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#29: For a New Nation, Hamilton Seeks a Bank

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

He was the top planner and policy maker under President George Washington. He was also the nation's first secretary of the Treasury. Today, Maurice Joyce and Shep O'Neal continue the story of Alexander Hamilton.

在上次的建國史話中,我們講述了喬治·華盛頓手下的重要決策和規劃者之一,美國第一屆財政部長亞歷山大·漢密爾頓的故事。

VOICE TWO:

George Washington
George Washington

As we said in our last program, young Alexander Hamilton wanted to be a military commander. He hoped to demonstrate his bravery by fighting in a war. So, when the thirteen American colonies rebelled against Britain in the seventeen seventies, he joined a militia in New York state.

漢密爾頓年輕的時候想當一名軍事指揮官,希望在戰爭中展現自己的勇氣。因此,1776年北美十三個殖民地宣布獨立后,他就加入了紐約州的民兵組織。

It was not long before Hamilton met the commander-in-chief of American forces, George Washington. General Washington invited Hamilton to become one of his assistants.

沒過多久,漢密爾頓見到了當時大陸軍統帥喬治·華盛頓。華盛頓將軍邀請漢密爾頓給自己當助手。

One of Hamilton's jobs was to get money and supplies for the army. He asked the thirteen state governments. He also asked the Congress, which had little political power at that time. He got almost no help from either.

漢密爾頓欣然接受。他的任務就是為大陸軍籌集資金和供給。漢密爾頓向十三個州的政府和當時并沒有多少政治實權的國會求助,結果收效甚微。

Hamilton felt the American system of government was too weak and disorganized. He did not like democracy, rule by the people. Instead, he liked aristocracy, rule by a rich upper class.

漢密爾頓覺得,美國的政府體制過于松散薄弱,缺乏組織。他不喜歡由人民做主的民主,更趨向于由富裕的上層階級統治的貴族政治。

VOICE ONE:

Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton was a proud man. He was quick to criticize others. He even criticized George Washington. Once, during the war, he was late to a meeting with the general. Washington protested. Hamilton resigned.

亞歷山大·漢密爾頓是一個很驕傲的人,動不動就會批評別人,連喬治·華盛頓也不例外。有一次,他約好跟華盛頓開會,結果去晚了,華盛頓表示不滿,漢密爾頓立即宣布辭職。

Washington was sorry. He had a high opinion of Hamilton's abilities. That is why he was willing to forget the incident and appoint Hamilton to the new Treasury Department.

華盛頓很后悔,因為他十分看重漢密爾頓的能力。這也就是為什么他后來不計前嫌,仍然任命漢密爾頓擔任新政府的財政部長。

The job would be difficult. The new nation had to find ways to bring in money and pay what it owed. The new Constitution said the national government was responsible for re-paying the states' wartime loans.

這可不是什么好差事。美國建國之初,國庫空虛,漢密爾頓必須設法找到投資,還要償還戰爭貸款,因為憲法規定,這是聯邦政府的職責。

One way to get money was to borrow it. But no one wanted to lend money to the United States unless they were sure they would get it back. So, the Congress asked Treasury Secretary Hamilton to write a report about how to build up the government's credit.

要籌集資金可以去借錢,但如果不保證償還,就沒有人愿意把錢借給你。因此,國會要求漢 密爾頓編寫一份報告,說明如何建立政府的信用。

VOICE TWO:

Hamilton's report said the government must pay back the full amount of all its debts. This caused a dispute.

漢密爾頓在報告中說,政府必須全額償還債務。這種提議引起了一場辯論。

Many of the debts were in the form of government notes. The notes promised to pay someone for supplying food, clothing, and weapons to the rebel army. Some promised to pay soldiers for joining the army.

當時,很多債務都是以國庫券的形式發行的,凡是在戰爭期間為軍隊提供食物、服裝和武器的人,就可以得到國庫券,保證政府會把錢還給他們,有的國庫券還保證參軍的士兵能夠得到補償。

The notes really were worth nothing, however. The wartime Congress had no money. People who got them lost hope of ever getting re-paid. So they sold them to anyone willing to pay even part of the value.

這些國庫券其實沒什么價值,因為當時的大陸會議沒有錢,所以大家也就失去了有朝一日能得到補償的希望。但凡有人愿意出價,哪怕只有票面價值的一半,他們就會興高采烈地把國庫券賣掉。

Hamilton's plan would repay the full value of the notes to those who owned them last. This meant the people who first got the notes from the government would receive nothing. And the people who bought them at low cost would receive much more than they paid.

