Henry Cabot Lodge

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Let us have done with British-Americans and Irish-Americans and German-Americans, and so on, and all be Americans.

Henry Cabot Lodge (May 12, 1850November 9, 1924) was an American Republican Senator and historian from Massachusetts. A PhD in history from Harvard, he was a long-time friend and confidant of Theodore Roosevelt. Lodge had the role (but not the official title) of the first Senate Majority Leader. He is best known for his positions on foreign policy, especially his battle with President Woodrow Wilson in 1919 over the Treaty of Versailles. Lodge demanded Congressional control of declarations of war; Wilson refused and blocked Lodge's move to ratify the treaty with reservations. As a result, the United States never joined the League of Nations.


  • Let every man honor and love the land of his birth and the race from which he springs and keep their memory green. It is a pious and honorable duty. But let us have done with British-Americans and Irish-Americans and German-Americans, and so on, and all be Americans...If a man is going to be an American at all let him be so without any qualifying adjectives; and if he is going to be something else, let him drop the word American from his personal description.
    • The Day We Celebrate (Forefathers' Day), Address, New England Society of Brooklyn (December 21, 1888).
  • We make no hypocritical pretense of being interested in the Philippines solely on account of others. While we regard the welfare of these people as a sacred trust, we regard the welfare of the American people first. We see our duty to ourselves as well as to others. We believe in trade expansion. By every legitimate means within the province of government and constitution we mean to stimulate the expansion of our trade and open new markets.
  • It is the flag just as much of the man who was naturalized yesterday as of the man whose people have been here many generations.
  • He was a great patriot, a great man; above all, a great American. His country was the ruling, mastering passion of his life from the beginning even unto the end.
    • Theodore Roosevelt, Address Before Congress (February 9, 1919).
  • I have loved but one flag and I can not share that devotion and give affection to the mongrel banner invented for a league.
    • Remarks in the Senate (August 12, 1919), Congressional Record, vol. 58, p. 3784.

Quotes about Lodge

  • President Wilson would not have changed his opinions in any particular. He would attribute the present condition of the world to the failure of the League, and that failure again to the action of his political enemies in the United States. If he has met Cabot Lodge in the shades, where spirits await their final destiny, he will have pointed out to him the agony of the world to-day and said “My friend, that is your doing.”
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