November 19: The Jay Treaty is signed, the Gettysburg Address is delivered, and other events of the date
A number of important events have taken place on November 19th in U.S. history. Here is our take on the most interesting and valuable of them.
1794 – The Jay Treaty is signed between the U.S. and Great Britain
The American Revolutionary War ended with the signing of the Treaty of Paris back in 1783, yet, both the U.S. and Great Britain still had many issues to be discussed, including the question of where the borders should be drawn between the newly-founded state and the British colonies left in North America. Thus, the Jay Treaty was aimed at the solution of some truly controversial issues.
The treaty plan belonged to the first U.S. Secretary of Treasury Alexander Hamilton and was widely supported by President Washington, yet, it gave birth to two opposing parties in every state: the pro-Treaty Federalists and the anti-Treaty Democratic Republicans, with both sides finding some articles unacceptable.
However, the treaty itself eventually led to the achievement of many of America’s initial goals, including the withdrawal of British Army units from the forts they controlled in the Northwest Territory, which opened the way for future territorial expansion.
Quite interestingly, the sides agreed that disputes over wartime debts and the American–Canadian boundary should be sent to arbitration, which was one of the first modern examples of the use of arbitration in the history of diplomacy.
1863 – American Civil War: the Gettysburg Address is delivered by President Lincoln
One of the most well-known speeches ever delivered by a U.S. President is beyond any doubt President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, which was devoted to the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here, stated Abraham Lincoln in his remarkable speech in the town where the fate of the American Civil War had been decided just four months prior, as the Union forces under the command of Major General Meade defeated the Confederates led into battle by the famous and legendary General Robert E. Lee.
This text is from just one of five known manuscripts of the speech, and, despite its significant historical meaning, the exact wording of the Gettysburg Address is still disputable.
2004 – The Malice at the Palace
The Malice at the Palace, also known as the Pacers-Pistons Brawl, occurred right after the NBA game between the Indiana Pacers and the Detroit Pistons (which Indiana won 97-82) at the Palace of Auburn Hills, Michigan. Some journalists have called it “the most infamous brawl in NBA history.”
Everything happened less than a minute before the final whistle: with just 45.9 seconds left in the game, Pistons center Ben Wallace went up for a layup but was fouled by Pacers small forward Ron Artest. Of course, this couldn’t be tolerated by Wallace, as he was furious for being fouled, when the result of the game had already been decided, so he pushed back.
The fight that occurred in the following minutes included several other players and even fans, throwing cups at the players on the ground. In the aftermath, the National Basketball Association suspended nine players from both teams involved in the brawl for a total of 146 games, which also led to a loss of $11 million in salary.
These are the most notable events in U.S. history that occurred on November 19, at least in our view.