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(2010-07-08 12:21:51)

THE MAKING OF A NATION - American History: US Begins to Extend Its Influence Far Beyond Its Shores


Written by Frank Beardsley


The destruction of the U.S. battleship Maine in Havana Harbor in 1898
The destruction of the U.S. battleship Maine in Havana Harbor in 1898


SHIRLEY GRIFFITH:  Welcome to the MAKING OF A NATION -- American history in VOA Special English.

During the second half of the nineteenth century, the United States was not concerned much with events in other countries. It was too busy dealing with events inside its own borders. At that time, the nation was recovering from the Civil War. It was expanding to the West. And it was developing industries.

SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: 欢迎来到建国史话--VOA中特别英语中的美国历史。


As production increased, the United States began trading more and more with other countries. At the same time, it needed a new foreign policy to defend its interests.

This week in our series, Maurice Joyce and Larry West discuss America's foreign policy in the late eighteen hundreds.


这一周在我们的系列里,Maurice Joyce 和 Larry West 讲一讲美国19世纪下半页的外交政策。

LARRY WEST:   A growing number of lawmakers called for a new foreign policy. One was Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts. Lodge said the great nations of the world were taking control of the world's undeveloped areas. As one of the great nations, Lodge said, the United States must not fall out of this line of march.

LARRY WEST:越来越多的立法者呼吁一个新的外交政策。其中之一是麻萨诸塞州的Henry Cagot Lodge。Lodge说世界上的大国将要控制世界上的不发达地区。他还说,美国作为一个大国家,不要在这方面掉队。

Another lawmaker said: "Fate has written our policy. The trade of the world must and shall be ours." Some of these ideas came from the writings of Captain Alfred Mahan. He was head of America's Naval War College.

另一个立法者说:“注定要书写我们的政策。世界的贸易必将是我们的。”许多这样的主张来自于Alfred Mahan上尉,他是美国海战学院的领导人。

Mahan wrote that all the great nations in history had possessed great sea power. He said the United States must build up its sea power, too, if it wanted to be a great nation.

Mahan 写道历史上所有的伟大的国家都拥有过强大的海上力量。他说美国如果想成为一个伟大的国家的话,也必须建立起自己的海上力量,。

Sea power, Mahan said, was more than a strong navy. It was an economy that could produce goods for export. It was trade ships that could carry the goods. It was colonies that could supply raw materials and markets. And it was overseas naval bases that could defend American interests far from home.


MAURICE JOYCE:  The Washington Post newspaper described America's growing power this way:

"A new understanding seems to have come upon us, an understanding of our strength. And with it, a new feeling -- we want to show our strength. We are face-to-face with a strange fate. The taste of empire is in the mouth of the people."

HAURICE JOYCE:华盛顿邮报是这样描述美国力量的增长的:“一种新的认识好象已经向我们走来,是一种对我们的力量的认识。在这种认识中,有一种新的感觉--我们想表现我们的力量。我们与陌生的命运面对面。有绝对的支配权的感觉在我们百姓的心里。”

The Washington Post was not speaking for everyone, of course. In fact, many American presidents of the late eighteen hundreds did not have this taste for empire. Yet they were forced to face the future. Changes were coming. And it was their responsibility to guide the nation through the changes.


For this reason, the United States entered into several agreements with foreign lands during the late eighteen hundreds.


LARRY WEST:  In eighteen seventy-eight, for example, the United States signed a treaty with Samoa. The United States agreed to help the South Pacific islands settle any differences with other nations. A few years later, the treaty was put to a test.

LARRY WEST:举个例子,在1878年,美国与萨摩亚签订了协议。美国同意帮助南太平洋岛国处理与别国的纠纷。几年后,这个协议进入试行。

A group of Germans living in Samoa forced the islands' ruler from power. They replaced him with a ruler who was more friendly to Germany.


For a time, it seemed the United States and Germany would go to war. But when American warships arrived in Samoa, so did a big storm. The storm smashed both American and German ships. Neither side was left with a force strong enough to fight.


In eighteen eighty-nine, the United States, Germany, and Britain agreed that Samoa should be an independent kingdom. For ten years, local leaders attempted to establish a strong government. Their efforts failed. In eighteen ninety-nine, Germany took control of Samoa's large western islands. The United States took control of the smaller islands to the east.


MAURICE JOYCE:  Events in another group of Pacific Ocean islands affected American foreign policy in the late eighteen hundreds. These were the Hawaiian islands.

MAURICE JOYCE:在19世纪太平洋的另一个群岛发生的事件也影响了美国的对外政策。那是夏威夷群岛。


Queen Liliuokalani of Hawaii
Queen Liliuokalani of Hawaii


Hawaii was an important port for American trade ships sailing between the United States and China. Good relations between Hawaii and the United States were necessary to keep the port open to American ships.


In eighteen ninety-one, Liliuokalani became queen of Hawaii. She was not friendly to the United States. A group of American businessmen and planters in Hawaii plotted to oust her.

在1891年,Liliuokalani 是夏威夷的女皇。她对美国不友好。住在夏威夷的一些美国商人和种植业者策划驱逐她。

The group started an uprising. Then it called on the United States for protection. Queen Liliuokalani was forced to surrender. The businessmen and planters formed a new government. They wanted Hawaii to be part of the United States. By the end of the century, Congress had made Hawaii an American territory.