如今,漢密爾頓提出,要全額兌換國庫券,這就意味著,這些國庫券最早的主人得不到任何補償,反倒是低價收購這些國庫券的人能狠狠地賺上一筆。

VOICE ONE:

Congressman James Madison of Virginia protested. He said the people who bought the notes at low cost should be paid, but not in full. Some of the money, he said, should go to those who got the notes in exchange for supplies or services.

維吉尼亞州國會眾議員詹姆斯·麥迪遜表示反對。他指出,低價收購國庫券的人應該得到補償,但不是全額補償。另外一部分錢,還是應該給那些最初提供供給和服務而得到國庫券的人。

Madison made an emotional speech in Congress. He described the situation of former soldiers forced by hunger to sell their government notes for almost nothing. He noted that the Union was established to protect the people against such injustice.

麥迪遜在國會發表激情演進,描述了退伍老兵窮困潦倒,被迫低價出售國庫券的現象。麥迪遜說,聯邦的建立,就是要保護人民不再受到這種不公正的對待。

VOICE TWO:

Hamilton said the purpose of his plan was greater than simply paying debts. He said it was a way to build up the nation's credit so it could borrow money more easily in the future.

漢密爾頓指出,他的計劃不僅是要償還債務,同時也是為了建立國家的信用,讓以后借錢更方便。

Hamilton believed that those who bought the notes had a right to earn money from them. These men took a chance that the worthless notes would be worth something, someday. The government could not deny them their profits.

漢密爾頓認為,低價收購國庫券的人冒了很大的風險,他們把賭注壓在了很可能一錢不值的國庫券上,因此政府不能剝奪他們賺錢的權利。

Many members of Congress felt sorry for the poor soldiers and their families. Yet they voted against Madison's proposal and supported Hamilton's plan.

很多國會議員雖然同情那些窮困的士兵,但還是投票駁回了麥迪遜的提案,支持漢密爾頓的計劃。

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

Hamilton's plan raised old fears. The agricultural south was sure he was trying to make the industrial north more powerful. Hamilton did not deny this. His purpose was to strengthen the nation. He believed all areas would be helped if industry and commerce were stronger.

漢密爾頓的計劃重新燃起了某些人以前就有的顧慮。以農業為主的南方各州認為,漢密爾頓這樣做是為了讓工業化的北方更加強大。漢密爾頓并不否認。他的目的是讓整個國家更強大。他認為,工商業的發展會讓所有部門受益。

Still, to win support for his plan, Hamilton had to make a political deal with several Congressmen. They would support his financial plan. But he had to use his influence to get the capital of the United States moved.

盡管如此,漢密爾頓還是跟一些南方議員達成交易,只要他們支持他的財政計劃,他就設法讓美國遷都。

VOICE TWO:

At that time, the capital was in the north, in New York City. Two Congressmen from Virginia wanted it in the south near their homes along the Potomac River. Several Congressmen from Pennsylvania agreed. But they said the capital first must be moved to Philadelphia, the biggest city in their state. And it must remain there ten years.

當時,美國首都定在紐約。維吉尼亞的兩名國會議員希望首都能遷到波托馬克河沿岸。賓夕法尼亞州的幾位國會議員表示贊成,但是他們提出,首都要先遷往賓州最大的城市費城,在費城待上十年。

Congress accepted this plan by a close vote. President Washington signed it.

國會以微弱多數通過了這項計劃,經總統喬治·華盛頓簽字生效。

It was well known that George Washington wanted the capital closer to his Virginia farm, Mount Vernon. Yet, there is no evidence that he ever asked any member of Congress -- or anyone else -- to help get it moved there.

眾所周知,華盛頓很希望能把首都搬到自己的弗農山莊附近,但是沒有任何歷史證據顯示,華盛頓曾要求任何一位國會議員提出議案,以達到自己的目的。

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

Alexander Hamilton's plan to re-pay the nation's debts caused much protest. However, another one of his financial plans caused even more. It was his plan to create a national bank.

亞歷山大·漢密爾頓提出的償還國債的計劃引起了極大的爭議。與此同時,他提出的建立中央銀行的建議則掀起了更大的漣漪。

Hamilton argued that there were central banks in Britain, France, Germany, and the Netherlands. He said the banks greatly helped those countries' commerce, industry and agriculture.

漢密爾頓說,英國、法國、德國和荷蘭都有中央銀行,極大推動了這些國家的商業、工業和農業的發展。

Hamilton said a central bank in the United States would increase the flow of money throughout the country. It would help the national government negotiate loans and collect taxes.

