亚力山大汉密尔顿的设想
The Imagination of Alexander Hamilton

亚力山大汉密尔顿的设想

The Imagination of Alexander Hamilton

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亚力山大汉密尔顿的设想

The Imagination of Alexander Hamilton

2013-11-15

亚历山大·汉密尔顿是美国的开国元勋之一,宪法的起草人之一,财经专家,是美国的第一任财政部长。是美国政党制度的创建者,在美国金融、财政和工业发展史上,占有重要地位。因政党相争而决斗丧生。2006年,汉密尔顿被美国的权威期刊《大西洋月刊》评为影响美国的100位人物第5名。


欢迎来到美国之音建国史话栏目。我是Steve Ember。
Welcome to The Making of a Nation – American history in VOA Special English. I’m Steve Ember.

今天我们来讲讲亚力山大汉密尔顿的故事。他是美国的决策者之一。
Today we begin the story of Alexander Hamilton. He was one of the country’s founding fathers.

他从未担任总统。
He never became president.

然而他却是美国第一届财政部长。
He did, however, become the country’s first secretary of the treasury.

当时,美国政府力量薄弱。
At that time, the American government was very weak.

债务累累,国库空空。
It had many debts and no money.

人民对政府的支持并不牢固。
Many of the country’s citizens did not support their own government.

许多人担心国家存亡旦夕。
Many wondered if America would last.

然而,几年后就发生了变化。
In a few years, however, there was a change.

这种变化主要归功于一个人的能量和创造力,这个人就是亚力山大汉密尔顿。
This change was produced in large part by the energy and imagination of one man: Alexander Hamilton.

汉密尔顿希望美国成为一个强大昌盛的国家。
Hamilton wanted to make America a strong and important nation.

他希望美国能与欧洲大国平起平坐。
He wanted it to become the equal of the powerful nations of Europe.

亚力山大汉密尔顿早期历史有很多谜团。
There is much mystery about the early days of Alexander Hamilton.

他的童年和青年时代我们已经了解清楚。
Some facts about his childhood and youth have been clearly established.

一些人却不很了解。历史学家认为他出生于1755年或1757年。
Others have not. Historians think he was born around 1755 or 1757.

他的母亲是定居西印度群,法国胡格诺派教徒的女儿。
His mother was the daughter of French Huguenots who had settled in the British West Indies.

她的名字是雷切尔莱温。历史学家无法确定他的父亲是谁。
Her name was Rachel Lavien.Historians are not sure who his father was.

有个说法认为,他的父亲名叫杰姆斯汉密尔顿,是一位来自苏格兰的商人。雷切尔莱温离开她丈夫后,与他居住在一起。
One story says he may have been James Hamilton, a poor businessman from Scotland. Rachel Lavien lived with him after she left her husband.

有一件事是可以肯定的。他的母亲在他11岁时候去世了。
One thing is certain. His mother died when he was 11 years old.

她去世的时候,家中的朋友帮他在圣克罗伊岛上找了份工作,圣克罗伊岛当时叫圣克鲁斯,是维尔京群岛的一部分。
When she died, friends of the family found work for the boy on the island of Saint Croix -- then called Santa Cruz -- in the Virgin Islands.

他成为会计助手,学习如何记账。
He became an assistant bookkeeper and learned how to keep financial records.

亚力山大从小就与其他孩子不同。其他孩子们玩游戏。
Young Alexander was not like the other children. Other children played games.

他谈到想要成为北美殖民地的政治领袖。
He talked about becoming a political leader in the North American colonies.

他阅读了每一本能够得到的书籍—无论是英语,法语,拉丁语还是希腊语。
He read every book that was given to him -- in English, French, Latin and Greek.

在他年轻的时候,他就学到了许多有关商业和经济知识。
At a young age, he learned a great deal about business and economics.

他能够清楚有力地表达自己的主张。
And he developed an ability to communicate ideas clearly and powerfully.

“他表现出成为作家的极大的天赋。
"He showed great talent as a writer.

