售黃金,以挫敗古爾德和菲斯克控制黃金市場的企圖。

FRANK OLIVER:

The result was that James Fisk and Jay Gould lost a great amount of money. So did other businessmen and bankers. Many Americans blamed President Grant for not acting quickly enough to stop the activity of his two friends.

結果,古爾德和菲斯克損失慘重。其他一些商人和銀行也跟著賠了不少錢。許多美國人指責格蘭特總統沒能及時阻止他這兩個朋友的所作所為。

Concern about Grant grew after another incident was reported at the New York customs office. Two of Grant's friends there became involved in a plan to get money from importers. They used their official positions to earn huge amounts of money.

后來,在紐約海關辦公室又出了一檔子事,更加重了人們對總統的質疑。格蘭特兩個在海關工作的朋友參與從進口商那里撈錢的行為,他們以權謀私,賺了好多錢。

LARRY WEST:

Grant also was criticized for one of his few independent actions as president. He tried to buy the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean.

格蘭特總統自己發起的行動不多,不過其中的一個也給他招來了批評。那就是,他想買下位于加勒比海地區的多米尼加共和國。

The island nation was ruled by a dictator, Buenaventura Baez. Baez was so dishonest that the people of the Dominican Republic were ready to overthrow him. Before this could happen, he offered to sell his country to the United States.

當時,統治這個島國的是獨裁者貝茲。貝茲劣跡昭彰,人民準備推翻他。這時,貝茲提出把多米尼加共和國賣給美國。

When Grant received the offer, he sent a White House official to negotiate with Baez. The official returned with a treaty giving the Dominican Republic to the United States for one-and-one-half-million dollars. Grant immediately sent American warships to the Dominican Republic. He wanted to keep Baez in power until the treaty was completed.

格蘭特收到這個提議后,派一位白宮官員去同貝茲談判。結果,貝茲愿意以150萬美元把多米尼加賣給美國。格蘭特隨即向多米尼加共和國派遣戰艦,以確保貝茲在條約生效前不被趕下臺。

Grant asked the Senate to approve the treaty. Many senators opposed it. They said taking control of the Dominican Republic would cost too much money. They also said it was a bad idea for the United States to take control of any nation in the Caribbean.

格蘭特要求國會參議院批準這項條約,但許多參議員持反對意見。他們說,控制多米尼加共和國所需的費用過高,而美國也不應該控制任何加勒比國家。

President Grant went to the Capitol building himself to urge senators to approve the treaty. His efforts failed. The treaty was defeated.

為此,格蘭特總統親自上國會山,敦促參議員們批準條約。不過,他的努力失敗了,條約被否決了。

(MUSIC)

FRANK OLIVER:

Grant's biggest national problem was the political situation in the former rebel states of the South.

不過,格蘭特在治國方面遇到的最大挑戰還是曾經鬧分裂的南方各州的政治局勢。

After the Civil War, most southern states were governed by radical members of the Republican Party. Radicals supported citizenship rights and voting rights for blacks. In the late eighteen sixties, the radicals began to lose power. Many failed to be re-elected to state office. They were being defeated by candidates of the Democratic Party. Democrats did not want blacks to have any rights at all.

內戰結束后,大部分南方州被激進的共和黨人控制。他們支持讓黑人獲得公民權和選舉權。不過,在19世紀60年代末,激進派逐漸失去了權力,許多人在州政府選舉中敗選,輸給民主黨人。而民主黨壓根不想給黑人任何權利。

LARRY WEST:

The first radical Republicans to lose power were those in Virginia. The change there was made peacefully. Not so in other southern states. In Tennessee, Georgia, and North Carolina, Democrats used threats and violence to win elections. Their campaigns often were led by members of the Ku Klux Klan.

最先失去權力的是維吉尼亞州的激進派共和黨人,好在這一變化是以和平的方式發生的。不過,在南部其它州,情況就不一樣了。在田納西、喬治亞和北卡羅萊納州,民主黨人靠威脅和暴力贏得選舉。民主黨的競選活動經常由三K黨成員組織。

The Klan was a secret organization of white men. Members believed white people were greater than black people. Wearing cloths over their faces, Klansmen broke up radical Republican political meetings. They threatened, beat, and killed blacks to keep them out of politics. They did the same thing to whites who tried to organize or help blacks.

三K黨是一個秘密團體,成員都是白人,他們相信,白人比黑人優秀。他們穿著蒙面的衣服,擾亂激進派共和黨的政治會議。他們威脅、毆打并殺害黑人,不讓黑人參政,并用同樣的手段對付那些試圖組織和幫助黑人的白人。

FRANK OLIVER:

Before long, Ku Klux Klan groups were formed in every southern state. By eighteen seventy-one, radical Republican congressmen were demanding a new law to destroy the Ku Klux Klan.

