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#33: Adams Avoids War With France, Signs Alien and Sedition Acts

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Welcome to THE MAKING OF A NATION – an American history series in VOA Special English. This week on our program, we continue the story of America's second president, John Adams. Here are Maurice Joyce and Richard Rael.

VOICE TWO:

John Adams, by the American sculptor Daniel Chester French (1850-1931)
John Adams, by the American sculptor Daniel Chester French (1850-1931)

John Adams took office in seventeen ninety-seven. He had served eight years as vice president under President George Washington. Now, state electors had chosen him to govern the new nation.

在上次的建國史話中,我們講到,美國第二任總統約翰.亞當斯1797年宣誓就職。

Adams was an intelligent man. He was a true patriot and an able diplomat. But he did not like party politics. This weakness caused trouble during his presidency. For, during the late seventeen hundreds, two political parties struggled for power. He was caught in the middle.

亞當斯才智過人、熱愛國家、而且是一位出色的外交官。不過,他并不熱衷于政黨政治,這一弱點給他帶來了很多麻煩,因為十八世紀末期,美國聯邦、共和兩黨爭權奪利,把亞當斯夾在了中間。

VOICE ONE:

Adams was a member of the Federalist Party. As president, he should have been party leader. But this position belonged to a man who really knew how to get and use political power, Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton served as treasury secretary under President Washington.

亞當斯是聯邦黨成員。作為總統,聯邦黨領袖的位置本來非他莫數。然而,這個位置卻被亞歷山大.漢密爾頓牢牢地掌握在手中。喬治.華盛頓任期內,漢密爾頓曾經擔任財政部長,在謀求和施展政治權力方面,可謂登峰造極。

Now, he was a private citizen, a lawyer in New York City. Through the Federalist Party, Hamilton continued to have great influence over the national government. Federalists loyal to Hamilton controlled the Congress. Even President Adams' three cabinet ministers were loyal to Hamilton. In fact, they worked together against the new president.

如今,漢密爾頓雖然已經退出政界,在紐約開辦了律師事務所,但他繼續通過聯邦黨的力量,對政府施加影響。效忠漢密爾頓的聯邦黨人控制著當時的國會,就連亞當斯總統手下的三位內閣部長,私下里也都聽命于漢密爾頓,跟新總統作對。

Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton

This political situation made Adams' term in office very difficult. Yet strangely, it also led to the end of Federalist Party power.

這種情況給亞當斯帶來了不少麻煩,但奇怪的是,最后竟然也將聯邦黨送入了墳墓。

VOICE TWO:

Two major issues marked Adams' presidency. One concerned foreign policy. The other concerned the rights of citizens.

亞當斯任期內的兩個主要問題一個是外交,一個是民權。

The first involved America's relations with France.

外交涉及美國跟法國的關系。

Federalists, in general, were men of wealth and position. They did not believe in democracy, rule by the people. For this reason, they strongly opposed the revolution in France. They were horrified by the execution of the French king and queen. Federalists wanted an alliance with Britain. Over time, they demanded war with France.

總的來說,聯邦黨人都是有權有勢的人,他們不相信民主,不相信人民統治。出于這個原因,聯邦黨人極力反對法國大革命,法國國王和王后被殺,讓他們深感震驚。聯邦黨人主張跟英國結盟,后來還要求對法國宣戰。

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

American support for France came from the opposition party, the Republicans. The leader of that party was the country's vice president, Thomas Jefferson.

然而,由美國副總統托馬斯.杰斐遜領導的共和黨支持法國大革命。

France helped America win its war for independence from Britain. The friendship formed during the war continued afterward when Thomas Jefferson served as Minister to Paris. Relations began to turn bad as soon as he returned home.

The man who replaced him openly supported the French monarchy -- the losing side in the revolution. After the revolution succeeded, the new French government demanded that he leave.

VOICE TWO:

Most Federalists did not want good relations with France. They used their power to prevent the government from sending a pro-French representative to Paris. They also searched for any signs of insult, any excuse to declare war.

大多數聯邦黨人都不希望跟法國保持友好關系,他們想方設法防止政府向巴黎派遣親法使節,他們還四處捕捉法國冒犯美國的跡象,為宣戰尋找借口。

President Adams did not agree with the majority of Federalists. He wanted to improve relations with France through negotiations. Yet he said the United States would strengthen its defenses. We will be ready, he said, if war comes.

亞當斯總統不同意聯邦黨的主流意見。他希望通過談判改善跟法國的關系,但是亞當斯同時也在努力加強國防。按他的話說就是,一旦戰爭爆發,我們隨時準備應戰。

VOICE ONE:

One incident, especially, brought the two nations close to war. It is known in American history books as the "X, Y and Z Affair."

