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【VOA】克利夫兰的措施未能缓解经济衰退,加剧了劳工骚乱

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发表于 2019-11-26 03:12:02 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式


Welcome to THE MAKING OF A NATION -- American history in VOA Special English. This week in our series, Maurice Joyce and Frank Oliver continue the story of the man who served as America's twenty-second and twenty-fourth president, Grover Cleveland. Grover Cleveland began his second presidency in eighteen ninety-three. His two terms were separated by the presidency of Benjamin Harrison. Cleveland took office again just as the United States was entering an economic depression. Businesses failed. Banks closed their doors. Workers lost their jobs. And farmers lost their farms. President Cleveland believed the depression was caused by the government's money policy. At that time, both gold and silver were used to support the value of the American dollar. In Europe, however, only gold was used. American investors and bankers were afraid their money would drop in value because of the use of silver. They began exchanging their money for gold. President Cleveland wanted to return to the gold standard, too. To do this, he had to urge Congress to kill a law which forced the government to buy silver. Before Congress began its debate, the president discovered a cancer in his mouth. The cancer needed to be removed immediately. But the operation had to be kept secret. News that the president's life was in danger could have an effect on the debate. It could make the nation's economic crisis worse.

欢迎收听VOA慢速英语之建国史话节目。在本周的系列节目中,莫里斯·乔伊斯和弗兰克·奥利弗将继续讲述美国第22和24任总统格罗弗·克利夫兰的故事。任总统任期,在他两次任期之间,是总统本杰明·哈里森执政。生意衰败,银行关门。工人失业,农民失去了他们的农场。克利夫兰总统认为,大萧条是由政府的货币政策引起的。当时,黄金和白银都被用来支撑美元的价值。然而,欧洲只使用黄金。美国投资者和银行家担心,由于使用白银,他们的钱款会贬值,于是开始把手中的钱换成黄金。克利夫兰总统也想恢复金本位制,为此,他不得不敦促国会废除一项迫使政府购买白银的法律。在国会开始辩论前,总统发现口腔中长了恶性肿瘤。恶性肿瘤需要立即切除,但手术必须保密。总统生命垂危的消息可能会对辩论产生影响,这可能会使国家的经济危机恶化。

So, the operation was done on a private boat in New York Harbor. Doctors removed some of President Cleveland's teeth and much of his upper left jaw. Then they removed the cancer. The operation took only a half hour. After a few weeks, doctors made Cleveland a new jaw out of hard rubber. He wore it without difficulty. A newspaper printed a story about the operation. But administration officials denied it. The facts did not become public for many years. When President Cleveland returned to Washington, he sent a message to members of Congress. He urged them to kill the law which forced the government to buy silver. He noted how people throughout the nation had been exchanging their paper money and silver for gold. He said he was afraid the federal treasury would soon run out of gold. Then it would have only silver to support the dollar. If that happened, he said, the United States no longer could claim to be a major nation. President Cleveland said: "The people of the United States have a right to a money recognized as such on every exchange and in every market of the world. Their government has no right to injure them by financial experiments that are opposed to the policies of other nations."

所以,这次行动在纽约港的一艘私人船只上完成。医生切除了克利夫兰总统的一些牙齿和大部分左上颚。然后,他们切除了恶性肿瘤。手术只用了半个小时。几周后,医生们用硬橡胶给克利夫兰制作了一个新的下颚。他毫不费力地戴上它。一家报纸刊登了一篇关于这次手术的报道,但政府官员对此予以否认。多年来,真相都未对公众公开。克利夫兰总统回到华盛顿时,他给国会议员发了一个消息,敦促他们废除强迫政府购买白银的法律。他指出,国民正在把手中的纸币和白银兑换成黄金。他表示担心联邦财政部很快就会耗尽黄金。那样的话则只能用白银来支撑美元。他说,如果发生这种情况,美国就不能再宣称自己是一个大国。克利夫兰总统说:“美国人民有权在世界上的每一个交易所和每一个市场获得被承认的货币。政府无权通过与其他国家政策相反的金融试验来伤害国民。”