他有着非常敏锐的观察力,他所写的当地飓风的一个报道赢得了人们的注意,被当地媒体大力宣传。”
[He was] very observant and gained notice when he wrote an account of a local hurricane, which was picked up by the local press."

瓦莱丽帕利是纽约历史协会的一位历史学家。
Valerie Paley is a historian at the New-York Historical Society.

她说密尔顿的写作功底良好,他的老板和其他一些人决定帮助他接受良好的教育。
She says Hamilton’s writing was so good that his boss and some other people decided to help him get a good education.

他们对他进行经济资助,让他在纽约上大学。
They gave him money so he could attend a college in New York City.

他打算学医,毕业后回到圣克罗伊岛当医生。
The boy’s plan was to study medicine and return to Saint Croix as a doctor.

但他再也没有在西印度群岛居住。
But he never lived in the West Indies again.

在纽约的国王学院,同学和教师都对汉密尔顿清晰的智力和表达能力感到惊讶。
At King’s College in New York City, both teachers and students were surprised by Hamilton’s intelligence and clear way of communicating.

他非常关心美国殖民地所面临的问题。
He often expressed his thinking about the problems of the American colonies.

汉密尔顿抗议英国的统治。他发表了一篇文章,为波士顿倾茶事件提出辩护。
Hamilton was against British rule. He wrote a paper defending the colonists in the city of Boston who seized a British ship and threw its cargo of tea into the water.

税收抗议被称为“波士顿茶叶党”。
The protest over taxes became known as "the Boston tea party."

纽约历史学会的瓦莱丽帕利表示,汉密尔顿的成长经历对其观点产生了影响。
Valerie Paley of the New-York Historical Society says Hamilton’s upbringing may have influenced his views.

“一些历史学家认为,他是无国籍的。
"Some historians have argued that he was somewhat stateless.

他一直在漂泊,他是他自己的主人。
He was adrift, he was his own man.

这在某种程度上使得汉密尔顿有了加入革命事业的热情。”
And in a way there was something so passionately right for Hamilton in joining something as apparently important as the revolutionary cause.”

1776年到来。美国13个殖民地宣布从英国独立。
The year 1776 arrived. The 13 American colonies declared their independence from Britain.

这意味着爆发战争。
The declaration meant war.

美国革命给了汉密尔顿机会去展示自己的能力。
The American Revolution gave Hamilton the chance to show his abilities.

他成为纽约民兵,并参加了一些重要的早期战斗。
He became part of a New York militia and fought in some important early battles.

不久,汉密尔顿遇见美国军队的总司令乔治华盛顿。
It was not long before Hamilton met the commander-in-chief of American forces, George Washington.

华盛顿将军认为汉密尔顿是人才。
General Washington recognized Hamilton’s talents.

他邀请汉密尔顿给自己当助手。
He promoted Hamilton and invited him to become an aide.

汉密尔顿的工作是为华盛顿写信函及报告。
In that job, Hamilton wrote letters and reports for Washington.

汉密尔顿使用他所有的政治和沟通技巧为军队筹集资金和供给。
Hamilton had to use all his political and communication skills to get money and supplies for the Revolutionary Army.

他向13个州政府求助。
He asked the 13 state governments.

他还向当时政治力量薄弱的国会求助。
He also asked the Congress, which had little political power at that time.

结果收效甚微。
He got almost no help from either.

汉密尔顿认为美国的政府体制过于松散,缺乏组织。
Hamilton came to believe firmly that the American system of government was too weak and disorganized.

即便如此,历史学家瓦莱丽帕利称,汉密尔顿成为乔治华盛顿最重要的助手之一。
Even so, historian Valerie Paley says Hamilton became one of the most important people on George Washington’s staff.

“汉密尔顿从未见过父亲,因此他认为人与人之间有非常忠诚和值得信任的关系。
"Hamilton had never had a father of course that he knew or knew well, so there was something very loyal and very, very trusting about the relationship between the men.

所以我认为这对汉密尔顿成为一名政治家和思想家有着非常重要的影响。”
So I think it was something that was extremely important and influential to Hamilton’s growth as a politician and as a thinker.”