美國歷史教科書上所謂的“X、Y、Z事件”,使美國和法國走向了戰爭的邊緣。

President Adams had appointed a committee of three ministers to negotiate with the French government. French officials kept these three men waiting for several weeks. While they waited, they had a visit from three Frenchmen -- later called X, Y and Z.

亞當斯總統當時任命了一個由三位部長組成的代表小組,跟法國政府交涉。法國官員讓這三個人等了好幾個星期。在此期間,三個法國人前來拜訪,告訴美國代表說,如果美國答應三個條件,就跟美國簽協議。這三個法國人后來被稱為X、Y和Z。

X, Y and Z told the Americans that France would sign an agreement if the United States did three things.

法國提出的三個條件是:

It had to lend the French government twelve million dollars. It had to apologize for anti-French statements in a recent message from President Adams to the American Congress. And it had to pay the French foreign minister two hundred fifty thousand dollars.

一,美國要借給法國政府一千兩百萬美元;二,美國必須就亞當斯總統最近對美國國會講話中的反法言論道歉;三,美國要向法國外交部長支付25萬美元。

VOICE TWO:

Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson

The American ministers were willing to pay. But they wanted to sign the agreement first. The French foreign minister refused. First the money, then the agreement.

美國的三位部長表示,出錢可以,但是要先簽協議,結果遭到了法國外交部長的拒絕。法國堅持,只有先付錢,才能簽協議。

The Federalists finally had the excuse they were looking for. France had insulted the United States. We must answer the insult. The only answer was war. Federalist newspapers added fuel to the fire by publishing anti-French propaganda. In a few places, pro-war groups became violent.

聯邦黨人終于找到了借口。他們指出,這是法國對我們的侮辱,我們絕不能示弱,唯一的回答就是宣戰。聯邦黨人的報紙也煽風點火,進行反法宣傳,有些地方的主戰團體甚至爆發了暴力行動。

The Republican Party could do little. Even Thomas Jefferson was helpless. He remained in Philadelphia, the capital of the United States at that time. But he had few friends there anymore.

對此,共和黨人無能為力,就連副總統杰斐遜也愛莫能助。他繼續留在當時的首都費城,但是沒有多少朋友。

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

Congress quickly passed laws to create a permanent army and navy. It also approved new taxes to pay for them.

美國和法國之間的戰火一觸即發。美國國會迅速通過立法,建立永久性陸軍和海軍,并增加稅收,補充軍費,用于陸海兩軍的組建和培訓。

Two new laws passed by a small vote. But they greatly increased the powers of the national government. The laws were known as the Alien and Sedition Acts. Federalists said they were necessary to protect national security. But, in effect, the Federalists used them to weaken the power of the Republican Party.

國會還以微弱多數通過了另外兩項立法--《外國人法》和《懲治叛亂法》。這兩項立法極大地增加了聯邦政府的權力。聯邦黨人說,這兩項立法對于保護國家安全十分必要,但事實上,聯邦黨人是為了借此削弱共和黨人的力量。

VOICE TWO:

The Alien and Sedition Acts tightened restrictions on foreigners and limited speech critical of government. Both measures were passed in preparation for a possible war with France.
The Alien and Sedition Acts tightened restrictions on foreigners and limited speech critical of government. Both measures were passed in preparation for a possible war with France.

Under the Alien Act, the president could accuse any foreigner living in the United States of being a threat to national security. He could order that person out of the country.

根據《外國人法》,美國總統可以指責在美國居住的任何外國人危害美國國家安全,并勒令此人出境。

The act also increased the time a foreigner had to wait to become a citizen, from five years to fourteen years.

法案還將外國人入籍歸化的時間從五年延長到十四年。

Republicans were furious. Most foreigners, when they became naturalized citizens, joined the Republican Party.

這種做法讓共和黨人感到氣憤,因為大多數外國人入籍后,都會加入共和黨。

Republicans argued that the Alien Act violated the Constitution. They said it gave the government more powers than were stated in the Constitution. Federalists said the act was Constitutional. They said the Constitution gave the government the right to defend the country against foreign aggression.

共和黨人認為,《外國人法》違反了美國憲法,使聯邦政府的權限超過了憲法規定的范疇。但是聯邦黨人卻認為,《外國人法》并沒有違憲,因為憲法賦予聯邦政府保護國家不受外來侵略的權力。

VOICE ONE:

The other law, the Sedition Act, barred the publication of anything that might incite public hostility against the government.

另外一項立法《懲治叛亂法》禁止任何煽動公眾對政府敵對情緒的出版物。

Republicans argued that this act violated Americans' Constitutional rights of free speech and a free press. Federalists, once again, defended it as necessary for national security.

