Henry Cabot Lodge

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Henry Cabot Lodge (May 12, 1850November 9, 1924), was a Republican statesman and noted historian.

Henry Cabot Lodge
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Henry Cabot Lodge

Lodge was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the great-grandson of George Cabot. He was the first student of Harvard University to graduate with a PhD in political science (1876). Lodge represented his home state in the United States House of Representatives from 1887 to 1893 and in the Senate from 1893 to 1924. As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee he led the successful fight against American participation in the League of Nations proposed by President Woodrow Wilson at the close of World War I. He also served as chairman of the Senate Republican Conference from 1918 to 1924.

Lodge maintained that membership in the world peacekeeping organization would threaten the sovereignty of the United States by binding the nation to international commitments it would not or could not keep.

Senator Lodge argued in 1919 against the League:

The United States is the world's best hope, but if you fetter her in the interests and quarrels of other nations, if you tangle her in the intrigues of Europe, you will destroy her powerful good, and endanger her very existence. Leave her to march freely through the centuries to come, as in the years that have gone. Strong, generous, and confident, she has nobly served mankind. Beware how you trifle with your marvelous inheritance — this great land of ordered liberty. For if we stumble and fall, freedom and civilization everywhere will go down in ruin.

The League of Nations was established without US participation in 1920. With headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, it remained active until World War II. After the war, it was replaced by the United Nations which assumed many of the League's procedures and peacekeeping functions.

Lodge died in 1924 at the age of 74. He was interred in the Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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