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The Sun, New York, front page, November 20, 1919

On November 19, 1919, the Senate voted on approval of ratification of a version of the Treaty of Versailles with fourteen “reservations” (changes) proposed by Senator Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts. It was defeated 39–55. The next day, the Senate rejected the original treaty without amendments, voting 38–53. On March 19, 1920, the Senate again rejected it, 35–49.

Serial and Government Publications Division, Library of Congress

The Sun, New York, front page, November 20, 1919

The Senate Rejects the Treaty of Versailles

The Constitution grants the president power to negotiate treaties with foreign governments, and gives the Senate the power to approve those treaties for ratification, if two-thirds of its members concur. The Senate has, at times, rejected treaties when its members felt their concerns were not adequately addressed. In 1919 the Senate rejected the Treaty of Versailles, which formally ended World War I, in part because President Woodrow Wilson had failed to take senators’ objections to the agreement into consideration.

They have made the French treaty subject to the authority of the League, which is not to be tolerated. If we ever are called upon to go to the assistance of France as we were two years ago, we will go without asking anybody's leave.

Senator Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts, Letter to Senator Albert Beveridge of Indiana, August 11, 1919