共和黨人指出,此法違反了美國憲法規定的言論自由和媒體自由,但是聯邦黨人再次強調,這樣做是出于捍衛國家安全。

The Federalists tried to use the Sedition Act to quiet Republican critics of President Adams' administration. About twenty-five persons were charged under the Sedition act. These included several leading Republican newspapermen and a Republican member of Congress.

聯邦黨人試圖利用《懲治叛亂法》,壓制對亞當斯政府的批判。包括幾位共和黨媒體人和一名共和黨議員在內的大約25個人根據《懲治叛亂法》受到指控。

Some of the men were tried and found guilty and sent to prison. But other Republicans took their places in the fight against the act. The Federalist plan to stop criticism did not succeed.

有些人被認定有罪,投入大牢,另外一些共和黨人前赴后繼,繼續跟《懲治叛亂法》做斗爭。聯邦黨人壓制批判的計劃沒有得逞。

VOICE TWO:

President Adams had signed the Alien and Sedition Acts into law. He believed they were necessary to protect the United States at a time when war with France was still possible.

亞當斯總統簽署了《外國人法》和《懲治叛亂法》,使其成為法律。他相信,與法國的戰爭迫在眉睫,為了保護美國,必須這樣做。

Then, in early seventeen ninety-nine, Adams received several reports that France was ready to reopen negotiations on improving relations. He immediately nominated a new minister to France. Federalist senators threatened to reject the nomination. In the end, Adams agreed to nominate a committee of three ministers. The Senate approved them.

誰知,1799年初,他收到報告,說法國愿意圍繞改善兩國關系,重新舉行談判。亞當斯立即任命了派駐法國的新部長。聯邦黨參議員威脅說,要駁回亞當斯的提名。最后,亞當斯被迫任命了一個由三名部長組成的委員會,才得到參議院的通過。

VOICE ONE:

It was many months before the three men went to France to negotiate the agreement. And it was many more months before they completed their work. But they did so on September thirtieth, eighteen hundred.

這三個人拖了好幾個月的時間才前往法國談判,又花了好幾個月的時間才最終達成協議,那時已經是1800年9月30號了。

After several years of bitter political struggle at home, President Adams finally prevented war with France. Later he wrote: "There is one thing I would like to be remembered for more than anything else. I gave myself the task of making peace with France. And I succeeded."

經過多年激烈的國內政治斗爭,亞當斯總統終于防止了跟法國的戰爭。他后來寫道:“我最希望被后人記住的是,我擔負了與法國維系和平的重任,而且最終成功了?!?/p>

VOICE TWO:

The year eighteen hundred was another presidential election year in the United States. The Federalist Party appeared to be dying. It failed in its effort to force the nation into war with France. And it failed to silence its critics through the Alien and Sedition Acts. Party leaders knew the election would be their last chance to keep political power.

1800年又是一個大選年。聯邦黨看上去了無生氣。聯邦黨人不僅沒有促成跟法國的戰爭,而且沒能借助《外國人法》和《懲治叛亂法》壓制批判的聲浪。聯邦黨領袖清楚地知道,這次大選是他們抓住政治權力的最后機會。

The Republican Party had more popular support. It also had gained an increasing number of seats in state legislatures and the national Congress. Party leader Thomas Jefferson was sure to be elected president -- unless the Federalists could find a way to change the electoral process.

當時,共和黨深得人心,在州議會和聯邦議會的勢力不斷擴大。除非聯邦黨人能夠設法改變選舉程序,否則的話,共和黨領袖托馬斯·杰斐遜在問鼎總統的道路上,看來已是勝券在握。

That will be our story next week.

(MUSIC)

ANNOUNCER:

Our program was written by Christine Johnson. The narrators were Maurice Joyce and Richard Rael. Join us again for THE MAKING OF A NATION, an American history series in VOA Special English. Next week our subject will be the election of eighteen hundred. Transcripts, podcasts and MP3s of our programs can be found at www.666321.live.

網友的學習評論(4條):
作者:xuding45
The president John Adams serviced as the second leader of the nation. He was caught in the middle of federalists and anti-federalists. John Adams tried to make peace with france and fianlly he did it.
作者:XsXSJ
I just can't understabd the reason why the America resolved to fight with France , for they owed themmoney, and didn't want to pack back? hhahah
作者:Alumni
“ add fuel to the fire" , this happened during the struggle between two parties. Fortunately Thomas Jefferson would be sure to be elected President.
作者:hliu
People likes his ideas agreed, actions supported. This is how a man gets power. Two parties were both loyal Americans, they fought for their philosophies which were good reasons on their side.
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