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THE MAKING OF A NATION - American History: A Dispu

(2010-07-15 14:04:16)

THE MAKING OF A NATION - American History: A Dispute Over Cuba Leads to the Spanish-American War


Written by Frank Beardsley


A painting of the Battle of Manila Bay in 1898 in which the United States Navy defeated the Spanish Navy
A painting of the Battle of Manila Bay in 1898 in which the United States Navy defeated the Spanish Navy


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

The Spanish-American War took place in the late eighteen hundreds during the administration of President William McKinley. This week in our series, Harry Monroe and Kay Gallant tell the story of that war.

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

西--美战争爆发于19世纪末,总统威廉麦金利执政时期。这一周在我们的系列里,Harry Monroe 和 Kay Gallant 讲一讲这场战争。

HARRY MONROE: Unlike other presidents of the late eighteen hundreds, William McKinley spent much of his presidency dealing with foreign policy. The most serious problem involved Spain.

Spain ruled Cuba at that time. Cuban rebels had started a fight for independence. The Spanish government promised the Cuban people equal rights and self-rule -- but in the future. The rebels did not want to wait.

HARRY MONROE:象19世纪后期的其他总统不一样,威廉麦金利总统在任期内主要是处理对外政策问题。最严重的问题是关于西班牙的。那时西班牙统治着古巴。古巴的造反者发动了独立战争。西班牙政府许诺给古巴人民平等的权利和自治--不过是在将来。而造反者并不想等待。

President McKinley felt Spain should be left alone to honor its promises. He also felt responsible for protecting the lives and property of Americans in Cuba. When riots broke out in Havana, he ordered the battleship Maine to sail there.


One night in early eighteen ninety-eight, a powerful explosion sank the Maine. More than two hundred fifty American sailors died. There was some evidence the explosion was caused by an accident in the ship's fuel tanks. But many Americans blamed Spain. They demanded war to free Cuba and make it independent.


KAY GALLANT: President McKinley had a difficult decision to make. He did not want war. As he told a friend: "I fought in our Civil War. I saw the dead piled up. I do not want to see that again." But McKinley also knew many Americans wanted war. If he refused to fight Spain, his Republican Party could lose popular support.

KAY GALLANT:麦金利总统很做出决定。他不想打战争。就象他告诉一位朋友那样:“我曾打过我们的内战,我看到过成堆的死人。我不想再看到这样的场面。”但麦金利总统也知道很多美国人想打仗。如果他拒绝与西班牙打仗,他的共和党将会失去民众的支持。


William McKinley in June of 1898
William McKinley in June of 1898


So, he did not ask Congress for a declaration of war right away. He sent a message to the Spanish government, instead. McKinley demanded an immediate ceasefire in Cuba. He also offered his help in ending the revolt.


By the time Spain agreed to the demands, McKinley had made his decision. He asked Congress for permission to use military force to bring peace to Cuba. Congress agreed. It also demanded that Spain withdraw from Cuba and give up all claims to the island.


The president signed the congressional resolution. The Spanish government immediately broke relations. On April twenty-fifth, eighteen ninety-eight, the United States declared war on Spain.

HARRY MONROE: The American Navy was ready to fight. It was three times bigger than the Spanish navy. It also was better trained. A ship-building program begun fifteen years earlier had made the American Navy one of the strongest in the world. Its ships were made of steel and carried powerful guns.


HARRY MONROE:美国海军已经作好战斗的准备。它比西班牙的海军大3倍。并且是经过了更好的训练。15年前开始的一个造船计划让美国海军成为世界上最强大的海军之一。它的战船是用钢做的并且带着很有威力的枪。

Part of the American Navy at that time was based in Hong Kong. The rest was based on the Atlantic coast of the United States.


Admiral George Dewey commanded the Pacific Fleet. Dewey had received a message from the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Theodore Roosevelt. If war broke out, it said, he was to attack the Spanish naval force in the Philippines. The Spanish force was commanded by Admiral Patricio Montojo.

海军总司令 George Dewey 指挥太平洋舰队。Dewey 接到了海军助理秘书西奥多罗斯福的短信。它说:如果战争爆发,他将攻击西班牙驻扎在菲律宾的军队。西班牙军队的指挥官是Patricio Montojo总司令。

KAY GALLANT: The American fleet arrived in Manila Bay on May first. It sailed toward the line of Spanish ships. The Spanish fired first. The shells missed. When the two naval forces were five thousand meters apart, Admiral Dewey ordered the Americans to fire. After three hours, Admiral Montojo surrendered. Most of his ships were sunk. Four hundred of his men were dead or wounded.

American land forces arrived several weeks later. They captured Manila, giving the United States control of the Philippines.

KAY GALLANT:美国舰队在5月1日到达马尼拉海湾。它向西班牙舰队的阵线驶去。西班牙首先开火。炮弹没有打中。在两支海军相距 5千米的时候,总司令Dewey命令美军开火。3个小时后,Montojo总司令投降。他的船大多数被打沉了。他死伤了400人。几周以后,美国陆军到达。他们占领了马尼拉,美国控制了菲律宾。

HARRY MONROE: Dewey was suddenly a hero. Songs and poems were written about him. Congress gave him special honors. A spirit of victory spread across the nation. People called for an immediate invasion of Cuba.