LARRY WEST:  The United States also offered to serve as a negotiator in several international disputes during the late eighteen hundreds. One dispute involved Britain and Venezuela.

LARRY WEST:在19世纪末的几起国际争端中,美国也充当谈判人(调停人?)。其中的一起涉及不列颠和委内瑞拉。

Both countries claimed land that bordered the British colony of Guiana on the northeast coast of South America. The situation became tense when gold was discovered in the disputed area. The United States offered to negotiate an agreement. Britain refused the offer. The United States offered again. Britain refused again.


Finally, President Grover Cleveland asked the United States Congress to appoint a committee to decide the border. Before the American committee had a chance to meet, Britain and Venezuela agreed to let an international committee decide.


MAURICE JOYCE:  In eighteen ninety-five, Cuban rebels revolted against the colonial government. They tried to destroy the economy of the island by burning private property.

MAURICE JOYCE:在1895年,古巴叛军起义反对殖民地政府。他们试图焚烧私人财产以毁掉这个岛的经济。

Spain sent a large force to Cuba to crush the revolt. Thousands of persons were arrested and put into prison camps. Many died of hunger and disease. Spain was denounced for its cruelty.


LARRY WEST:  It was difficult to get a true picture of what was happening in Cuba. American newspapers sent reporters to the island. But much of what they wrote about never happened. The reporters knew very well that exciting and horrifying stories sold newspapers. So, they made up stories about bloody battles and Spanish cruelty. One incident has become famous in American newspaper history.

LARRY WEST:对于在古巴发生了什么,很难有一个真实的描绘。美国报纸派出记者到了这个岛上。但是他们净写一些不曾发生的事情。这些记者很清楚,令人激动和令人恐惧的故事可以增加报纸的销量。所以,他们编造了一些关于血腥的战斗和西班牙残暴的故事。这些编造当中,有一件有幸成为美国报业史上的一段“佳话”。


William Randolph Hearst
William Randolph Hearst


Publisher William Randolph Hearst sent artist Frederic Remington to Cuba to paint pictures of the fighting. Remington spent several months in Havana. He saw no fighting. He sent Hearst a message. Things were quiet, Remington said. There would be no war. Hearst sent back this answer: "You supply the pictures. I'll supply the war."

出版人William Randolph Hearst 把画家0Frederic Remington 送到古巴去那里的画战争场面。Frederic Remington 在哈瓦那住了几个月。他没有看到战争。就给Hearst写了一个短信。Remington说:古巴很平静,没有战争。Harst 是这样回复的:“你只管提供(战争场面)的画作,我来提供战争。”

MAURICE JOYCE:  The newspaper built up strong public feeling against Spain. Soon, many Americans were calling for war to free Cuba from Spanish rule.

MAURICE JOYCE:报纸引起了公众对西班牙的强烈的反对。很快,许多美国人就呼吁用战争从西班牙的统治下解放古巴。

William McKinley was president. He did not want the United States to become involved. He did, however, offer to help Spain find a solution that would return peace to the island. Spain refused the offer. It attempted to improve the situation in Cuba by itself.

William McKinley是总统,他不希望美国卷入其中。他也确实是这样做的。可是,他提议(让美国)帮助西班牙找到一个方案,来让这个岛恢复和平。西班牙拒绝一这个提议。它试图自己改善古巴的状况。

Spain called home the military commander accused of cruelty. It stopped putting people in prison camps. It offered equal political rights to all Cubans. And it promised them self-rule in the future.


LARRY WEST:  President McKinley welcomed Spain's policy statements. He felt Spain should be left alone to honor its promises to the Cuban people. He said the United States would not interfere. At about that time, however, riots broke out in Havana. President McKinley said it was his responsibility to protect the lives and property of Americans living there. So, he sent the battleship "Maine" to Havana.

LARRY WEST:McKinley表示欢迎西班牙的宣布的政策。他认为西班牙应该自己回家来荣耀它对古巴人民做出的承诺。他说美国不会进入。可是也就在这个时候,哈瓦那发生了暴乱,McKinley总统说保护居住在那里的美国人的生命和财产是他的责任。所以,他把“緬因”战船派去了哈瓦那。

During the early weeks of eighteen ninety-eight, President McKinley waited for Spain to act on its promises to Cuba. He saw little progress. Relations between the United States and Spain became tense. Then, on the night of February fifteenth, a powerful explosion shook the battleship Maine in Havana harbor. The ship sank. More than two hundred fifty American sailors were dead.


MAURICE JOYCE:  No one knew what caused the explosion on the battleship Maine. The United States said it was an underwater bomb. Spain said it was something on the ship itself.

There was some evidence the explosion was caused by an accident in the ship's fuel tanks. Yet some people in the United States blamed Spain anyway. They demanded war. They cried: "Remember the Maine!"

MAURICE JOYCE:没有人知道什么原因引起了“緬因”战船上的爆炸。美国说是水下炸弹。西班牙说是战船上面的什么东西。有些迹象表明爆炸是由战船燃料箱里的一个故障引起的。无论如何许多美国人还是要遣责西班牙人。他们要求打仗。他们喊叫:“要记住緬因号。 ”

That will be our story next week.



SHIRLEY GRIFFITH:  Our program was written by Frank Beardsley. The narrators were Maurice Joyce and Larry West. You can find our series online with transcripts, MP3s, podcasts and images at www.unsv.com. You can also follow us on Facebook and 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 #144 of THE MAKING OF A NATION


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