她说,他们的关系就像是一个父子。
She says their relationship was almost like a father and son.

但这并不意味着他们的关系一直很好。
But that did not mean their relationship was always good.

亚力山大汉密尔顿是一个骄傲的人。
Alexander Hamilton was a proud man.

他很喜欢批评别人。他甚至批评乔治华盛顿。
He was quick to criticize others. He even criticized George Washington.

有一次,在战争期间,汉密尔顿在一个会议上迟到。
Once, during the war, Hamilton was late to a meeting with the general.

华盛顿说了他。汉密尔顿提出辞职。
Washington protested. Hamilton resigned.

在接下来的八年中,汉密尔顿很繁忙。
For the next eight years, Hamilton was very busy.

他领导的军队参与了美国革命的最后战役。
He led troops in some of the last battles of the American Revolution.

他成为了一名律师。他成立了纽约银行,这是美国首家银行之一。
He became a lawyer. He founded the Bank of New York, one of the very first banks in the country.

他为他的母校国王学院投资,这就是如今的哥伦比亚大学。
He helped save his old school, King’s College, and turn it into what is now Columbia University.

他是制宪会议的一名代表。
He was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention.

他编写了一些联邦党人文集,这是美国历史上最著名的文件。
He wrote some of the Federalist Papers, among the most famous documents in American history.

汉密尔顿的强大的中央政府说服许多美国人批准宪法和建立一个新的政府体制。
Hamilton’s defense of a strong central government persuaded many Americans to ratify the Constitution and establish a new system of government.

历史学家瓦莱丽佩利称汉密尔顿有着高瞻远瞩的思维方式来思考世界。
Historian Valerie Paley says Hamilton had a visionary way of thinking about the world.

“他想到,有些人认为,现代美国的整个观念就是银行财务按照政府的工作方式来运作。
"He thought up, some would argue, the whole notion of what modern America is in terms of the way government works, in terms of finance banking.

他认识到,我们认为应存在的某些结构的重要性,甚至在它们出现之前就已认识到这点。”
He saw the importance of certain structures we take for granted, before they even existed.”

汉密尔顿需要将他的想法变为现实。
All Hamilton needed was a way to make his ideas happen.

乔治华盛顿给予汉密尔顿权力。
George Washington gave Hamilton that power.

华盛顿出任总统时,他忘了他们在战争时出现的分歧。
When Washington became president, he forgot their disagreement during the war.

他提拔他的前助手成为全国第一位财政部长。
He asked his former aide to become the country’s first secretary of the treasury.

工作很难进行。
The job would be difficult.

“美国那时国库空虚。”
"The United States at that time was a financial basket case.”

商业历史学家约翰斯梯尔戈登写了一本关于汉密尔顿的书籍。
Business historian John Steele Gordon wrote a book about Hamilton.

“美国那时并没有真正的货币供应。在殖民时期,他们英国,西班牙和葡萄牙的货币。
"There was no real money supply. In the colonial days they had used a hodgepodge of coins from British, and Spanish, and Portuguese, and what have you.

这是一个混乱的系统。”
It was a very chaotic system.”

换句话说,美国国库空虚。
In other words, there was no such thing yet as American money.

约翰斯梯尔戈登称美国不得不借钱来支付革命战争。
John Steele Gordon says America also had to borrow heavily to pay for the Revolutionary War.

新的国家已经负债累累。
The new nation was deeply in debt.

它必须找到赚钱和还债的方式。
It had to find ways to bring in money and pay what it owed.

要筹集资金可以借钱。但是没人愿意把钱借给美国,除非他们保证偿还。
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.

因此,国会要求财政部长汉密尔顿写一份关于如何建立政府信用的报告。
So, the Congress asked Treasury Secretary Hamilton to write a report about how to build up the government’s credit.

汉密尔顿在报告中说,政府必须还清了所有的债务。这引起了一场辩论。
Hamilton’s report said the government must pay back the full amount of all its debts. This caused a dispute.