他說,美國建立中央銀行能增加全國的資金流動,能幫助聯邦政府交涉貸款,征收稅務。

VOICE TWO:

Critics argued that a national bank would give too much power to a few rich men in the north. It would take control of state banks, on which southern farmers and small businessmen depended. It would increase the use of paper money, instead of gold and silver.

批判者強調,中央銀行會讓北方一些有錢人享有特權,會控制南方農民和小生意人高度依賴的州立銀行,會增加紙幣,而不是金幣和銀幣的流通。

James Madison led the opposition against Hamilton's plan in Congress.

詹姆斯·麥迪遜帶頭反對漢密爾頓的提案。

Madison believed the United States should not put all its wealth in one place. So, he proposed a system of many smaller banks in different parts of the country. He also argued that the idea of a central bank was unconstitutional.

他認為,美國不應該把財富集中在一個地方,而是應該建立很多規模較小的銀行,分散在全國各地,他還指出,建立中央銀行是違憲的。

VOICE ONE:

No one knew more about the American Constitution than James Madison. He was given credit for most of the ideas in it. Everyone respected his explanation of its wording.

說到美國憲法,沒有人能跟詹姆斯·麥迪遜相提并論。憲法里的很多主張就來自于麥迪遜,大家都很尊重他對憲法的解釋。

Madison noted that the Constitution gives Congress a number of powers, which are stated. Congress has no powers beyond this. For example, he said, Congress has the power to borrow money. But it is permitted to borrow money only to re-pay debts, to defend the country, and to provide for the general good of the people.

麥迪遜指出,憲法賦予國會一系列權力,白紙黑字寫在那里。比如說,國會有權借錢,但借錢的目的只能有三種:償還債務、保家衛國、改善民生。

Madison rejected the idea that the right to create a central bank came from the power to provide for the general good of the people. He said such an idea twisted the meaning and purpose of the Constitution. That, he said, was most dangerous.

麥迪遜說,以改善民生為由建立中央銀行說不過去。他認為,這種說法是對憲法意思和目的的歪曲,很危險。

VOICE TWO:

Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson

Madison's argument was powerful. Yet, once again, Hamilton won more Congressional support. He got enough votes to approve his proposal to establish a national bank. Still, President Washington had to sign the bill into law. He worried about the possibility that the bill was not constitutional.

So he asked three men for advice: Attorney General Edmund Randolph. Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson. And Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton.

麥迪遜的分析雖然很有理,但最后漢密爾頓還是贏得了足夠國會議員的支持,使建立中央銀行的提案獲得了通過。喬治·華盛頓總統要在相關法案上簽字之前,因為擔心法案不符合憲法的規定,咨詢了三個人,他們分別是司法部長埃德蒙·倫道夫、國務卿托馬斯·杰斐遜和財政部長亞歷山大·漢密爾頓。

VOICE ONE:

Randolph had no firm answer. Jefferson agreed with Madison. Creating a national bank violated the Constitution.

Hamilton, of course, disagreed. He said the Constitution gave the government certain powers, and named them. But it included others, without naming them. It did this so the government could put its powers to work and act like a government. Such was the purpose of the Constitution, Hamilton said.

倫道夫對此不置可否。杰斐遜同意麥迪遜的看法,認為建立中央銀行實屬違憲,但是漢密爾頓表達了不同意見。他指出,憲法賦予政府特定權力,把它們白紙黑字地寫下來,但是憲法同時也給了政府另外一些沒有明確規定的權力,只有這樣,政府才能投入工作,這就是憲法的目的。

These arguments did not completely answer all of President Washington's questions. But he went ahead and signed the bill to establish a national bank in America.

漢密爾頓的解釋并沒有回答華盛頓總統的所有問題,但他還是簽署法案,在美國建立了中央銀行。

VOICE TWO:

Hamilton and Jefferson came to disagree on most issues. Their struggle for power in the new government led to the creation of America's political party system. That will be our story next week.

漢密爾頓和杰斐遜在很多問題上都存在意見分歧。他們在美國新政府里的權力之爭是美國政黨體制形成的起點。

(MUSIC)

ANNOUNCER:

Our program was written by Christine Johnson. The narrators were Maurice Joyce and Shep O'Neal. Join us again next week for THE MAKING OF A NATION, an American history series in VOA Special English.

網友的學習評論(3條):
作者:xuding45
Alexander Hamilton sought a central bank in the United States. He got enough support to approve the bill. Though CHristine Johnson epressed a strong against. At final the finance bill was signed byGeorge Washington and it became law.
作者:Alumni
Here it mentioned America's party system. Next time we would know how it come to birth.
作者:Alumni
it should be: ...how it came to birth instead of " how it come to birth"
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