HARRY MONROE:Dewey 马上成了一位英雄。当时的歌中和诗里写的都是他。国会给予他特别的荣誉。胜利的精神传遍了整个国家。人民呼吁马上占领古巴。

Unlike the Navy, America's Army was not ready to fight. When war was declared, the Army had only about twenty-five thousand men. Within a few months, however, it had more than two hundred thousand. The soldiers trained at camps in the southern United States. One of the largest camps was in Florida. Cuba is just one hundred fifty kilometers off the coast of Florida.

KAY GALLANT: Two weeks after the Spanish-American War began, the Army sent a small force to Cuba. The force was ordered to inspect the north coast of Cuba and to take supplies to Cuban rebels. That invasion failed. But the second one succeeded. Four hundred American soldiers landed with guns, bullets, and supplies for the rebels.


KAY GALLANT:在西--美战争爆发后两个星期,陆军派了一支小小的部队去古巴。命令这支军队侦察古巴北海岸并给古巴叛军带去补给品。这次进驻失败了。但是第二次成功了。4000名美军士兵带着枪、子弹和给叛军的补给品登陆。

Next, the Army planned to send twenty-five thousand men to Cuba. Their goal was the Port of Santiago on the south coast. American ships had trapped a Spanish naval force there earlier.

One of the commanders of the big American invasion force was Theodore Roosevelt.

然后,军队计划送2万5千人去古巴。他们的目标是南海岸的圣地亚哥港。早期美国战船曾在那里困住了一支西班牙海军。 美国占领军的重要指挥人员之一是西奥多罗斯福。

Roosevelt had resigned as Assistant Secretary of the Navy when the war started. He organized a group of horse soldiers. Most of the men were cowboys from America's southwest. They could ride and shoot well. Some were rich young men from New York who simply shared Roosevelt's love of excitement. The group became known as Roosevelt's "Rough Riders."



Theodore Roosevelt, center, with the Rough Riders at San Juan Hill, Cuba, 1898
Theodore Roosevelt, center, with the Rough Riders at San Juan Hill, Cuba, 1898


HARRY MONROE: As the Americans landed near Santiago, Spanish forces withdrew to positions outside the city. The strongest force was at San Juan Hill.

HARRY MONROE:当美国人在西雅图附近登陆的时候,西班牙军队撤到了城市外的一个地方。大部队在圣胡安山。

The Spanish soldiers used smokeless gunpowder. This made their artillery hard to find. The Americans did not have the smokeless powder. But they had Gatling machine guns which poured a stream of bullets at the enemy.


When the machine guns opened fire, American soldiers began moving up San Juan Hill. Several American reporters watched. Later, one of them wrote this report:


"I have seen many pictures of the charge on San Juan Hill. But none seem to show it as I remember it. In the pictures, the men are running up the hill quickly in straight lines. There seem to be so many men that no enemy could stand against them.

"In fact," said the reporter, "there were not many men. And they moved up the hill slowly, in a close group, not in a straight line. It seemed as if someone had made a terrible mistake. One wanted to call to these few soldiers to come back."



KAY GALLANT: The American soldiers were not called back. They reached the top of San Juan Hill. The Spanish soldiers fled. "All we have to do," an American officer said, "is hold on to the hill and Santiago will be ours."

KAY GALLANT:美国士兵并没有被叫回来。我们到达了圣胡安山顶。西班牙兵逃跑了。“所有我们必须做的是,”一个美军军官说,“占据在这座山上,这样圣地亚哥就是我们的了。”

American Commander General William Shafter sent a message to Spanish Commander General Jose Toral. Shafter demanded Toral's surrender. While he waited for an answer, the Spanish naval force tried to break out of Santiago Harbor. The attempt failed, and the Americans took control of the port.

美军指挥官William Shafter 将军给西班牙指挥官 Jose Toral将军发了一个短信。 Shafter要求Toral投降。在他在等待回复的同时,西班牙海军正试图冲出圣地亚哥海港。他们的努力失败了,美国人控制了港口。

The loss destroyed any hope that Spain could win the war. There was now no way it could send more soldiers and supplies to Cuba.


General Toral agreed to a short ceasefire so women and children could leave Santiago. But he rejected General Shafter's demand of unconditional surrender. American artillery then attacked Santiago. General Toral defended the city as best he could. Finally, on July seventeenth, he surrendered. The United States promised to send all his soldiers back to Spain.

Toral将军同意短期的停战让妇女和儿童离开圣地亚哥。但是他拒绝了 Shafter 将军让他无条件投降的要求。然后就是美国的大炮轰击圣地亚哥。Toral将军尽了最大的努力坚守这座城市。最后,在7月17日,他投降了。美国承诺把他所有的战士送回西班牙。

HARRY MONROE: In the next few weeks, American forces occupied Puerto Rico and the Philippine capital of Manila. America's war with Spain was over. It had lasted just ten weeks. The next step was to negotiate terms of a peace treaty. The negotiations would be held in Paris.

HARRY MONROE:在接下来的几周内,美国军队占领了波多黎各和菲律宾的首都马尼拉。美国与西班牙的战争结束了。这场战争只持续了10周。接下来的步骤就是议定和平条约的条款。谈判在巴黎举行。

The victorious United States demanded independence for Cuba. It demanded control over Puerto Rico and Guam. And it demanded the right to occupy Manila. The two sides agreed quickly on the terms concerning Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Guam. But they could not agree on what to do about the Philippines.


Spain rejected the American demand for control. It did not want to give up this important colony. Negotiations on this point of the peace treaty lasted for days.


That will be our story next week.



SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: Our program was written by Frank Beardsley. The narrators were Harry Monroe and Kay Gallant. 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 #145 of THE MAKING OF A NATION


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