许多债务是以国库券的形式发行的。
Many of the debts were in the form of government notes.

凡在战争期间为军队提供食物,衣服和武器的人,就可以得到国库券,保证政府会把钱还给他们。
The notes promised to pay someone for supplying food, clothing and weapons to the rebel army.

有些国库券还保证参军的士兵能够得到补偿。
Some promised to pay soldiers for joining the army.

然而,这些国库券并没有什么价值可言。
The notes, however, were really worth nothing.

当时的大陆会议没有钱。
The wartime Congress had no money.

大家也就失去了有朝一日能到得到补偿的希望。
People who got them lost hope of ever getting repaid.

因此他们将国库券以低价卖给了别人。
So they sold them to anyone willing to pay even part of the value.

汉密尔顿计划要全额兑换国库券。
Hamilton’s plan would repay the full value of the notes to those who owned them last.

汉密尔顿认为那些买了国库券的人应该得到应有的补偿。
Hamilton believed that those who bought the notes had a right to earn money from them.

他说,这些人抓住了机遇,他们相信这些毫无价值的国库券总有一天会有价值的。
He said these men took a chance that the worthless notes would be worth something, someday.

国会议员杰姆斯麦迪逊弗吉尼亚表示反对。
Congressman James Madison of Virginia protested.

他指出,低价收购国库券的人应该得到补偿,但不是全额。
He said the people who bought the notes at low cost should be paid, but not in full.

另外一些钱,应该给那些最初提供供给和服务而得到国库券的人。
Some of the money, he said, should go to those who got the notes in exchange for supplies or services.

麦迪逊在国会发表了激情演讲。
Madison made an emotional speech in Congress.

他描述了退伍老兵穷困潦倒,被迫低价出售国库券的现象。
He described the situation of former soldiers forced by hunger to sell their government notes for almost nothing.

他指出,联邦的建立是为了保护人们免受不公正的待遇。
He noted that the Union was established to protect the people against such injustice.

汉密尔顿说他计划的目的不仅是要偿还债务。
Hamilton answered that the purpose of his plan was greater than simply paying debts.

他说这同时也是为了建立国家的信用,使以后借钱更方便。
He said it was a way to build up the nation’s credit so it could borrow money more easily in the future.

许多国会议员对退伍老兵和他们的家庭深表同情。
Many members of Congress felt sorry for the poor soldiers and their families.

然而,他们却投票反对麦迪逊的建议,支持汉密尔顿的计划。
Yet they voted against Madison’s proposal and supported Hamilton’s plan.

不过, 为了赢得大家对他的计划的支持,汉密尔顿不得不与一些国会议员达成协议。
Still, to win support for his plan, Hamilton had to make a political deal with several congressmen.

只要他们支持他的财务计划。他就设法让美国迁都。
They would support his financial plan. But he had to use his influence to get the capital of the United States moved.

当时,首都是在北方的纽约市。
At that time, the capital was in the north, in New York City.

来自弗吉尼亚州的两个国会议员希望首都能迁到波托马克河沿岸。
Two congressmen from Virginia wanted it in the south near their homes along the Potomac River.

宾夕法尼亚州的几个议员表示赞同。
Several congressmen from Pennsylvania agreed.

但他们提出,首都必须先迁往宾州最大的城市费城。
But they said the capital must first be moved to the city of Philadelphia in their state.

必须在费城呆够十年。
And it must remain there for ten years.

国会投票通过了这个方案。华盛顿总统签署成为法律生效。
Congress accepted this plan by a close vote. President Washington signed it into law.

汉密尔顿仍是一个三十多岁的年轻人。
Hamilton was still a young man in his thirties.

但他已经成功地改革了美国的经济政策。
But he had already succeeded in remaking the country’s economic policies.

他将首都建立在哥伦比亚特区的华盛顿。
And he had established the country’s permanent capital in Washington, DC, the District of Columbia.

也有一些人反对他。他的下一个计划是创造更多的奇迹。这将是我们下周的故事。
He had also made some enemies. His next plan would create even more. That will be our story next week.