Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Vote Tally on the Lodge Amendment (Treaty of Versailles), August 23, 1919
When the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations began adding Senator Henry Cabot Lodge’s amendments to the Treaty of Versailles, President Woodrow Wilson embarked on a nationwide speaking tour in an attempt to galvanize public support for a treaty without reservations (amendments) to avoid potentially needing to renegotiate the treaty. The tour ended abruptly when Wilson’s health failed in September 1919.
Records of the U.S. Senate, National Archives and Records Administration
The Senate Considers the Treaty of Versailles
The Treaty of Versailles’s fate was uncertain in the Senate. Some senators, known as “Irreconcilables,” opposed the treaty in any form. “Reservationists,” led by Senator Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts, wanted reservations (amendments) added to the treaty before approving it. Lodge added 14 reservations to reinforce U.S. policy and protect congressional war powers. The Senate voted on the treaty with and without reservations, but both votes fell short of the required two-thirds majority. After more debate, the Senate rejected the treaty 49 to 35 during a final vote on March 19, 1920.
I hope and pray that peace . . . may reign everywhere on earth. But . . . the American people are first in my heart now and always. I can never assent to any scheme, . . . which is not for the welfare and for the highest and best interest of my own beloved people of whom I am one—the American people—the people of the United States.
Senator Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts, Speech to the U.S. Senate, February 28, 1919