Who's Who - Henry Cabot Lodge

Henry Cabot Lodge Henry Cabot Lodge (1850-1924), a conservative Republican politician, proved a long-term adversary of Democratic President Woodrow Wilson and, ultimately, his nemesis.

Born to a prominent Boston family on 12 May 1850, Lodge was educated at Harvard from which he emerged with a Ph.D. in political science in 1876, being admitted to the bar the same year.

Lodge acted as assistant editor, from 1873-76, of the North American Review, before lecturing on U.S. history at Harvard from 1876-79.  He co-edited the International Review (with John Torrey Morse) between 1880-81.

In 1880 Lodge was elected to the state legislature (until 1881), and to the House of Representatives in 1887 (until 1893).  He subsequently served in the Senate from 1893 until his death in 1924.

Lodge took time to write a series of historical works and biographies in addition to carving out a growing political career.  His works included biographies of Daniel Webster (1883) and George Washington (1889).

As a Senator Lodge formed a close alliance with Theodore Roosevelt.  Despite his reputation as a conservative Republican Lodge was by no means isolationist.  In favour of war with Spain in 1898, Lodge also favoured the acquisition of the Philippines.

Lodge firmly believed that America deserved (and should therefore be encouraged to develop) a prominent role in international diplomacy.  In order to achieve this he therefore argued for ongoing development of an increased army and navy, military strength being a pre-requisite to diplomatic power.

Conservative and conventional to the extent that he supported the gold standard and protection, Lodge believed incoming 1912 President Woodrow Wilson to be one of the more risky occupants of the Oval Office, with his arch-progressive notions that were anathema to conservatives of Lodge's slant.

Suspicious and contemptuous of Wilson's peace policies, Lodge welcomed U.S. involvement in the First World War, while remaining (as chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations) highly critical of Wilson's prosecution of the war.

A bitter opponent of Wilson (the feeling was mutual), Lodge's position was manifestly strengthened with the election of a Republican majority in the November 1918 mid-term elections.  With this election victory Lodge became Senate Majority Leader.

Lodge used his powerful position to oppose Wilson's plan for U.S. participation in the League of Nations.  Proposing a series of amendments to Wilson's bill ratifying U.S. entry into the League, Lodge succeeded in watering down U.S. involvement while simultaneously encouraging popular opposition to Wilson.

Wilson, ignoring the advice of his closest advisors (including Colonel House) refused to compromise with his Republican opponents; as a consequence Congress never ratified U.S. entry into the League.

In 1920 Lodge was one of a number of Senators who proposed (and secured) Warren G. Harding's nomination for the U.S. presidency.

Henry Cabot Lodge died on 9 November 1924 at the age of 74.

A howitzer is any short cannon that delivers its shells in a high trajectory. The word is derived from an old German word for "catapult".

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