After the president's message was read, the House of Representatives began its debate. A young congressman from Nebraska spoke in opposition to the president's position. His part in the debate made him famous throughout the nation. His name was William Jennings Bryan. Bryan said the United States should continue to make and use both gold and silver money. Using only gold, he said, increased the value of the dollar. And that made life difficult for America's farmers and workers. They had to pay more to borrow money. And, for farmers, a more valuable dollar meant lower prices for crops. Bryan described the situation this way: "On one side of the debate stand the business interests of the United States. On the other side stand the unnumbered masses. Work-worn and covered with dust, they make their appeal. But too often their cry for help has sounded hopelessly against the outer walls, while others -- less deserving -- find easy entrance to the halls of Congress. "The president is wrong to act on the demand of the business interests. He can no more judge the wishes of the great mass of our people by the words of these middlemen than he can measure the ocean's silent depths by the foam upon its waves."

宣读完总统的话语,众议院开始辩论。一位来自内布拉斯加州的年轻议员发言反对总统的立场。他因参加此次辩论而在全国闻名,他名叫威廉·詹宁斯·布赖恩。布赖恩说,美国应该继续制造和使用金银货币。仅使用黄金会增加美元的价值,而这将使美国农民和工人生活困难,他们不得不花更多的钱去借钱。而且,对农民来说,美元更值钱意味着农作物的价格更低。布赖恩这样描述这种情况:“辩论的一方代表美国商业的利益,另一方代表着无数的人民大众。他们辛苦劳作,发出呼声,但他们的呼声却常常无法被国会听到,而其他一些不太值得被关注的人的话语却很容易到达国会议员这里。“总统根据商业利益要求行事的做法是错误的,他不能用这些中间人的话来判断广大人民的意愿,就像他不能只凭海浪上的泡沫来衡量海洋静默的深度。”

No other congressman spoke as well as William Jennings Bryan. Yet his words could not save the silver purchase law. The House of Representatives approved President Cleveland's proposal to kill the law. The Senate did, too. The United States was firmly on the gold standard. Everyone -- especially President Cleveland -- waited for the economy to improve. It did not. More businesses failed. More workers lost their jobs. Tens of thousands of men left their homes to look for work. Some of these men began to unite in protest groups they called "industrial armies." One industrial army was organized by a man named Jacob Coxey. Coxey proposed that the federal government should hire unemployed men to build roads. He said the government could borrow enough money to pay each man a dollar and a half a day. Coxey decided to take his proposal to Washington. He also decided to take his industrial army with him. Coxey's army marched many kilometers from Ohio to Washington. Hundreds of unemployed men joined in along the way. But by the time the army reached the capital, only three hundred men remained. City officials barred Coxey's army from meeting on public property. They barred them from asking people for food or money. Jacob Coxey was ready for the worst. He said: "If my men starve in the streets of Washington, the smell of their bodies will force Congress to act."

没有其他国会议员能像威廉·詹宁斯·布赖恩那样发表言论,然而他的话并不能拯救白银购买法。众议院批准了克利夫兰总统废除这项法律的提议,参议院也同意了。美国坚定地坚持使用金本位制。每个人,特别是克利夫兰总统,都在等待经济好转。然后,一切并未好转。更多的企业倒闭,更多的工人失业,数以万计的人离开家去找工作。其中一些人开始联合起来,组成他们称之为“工业军”的抗议团体。一名叫雅各布·科克西的人组织了一支工业军,科克西提议联邦政府应该雇佣失业者来修路。他说,政府可以借到足够的钱,每天给每人支付1.5美元。科克西决定把他的建议带到华盛顿,他还决定带上他的工业军一同前往。科克西等一行人要行进数公里才能从俄亥俄州到达华盛顿,数以百计的失业者沿途加入进来。但当他们到达首都时,却只剩下三百人。市政府官员禁止科克西等人就公共财产问题集会,禁止他们向人要饭要钱。雅各布·科克西已经做好最坏的打算。他说:“如果我的人在华盛顿街头挨饿,他们身上的气味将迫使国会采取行动。”