很快,美國南部每個州都建立了三K黨的分部。時至1871年,激進的共和黨議員們要求國會出臺新法,搗毀三K黨。

President Grant, left, signing a bill restricting the Ku Klux Klan
President Grant, left, signing a bill restricting the Ku Klux Klan

A committee headed by radicals was named to investigate Klan activities in the south. The committee heard reports of the Klan's brutal acts. It helped prepare a bill to control the Klan. After much debate, Congress passed the bill.

國會成立了特別委員會,由激進派議員領導,負責調查三K黨在南部的所作所為。這個委員會聽取了關于三K黨殘酷暴行的報告,并幫助起草了一份議案,以控制三K黨。經過激烈辯論后,國會通過了這份議案。

The new law gave the president power to declare military rule in the south. Democrats charged that the real purpose of the law was to keep radical Republican state governments in power.

新法律授權總統在南部各州實施軍事管制。但民主黨指責說,法律的真正目的是保住激進派共和黨在州政府中的權力。

President Grant did not wait long to use his powers under the new law. He declared military rule in a large area of South Carolina. Thousands of people there were arrested. They were tried in federal courts. Juries were made up mainly of blacks and radical whites.

格蘭特總統很快就行使了新法律賦予他的權力,在南卡羅來納州的一大片地區實施軍事管制。結果,成千上萬人被逮捕,并在聯邦法庭受審,而陪審團成員大多是黑人和激進派白人。

LARRY WEST:

This kind of justice made southerners feel even more bitterness toward the North. It also angered a number of moderate members of the Republican Party. They said the federal government should not help radical Republicans stay in power in the south.

這種做法導致南方人更加敵視北方,并觸怒了許多溫和派共和黨人。他們說,聯邦政府不應該幫助南部的激進派共和黨把持權力。

Some of these moderate Republicans broke away from President Grant and the radicals. They called themselves Liberal Republicans and formed a new political party. They held their own presidential nominating convention for the election of eighteen seventy-two.

他們中的一些人同格蘭特總統以及激進派分道揚鑣,自稱為"自由共和黨人",并成立了一個新黨。他們還為1872年的總統選舉召開了自己的提名人大會。

They nominated Horace Greeley as their candidate. Greeley published the New York Tribune newspaper.

會上,"紐約論壇報"的發行人霍勒斯·格里利成了自由共和黨推舉的候選人。

(MUSIC)

FRANK OLIVER:

Horace Greeley
Horace Greeley

Democrats believed their only chance to win the election was to support the new Liberal Republicans. So they, too, chose Horace Greeley as their presidential candidate. As expected, the radicals who controlled the main Republican Party nominated Grant for a second term.

民主黨人意識到,他們贏得總統選舉的唯一希望就是支持這個新成立的自由共和黨,所以,他們也推舉格里利為候選人。當然了,控制著共和黨的激進派們依然提名格蘭特為候選人,支持他競選連任。

The campaign between Grant and Greeley was very strange. Grant made no speeches. He spent the summer at a holiday town on the Atlantic Ocean coast. His supporters, however, were not silent. They called Greeley a fool and a traitor. They refused to treat him as a serious candidate.

格蘭特和格里利之間的角逐十分奇怪。格蘭特不發表競選演說,整個夏天都待在大西洋沿岸一個渡假小鎮里。不過,他的支持者們沒有閑著,他們罵格里利是傻瓜、叛徒,不把他當成真正的候選人。

Unlike Grant, Greeley did campaign hard. But he had little financial help. He also was hurt by a poorly-organized campaign.

和格蘭特不同,格里利積極競選,可是他幾乎沒有任何資金上的支持。此外,他的競選活動組織不當,影響了他的表現。

LARRY WEST:

On election day in eighteen seventy-two, Ulysses Grant won a big victory. He got the votes of thirty-one of the thirty-seven states.

在1872年的選舉日,格蘭特大獲全勝。在37個州中,有31個支持他。

Horace Greeley died three weeks after the election. The new Liberal Republican Party died with him. Ulysses Grant and the radical Republicans would govern for another four years.

選舉結束三個星期后,格里利郁郁而終,自由共和黨隨之瓦解。在以后的四年中,尤利塞斯.格蘭特依然是美國總統,權力依然掌握在激進派共和黨人手中。

(MUSIC)

BARBARA KLEIN:

Our program was written by Frank Beardsley. The narrators were Larry West and Frank Oliver. You can find transcripts, MP3s and podcasts of our programs, along with historical images, at www.666321.live. 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 #124 of THE MAKING OF A NATION

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