Henry Cabot Lodge (R-MA) (1850-1924) was a United States
Senator from Massachusetts
for over 30 years. He was a very staunch conservative Republican
and the epitome of an isolationist. He wanted the United States to stay far away from the politics of Europe
, and was the major leader in preventing the United States's entry into the League of Nations
after World War I
Lodge was born on May 12, 1850 in Boston, Massachusetts. He went to college at Harvard University, where in 1876 he received the first Ph. D. in political science ever granted by Harvard. He was admitted to the bar after graduating, but remained at Harvard for three years as a lecturer in American history.
In 1880, Lodge won a seat on the Massachusetts state legislature. After this he spent time writing, especially about history and biographies of such famous Americans as George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and Daniel Webster. In 1887, he was elected to the House of Representatives. In 1893, he became a Senator, and his Senate career lasted until 1924.
Lodge was a very conservative, right-wing Republican. He wanted to stay out of European affairs, and for European countries not to meddle with American affairs. He favored policies like the gold standard and a high protective tariff to protect domestic corporations. Lodge became the chairman of the Foreign Relations committee, which spelled bad news for Woodrow Wilson, whom Lodge criticized heavily for his involvement in World War I.
When the war ended, the last and most important of Wilson's Fourteen Points called for the establishment of an organization which would become the League of Nations. Ironically, though it was the brainchild of the American President, the League of Nations never had the United States as a member nation due to Lodge's efforts and the Republican dominance of Congress. Congress refused to accept the Treaty of Versailles as drafted by Wilson and the other Allied leaders. Lodge created a few amendments for the treaty which would require the United States to have the approval of Congress before it acted on a decision made by the League. Wilson did not like the idea of the United States being able to override the League in such a manner, and he rejected Lodge's amendments. Lodge passed away on November 9, 1924.