Coxey tried to read a protest statement at the Capitol building. Police stopped him. The protestors then pushed forward in what police later called a riot. Several of the men -- including Coxey -- were arrested. A judge found Coxey guilty of violating public property. He sent him to jail for twenty days. Without Coxey's leadership, his army broke up. Its members went home. Yet the economic and social pressures which created Coxey's army did not ease. Protests and strikes continued throughout the nation. The biggest strike started in Chicago against the Pullman Company, which made railroad cars. The man who owned the company, George Pullman, also owned the town where his workers lived. He owned the stores, the houses, the schools, and the library. When the economic depression began in eighteen ninety-three, George Pullman cut the size of his work force. Those still working received less pay. Yet Pullman did not reduce the cost of rent for his houses. Anyone who protested lost his job. In the spring of eighteen ninety-four, a labor union organizer went to George Pullman's town. He was Eugene Debs, leader of the American Railway Union. Pullman did not want his workers to belong to a union. But he did not stop them at first. More than four thousand workers joined.

科克西试图在国会大厦宣读一份抗议声明,警察拦住了他。抗议者随后向前推进,警方随后称其为暴动。其中几名男子,包括科克西都被捕了。法官判定科克西侵犯公共财产罪成立,被判入狱20天。没有科克西的领导,他带来的人就解散了,成员们都回家了。然而,使这些人组建到一起的经济社会压力并未减轻,全国各地的抗议和罢工仍在继续。规模最大的罢工始于芝加哥,针对的是生产火车车厢的普尔曼公司。这家公司的所有人乔治·普尔曼也拥有工人居住的城镇、商店、房子、学校和图书馆。当1893年经济萧条开始时,乔治·普尔曼削减了劳动力规模,那些还在工作的人得到的工资变少了。然而,普尔曼并没有降低房屋的租金。任何提出抗议的人都失业了。1894年春天,一个工会组织者来到乔治·普尔曼的城镇。这个人是尤金·德布斯,美国铁路联盟的领导人。普尔曼不希望自己的工人加入工会,但他开始时并没有阻止他们。超过4千名工人加入了工会。

Immediately, the new union members voted to go on strike against the Pullman company. Other members of the union supported them. They agreed not to work on trains that included Pullman cars. Within a few days, sixty thousand railway workers were on strike. Twenty railroads were closed down. Union leader Eugene Debs attempted to keep the strike peaceful. But he could not control strikers all over the country. So, railroad companies asked the federal government for troops to break the strike. The request involved a legal point. America's constitution says federal troops cannot be sent to a state unless the state government asks for them. And no state government had asked for them. President Cleveland met with his cabinet to discuss the railroad companies' request. They finally agreed to send federal troops to Chicago -- where the strike had started -- to enforce federal postal laws. The troops would protect trains carrying mail. The arrival of the troops led to more violence. Eugene Debs and other leaders of the American Railway Union were arrested. The Pullman strike ended. President Cleveland faced increasing political problems. Organized labor denounced him for using federal troops to break up the Pullman strike. Farmers and westerners attacked him for opposing the use of silver money. And everyone blamed him for not doing more to end the depression. These political problems would have a great effect on the next presidential election. That will be our story next week.

很快,新的工会成员投票反对普尔曼公司。工会的其他成员也支持他们。他们同意不在有普尔曼公司的火车车厢的铁路上工作。几天之内,6万铁路工人罢工,20条铁路被关闭。工会领袖尤金·德布斯试图保持罢工的和平态势,但是,他无法控制全国的罢工者。因此,铁路公司要求联邦政府派遣军队来阻止罢工。这项请求涉及一个法律问题。美国宪法规定,除非州政府要求,否则联邦军队不能被派往各州,也没有州政府要求他们这么做。克利夫兰总统会见了内阁成员,讨论铁路公司的要求。他们最终同意派遣联邦军队到罢工开始的芝加哥执行联邦邮政法,军队会保护运送邮件的火车。部队的到来引发了更多的暴力事件。尤金·德布斯和美国铁路联盟的其他领导人被捕,普尔曼罢工终结。克利夫兰总统面临越来越多的政治问题。有组织的劳工谴责他利用联邦军队驱散普尔曼罢工,农民和西部人攻击他反对使用银币。所有人都责怪他没有采取更多措施来结束大萧条。这些政治问题将对下届总统选举产生重大影响。这将是我们下周要讲述的故事。


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